Saturday, February 14, 2015

Talking About Love and Cupcakes

1. In LOVE AND CUPCAKES, the men in Graham's family are known for finding their soul mate with a touch. I love this aspect of the novel, and I also love that you've given this ability to a male, rather than a female. Especially since soul mate seems more like a 'girly' term. Did it automatically come to you this way? 

Aww, thank you! It’s one of my favorite things about Graham. Though it wasn’t part of his original backstory! In the early drafts of the book, this legend did not exist. Then an agent I had submitted it to told me that I needed to add more magic to the book overall. I brainstormed a number of ideas, but I loved what this legend of soul mates could do for Graham and Jack, both from a frustration standpoint (because let’s face it, there is a lot of back and forth with these two!) as well as working toward their happily-ever-after. It also helped create some needed tension with Graham’s dad, who was mentioned but not seen in previous versions. So, while it wasn’t an automatic part of the story from the start, it is definitely one of the most important ideas I had with this book.

2. Sibling relationships are a big part of L&C. Do you have siblings?

Yes, they are. I think siblings (and family in general) have such an impact on how a person grows. I have an older sister, who is two years older than me, and a stepbrother, who is seven years older. My sister, Karen, and I were not friends when we were young, and really didn’t want to be. Then Karen met Aria in tenth grade and Aria forced us to get along. Now we’re very close and enjoy being sister and friends. (Yes, I named a character after my sister’s high school best friend for that very reason!) There is a lot of both of us in Jack and Harper, though neither of us is strictly either one.

3. So it goes without saying that food is a big part of L&C. The cupcakes all sounded so scrumptious (I've never tried a peanut butter cupcake, and totally want to now)! Do you have a culinary background? If not, you could've fooled me!

I don’t! My mom baked a ton when I was little—my childhood was defined by fresh sourdough bread and blueberry muffins—and my grandparents cooked/baked all the time too, so baking is a definite happy place for me. But (and I hate to admit this!) at home my husband does all the cooking. I can follow a recipe and make something turn out pretty damn tasty, but he can just throw whatever we have into a pan and make amazing meals. It’s one of the things I really wish I could do, so I tend to give those traits to my characters.

4. Jack is catering Twilight- a bike ride which takes place at nighttime. Is this an invention of yours, or do biking competitions such as this take place?

I wish I could take credit for this, but I stole this from Athens, Georgia. When I was researching bicycling I came across this event (The Athens Twilight Criterium) and thought it was such a cool thing. (I think there was also a night-time bike race inGilmore Girls at one point too!) But there are a number of these races around the country. I’m not a biker, but I really want to go see one of these races at some point because it just seems like fun.

5. The town of Sugar-- the setting for L&C-- felt very cozy. I'd like to walk the downtown district and eat a burger at Blue Plate-- and, of course, stop by Crumbs for dessert. Did you base Sugar off of a real place?

When I first started writing LOVE AND CUPCAKES, it was set in Athens, partly because of the bike race and partly because a friend had recently moved back there. It is such a fun, quirky, artsy town, which is exactly what I wanted. But then I realized I wanted to have more control over the setting so I changed the name and took as many liberties as I wanted to make the town unique.

* * * 

Susan Bishop Crispell is not one of those writers who's been scribbling down stories since she could hold a pencil. She didn't read constantly growing up (blasphemy!), and she can still be found in public without a book tucked into her purse (again with the blasphemy!).

She is, however, the kind of writer who lives for the imaginative spark that introduces her to a new character or story idea that pushes her to turn everyday life into something magical.

Susan lives and writes near Wilmington, NC with her husband and two cats.

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Here are some more awesome graphics for your viewing and reading pleasure. And, on Susan's Pinterest page, under the Love and Cupcakes board, there are lots of delicious cupcake recipes...

For Jaclyn “Jack” Pace, sensing what sweets people crave is as easy as breathing. But it’s not enough to keep her cupcake bakery in the black. So, when her estranged sister Harper comes back to town with an affinity for making art out of icing—and a past full of secrets—she reluctantly gives Harper a job and a place to crash.

As their relationship begins to thaw, the one with her business partner Graham starts to heat up. Given the legend that says Hollingsworth men will recognize their soul mates at first touch, Jack’s always been resigned to the fact that she’s not his. But when she starts sensing desires that are decidedly not dessert-related, it’ll take all of her magic to set things right with customers and make her own desires come true.

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Also, LOVE AND CUPCAKES is a steal at only .99 cents!!! Give yourself a treat this Valentine's Day. ;)


  1. What a cute concept! I'm always a sucker for a southern setting (especially in my own writing.) And who can resist for 99c.

  2. I am totally downloading this--it sounds like so much fun! And I love how the novel evolved over time :) Plus, who can resist cupcakes (there isn't anything wrong with having one for breakfast, right? ;).

  3. Great deal! And now I want a cupcake.

  4. Sounds super cute :) And my husband does the cooking too! Yay for men who are awesome :)

  5. You certainly gave the story some unique elements. Congratulations, Susan!

  6. Congrats to Susan on her new release - it looks yummy in every way! :)

  7. yay, Susan! and now I want cupcakes. :)

  8. Thank you so much for having me on your blog, Leandra! Your questions were so much fun. What a great way to celebrate Valentine's Day. <3

  9. Now I'm going to be craving cupcakes. This sounds like such a sweet story. I also love the idea of the guy finding his soul mate by touch - such a unique idea!

  10. Awesome interview! Loved this book! I will be looking out for more books from Susan. 😊

  11. I am loving all the advertising graphics! Lots of luck with the book Susan :) x

  12. Very nice post. I hope you enjoyed a wonderful Valentine's Day.

  13. One of the things I like about writing is the way we can go back and add things in so it seems they were always there and the story was built from them.

  14. Any books with cupcakes are good books, as far as I'm concerned!

  15. Congrats to Susan!! I do love this concept :)

  16. Good luck to you Susan, I'm eyeing those cupcakes my kids set aside for their snack today.

  17. Okay- now I totally want a cupcake! This sounds like such a fun book and I like they magic that was mentioned. Best of luck to Susan! Looks like a super sweet book. :)

  18. This is adorable! The book and the interview and the whole idea ... books and cupcakes are such a perfect combination. :-)


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