Hi all, how are you doing? I was updating my mood board yesterday and I’m in middle of sourcing gorgeous images for it. I think it’s a great idea to stay focused and keep goals for the year at the forefront of your mind. Has 2016 been all you hoped it would be? It’s been a good year for me so far.  I’ve learnt lots, made good headway on the writing (Book 2 of Screaming Snowflakes will be released July 2017) and I have exciting plans for this foodie website too, so keep your eyes peeled and ears stuck firmly to the ground.

Some highlights of my foodie journey include seeing a few of my favourite chefs, sharing recipes, cooking, baking and tasting my way through various cookbooks (The Derbyshire Cookbook is pretty amazing, more on that in a standalone post), and finally getting my characters to listen to me as I hammered out the plot-line for Book 2 Screaming Snowflakes.

_Me & James_PIC 1

To fellow authors, what do you do to keep focused? Do you let your characters run riot on the page, or do you try to make them do your bidding and adhere to the plot? I have to plot my book down to the bare bones, because I need to feel I have control of the narrative. I also self-edit as I write (which flies in the face of advice given by the excellent Stephen King, who says one should write the first draft with the door and heart wide open). Perhaps I will try this technique and see how I fare. How about you, do you have any writing tips and tricks that you swear by?

_Me & JT_PIC 2

To those of you who know me, I don’t really like taking photos of myself. Selfies in particular, I abhor (I know that makes me a little hypocritical because I’ll still indulge in this narcissistic behaviour on random occasions). I guess it’s that writer in me, who just wants to sometimes be left alone. Meeting my heroes or idols is one time where the camera doesn’t really bother me. And because of that, I couldn’t resist sharing a few cool foodie photos, to keep me motivated. Housewives favourite James Martin really is the best, whilst Lisa Faulkner was the epitome of polite and made the fruitiest, cherry financiers I have ever tasted. John Torode is a larger than life character and it’s difficult to keep a straight face whenever he’s around (that cheeky chappie can certainly crack a joke or two). What are your highlights of the past year? I’d love to know!