I like to decorate cakes. Too bad I suck at it.
Back in the day (read: pre-children), I had a lot of free time on my hands. I took an interest in cooking, watching cooking shows, and searching the internet for new recipes. I also took an interest in baking—so much so that I decided to take up cake decorating as a hobby.
For whatever reason, I wasn’t into decorating cakes with a pastry bag—you know, piping work. I was into baking a cake in the shape of something, or decorating a cake to make it look like a scene. Here are a few examples (Note: The bookmarks for the websites containing the directions to make these cakes went out the door with the computer I had ten years ago. I apologize I can’t give credit to the creative souls who came up with these ideas—but I will say it wasn’t me):
A graduation cake for my sister in the shape of a rolled up diploma
A cake in the shape of a hot dog and fries
A cake in the shape of a castle
I taught elementary school before having children, and one summer, I attended technology camps during the day with other teachers. That same summer, I found a cake online called a Campout Cake, and I thought, how fitting! So I made this cake
For my fellow, grown-up, professional colleagues.
Do you see a common theme in all of my cakes? You’re right if you said none of them are very good.
You may wonder why I didn’t try decorating cakes with fondant, pastry bags, decorating tips, and buttercream frosting—you know, like most cake decorators do. Honestly, I don’t know. All I can figure is I was having too much fun with my way of “decorating”. In hindsight, though, I think it worked out just as well. I mean, if my Peppermint Forest cake looked like this
Why the hell would I go near a pastry bag?
I finally had the presence of mind to put this hobby aside and pursue another, more suitable interest: writing. I’ve always loved writing stories—and editing is pretty damn fun, too. In the last three years, I’ve spent my free time writing and researching the publishing industry. I’ve had five short stories and three magazine articles published—and last year, my dream came true when the manuscript for my first contemporary romance novel was accepted for publication.
While I’m on the subject of my debut novel, you want to guess what the heroine does for a living? Here’s a hint: she inherited Sullivan’s Cakery from her grandma.
That’s right! She’s a baker—but unlike me, she excels at cake decorating.
To write the novel, Baking Love, I "filled-in-the-blanks" of what I knew with research. I studied online videos demonstrating cake decorating skills, read forum exchanges between bakers, and worked my way through dozens of websites about baking and cake decorating and assembling. The fruit of my labor releases today from MuseItUp Publishing. In fact, here’s the cover by Marion Sipe
Now that girl’s got artistic skills.
Baking Love is available from Muse It Up Publishing, Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and pretty much every other ebook vendor you can think of. It’s also available in paperback from Amazon.com.
Visit Lauren Boyd, Romance Novelist to find out how to connect with me via the usual suspects (Facebook, email, etc.) I’d love to hear from you—and I’d love to hear what you think of Baking Love!
(Incidentally, if you are good at decorating cakes, you amaze me. Seriously, I am in awe of you.)