The Sweetness of Liberty James is the newly-released novel from Janey Lewis, about chef's daughter Liberty, who almost has the perfect life, until an event changes it entirely. We wanted to be a bit nosy and ask Janey some questions, and she happily obliged!

Tell us about your book in 15 words or less.
Love, friendship, family, and laughter; bound together with inspirational food. A book to salivate over.

What inspired you to write The Sweetness of Liberty James?
Greed and escapism. Along with a huge pile of novels precariously balanced on my bedside table, cookbooks abound. I used to love reading chapters of each before bed, and the story unfolding in my mind morphed naturally into a combination of the two. Dreams are a good way to listen to the real 'you'

Where do you do most of your writing?
In my head.... Silly answer, but I 'write' the whole time. I am sure I should carry an app on my phone so that I can dictate, but if it's out loud, it somehow isn't writing... More conventionally, I take a pad of paper (old school, that's me) and sit, hopefully outside, either a cafe or garden, dogs on feet and write with steaming pot of coffee and cake. Wintertime, by my fire, dogs on feet, steaming pot of coffee, cake...

What is your favourite book?
Impossible question. Gun to head, dessert island choice? Aphrodite by Isabelle Allende. Inspirational woman who sees sensuality in everything.

Which part of The Sweetness of Liberty James did you like writing the most?
The part where Liberty is starting to heal and takes herself to a fabulous (and real) restaurant in Florence. The joy with which she observes the passionate, angry couple beside her and how they are soothed, softened and sweetened by the delicious, remarkable food gradually, and course by course, all came from the heart.

Who is your favourite literary heroine?
Again, impossible to be nailed down, but if pushed, and for her sheer believable goodness Taggie from Rivals. A soft, beautiful girl from the wonderful pen of Jilly Cooper. I cannot remember a day of my teens not wishing to be as good and pure of heart as she is.

Do you have any tips for readers who are looking to become published writers?
Persevere, believe in what you are doing, and be passionate about it. No one wants to read something written with half a heart. Write when you feel like it. And once done, send it off, and keep going. If you love it, chances are there will be someone out there in this horribly tricky industry who will enjoy it too.

Are you working on anything else at the moment and if so, can you tell us?
Liberty James has two more books that follow on from The Sweetness. Those, along with dragging myself into the 21C and trying to get a blog, website and find out what Twitter will do for me. Much more successful at writing books than anything on computer!

Thanks, Janey!

The Sweetness of Liberty James by Janey Lewis
The daughter of a Michelin-starred restaurateur and a celebrity TV chef, Liberty James is born into the world of fine food. But when her father announces he is leaving, the shock causes her to lose her sense of taste and smell.

Sweet-natured Liberty believes the recipe for her own happiness is making others happy, and she sets about gathering the ingredients for the perfect life. She does well at school, makes glamorous friends and marries her university sweetheart Percy, the heir to the Radley Bank fortune. Now all that’s missing is the icing on the cake – a baby.

When a traumatic event changes everything, she finds herself on a journey to rediscover her love of food that takes her from Florence to the French Riviera and finally back home to the Sussex village of Littlehurst, with a crazy plan to open her own patisserie. With flirtatious Fred the blacksmith and the dark, brooding Edmund on her doorstep, will she finally find that elusive ingredient – love?

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