Sunday, May 11, 2008

Down to business - Christina Hollis

Writing must be the perfect job, but isn’t without its problems. In the days of manual typewriters, irritations like forgetting to put in a sheet of carbon paper to make a copy, or aching wrists from thumping away at sit-up-and-beg keys were constant niggles. Then came computers. Uninterruptable power supplies and memory sticks ought to make power surges and lost documents a thing of the past. The trouble is, they rely on the human factor: that nut behind the keyboard!

Ernest Hemingway said hopeful authors should apply the seat of their pants to the seat of their chair and get on with it. That leads to the greatest pitfall of all. A combination of lack of exercise and working at the kitchen table is a recipe for disaster. It’s so easy to reach for a little something during all that ‘thinking time’. When he visits the filling station, my darling OH often picks up a slab of cherry cake or bar of chocolate. Who could resist that? Not me! There aren’t any exercise facilities near where we live, and though I love walking, the temptation to write just one more paragraph/get to the end of the scene or see what might happen next means any opportunity slips away down a black hole. Before I know it, there’s no time to walk anywhere beyond the village school, to pick up my son. That isn’t enough to keep unwanted pounds away. I try and restrict the number of treats I eat, but it’s very hard. That’s why I love including food and parties in my writing. My book One Night In His Bed featured a steamy scene over homemade pasta. In the story I’m working on at the moment, the hero Alessandro has his chef prepare a delicious cake for heroine Michelle. My next release, Her Ruthless Italian Boss, has the dreamy setting of Venice and features a masked ball with free-flowing champagne and all sorts of treats. It was great fun to write, and I hope you enjoy it!

There’s a competition running on my website,, to win signed copies of my books and a recipe for nid d’abeilles. My sister used to work in a smart French patisserie, and once made one for me as a birthday cake. I woke next morning a year older and several pounds heavier. Ah, the trials of research!


Estella said...

I enjoy books that have yummy meals in them.

Pat Cochran said...

I gain weight just reading about the
meals that authors lovingly describe
in their novels!!

Pat Cochran

Cheri2628 said...

I can sympathize with your temptation to eat while you are working and with the trouble finding time to exercise. It is an ongoing battle for me!

christina said...

Oh, I'm so glad I'm not the only one who enjoys reading about food! Last night I tried a new-to-me-recipe for tortilla after reading about it in The River Cottage cookbook. It was so easy - just par-boiled waxy potatoes, fried onions and chopped greens turned into beaten eggs with a few herbs. It was delicious!