I am thrilled today to be on this blog tour with a fascinating guest post from Sylvia Ashby, author of The Sinking Chef. I also have a giveaway for an Amazon voucher and a copy of the eBook so look out for that when you’re reading the post.
BLURB: “Bridget Jones meets Burnt in this delightful comedy novel about a talented YouTuber and the guy who keeps trying to bring her down. Although part of a series this book is completely standalone, as are all other novels in the Pot Love Series.
In Belsize Park, London, Ashley works hard on her daily YouTube channel “The Sinking Chef”. It’s filmed right in her kitchen, so she doesn’t go out much. James is a gruff British TV director, turned publisher, who Ashley had a crush on ages ago. She has moved on but when he calls with an offer to take her out to lunch she doesn’t say no. It’s only lunch – what can go wrong?
The day Ashley meets James for lunch and he promises her a book deal, she makes the worse decision in her life – to hide the book deal from her boyfriend, Giacomo. As things progress Ashley’s secrets mount up and other things in her life unravel. Is there a connection? And how is she going to get out of this without losing Giacomo and the life she loves?
Set in the heart of fast-paced London, The Sinking Chef is a charming story of love, recipes, secrets, and the determination to do thinks right by those you love most in your life.”
The book is exclusive for Amazon & in Kindle Unlimited
1st prize: £25 Amazon voucher and an eCopy of the book
2nd and 3rd prize: ecopy of the book
Click here to enter the giveaway.
Guest Post: WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR IDEAS?
Every profession has questions it can’t escape. If you become a lawyer, for example, you know you’ll get asked for free legal advice. For doctors, it’s information about medical complaints. Shopkeepers – discounts. Plumbers – leaks.
For authors, it’s where we get our ideas from.
When I was first asked this question, it was so early in my career I hadn’t even published a book yet. I gave a long and somewhat tedious lecture about the creative process. I talked about asking yourself questions and letting your imagination roam. I talked about following leads, allowing characters to be themselves and not forcing them to do things that don’t feel natural.
Halfway through my answer I realised the poor woman’s eyes had glazed over. I realised she was bored out of her mind. She hadn’t signed up for a lecture. All she had done was ask the first question that popped in her head when she had heard the word “writer”. I finished my lecture because I had already started it, but I never gave a long answer again. Instead, I tried to reply flippantly. I said I buy my ideas from a small shop in Dell Quay. Or that I dream them up, which is a lie.
Nowadays, I answer truthfully.
When I’m asked, and I get asked this a lot, I simply say “I don’t know.” I say that the ideas are not important – everyone has them. They’re five a penny. It’s the hard work to turn them into books that counts. That doesn’t seem to be the right answer either. People seem to think that I’m being intentionally cagey, because I don’t want to give up trades secrets or something. That I’m being borderline rude.
My latest book, “The Sinking Chef” came out a couple of months ago. It’s about a talented chef and the man who keeps trying to bring her down. It’s set in London, in beautiful Belsize Park and is part romantic comedy, part mystery. And I’ve tried long and hard to remember where I got my ideas for it because I know I’ll get asked.
For every book I publish, I have to slide out of bed, shake the cookie crumbs, come out of my lair and talk to people. A writer’s life is absurdly secluded to a point where we lose essential social skills. In order to reconnect with society, I have to do some rehearsing in front of a mirror.
The question I try to answer the most while staring at my pasty-skinned reflection in the mirror is “Where do I get my ideas from?” In the case of “The Sinking Chef” I think the ideas came from asking questions: How do we overcome our insecurities and fix the mistakes we make? How do we react when we face awkward moments? And, most importantly, where do we find courage? What inspires us to fight for the things we believe in?
In “The Sinking Chef” the answer to all these questions turned out to be one and the same: love. Ashley loves Giacomo with all her heart. She can’t let things go. She has to stand up and fight to keep him, and the life she loves, safe from harm.
It’s the same for me, I realised. I still don’t know where I get my ideas from, but I know what helps me turn them into books: love.
Love for writing.
Love for reading.
Love for everything to do with books.
Author bio: Sylvia Ashby is fond of the written word: books, blog posts, recipes, even an explanation to the HM Revenue & Customs as to why she thinks skirts should be exempt from VAT – she’s written it all!
She likes travelling and has lived all over Europe – London, Brussels, Amsterdam and Sofia, Bulgaria. Currently, she lives in Leuven, Belgium with her husband, daughter, son and a sparrow called Jack, who comes occasionally to peck the seeds she leaves for him on top of the garden shed.