The Writing Life of: Cathy Bramley

Cathy Bramley

This week on ‘The Writing Life of:‘ I am thrilled to be interviewing author Cathy Bramley. Cathy will be sharing with us detail of her writing life, telling us all about her latest book ‘The Plumberry School of Comfort Food‘, which was released on 30th June 2016, and answering a few fun questions too. This post contains affiliate links.

Cathy Bramley


Cathy Bramley is the author of the best-selling romantic comedies Ivy Lane, Appleby Farm, Wickham Hall, Conditional Love and The Plumberry School of Comfort Food. She lives in a Nottinghamshire village with her family and a dog.

Her recent career as a full-time writer of light-hearted, romantic fiction has come as somewhat of a lovely surprise after spending eighteen years running her own marketing agency. However, she has been always an avid reader, never without a book on the go and now thinks she may have found her dream job!

Cathy loves to hear from her readers.


1) Do you remember the moment you decided that you would like to become a writer?

There wasn’t a single moment. I began thinking four years ago that I’d like to give writing a go. I self published my first book ‘Conditional Love’ 18 months later.

2) How did you go about following your dream?

I’m not a dreamy sort of person. I’m more of a planner. I just sat down and wrote a terrible first draft and then worked and worked at it to improve it.

3) Is there a particular author that inspires you?

Lots of writers inspire me. Not just because of the books they write but the work they do to encourage and support others.

My two favourites are Miranda Dickinson and Katie Fforde.

4) What is your average writing day like? Do you have any strange writing habits?

I’m lucky enough to be able to write full time and usually spend 7-8 hours at my desk. It’s not always productive though!

I don’t think I have any strange habits although I do find that I’m grinning away when my main character is smiling!

5) Do you write Longhand, Type writer, Computer?

I write on my Computer.

6) From all your books, do you have a favourite character?

My favourite is probably Tilly Parker from Ivy Lane.

7) Do you plot your books completely before hand or do you let your imagination flow whilst in the writing process?

I plot in great detail before I begin but the story always changes as the characters take over.


Concerning your latest book:

The Plumberry School of Comfort Food by Cathy Bramley

The Plumberry School of Comfort Food
Author – Cathy Bramley
Publisher – Corgi
Pages – 496
Release Date – 30th June 2016
Format – ebook, paperback, audio

synopsis of a witch

The Plumberry School of Comfort Food was originally published as a four-part serial. This is the complete story in one package.

Verity Bloom hasn’t been interested in cooking anything more complicated than the perfect fish finger sandwich, ever since she lost her best friend and baking companion two years ago.

But an opportunity to help a friend lands her right back in the heart of the kitchen. The Plumberry School of Comfort Food is due to open in a few weeks’ time and needs the kind of great ideas that only Verity could cook up. And with new friendships bubbling and a sprinkling of romance in the mix, Verity finally begins to feel like she’s home.

But when tragedy strikes at the very heart of the cookery school, can Verity find the magic ingredient for Plumberry while still writing her own recipe for happiness? buy link


8) How long did it take to get from the ideas stage, to the date of publication?

It took ten months in total.

9) Did you suffer from writer’s block at any stage? How did you overcome it?

If I get stuck, I go back to my planning notes and try and work out what it is I’m trying to say. If all else fails, I take the dog for a walk until inspiration strikes!

10) How did you come up with the name(s)for your lead character(s)?

Sometimes the characters go through several name changes before I hit in the right one. But with The Plumberry School Of Comfort Food, I had the name of Verity Bloom immediately.

11) If your book was made in to a film, who would you love to play the lead character(s)?

Verity – Emily Blunt
Tom – Colin Farrell
Gabe – Ewan McGregor

12) Did you get anyone in particular to read your work before sending it to the publisher i.e family member, friend etc?

No never. The first draft is for my eyes only!

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