What is your main inspiration for writing

Interview with the author Julie Caplin - part of the Romantic Escape blog tour

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a big fan of the “Romantic Escape” series by Julie Caplin. That's why I'm happy Part of the blog tour on the occasion of the publication of their third volume "The little patisserie in Paris" to be. Every single book excited me and brought me so many great reading hours.

Today the blog tour stops on my blog and I have the honor to present you an interview with Julie Caplin. Here she tells us how she does Inspiration to their novels gets. Where your Love for the tasty comes from and which city their next novels could lead us to. AND: We find out what connection there is between Jane Austen and Julie Caplin.

Stay tuned and have fun reading the interview with Julie Caplin:

Your book series seems to reflect a great passion for travel and food. What was your main inspiration for The Little Cafe in Copenhagen, the first book in the series? What other factors influenced your writing at the time?

I worked in public relations for many years, specializing in food and drink. In my early twenties I made several press trips to Belgium, Germany, France and Italy, looking after top gastronomic critics and cookbook authors. A terrible job ☺! I had to eat in Michelin star restaurants, attend private wine tastings in 18th century castles, tour wineries, and stay in 5 star hotels. Joking aside, it was a very nice job and aroused a great passion for food and wine in me. I started cooking a lot more and now have a wonderful collection of cookbooks. I prefer to cook Indian, Thai, Chinese and Italian. My favorite cookbook, which I have used particularly often, is “Indian Cooking” by Madhur Jaffery.

In my thirties, I sold my car, rented my house, and went on a trip around the world. I have traveled to Nepal, Hong Kong, Southeast Asia and later to Australia and New Zealand. I was lucky and was able to work on a vineyard in New Zealand for three months. There I learned a lot about the famous Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough, my absolute favorite wine to this day. It wasn't easy to get WiFi back then so I sent a lot of letters to family and friends describing all the places I went to. My love for writing arose from these letters. My whole family then advised me to work as a travel writer.

When I started to write “The Little Cafe in Copenhagen”, I used the experience I had gained during my press trips as inspiration. Some parts of the novel are based on real events and, above all, on experiences that I undertook as part of a memorable trip to Turin on behalf of the “Lavazza Coffee” brand. Back then, I actually managed to lose a journalist at the airport.

In the course of my trip I also visited the city of Turin, which has given me a lot of material that I refer to in the novel. Whenever I write a book that is set in a tourist location, I always try to make the setting interesting without sounding like a travel guide. I love to introduce places and tourist tours that my readers can recognize as such or find exciting. There were a number of places in Copenhagen that I was dying to mention. These include, for example, the Little Mermaid, the famous Strøget shopping street, the Round Tower and Nyhavn, the harbor from which the boat tours start. There were also a few restaurants and bars that I discovered and learned to love. I mention them in the novel.

When I started to write “The Little Patisserie in Paris” I didn't really know about patisserie. So I went to a patisserie cooking class which was wonderful. By an astonishing coincidence, the course was led by Sophie Grigson, one of the cookbook authors with whom I had taken the aforementioned press trip to Italy many years earlier! Now I am the queen of making chocolate and coffee éclairs!

Do you have a favorite character in your novels and, if so, for what reasons?

I'm not sure if you should have a favorite character. Todd from "The Little Brooklyn Bakery" is probably my all-time favorite. It was particularly easy for me to write about him. He's also such a happy and optimistic character in a novel, always with a smile on his face and, moreover, incredibly good-looking. From the start I could imagine him as a whole person and see him right in front of me. Although he appears to be a womanizer, he is a good person at the bottom of his heart.

Do you have a favorite character in another author's novel and, if so, for what reasons?

“Pride and Prejudice” is my absolute favorite novel - and so Elizabeth Bennet has to be my favorite character too. She is headstrong, has a good heart, and is not afraid to say what she thinks. I find it amazing that this book was written over 20 years ago and that we can still identify with the main character. I can imagine her in jeans and a T-shirt, drinking a glass of wine with me and my friends and fitting perfectly into the situation.

How do you personally deal with writer's block? Do you have any suggestions or ideas for us to overcome them?

When writers are blocked, I feel that the only thing blocking us is ourselves - our lack of conviction and lack of self-confidence. Often times I feel what I personally refer to as "fear" when I worry too much about the book. About whether it will be good enough, whether I will be able to write and whether someone will like it. This is counterproductive and unfortunately happens all too often. When I'm blocked, I tell myself it's okay to be scared and I still have to keep writing. In moments like this I allow myself to write “garbage” ... but the most important thing is to keep going.

I have a fixed number of words that I have to achieve every day. The next day it can happen that I delete what I wrote before. I often manage to “write around” the blockage and finally find my way back on the right track.

It was also recommended to me: “Always park your Mini downhill.” That means, always finish your writing at a point where it is easy for you to start again. Accordingly, when you've half-written a scene and know what you're getting at, stop there so that you can continue writing more easily next time.

Which place would you definitely want to visit soon, possibly as an inspiration for your next writing project?

I have a huge list of places I want to visit. I have just come back from a writing retreat in Umbria, Italy. The food, the landscape and the people there have inspired me a lot, so I am thinking about using an Italian lake as the next location. That could be romantic.

Your novels take us into a world of comfort and conviviality. They embody the new "hygge feeling". What do you recommend to your readers in order to lead a more conscious and happier life?

I would say: take time out for your friends and family. Enjoy this time together and show them that you care about them by cooking for them with love.

Incidentally, I did not conduct the interview; it was kindly made available to me by Rowohlt Verlag. Isn't the author super personable? I really liked her after reading her novels, but the interview is so warm!

I wish you a lot of fun exploring the blog tour and hope that we were able to bring you closer to our enthusiasm for the novels and the goodies from them. If you should bake recipes that are presented during the blog tour, please tag them with the ##romanticescapebacken.