Today, I am bringing you an interview with Author Caroline James whose book ‘Coffee, Tea, The Caribbean and Me’ has just been released. I also have a brilliant book trailer to share with you.
I have read Caroline’s book, my review will follow this post. I loved the book, and recommend it to all who enjoy a good hearty book of comedy, romance, food and laughs.
Coffee, Tea, The Caribbean and Me’ by Caroline James.
February 12th 2016 by Ramjam Publishing Company
I loved that clip, and if you read the book you will really want to go to the Caribbean! Now onto my questions for Caroline.
Hi Caroline, thank you for answering my questions. I was unsure whether to have Tea, Coffee, Champagne or Rum punch to drink during this interview! 😉
1. I love that your book is based in the Caribbean, the West Country (UK) and London. Did you spend time in all 3 places for ‘research’?
Yes I did. I lived in Cumbria for several years and visit as often as I can. I am very
fond of the Lake District and the beautiful countryside and it is a great pleasure to
write about it. I have family in the Caribbean and have been travelling there for many
years. Barbados is a stunning island and life there is very different from the one I
lead here. It seemed natural to send my two Cumbrian characters, Jo and Hattie, to
a place that I know well and let them, through the pages of the novel, feel the warm
restorative glow of a welcoming Caribbean holiday.
2. It was great to find out what all the characters that I love have been up to. Do you have a favourite character and did they come from a certain inspiration (e.g a person, or people)?
Hattie is probably my favourite character. She is a no-nonsense sort of person who
has a heart of gold and in her own way is very funny without trying to be. She’s not
based on anyone but an amalgamation of characters that I’ve observed in the past. I
would like us all to have a Hattie in our lives – a true friend and supportive rock when
you need her.
3. I love your quote ‘ The time to be happy is now’, do you want to tell us where you got this from?
My mum always said this to me. What she meant was that we should be happy right
now, in the moment, no matter what is going on around us. I think it is a lovely quote
and say it often to myself. She had a very positive attitude towards believing that
living life in the positive not the negative enables good things to happen. I think she
4. Do you have a specific or special place to write?
Yes, I do. I have a small oak desk that I bought at an auction a few years ago. I use it
just for writing and writing paraphernalia. This is in a corner of the room with a high
ceiling and vermillion painted walls, it is very atmospheric. I tuck myself away with a
favourite chair and cushion, light a fragrant candle,sip from a big mug of coffee and
nibble on a packet of biscuits and then when everything is just right, I begin to write.
5. What book are you reading at the moment?
I’ve just read The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid. It is a short novel,
beautifully written and I read it very quickly as the tale gathered tension. It is an
interesting analysis of the state of the world we live in today. I really enjoyed it.
6. I love that your books and characters love their food, especially cake! I understand that you love to bake too. What is your favourite cake or recipe and do these help your inspiration in your books?
My background has always been in the hospitality industry. I loathed school and the
only two subjects I ever took an interest in were English and Cookery. Cookery has
always been a part of my working life and I love to bake and nurture my friends and
family through baking. A visitor will always get a slice of cake with their cup of tea.
My favourite is probably salted caramel brownie – so easy to do but so scummy, but
I made baklava for the first time recently and experimented with the spicy filling, it
7. Are we going to hear more from Hattie, Jo and the rest of the ‘Coffee, Tea’ crew? I hope so.
Yes, I am afraid you are! Coffee Tea The Boomers & Me will be published later in the
year and introduces some new characters into the mix. We have an aging Major who
is sozzled most of the time and Kate, an IT specialist who has sold her successful
business and is looking for love and finds it in the arms of the irresistible Andy Mack.
The all come together when they stay at Boomerville – Jo’s new business. The book
is about having a blast in middle and later years when most folk think they are over
the hill. With Hattie’s help and hair-brained schemes, life for our boomers most certainly begins again.
About Caroline James.
Caroline’s debut novel, Coffee, Tea, The Gypsy & Me shot to #3 on Amazon and was Ebook of the Week in The Sun newspaper. Her second novel, So, You Think You’re A Celebrity… Chef? has been described as wickedly funny: ‘AbFab meets MasterChef in a Soap…’
Coffee Tea The Caribbean & Me was a Finalist at The Write Stuff, London Book Fair 2015 and the judge’s comments included: “Caroline is a natural story-teller with a gift for humour in her writing.” The book will be published February 2016.
Caroline has owned and run many catering related businesses and cookery is a passion alongside her writing, combining the two with her love of the hospitality industry and romantic fiction. She has published short stories and is a member of the RNA. Caroline writes articles on food and celebrity based interviews and is Feature Editor for a lifestyle magazine. When she’s not running her hospitality business and writing, Caroline can generally be found with her nose in a book and her hand in a box of chocolates, she also likes to climb mountains and contemplate life.