The inspiration behind A Piece of Cake

When I was asked to contribute a story to this anthology – coming up with a cupcake based idea was daunting. You see – true confession here – I could not bake a cake (or cupcake) if my life depended upon it. My fellow authors were all enthusing about their cupcake recipes and exchanging tips and ideas. And I had… nothing.

My Dad – a born salesman – makes a sale at the Australian launch of my first novel

My only attempted cake was many years ago – when the schoolgirl version of me decide to make my Dad a cake for his birthday. My Dad was a wonderful man, whose love and support for me and my dream of being a writer never wavered. On being presented with this cake, he told young me how wonderful it was and bravely ate a slice.

Next day, when even I had reluctantly agreed the cake was terrible, it was passed on to our dog, imaginatively called Spot. Spot the dog was an obliging and happy soul, who would eat anything – shoes, my homework, clothes left lying around. But my cake was beyond him. After a few cautious sniffs, he declined the cake. That brought my baking career to a crashing halt, from which it has never recovered.

With this history – I was never going to be able to write a story about baking – unless…

And the idea for the story popped into my head. Not only was it a nice story – I could also use the recipe for one of only three desserts I am able to make. Note – none of them involve using an oven.

NY Apartment
Our apartment building in New York – the apartment block in the story is just a little nicer

As for the setting – I had recently returned to the UK after two years living in New York. I hadn’t yet attempted to write anything set in that amazing and wonderful and scary and spectacular city. I figured it was time. Now that I’ve done it once, don’t be surprised if I do it again.