The Great Book Bites Bake-Off

The thing about writing is that you can write about whatever you like. Of course, it helps if the things you want to write about are the things that interest other people too, but, heigh ho, that could just be the icing on the cake (huh, huh, huh – that’s the sound of one of my kids fake-laughing at my bad joke).

what they don't coverSo, in my first novel, What they don’t tell you about love in the movies, I wrote about … you’ve guessed it, movies. Each of the chapters is named after a movie the characters talk about or watch and the chapter ends with a review of the movie by Joe, the movie-buff hero. That was fun – I got to rewatch loads of my favourite movies, and it was research…


Gooseberry_v2.3My second novel, How do you say GOOSEBERRY in French?, is all about France and French food and the French language, which I love like … well, you’ll see if you read it. The book’s pretty much a love letter to all things French!

So, when it came to my third novel, the one I’ve just started writing, I knew I was going to need to include another of my great passions. And it didn’t take me too long to work out which one it was going to be.

I love cooking. More specifically, I love baking. Now, I’m never going to be the kind of baker who gets on the Great British Bake Off. No, my baking is more homely than that. But for me, baking is one of the most relaxing things you can do. And you end up with cake! What more can you ask? Oh yes, that it’s a thing you can do that gives other people pleasure too. Win-win-win!

IMG_1991So the new book, provisionally titled Is she a cupcake kind of person?, is set in a tearoom. It focuses on a minor character from each of the two other books, a boy and a girl who I hadn’t thought about much but who suddenly seemed to have developed lives of their own while I wasn’t looking. It’s about the summer after they finish their A’levels, when they’re working in the tearoom, Gingerbread and Cupcake, waiting for the rest of their lives to start.

And there’ll be cake! A recipe to follow each chapter (probably – depends how many chapters I end up with), all the things you’d expect to find in a tearoom, layer cakes, and loaf cakes, cookies and traybakes. So obviously, I’m not only writing, in the interests of research, I’m also baking. Creative baking too, because recipes are copyright, so I have to find a way to make the recipes I’m going to put in the book my own.

IMG_2297That’s a lot of recipes. And that’s why I’d like some help. If you already to subscribe to the Paisley Piranha YA newsletter, Book Bites, you’ll already know about our competition. But here it is again, just in case you don’t (and you should – it’s full of great YA book author interviews and giveaways, just click on the link above to subscribe).

The Great Book Bites Bake-Off

Do you love to bake? Do you have a secret family recipe or signature bake?

I’m looking for RECIPES! They could be anything you would expect to find in a tearoom, such as layer cakes, loaf cakes, cupcakes, cookies or traybakes. I’ll choose one or more recipes to feature in her new book and the winners will be credited in the book and will receive a free copy.

1. Recipes are copyright, so your recipe must be ORIGINAL. That doesn’t mean you have to make it up from scratch, but if you use an existing recipe, you must have changed it in some way. In your email, explain where your recipe came from and if it’s adapted from a cookery book, give the name and author of the book.

2. Your recipe must WORK! I’ll test all my favourite recipes and pick ones which are simple and delicious.

Send your recipe to before November 30th 2015. The winner or winners will be announced in January’s Book Bites.

I’m so excited about receiving all your recipes and baking them for myself!




Claire Watts

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