Author Interview with Cathy Bramley, bestselling author of Ivy Lane, Appleby Farm and Wickham Hall

Today on Becca's Books, I'm absolutely over the moon to be welcoming the one and only Cathy Bramley to the blog for an author interview with me! Cathy's books are an utter delight to read and quite simply, capable of charming the socks off anybody. I'm a firm fan of her books so it's a real treat to have Cathy here. Without further ado, welcome to Becca's Books, Cathy!

So, Cathy. SO MUCH has been going on for you! You’ve released Conditional Love, Ivy Lane, Appleby Farm, the recent Wickham Hall, and next up in March is The Plumberry School of Comfort Food (which I’m super excited about!) Tell us, how are you feeling?

I feel very fortunate actually! Although sometimes when I’m working on covers and final edits for Plumberry, promotion for Wickham Hall and writing the first draft of a new one for 2017 I do get a bit mixed-up with my main characters’ names and yearn for a less hectic publishing schedule!

The Plumberry School of Comfort Food has got my bookish senses tingling, and I’m sure the same goes for your countless other fans too. I’m sure March will be here before we know it, but could you possibly tell us a little bit more about your gorgeous new series?

Verity Bloom is the sort of girl who puts others before herself and over the last few years has suffered quite a bit of heartache because of it. This is the story of how she finds the courage to chase her own dreams and rediscover what truly makes her happy. Oh and there is a lot of food involved of course!

Comfort Food. We all eat it. For me, it’s probably a hearty lamb stew, garlic bread or soup! What food falls into that category for you, Cathy?

Gosh, how long have you got…! Simple things like thick white toast with real butter, my mum’s cottage pie (she adds lentils and a pinch of cinnamon) and scones and clotted cream with homemade jam.

I’m dying to know, have you seen anything of the covers for your new series yet? I understand you can’t share until given the go-ahead, but if you have, tell us… ARE THEY GORGEOUS?

We’ve approached the covers for the new series slightly differently. Normally we do the covers for parts one to four first and then create a slightly different look for the paperback. This time we’ve done the paperback cover, which I’m totally thrilled with, but I haven’t seen the covers for the series yet and I cant wait!

Your books have seriously taken off and I couldn’t be happier for you. What’s been your favourite part of it all? The writing itself? Connecting and chatting to readers? Events?

Firstly, Rebecca, I’d like to say the same to you. I've loved seeing your transition from blogger to author and I’m totally thrilled for you. There are lots of things to love about being a writer, here are a few of my highlights:
Seeing my books on shelves when I go shopping (this is possibly the best bit)
Getting to the end of a particularly tricky scene and being really happy with it.
Seeing the finished cover design for the first time.
Feedback from readers, particularly on Facebook. Every positive comment gives me such a buzz, especially when I’m having a hard day.
Receiving proof copies from other authors asking me for a cover quote – I feel ten feet tall when this happens.
And finally, being part of the book community is such a privilege. I've only been part of this family for three years, but I've never experienced such wonderful support and kindness like it, especially from other authors.

I know that this is a difficult question but, out of all of your novels so far, is there one that you feel particularly close to? One that you enjoyed writing more than the others?

I think I will always feel close to Tilly Parker at Ivy Lane. I love that woman!

How will you be celebrating the publication of the first book in the Plumberry School of Comfort Food series? Any special plans?

I have to hold my hands up here – I am terrible at celebrating the publication of the digital books! I tend to wait until the paperback comes out. But you’ve made me feel guilty now, perhaps I should do something…

Do you still feel nervous when a story of yours is set free?


When it comes to reviews, how do you deal with any negative ones? Do they help you, do you think?

I don’t give them head space.

On a scale of one to ten, how hungry is your next series going to make us?

Read with a plate of snacks to hand – that’s my advice!

Favourite place to write?

I have an office and I always write there. However, I was in Italy in a hotel last week researching the next book. There was a huge desk, a window with traditional wooden shutters and lemon trees outside my window. That was pretty amazing!

Favourite thing to have on-hand when writing?

Coffee, my thesaurus and a notebook (even though I write straight onto a laptop, I like to scribble ideas and words on real paper)

Do you have any novels by other authors that you’re looking forward to dipping into this year?

You and Me, Always by Jill Mansell and The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon, to mention just two!

Best piece of writing advice you ever received?

Writing is re-writing. Your first draft is about you telling yourself the story. Then you re-write it for your readers.

Any final words?

I can’t think of anything profound, but I will say that if you find a copy of Wickham Hall in Sainsbury’s with an exclusive sticker on it, you're in for a treat!

Cathy, thanks so much for being on Becca’s Books today. It’s been truly wonderful having you and I wish you every success with the release of The Plumberry School of Comfort Food. I, for one, cannot wait!

Excited to learn more about Cathy's upcoming release, The Plumberry School of Comfort Food?

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 is about to land 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 has rather gone off the boil. It needs the kind of great ideas that only Verity could cook up . . .
But as Verity tries to balance stirring up publicity, keeping their top chef sweet and soothing her aching heart, will her move to Plumberry prove to be a sheer delight . . . or a recipe for disaster?

You can find Food, Glorious Food, Part One of The Plumberry School of Comfort Food by Cathy Bramley on the links below -

After four years of flinging herself round the dancefloors of Nottingham's nightspots, British author Cathy Bramley somehow managed to get an honours degree in business.

She then plunged herself into the corporate world of marketing, working on high-powered projects such as testing the firing range of SuperSoaker water guns and perfecting the weeing action of Tiny Tears until deciding in 1995 to set up her own marketing agency.
She now lives in an idyllic Nottinghamshire village with her husband, two daughters and a dog called Pearl.
Random Facts about Cathy Bramley:
Lucky charm: pottery frog out of a Christmas crackerFavourite tipple: Polish cherry vodkaBest ever Christmas present: Potter's Wheel (toy version)Hates the expression: Compliments to the chef

You can find Cathy Bramley on Facebook | Twitter |


  1. Great interview! I absolutely adore Cathy Bramley's books. x

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by! Cathy's books are lovely, aren't they? Perfect with a cup of coffee & a slice of cake! ;)

      B x

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and having a read, Tracy! So pleased you enjoyed it.

      B x

    2. What a great interview and what a prolific writer! I'd better stop reading this and get back to my laptop....:)