Books have always been a safe space for me, where I can travel to a new world, meet new people and join them on their journeys to whatever their heart desires. When I love a book so much and it reaches it’s end, I don’t want to shut it down and never think about it again. I want to talk about it in depth as much as I possibly can, and who better than with the author themselves?
It has always been a dream of mine to create a platform like ‘BreakfastAtShelbys’, where I can do exactly this – interview my favourite authors. It has taken some courage and a lot of confidence to get to this very moment, but I’ve done it and the responses have been everything I could’ve hoped for.
I would like to introduce you to the first author making an appearance on my blog for an interview – Lucy Knott. Lucy is the author of her debut novel ‘How To Bake a New Beginning’, a cosy and feel-good story about sisters, family, romance and lots of Italian food. I fell in love with Lucy’s story so much, that I thought “why not get her on the blog to talk about it some more?” and that’s exactly what I did!
Read my full review of ‘How To Bake a New Beginning’ here.
Without further ado, let’s get in to the interview:
Welcome to BreakfastAtShelbys, I’m so honoured to have you on here! Why don’t we kick start this interview off with you telling us a bit about yourself?
Thank you so much for having me Shelby. It’s an honour to be on your blog. I’m very excited. Hmm a bit about me; I’m a twin. My twin sister, Kelly, and I run TheBlossomTwins.com. I currently live in Manchester, UK, after spending nine years living in the USA. I used to be a professional wrestler, but now the majority of my time is spent writing, reading and cooking.
What or who inspired you to become a writer?
I’ve always loved to write, be it lists, letters, notes, I just love putting pen to paper. Also, I am a huge fan of Jack Kerouac and since I was 16 have been inspired by his work and writing style. But I never really thought about writing a book until I was maybe twenty-five. I was at a really happy place in my life and felt inspired by love; so much so that I wanted to write about it. With love at the forefront I set about creating my characters; the world in which they were a part of and events that would take place in their lives. I tend to enjoy happy books and am drawn to writing uplifting stories that are inspired by beautiful things around me or my belief that we can create fairytales and magic.
‘How to Bake a New Beginning’ is your latest release and also your debut book, which I absolutely loved! Congratulations! Can you tell my readers – who may not have had the opportunity to hear about it yet – what it’s about?
Thank you so much. I’m thrilled that you enjoyed my book and truly appreciate your kind words. ‘How to Bake a New Beginning’ is about three sisters, Amanda, Sabrina and Louisa, who are all very close but are on different paths in life. They embark on a trip to Italy when their Grandpa passes away and it opens their eyes and forces them to deal with everything from dreams, feelings and fears. It’s about family bonds and special people in our lives, like sisters and Grandparents, but also, taking risks in love and life.
Your Italian heritage has such a big role in ‘How to Bake A New Beginning’, which makes the whole book feel a lot more personal not only for you, but also for the readers – tell us a little about your Italian side!
I’m half Italian on my Mum’s side and it’s something I treasure and take great pride in. My Grandparents have had a massive impact on my life; they are my world. We grew up with many Italian traditions and of course, around plenty of Italian food so it weaved it’s way in to my story when I was thinking about places and settings. I thoroughly enjoy learning more and more about Italy every day, whether it be through stories from my Nanna, whipping up family recipes or engaging with fellow Italy lovers online, so I had a blast writing the Italian parts in the book.
Family is also a very important part of your novel, especially the bond between sisters. Was the strong bond between these three sisters inspired by your own bond with your sisters?
Oh absolutely. My sisters and my brother are my world. We get on super well and all love each other dearly. We do fight and we don’t always agree on everything, but we are there for each other no matter what. Spending time with them is my favourite thing. The book was definitely inspired by the love I have for them and also, trying to balance being your own person and sometimes wanting to do your own thing but still being there for them too. (I touch on more of that in book two.)
Which of the three sisters do you believe represents you the most? If any!
My real-life sisters like to tell me who they think they are, and I have had family members and friends tell me who they think each sister is. It’s funny how everyone has a different idea. Honestly though, I kind of feel that I am a mixture of all three of them, whether it be a trait I have or a trait I wish to have. They all have different outlooks and personalities and I like to think that I can claim a bit of each of them. Amanda’s very stubborn and can be quite bold, which I love about her and have a little bit of that in me I think; mostly the stubbornness. And she loves to cook which I do too. Sabrina is rather sweet and laid back, but I love that she can take charge and stay true to who she is even in the fast pace and chaotic world of music and celebrities. I wish I was more laid back but that’s more Kelly. I adore how much Louisa loves her family and is always thinking about them. I’d like to think I have a lot of that in me too. It’s certainly a trait my younger sister has in spades.
Out of Dan, Levi and Luca – which guy was your favourite to write about?
I love how cheeky and fun Levi is, so he is awesome to write. I adore Luca’s good heart and kind nature. He always makes me smile. But I think my heart belongs to Dan. I thoroughly enjoy writing the banter between him and Amanda and the fact that he’s just a good guy fills my heart with joy when I write.
Being as this is your debut book, it must have been a massive learning curve for you on how to write one and what methods worked best for you – can you give us a small breakdown of what it was like in the day to day life of creating and writing ‘How To Bake a New Beginning’?
I wrote whenever I could for about three years; just scribbling things down or writing chapters on my laptop. I was fortunate to get advice from so many wonderful people who encouraged me and kept me going and once I felt like I really knew my characters and the story I wanted to tell, I just kept typing. I didn’t really have a clue on what I was doing but I would read a lot and just write what I felt. I reached out to other authors and was incredibly lucky to have such amazing people like Rebecca Raisin and Holly Martin take the time to read my work and give me feedback. They were, and are, incredible and it helped me so much, giving me an insight in to where I needed to improve. In addition to a better guide as to what I was doing and need to be doing.
When I got my publishing contract with HQ it was awesome to learn from an editor too. I began realizing that I’m very much a morning person and feel my most creative in the morning. Therefore, I tweaked my schedule and started getting up early to get to work on writing before work. I would always carry a notebook with me and even if it was just for fun, I’d always be thinking of my characters and what they were going through. It was just fun to immerse myself in that world. Of course, when you have deadlines, you must write and edit before and after work and any time you can grab, but it’s good to have an idea of when you feel your best. At the time of doing official edits for HTBANB I was travelling back and forth from England and America, so I don’t believe I really had a method. Every day was different.
If you could describe ‘How to Bake a New Beginning’ in three words, what would they be?
Heartfelt. Delicious. Romantic.
Lastly, you are currently in the works of writing your second novel – can you tell us any juicy details about it yet?
The next novel will be a follow up to ‘How to Bake a New Beginning’ and it’s called ‘The Ingredients for Happiness.’ It’s in the editing process right now so I won’t say too much more. But I really hope you like it.
Eek, the second book sounds just as amazing as the first, I can’t wait! Thank you so much for joining me on the blog and I can’t wait to talk some more soon.
‘How To Bake a New Beginning’ is available for purchase on paperback, audiobook and e-book now.