How did you come up with the title 'Love, Lies and Lemon Pies'?
After much trial and error! The whole time I was writing the book, it was just called Bake Club in my head. When I was getting closer to the end, my agent Gemma told me we needed to come up with an actual title, so we sat down over coffee and cake and talked through what the book was about to get ideas. We also asked friends and family – especially our mums – for input. In the end, we put together the most important themes in the book, plus a really yummy recipe, and ended up with Love, Lies and Lemon Pies!
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Hmm, not really. I’m super happy with how it turned out, actually. The only thing I ever look at and wonder about is the Asparagus Quiche recipe! It seems a bit of an odd one out amongst the others, but actually it’s one of my favourite lunch dishes that my mum makes, so it’s nice to have it in there. And when I think of some of the stuff I made in school… not that odd!
Is there another author that you are inspired by?
Too many to name! I think every book I read gives me another thread to sew into the fabric of my books – reading is one of the best ways I know to learn how to tell stories and write characters. (A really great TV series is a good second.) But certainly the books by Enid Blyton, Tamora Pierce and Alan Garner formed my childhood love of literature, while today anything by Rainbow Rowell makes me want to write deeper into my stories.
Did you learn anything from writing your book? If so what?
I think I learn something new from every book I write – even if it’s just which words I overuse (just, but, as) and actions my characters do too much (They shrug. All the time). For this one, I had the added challenge of developing and writing up the recipes, which taught me plenty about baking!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Hopefully writing bigger and better books.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Keeping the logistics straight! Making sure that Bake Club always happened on a Thursday, that the school holidays came at the right time, and that the Food Tech classroom kept the same layout throughout.
What advice would you give to a young amateur writer?
Read, as much as you can. Get a feel for stories, for how they work, and how you can makes yours feel different. And enjoy writing – tell the stories you feel passionate about and would want to read yourself.
What was your inspiration to start writing 'Love, Lies and Lemon Pies'?
Mostly, my love of cake! Gemma and I were discussing what my next project might be over coffee and cake one day, and she mentioned that maybe I could use my love of baking in a story. I suggested an after school baking club filled with people who didn’t actually want to be there… and we were away! By the time I finished my cake we’d hashed out ideas for all the main characters, especially Lottie, and their problems, loves and dreams.
Are you currently reading a book? If so what?
I just finished one last night – it was an advance copy of Robin Stevens’ fantastic new 1930s boarding school murder mystery, Murder Most Unladylike. I adored it, and highly recommend it to everyone who likes bunbreaks, boarding school stories and Sherlock Holmes!
Is there a message in your novel that you want your readers to grasp?
I didn’t really write it with a message in mind, but by the end I think it had developed one all the same, and I’m pleased that it did because I think it’s an important one – that we all need a little help sometimes, and our true friends are there for us, ready to listen, help and support us.
To find out more about Love, Lies and Lemon Pies please visit www.littletiger.co.uk.