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Stella Newman Reveals New Book – Seven Steps To Happiness

Seven Steps To Happiness Stella Newman is back with her second book from Headline Books called ‘Seven Steps To Happiness’.

The story of ‘Seven Steps To Happiness’ is –

Is there a formula for happiness?

If it’s Netflix, two-for-one Malbec and the perfect toasted-cheese sandwich, Lenny has it covered. But when her friend Juliet finds herself at rock bottom, Lenny realises it’s going to take more than that to fix her.

Luckily help is at hand in the form of HappyGuru: a plan which promises happiness in seven easy steps. So when Lenny is asked to research it, she puts scepticism aside and persuades Juliet they should give it a go.

The friends quickly find themselves immersed in mindfulness, juice cleanses and death-defying circus stunts. Yet as Juliet becomes increasingly buoyant, things only get more complicated for Lenny.

Can it be that happiness is only seven steps away?

Sounds like another witty and fun story from Stella!

You can pre-order Seven Steps to Happiness from Amazon and will be availableo to buy from good bookshops from 20th October 2016.

All In The Name Of Research By Stella Newman

The DishToday on the book tour for Stella Newman’s brand new book ‘The Dish’, Stella talks about all the research she did for the story.

One of my favourite things about writing books is that I can think of things I’d like to do in real life – and then make my characters do them – and I get to go along for the ride. For example, in the book I’m currently writing, the heroine does a trapeze class. That’s something I always thought I wanted to do! Turns out – I WAS WRONG. Trapeze class is TERRYING and BEST AVOIDED unless you’re brave and strong and I am neither.

 Canal St MartinI was a little bit smarter when I was writing ‘The Dish’. The heroine, Laura, is a food critic – so a large part of my research involved eating. Turns out I’m quite good at eating! At a certain point in the novel, Laura’s boss asks her to research Paris’s finest croissant. What choice did I have but to go method? I hopped on to the next Eurostar out of town and three hours later I was strolling down the Champs Élysées, with the perfect excuse to stuff my face.

Du Pain et Des IdeeésIf you’ve ever been to Paris, I’m sure you can appreciate that finding the best croissant is no easy task – there are quite a lot to choose from, non? Luckily I had some insider knowledge. Before I had a job that allowed me to stay in pyjamas all day, I had a job that frowned upon that sort of behaviour: I worked in a big supermarket, in the food department. I asked my friend in the Bakery section, who knows a thing or two about pastries, and she pointed me to a shortlist.

I’m not a shirker. I did the research. I ate a baker’s dozen of the most delicious, buttery, flaky baked goods – for you, dear reader, for you! And eventually, several hours into my eat-a-thon I struck gold, at Du Pain et Des Ideeés, a boulanger in the pretty, tree lined Canal St Martin area.

The bakery is tucked off a side street from the main canal.  Inside it is fairy-tale pretty, but forget the décor: it’s all about a simple croissant, elevated to a thing of beauty – golden, paper thin, super crispy flaky exterior, lush, ultra-buttery, multi-layered insides.

Then this oven-fresh chocolate pistachio swirl. Imagine melting chocolate, soft, light, buttery pastry and creamy, mild, pistachios swirled throughout, being held warm in your hand, then rammed, gracefully into your mouth…

The bakery does other, fabulous pastries – praline, rum and raisin, lemon and nougat and a host of other extraordinary treats – rosewater croissants, chocolate bread, amazing regular bread.

CrossiantI could go on, and I often do. The point is, if you like food, you’ll probably like The Dish. And if you like croissants, find a way to get to that bakery in Paris because my words and my pictures are only the beginning of the story. Bon appétit!

(P.S. Be warned! It’s closed at the weekends, so it has to be a week day visit…)

You can buy The Dish from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Stella’s Dream Valentine’s Date

Stella NewmanToday on the book tour for Stella Newman’s brand new book ‘The Dish’, Stella talks about her dream Valentine date.

I’m not sure if this refers to my dream man or my dream activity, but it’s my dream so I guess I’ll do both!

The man? I wouldn’t say no to Jamie Dornan, and I have a keen, ongoing interest in Ed Norton, but ultimately it all comes back to Michael Fassbender. Realistically I’d be happy just to hole up in my bedroom with him, eating penne carbonara in bed and then getting it on. However, that does not make for good copy. Well, perhaps erotic / filthy copy but I’ll leave that stuff to E L James.

So…I guess our date would have to maximise the opportunities for me to be seen out on a date with Michael Fassbender. Ideally there’d be my old school reunion happening that night. But failing that, we’d drive round to my evil ex boyfriend’s house in West London, then walk back and forth outside his house until he spotted us. “Ooh, hiya Mark! Fancy seeing you here! Oh right, yes, I’d totally forgotten that you lived here, anyway you must meet Michael, – oh, you recognise him from that movie where he played a guy who’s brilliant at shagging? Yeah, yeah – same guy”.

The Dish

Then, having ticked off the most important entry of all time on my bucket list, Fassbender and I would go back home, cook pasta and then move slowly, languidly towards the bedroom, shedding clothes as we… Oh right, we’re meant to be doing stuff out and about, aren’t we? Ok then…Er… We’d go for a delicious dinner in town – probably to Goodman, Mayfair! We’d order cheese and bacon burgers and a bottle of great red wine –a Malbec – and after the meal Michael would stare deep into my eyes and tell me that I am at my most beautiful and elegant when I am eating fries with both hands.

