It’s my absolute pleasure to welcome Isabella May into the coffee shop today – and it will come as no surprise that we are chatting over some pavlova.
Isabella’s debut novel has the unforgettable title of Oh! What a Pavlova and has been getting loads of social media interest. I just had to see what this book was about – and find out some more about the author behind it.
Isabella lives in (mostly) sunny Andalucia, Spain with her husband, daughter and son, creatively inspired by the sea and the mountains. When she isn’t having her cake and eating it, sampling a new cocktail on the beach, or ferrying her children to and from after school activities, she can usually be found writing.
As a Co-founder and a former contributing writer for the popular online women’s magazine, The Glass House Girls – http://www.theglasshousegirls.com – she has also been lucky enough to subject the digital world to her other favourite pastimes, travel, the Law of Attraction, and Prince (The Purple One).
She has recently become a Book Fairy, and is having lots of fun with her imaginative ‘drops’!
Oh! What a Pavlova is her debut novel… and her second novel is already in the hands of her publishers
Kate Clothier is leading a double life: a successful jet-setting businesswoman to the outside world, but behind closed doors, life with Daniel and his volcanic temper is anything but rosy.
Some days – heck, make that EVERY day – cake is her only salvation.
Slowly but surely, the cities she visits – and the men she meets – help her to realise there IS a better future.
And the ley lines of Glastonbury are certainly doing their best to impart their mystical wisdom…
But will she escape before it’s too late?
You can buy the book here: myBook.to/pavlova
Does where you live affect the way you write?
Living in this part of Spain definitely helps the creativity to flow. From my house I can see not only the beach and the Mediterranean sea, but the mountains besides, and sometimes, if I crane my neck out of my son’s bedroom window, I can even add Morocco and Gibraltar to the mix. Most of all though, the quality of light in this part of the world is magical.
That sounds absolutely idyllic. What’s your favourite tipple?
I’m going to be ‘naughty’ and choose two! I love a well-made Pina Colada… The Waldorf Astoria in NY raises the bar pretty high, as does one of our local gin and cocktail bars here up the coast. I’m also a sucker for Campari with Blood Orange, preferably whilst sitting in an Italian piazza (but the way it was made in the good old days, with cochineal). Nowadays, I believe this is substituted with food colouring and the taste just doesn’t compare.
Your favourite film?
Film? That’s a tough one because I’m as fickle with my movies as I am with my books. It has to be something mind-blowing and outstanding to make me watch it twice, especially when there are so many other pieces of cinema out there that I haven’t yet seen. I think for sheer audacity, wit and imaginative storyline, it would probably have to be ‘Catch Me If You Can’. No, of course this has nothing to do with the fact Leo has the starring role in it…
I honestly don’t have a favourite place. I really love to travel and the destinations I have visited are each so unique and special in their very different ways. I do have a penchant for Italy though, perhaps over and above most other European countries. Bologna, in particular, is a city which is very underrated – and all the better for it! When it comes to scenery, nowhere on Earth has (yet) come close to rivaling the chocolate box beauty of New Zealand’s south island. The green there is just so much greener, the sea so much bluer. It truly is heaven.
I’d love to go to New Zealand – need to sell a few more books…Now my next question is what was the first book that made an impression on you and why?
I think the Mallory Towers books really made their mark on me. I was bullied at high school and would have been reading them around that time. The fun and games at Enid Blyton’s fictitious school were a welcome relief to the taunting I encountered day after day, and the idea of an all girls’ school definitely seemed a whole lot tamer.
I loved those books too. I’m sorry to hear about the bullying but as they say success is the best revenge – and I bet those children would give a lot to be where you are now. What do you like best about being a writer?
All those hours of creativity stretching out before me (with coffee and cake to hand) is undoubtedly the best part of the job. There’s no better feeling than writing when you are in the flow, blissfully unaware of the concept of time, and then reading back over something quite magical, whose origins you really cannot fathom!
But then reality bites… and you have to market that book and hope for some sales. Gone are the days when this was solely a publishing house’s responsibility. So out comes the Author Hat and you just get on with it. But I try to make it as fun as possible by focusing on the aspects of marketing that I most enjoy.
And finally please can you tell me one thing about you that would surprise people?
Well, I was twice offered an interview to appear on The Apprentice. And twice I turned the opportunity down. Thank God. One of those years involved the one and only Katy Hopkins, who would probably have eaten my Self-Help loving self up for breakfast…and spat me out by elevenses, although it could have made some great TV. I’m pretty sure that’s exactly why my application stood out that particular year, and exactly why the production company even called me up to ask if I was ‘sure’. I can’t deny being more than a little torn when they went to those lengths, but boy am I glad I trusted my gut instinct not to go through with it. Apparently I was destined to be an author instead…
I’m a huge fan of The Apprentice so I would have loved to have seen you in it but I’m so glad you decided to take the author route instead. I wish you loads of luck with your book. Can’t wait to read it!
You can follow Isabella here:
Instagram – @isabella_may_author