It’s been almost a year since The Cocktail Bar by Isabella May came out and Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources is hosting today’s Birthday Blitz book tour. Isabella has taken some time out of her busy schedule to answer some questions about her books and her writing life. If you don’t already follow her on Twitter, I highly suggest you do. Especially if you love cake!
Don’t forget to check out her other books as well: Oh! What A Pavlova and Costa Del Churros.
Happy anniversary to The Cocktail Bar! It’s time for some margaritas. Let’s begin with some nostalgia. River moves back to Glastonbury, which is also your hometown. Do you hope to move back there in the future?
Thank you for hosting me! Nobody has asked me that one before. I love Glastonbury as a visitor and can appreciate all her quirks and charms way better than I ever did when I lived there. So I guess that takes care of the question. That said, I wouldn’t rule out moving back to nearby Devon or Cornwall one day. It’d have to be a place by the sea though. I’ve got too used to it after seven years in Spain!
Which of the characters would be your best friend and why?
I’m a big fan of Giovanna Tonioli, the protagonist in my brand new book (the ice cream one that’s currently being subbed). She’s one smart cookie who, a little like River Jackson in The Cocktail Bar, actually, wakes up one day and realises that it’s time to turn her back on her lucrative stockbroking career and follow her heart by setting up an ice cream parlour. She knows it will go down like a lead balloon with her parents who have unfairly passed on their family gelateria to her evil twin sister, but she also knows the only way to live her best life is to shun their antiquated expectations and make her own independent path.
I love that your stories encourage to enjoy life more and go for indulgence. No more shaming someone for ordering that chocolate cake! How do you balance cake, churros and cocktails in your life?
I’m glad to hear it as that’s the real message at the heart of my books. You guessed right; in real life I definitely have my cake (and all the rest!) and eat it. I drink around three litres of water a day though, which definitely helps, and I stopped labelling food good and bad years ago after realising diets don’t work. I’m also a big law of attraction fan, but we’re not talking The Secret level… we’re talking Abraham Hicks style LOA. It’s pretty leading edge stuff, but it really works. It’s spiritual but it’s equally scientific (quantum physics). I think positively about what I eat – fennel or French fry, apple or apple pie – and magically my weight stays the same.
I have a few more questions about your writing life since that’s also one of the topics of Narratess. The Cocktail Bar and Costa del Churros are celebrating their first birthday this year and your fourth book is out for submission. But are you already working on something new? Anything you can say about it?
Yeah, book 4 is out there doing its thing. I really hope to have some good news soon with that one. In the meantime, book 5 is half-written. It’s a timeslip story involving baking cousins and copious amounts of cake in a somewhat hare-brained bid to change the modern and technology-obsessed world… is all I can say for now.
Your past three books all feature something delicious. Which treats can we expect in your next books?
Book 4 has a central gelato weave and really will make your mouth water. Book 5 is very much all about the cake – but cake creations from the present and cake creations from the past (it starts off in 1969).
All your books feature incredible locations, but which places are still on your wishlist to write about?
I’d love to visit Argentina, Brazil, New Orleans, Melbourne, Japan, Alaska and Hawaii so I could feature them in my stories. Until that happens, we always have Pinterest!
What would be the biggest achievement you could get as a writer? When will you consider yourself successful?
I believe the only way to keep anxiety and poor self-esteem at bay in this subjective industry we work in is to celebrate the small victories along the way. So that’s what I try to do. Whenever we reach our so-called destination, we’re satisfied for a moment… and then we’re naturally wanting the next thing, and the next thing, and the next. Better to enjoy as much of the journey as we can and lighten up about it all. Way easier said than done, of course!
You’re a busy mom with two kids, but you still manage to get your writing done. Do you have a daily or weekly goal that you want to finish? How do you plan your writing with a deadline?
The deadlines I’ve had to date have been quite loose, but that will probably change (I’ll say when, not if!) book 4 finds its home. Hopefully though, I have trained myself well in the fine art of multi-tasking and milking my writing opportunities. Often I will find myself scribbling notes in the car outside the school gates, in a café waiting for the kids to finish dance/sport. It’s amazing what you can accomplish in even twenty minutes with a pencil and the back of an envelope.
Thank you so much for your time, Isabella! I’m looking forward to more of your fantastic stories.
My pleasure! Thank YOU so much for all your support.
Summary of The Cocktail Bar
Rock star, River Jackson, is back in his hometown of Glastonbury to open a cocktail bar… and the locals aren’t impressed.
Seductive Georgina is proving too hot to handle; band mate, Angelic Alice, is messing with his heart and his head; his mum is a hippie-dippy liability; his school friends have resorted to violence – oh, and his band manager, Lennie, AND the media are on his trail.
But River is armed with a magical Mexican elixir which will change the lives of the Three Chosen Ones. Once the Mexican wave of joy takes a hold of the town, he’s glad he didn’t lose his proverbial bottle.
Pity he hasn’t taken better care of the real one.