I totally agree with Kylie about sometimes just wanting to cuddle up in your favorite pair of sweatpants. In fact, guess what I’m wearing right now?
Congratulations on winning the audio version of DEAR PEN PAL, Kylie!
Check your email inbox for official notification, as I’ll be contacting you directly soon to make arrangements to send it to you.
Thanks to all of you who entered this giveaway — and look for another giveaway next week, to celebrate the release of the audio version of the fourth book in the MOTHER-DAUGHTER BOOK CLUB series, PIES & PREJUDICE!
It’s that time of the week again!
Before I share this week’s mail with you, though, I have something exciting to announce. We finally have a title for MDBC #7!!
MOTHER-DAUGHTER BOOK CAMP
I love it. Love it! And I’m enormously grateful to Justin Chanda, one of Simon & Schuster’s resident geniuses, for the suggestion. My editor and I kept throwing spaghetti at the wall, but nothing was sticking …
Anyway, a sneak preview of the book will be coming along later this spring, so stay tuned. I also happen to know that one of the goddesses in the S&S art department (Lucy, I’m looking at you!) has a REALLY cool idea for the cover, so once it’s been designed I’ll post it here on my blog.
I think you’re going to like this new book (she says modestly). And yes, it really is the FINAL one in the series, in case you’re wondering. I had such a great time writing this story, and I can’t wait to share it with the world!
So, on to more important things here — your mail! This week, I have a couple of great drawings to show you from Brooke. Her favorite book in the series is PIES & PREJUDICE, so she chose to picture the girls in their ballgowns:
Don’t you love it?
But wait! That’s not all! Brooke also sent along a drawing of the MDBC moms:
This is SUCH fun. I don’t get to see the mothers as often — well, aside from in my mind’s eye. Did you catch the slogan on Mrs. Wong’s T-shirt? Well done, Brooke! You’re awesome.
As always, many thanks for your letters and emails. They’re the cherry on top of the ice cream sundae that is my life as an author!
“Where do you get your ideas?” is a question frequently asked of writers. Our #1 question, in fact. My answer, as you know if you’ve read the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page of this website (click here to visit it): absolutely everywhere!
Sometimes it’s fun to trace where one specific idea came from, however, and that’s what I want to do today.
Those of you familiar with my Mother-Daughter Book Club series will recall that in PIES & PREJUDICE, Jess Delaney and her mother take a cake decorating class together. Much to her surprise, Jess discovers that she actually enjoys the class (she goes along initially just to humor her mother), and that she has a knack for decorating cakes, including making frosting flowers. This comes in handy when Jess and her friends start a baking business, and then in a later book, when Jess and her mother make a wedding cake for someone special (I’m not saying whom, just in case you haven’t read the entire series yet!).
So, where did I get this idea?
Would you believe my own life?
This is me at age 12, standing proudly in front of my crowning achievement as a cake decorator. My mother and I had taken a class together earlier that year (and yes, we had fun, just like Jess and her mom did!), so when my beautiful Aunt Judy got married to my handsome Uncle Howard, guess who was asked to do the honors?
My mother helped, too, of course. But as far as I was concerned, this was my baby!
And isn’t it a beautiful baby? Three layers of my grandmother’s delicious pound cake topped with white buttercream frosting and adorned with frosting roses in two shades of pink, clustered on the top and trailing down the sides. A crowning achievement, if I say so myself!
My interest in cake decorating evaporated shortly after this photo was taken, but nothing ever goes to waste for a writer. Part of our writing process is mining memories for material. And this was one particularly sweet memory I was happy to find a spot for in one of my books.