Then we would move on to Hawksmoor where we would drink pints of Pina Coladas. Again, Michael would lean in close and whisper in my ear that the more strong alcohol I consume, the more charming and feminine I become.

Finally we would adjourn to the dark, slightly dank environs of Karaoke Box in Soho. Once I’d sung my show-stopping version of Wuthering Heights, (better than Kate Bush’s, superior even to Alan Partridge’s) Michael would fall to his knees, weeping with admiration and unbridled lust, and then the fun would really start.

You can buy The Dish from Amazon

Stella Newman’s Writers Tip

Stella Newman

Read as broadly and as deeply as possible and try to learn from the best, and the worst, out there.
Stella Newman

Stella Newman

Stella NewmanStella Newman studied English at Sussex University. She lives in London and is a freelance copywriter and keen amateur cook. ‘Leftovers’ is her second book.

  1. Your new book, ‘Leftovers’, is about Susie who after reading a magazine article is a ‘leftover’, a post Bridget Jones thirty something who has neither her dream job, man or job. According to her friend Rebecca, Susie needs to get over her ex, Jake and start online dating. But Susie’s got a plan, if she can make it 307 days till her promotion and bonus, she can finally quit and pursue her dream job in food. Then surely, everything else will fall into place. If only her love life wasn’t complicated. What inspired you to write this type of story?
    The starting point for me was thinking about the amount of women I know in their thirties, including myself, who don’t have all the tick-boxes that magazines tell us we should have: perfect kids, perfect relationship, perfect matching underwear, ‘Elle Deco’ immaculate homes… Every time I read ‘Grazia’ or ‘Red’ I see women who bear no resemblance to anyone I know in real life, so I wanted to write a story that felt more honest about the way we live now.
  2. To the readers of the website, that may not familiar with you or your writing, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into writing?
    I always loved reading as a kid. I started studying law at university, but dropped out – then went back to university the following year and studied English – which was kind of weird, in that it temporarily destroyed the pleasure of reading for me. After graduating, I worked in advertising for 10 years, then in marketing for another 5. All that time I wanted to write, but every time I mentioned it to friends, they would point out that very few writers get rich from writing. But I knew two things – I wasn’t in it for the money. And also, if I didn’t try writing, I’d always regret it. So I eventually wrote a book, got an agent, got my manuscript rejected and got upset. After a brief huff I wrote another book. That second manuscript sold very quickly – and that was my first novel, ‘Pear-shaped’. And then I wrote ‘Leftovers’, and now I’m writing another book.
  3. Out of the many books that you have read over the years, which one would you have liked to have said “I wrote that”?
    So many! In the last five years alone, ‘Gone Girl’ by Gillian Flynn, ‘Bossypants’ by Tina Fey, and ‘Wolf Hall’ by Hilary Mantel.
  4. Regarding the phenomenon of “Fifty Shades of Grey “and how well it did. Some people criticised the writing and the books that followed on after the series. Do you think the standards of writing has slipped?
    I haven’t read Fifty Shades so I can’t comment, other than to say that from the excerpts I have read, I’m not convinced readers are buying into mummy porn for the quality of the prose.
  5. What authors do you admire?
    Any author who convinces you that their world is real, regardless of how outlandish that world may be – so anyone from Edith Wharton to Philip Pullman to Jeffrey Eugenides to Hilary Mantel.
  6. If ‘Leftovers’ was to be adapted for screen, who do you imagine would play Susie and Sam?
    If it can’t be me playing Susie, and Ryan Gosling playing Sam? Then I’d say Romola Garai for Susie. She’s very warm and likeable without being Hollywood perfect, and she was terrific in The Crimson Petal and The White. For Sam, perhaps Chris O’Dowd who is good at playing grumpy but endearing.
  7. Where do you get your ideas for your stories?
    Real life – you can’t make up some of the crazy stuff that happens right in front of you.
  8. Who is your favourite literary hero/heroine?
    I think the heroine, Rachel, in ‘Heartburn’ by Nora Ephron – a book which was a huge influence on me when I was writing Pear-shaped. Rachel is hilarious and warm and very real – and she loves good food and a bad man – things that I could relate to. And she eventually kicks ass. From the first page you’re rooting for her.
  9. If you were stranded on a desert island, which three books would you bring with you to pass the time?
    Tough, tough question. Probably ‘War and Peace’ – I’ve never read it and I’d have plenty of free time on an island. Then for some light relief maybe ‘Bossypants’ by Tina Fey, as it’s very funny and I’d need cheering up. And finally a dictionary – so by the time I was rescued I’d be really, really good at spelling.
  10. What area do you suggest a budding writer should concentrate on to further their abilities?
    Read as broadly and as deeply as possible and try to learn from the best, and the worst, out there.
  11. When sitting down to write, what is the one item you need beside you?
    Coffee.
  12. And finally Stella, do you have any projects or releases on the horizon which you would like to share with the readers of the website?
    I’m currently working on my new book, which currently has no title. I like writing about food and flawed relationships – so there’ll be more of that in the new one. I’m also eating a lot and blogging about food.

Read more about Stella Newman online or follow her on Twitter Stella Newman