Today I’m delighted to welcome Celia J Anderson to Me, My Books and I:
Celia J Anderson tries to avoid writing CVs these days because they always look so random. Library assistant, cycling proficiency tutor, barmaid, childminder, hawker of slimming drinks, seller of second hand maternity clothes…then there was the time in the psychiatric hospital…and that was just the early days.
Nowadays she divides her time between teaching in a small and lovely Catholic primary school in South Derbyshire, and writing children’s books and adult contemporary romances. Her first book, Sweet Proposal (formerly The Chocolate Project) is being published digitally by Piatkus Entice on August 1st. The next one is nearly finished. Who knows what she’ll do then – maybe some dusting, or a spot of gardening? Not. Celia’s next dream is to have her children’s books in print and to be invited into schools to talk about them like a real grown up writer, and to be given the best biscuits at break time.
Celia’s hobbies are fairly low maintenance on the whole; cooking, eating and drinking (which seem to go together very nicely), reading, writing, running a drama group for children and walking, often in the hills of Somerset. She loves cake, wine, her family and friends and the seaside – not in that order, obviously. Sometimes wine comes first.
To find out more about Celia J Anderson:
Also blog with the fabulous Romaniacs
Where did the idea for Sweet Proposal come from?
Sweet Proposal was actually The Chocolate Project until recently. I’m indecently addicted to most chocolate-based things (especially cake) and would love to find a place that has strong black coffee, chocolate, cake, books, a place to write, comfy sofas and a Jacuzzi all under one roof. Mab and Leo’s dream come true. Or is it?
How did you come up with the title?
The new title is the brain child of the experts at Piatkus Entice – lovely ladies who really know their stuff!
Who designed the cover and why did you go for that particular design?
Again, I have Piatkus to thank for this one – we chose it from five similar designs but the chocolate on the final one looks good enough to eat.
I completely agree, it looks yummy! 🙂
Who was your favourite character to write and why?
I loved writing George. He’s a troubled soul but he knows what he needs to enjoy life and he goes for it. I’m not an expert on autism but I’ve seen the effect it can have on whole families, and have experienced lots of misunderstandings when words and phrases are taken literally. I once spent half an hour explaining myself after saying ‘If you do that, you’ll be up the creek without a paddle.’ Big mistake.
If you had to write it all over again, would you change anything?
As a debut writer, I’ve picked up a huge amount of tips from my publishers during the editing process, and also from lovely agent Kate Nash before the book was ready to see light of day and before she even knew she was going to be landed with being my agent. With hindsight, I might have tried planning it properly if I’d had more sense. #slappedhands
Is any part of Sweet Proposal based on your own personal experiences?
As a teacher there have been many Georges, and Mab’s impulsiveness is definitely mine. My husband provided the Geordie know-how and lingo. Sophie is all the scary girls at secondary school rolled into one – the sort that make you hide in the toilets when you’re old enough to know better.
Do you ever experience writer’s block?
Sometimes, but it’s usually due to my sad lack of forward planning…
Why did you start writing?
I couldn’t help myself. It’s just so much fun.
Do you have any amusing writing stories to share with us?
Only the mouth-full-of-bread moment which I’ve already confessed to elsewhere. I almost missed the earth shattering announcement that I’d won the Piatkus competition because I was distracted by a large glass of wine and a buttered roll.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I read lots, and talk, cook, eat and drink far too much – sometimes all at the same time. I spend way too much time playing around on Facebook and chatting to The Romaniacs – the best online writing group and support network EVER. Walking is fun, and is the only way I can be bothered to keep fit – I tried going to the gym (even had a gorgeous Tasmanian personal trainer once, some years back – got him at a discount, I should add) but unfortunately have got no staying power on tortuous machinery even with constant encouragement from sporty types. And I fall off bikes.
Are there any occupational hazards to being an author?
The main one for me is not being able to stop writing at the moment, which interferes with the day job. Oh, and the cake crumbs in the keyboard are sometimes hard to shift.
Paperback or eBook?
I wanted to come over very sophisticated and old-school by defending the paperback but my Kindle is so useful and has a very friendly red cover. Both, please.
Milk, white or dark chocolate?
Dark for actual chocolates, milk in a block; preferably Cadbury’s Dairy Milk. White chocolate is the invention of someone very weird and should not be given house room.
Morning or night?
Snow or sun?
Snow, I still get very silly when it happens. Especially around Christmas.
Listener or talker?
Ah. Um…I try to be a good listener but I often hear myself going on…and on…and on… My family and friends and the kids in my class have constantly glazed expressions, especially if I catch them in the mornings.
Any last words for your readers?
Had to get up and run round the room excitedly for a moment there – this is my first book and I’ve never had a reader who doesn’t know me before. So if you’re reading this and you think you might like to be that person – I love you. That’s all.
Thank you so much for being here today Celia, it was a pleasure to have you on my blog. I particularly enjoyed reading about how you got the idea for Sweet Proposal – anything involving coffee, chocolate, cake and books will always grab my attention!
Now check out the book:
“Books, chocolate and a Jacuzzi; could there be a better combination? Gorgeous geordie Leo arrives in Clayton-on-the-Bream with a mission to make his mark. When he reveals his ideas for a bespoke bookshop and chocolate-themed cafe, struggling writer Mab can’t resist his plea for help.
However, Leo’s timing is disastrous. Engaged to flighty, super-thin Sophie and knowing that Mab is up to her neck in a mysterious scheme of her own, Leo fights hard to ignore the warm, sensual friendship that is growing between them. When their eclectic mix of family and friends weigh in to help, the dream seems almost possible, but can Leo can ignore Mab’s shady past?As they battle with sabotage, jealousy, vindictive neighbours and unpredictable relationships, Mab and Leo find that even chocolate can’t always make miracles happen.”