Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Interview With A Fictional Character From For The Love of Cupcakes

Today we have an interview with a difference and we're 'chatting' to Priya Patel from the novel For The Love of Cupcakes by Anita Kushwaha, published by Take Two Publishing on July 15th.

Tell us what you love most about your author’s writing style?
I love my author’s sarcastic sense of humor.  Some people don’t always get it. But, those that do enjoy a good chuckle. 
 Do you and your author ever have a power struggle as in what direction to take the story? If so, tell us who wins?
We co-created the story together. Like all good relationships, we give each other space to grow, to explore. The telling of the best story always wins.
 If you could help your author create another book with you as the main character, what would it be about?
Good question. If my author wrote another book with me as the main character, I’d like it to be about my cupcake empire expanding. It would be interesting to see what challenges that would present, and the impact it would have on my relationships. It might be fun to see the return of some old rivals. (I’ve got a bone to pick with that Helen Bouffant.) Or perhaps even to meet some new competition?
 Where is your author’s favorite place to write about you?
My author tends to go with the flow when it comes to writing locale. Sometimes she works at her desk, or at the kitchen table, or in the park, or at the library. As long as it’s quiet enough to hear the muse, she’s happy. Having said that, she wrote most of For the Love of Cupcakes at her writing desk.
Do you think you were inspired as a character by someone in your author’s life? If so, can you tell us who?
I suppose it’s possible. But I prefer to think of myself as unique.

If you could tell us one thing about your author that we don’t know, what would it be?Her guilty pleasure is watching Coronation Street while sipping on steaming cups of tea and nibbling on cookies. (Or biscuits as they call them across the pond.)

 Do have any secret aspirations that your author doesn’t know about?
I’ve always wanted to learn how to play the piano. But I don’t have a lot of spare time these days. Lessons will have to wait.  

What’s the best trait your author has given you? What’s the worst?
My best trait is that I’m a dreamy, creative sort of person. My worst trait is that I’m often filled with self-doubt and lack confidence. The latter makes it challenging for me to put my dreams into action. But I get there, eventually. Having a good support system helps.

About For the Love of Cupcakes

Priya Patel has wanted to become a baker since the first time she saw the light of her Easy Bake Oven. However, working as an assistant baker at Sugarplum Fairy Cakes isn’t the glamorous life she dreamed about. Priya tries to impress her boss, Helen Bouffant, with creative twists on traditional recipes but her culinary skills are completely ignored as she is forced to scrub toilets and clean up everyone else’s mess. After Priya is blamed for a major screw up at Sugarplum Fairy Cakes, she decides to throw in her apron. With the support of her husband, Arj, and a kick in the pants from her best friend, Mae, she decides to start her own cupcakery.

Just when Priya thinks she’s washed her hands of Helen once and for all, they both enter a charity bake off with a grand prize of $10,000. Priya will have to cook the most creative, delicious cupcakes of her life and defend herself against Helen, who will stop at nothing to see Priya and her cupcakery fail. The competition gets heated but there is one thing that will keep Priya going- the love of cupcakes. Does she have what it takes to win the bake-off? Whose talent will prevail?

For the Love of Cupcakes will leave your mouth watering for cupcakes and your cheeks sore from smiling.

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About Anita Kushwaha

Anita was born on Spring Equinox, on the cusp of Aries and Pisces. According to the Chinese Zodiac she’s also a monkey.

She loves the creative process in its various manifestations and enjoys spending time writing and teaching yoga.. Baking gets her out of my head, a remedy for writer’s block. Anita is also a loving wife, devoted auntie and proud cat mom. Her cat’s name is Noodles. He looks a bit like Garfield.
Other things Anita loves besides writing and baking are trees, whales and elephants. Her favorite color is green. She have no desire to travel to space, but a trip around the world ranks high on her bucket list. Writing is Anita’s chosen method of self-expression and has been from a young age. Last but not least, she bleeds red and white, as any proud Canuck.

