As an author who writes books with her daughter, I was thrilled to be able to interview Sheryl and Carrie Berk, mother-daughter co-authors of the yummy The Cupcake Club series!
Me: Hi ladies! Thanks for joining us here at the Mixed-Up Files! We’re excited to have you. As a mother-daughter author-duo myself, I know it can be great fun working together. I’m dying to know what your experience is like writing as a team.
Carrie: FUN! We love dreaming up the crazy cupcake adventures for the Peace, Love and Cupcakes girls!
Sheryl: It’s a great way for us to bond. It’s wonderful to have my daughter truly understand what my job is. Before when I was on deadlines, she would get frustrated. Now she gets it. She now says when she grows up she wants to be a writer like her mom which makes me very proud.
Carrie: I want to be a New York Times Bestselling author, too.
Me: My daughter is learning what it’s like to be on deadline, too! Well, we’re learning it together, so that’s been fun and challenging. When working on new material, we love outlining, coming up with interesting ideas and creating loveable, relatable characters. What do you consider the best part of writing together?
Sheryl: Probably cooking up the story arcs for each book. We love to dream where we can take the characters next.
Carrie: So I love Las Vegas, and we had to put that into Book 4: Icing on the Cake. Jenna’s mom is getting married in Vegas!
Sheryl: We also love coming up with the cupcakes the girls will bake in the book.
Carrie: I watch Cupcake Wars for ideas. They put crazy things in their cupcakes: like pickles, Brussel sprouts and sardines.
Sheryl: Writing together also helps me understand what’s important to her and kids her age. She’s suggested topics ranging from bullying to dyslexia to rescue dog organizations. I love to hear what’s on her mind.
Carrie: I love when I get to edit what my mom writes. I change a lot of the things the girls say in the book because I want it to sound real. I’m 10, so I know how 10 year olds talk.
Me: Ha! My daughter does the same thing! She’s “keeping it real” because I talk like a mom. What would you say was the inspiration for the Cupcake Club series?
Carrie: Well, I couldn’t find any books about girls my age and cupcakes and I wanted to read one. I was in second grade, and I was having a sleepover party with my BFF, and I just sat down and started writing one. I showed it to my mom and she showed it to her literary agent and everyone loved it. But the idea really just came from me loving cupcakes and wanting other kids to share in that.
Sheryl: Many of the things that happen in the book are inspired by Carrie’s real-life experiences and what her friends have experienced. For example, she’s a peer mediator in her school and she gets to mediate kids who are feeling bullied. She wanted to write this into the first book because she felt it was something kids wanted to understand better.
Carrie: I also named the characters after people I know, like Principal Fontina. My principal’s name is actually Ms. Fontana. I also had the girls baking to raise money for an Eco Center which is just like the one in my school, and performing a Shakespeare play–which we just did this year in Fifth Grade. I played Lady Macbeth.
Sheryl: Carrie started her cupcake blog (www.carriescupcakecritique.shutterfly.com) when she was about 7. I think reviewing cupcakes really inspired her. And she always loved to bake with her friends–an unofficial cupcake club!
Me: It really is amazing how kids are inspired to write because of what they want to read. On a side note….we’re fans of sweets in our house. What’s your favorite cupcake flavor?
Sheryl: For me, it’s always anything with banana.
Carrie: Red Velvet. I always taste red velvet at every cupcake store I critique because I can tell how good the baker is by how good the Red Velvet is. The frosting has to be cream cheesy and not too whippy. The cake has to be moist and I want to be able to taste the chocolate.
Me: You’re a smart girl. I have to be able to taste the chocolate, too. Preferrably by licking the batter right off the spoon! Thanks for joining us here on the Mixed-Up Files today! Good luck with your fun series!
Meet Kylie Carson.
She’s a fourth grader with a big problem. How will she make friends at her new school? Should she tell her classmates she loves monster movies? Forget it. Play the part of a turnip in the school play? Disaster! Then Kylie comes up with a delicious idea: What if she starts a cupcake club? Soon Kylie’s club is spinning out tasty treats with the help of her fellow bakers and new friends.
But when Meredith tries to sabotage the girls’ big cupcake party, will it be the end of the Cupcake Club?
When she’s not mixing it up on the basketball court, she’s mixing the perfect batter with her friends in the cupcake club. Sadie’s definitely no stranger to competition, but the oven mitts are off when the club is chosen to appear on Battle of the Bakers, the ultimate cupcake competition on TV.
But the real battle happens off camera when the club’s baking business starts losing money.
With the clock ticking and the cameras rolling, will the club and their cupcakes rise to the occasion?
Meet Lexi Poole.
To Lexi, a new school year means back to baking with her BFFs in the cupcake club. But the club president, Kylie, is mixing things up by inviting new members. And Lexi is in for a no-so-sweet surprise when she is cast in the school’s production of Romeo and Juliet. If only she could be as confident onstage as she is in the kitchen. The icing on the cake: her secret crush is playing Romeo.
Sounds like a recipe for trouble.
Can the girls’ friendship stand the heat, or will the cupcake club go up in smoke?
Amie Borst and her middle-grade daughter, Bethanie, write fairy tales with a twist. Their first book in the Scarily Ever Laughter series, Cinderskella, debuts October 2013!