Last August I shared an excerpt from A Wedding in Cornwall with you and today I’m delighted to be welcoming author Laura Briggs in my hot seat chatting about her latest release in the Cornwall novella series, A Bake Off in Cornwall which published 18th May. All the novellas in the series can be read as stand-alone stories.
Laura Briggs is the author of several women’s fiction and chick lit novels, with themes that range from wedding planning to modern Jane Austen. Even though she tends to write stories with a romance theme, as a reader she has a soft spot for mysteries, including those by Agatha Christie and Mary Roberts Rinehart. She also enjoys books by Jane Austen, Anne Tyler, Amy Tan, and too many others to name. In her free time, she likes to experiment with new recipes and tries to landscape her yard (a never-ending project).
Connect with Laura Briggs
Author Website: http://paperdollwrites.blogspot.com/
Twitter @paperdollwrites : http://bit.ly/1ME9ivJ
Facebook Page: http://on.fb.me/1JjeMoI
Welcome back to Jera’s Jamboree.
Please summarise A Bake Off in Cornwall in 20 words or less.
Romantic sparks fly fast in a Cornish summer filled with scrumptious cakes and fierce competition!
What was the idea/inspiration for your story?
Well, I’m a huge fan of baking-themed shows like The Great British Bake Off and The Great Holiday Baking Show. I like to bake when I can but don’t have nearly enough time (or talent, I suspect!) for creating the beautiful goodies featured on these programs—though I have saved some favorite recipes and ideas from them just in case. I also enjoy cooking-themed movies now and then, including The Hundred-Foot Journey and Julie & Julia.
Please tell us about the characters in A Bake off in Cornwall.
The series heroine, Julianne, is an American event planner who found her dream job (and dream romance!) when she moved ‘across the pond’ to work as the event planner at a beautiful Cornish estate known as Cliffs House. Matthew is the charming and kind Poldark-lookalike who steals her heart away. Among the Cliffs House staff are practical chef Dinah, romantic young Gemma, and the amiable estate manager Geoff. Lord William and Lady Amanda are Julianne’s beloved employers, and Kitty Alderson is her rough-around-the-edges assistant (who gets her own special narrative sections in this latest book, providing readers insight into her growing attraction for the handsome but infuriating event promoter, Nathan!).
Did you do any research Laura? What resources did you use?
Sadly, I can’t journey to the real Cornwall to conduct my research, so I’m forced to rely on the internet. Of course, being American, there are some details I get wrong about the culture, but most readers seem willing to overlook these if they enjoy the story and characters. As far as the baking part of the book, my research was taken from my love for television baking shows and my fondness for beautiful coffee table cookbooks.
Do you have a theme for your? Who designs them?
The book covers for my Cornish romance novellas do have a sort of general theme. Each one has featured a dwelling of some sort, be it a cottage or a manor house. All of the designs have been created using artwork from talented illustrators at the website known as Dreamstime.
Which authors have influenced your writing Laura?
Such a tough question. I love so many kinds of books and styles of writing that I’m not sure I can pinpoint one that has influenced me more than the others. However, Jane Austen is definitely a writer whose works I return to again and again, and I’ve even done a few modern variations on her stories, including my co-authored novels Dear Miss Darcy and Emma Knows All.
Do you have a favourite book you return to? If so, what is it about that book?
Hmm. Another tough question. There are many books I love to re-read, including Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, Anne Tyler’s The Accidental Tourist, and Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby (the imagery in that book just amazes me!).
A more recent novel I read that really gripped me was Gregory Maguire’s Lost. It seemed different and fresh and kept me guessing to the very end.
Finally Laura, can you tell us what’s is in the future for your Cornwall series?
This is Book 5 in a series of novellas. At this point, Book 6, A Castle in Cornwall is due to come out in late summer, and future ideas are very much in the works. Hopefully, readers will be happy to continue with the characters in my fictional Cornish village a little while longer!
Thank you for being my guest.
Wishing you success with all your writing projects Laura.
Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 441 KB
Print Length: 112 pages
Baking fever is sweeping through Cornwall this summer, and with the announcement that Cliffs House is hosting a popular baking contest, Julianne and her friends couldn’t be more excited — until Dinah announces that she’s one of the chosen contestants! Julianne promises herself to do everything possible to support her friend in the face of stiff competition … and two extremely competitive international judges…all while learning a few lessons in the kitchen under the oh-so-close tutelage of Matthew himself.
With love as the secret ingredient, and sparks flying from more than the contestants’ caramelizing torches, Book Five in the bestselling Cornwall series is a recipe for summer romance!