Read an extract:

For the Love of Cupcakes Excerpt

By Anita, Kushwaha

I look down towards my wrinkled, dishpan hands and the stack of dirty dishes piled a mile high in the sink before me. Man, I should have known that daydream was too good to be true. Too good for Priya Patel: part-time daydreamer, full-time lover of sweets, over-time people-pleaser, and aspiring bakery owner. I wipe my hands dry on my apron and brace myself against the counter.
“Where's my little CB hiding?"
That's my boss, Helen - emphasis on the hell. And for the record, I'm not hiding. I'm in the kitchen, up to my elbows in dirty mixing bowls and cupcake pans. Not exactly the glamorous work I imagined doing when I took a baker’s job here at Sugarplum Fairy Cakes. Lately, I've been spending more time washing dishes than baking cupcakes. The dishwasher has been broken for weeks. You want to know my boss’ perspective? Why pay an expensive repairman to come and fix the dishwasher when she has me around to do the grunt work at a fraction of the cost (i.e. minimum wage)? Honestly, now I know what Cinderella felt like, toiling away while her step-family thanklessly benefitted from her slave labor. Harsh! Helen would be a shoo-in for the role of the evil stepmother. Speak of the devil – the sharp clatter of high heels tapping against the floor announces Helen’s presence before I can see her. Helen struts into the kitchen in her signature (ahem…tacky) leopard-print stilettos. Helen’s style is best described as…eighties streetwalker. Today, she’s dressed in skin-tight black leather pants with the blazer to match. And here I thought they stopped making leather pants decades ago. Who knew? But the fun doesn’t stop there. Her bleach-blonde extensions - which, by the way, look extra platinum today – are styled into a dramatic pouf on the top of her head that screams, “trying too hard.”  Her hair gets so much height it makes me wonder if there’s a Bumpit hiding under there. Then there’s her make-up. She must have been channeling her inner Cleopatra this morning; her eyes are lined with black, drawn into an exaggerated cat-eye, the tip nearly reaching her outer eyebrow. The starkness of the heavy liner clashes against her pale, sunless complexion. Add a pair of fake eyelashes and a bright ruby lip et voilĂ ! The Helen look is complete. Not exactly what you’d call a natural beauty.
“Ah, there you are! Didn’t you hear me calling?” Helen’s eyes narrow with an accusing air.
“Of course I heard you.” The dead could hear that piercing, nasal voice. Helen expects me to drop everything at her beck and call like a well-trained golden retriever. “My hands were just stuck in the dishes.”
“Humph,” she huffs, dissatisfied. “Anyways, I was just in the washroom and I have to say, the toilet’s looking pretty grimy. The throne could use a good scrub. Maybe when you're finished with the dishes…?”
I’ve been demoted from dishwashing to scrubbing the toilet - again. Great. This day just keeps getting better.
“No problem, Helen. I'll take care of it as soon as I'm done here.” Like I could refuse Helen and expect to keep my job.
“Excellent! You know, I would do it myself, but I have this meeting to go to downtown.”
I’m not sure who Helen thinks she’s kidding. First of all, I’ve never seen her even step foot into the cleaning supply closet and take out a broom, let alone a toilet brush. Secondly, it’s Friday – everyone at the bakery knows on Fridays Helen has a very important “meeting” with her manicurist and a bottle of Merlot. Just one of the many perks of being the boss, I guess. The truth is, no one around here would begrudge Helen her afternoon of leisure, if only she respected us enough to tell the truth. Instead, she lies to us like we're a bunch of doorknobs. I suppose it makes her feel like she’s smarter than the rest of us.
I nod like an obedient servant. “Have a good meeting.” In the fairytale, did Cinderella ever protest? I suppose not. But then again, she did have a host of mythical creatures at her disposal to help her subvert her oppressors. What I wouldn’t give for an army of enchanted mice right now. Don’t we twenty-first-century gals deserve a fairy Godmother? Sigh. Alas, we must save ourselves.
Helen tosses her extensions with an air of triumph and exits the kitchen, but not before chiming, ‘Thanks, CB!” rather maliciously over her shoulder. What does “CB” stand for, you’re wondering? That’s Helen’s charming nickname for me. It’s plagued me since my first month. In addition to being a daydreamer, lover of sweets, people-pleaser, and aspiring bakery owner, around here I’m also known as “Cupcake Bitch.”  More specifically, Helen's Cupcake Bitch. I know, she’s a model of professionalism. Hah! I’m not sure why Helen chooses to pick on me; maybe because, like other predatory animals, she can sense fear. Before I lose your respect entirely, let me defend myself by saying I’m not completely meek – I stood up to her once – I told her calling me the b-word was unacceptable. CB was her compromise. The situation is far from perfect, but I figure everyone has to pay their dues on their arduous climb up the ladder. My cross involves having to endure Helen - at least for the next couple of months, until I plan my exit strategy.


1 comment:

  1. Thanks again, Zanna, for hosting this character interview on your site!


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