Lisa Joy blew onto the Australian literary scene with her “deliciously funny and romantic novel, Yes, Chef!” during 2014.
In a Guest Post celebrating the release of Yes, Chef! in digital form last year (see the full post here), Lisa said that “my competition is not just other popular fiction books but magazines and social media and games like Candy Crush and Hay Day”!
Well, she appears to have defeated that competition and won over a number of fans because she’s back! This time in paperback with a stunning new cover to boot!!
Today, she’s here to share that exciting journey.
Lisa began writing stories in her teenage years, but decided she needed to get her heart broken and live in another country before pursuing a career as a novelist. Born in Sydney, she spent most of her childhood wearing pink tights and leotards at ballet class.
At age twenty-one, deciding she wasn’t cut out for the famished life of a ballerina, she left her safe and somewhat predictable existence behind and travelled to London, where she worked as a television producer’s PA, in fashion retail and the restaurant business. Having fallen head over heels in love with London, travelling Europe, eating amazing food and the occasional stint on stage and screen, Lisa stayed put for about seven years, until finally, family called and she returned to Australia to work as PA to a well known Melbourne chef.
Her writing took a dramatic turn for the better after she attended a commercial fiction masterclass with author Fiona McIntosh. She now lives in the picturesque Dandenong Ranges outside Melbourne on an small-acreage farm with her husband and four chooks where, in addition to writing novels, she grows vegetables, berries and herbs to sell to some of Melbourne’s best restaurants.
Yes, Chef! is available for purchase from the following links:
I don’t mind admitting I felt a small twinge of disappointment when the commissioning editor of Penguin’s digital-first imprint rang me to say they were interested in publishing Yes, Chef!. As a book lover I had dreamt of one day holding my own book and placing it on my bookshelf amongst the work of authors I admired, but with an eBook there would be nothing to hold. This disappointment lasted about ten seconds before I gave myself a metaphorical boot up the bum. A major publishing house wanted to publish my book. This was good news, in any format.
Things move quickly in the digital world and Yes, Chef! was released only two months after I was officially offered a contract. Timing is everything, they say, and Penguin were keen to release the book around the MasterChef finals while people were already in the foodie frame of mind.
To my surprise I received a phone call from my editor just three weeks after the eBook was released with the happy news that Penguin had decided to commission a print edition. I had known all along that this was a possibility but I had no idea as to whether it was likely or not. I was delighted to hear that Yes, Chef! had been well received; I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face for days. But after going through the eBook process, I had a greater respect for the format and knew that there was no difference in the quality of the writing or editorial work between digital and print.
Needless to say, it was all very exciting, especially for someone new to publishing like me. I had a meeting with the sales editor from Penguin and was fascinated to learn that the author’s background can often sell a book to bookstores more than the book itself. We chatted about how I live and work on a market garden farm, my love of food and travel and my experience working as PA to a well-known chef. And then came the new cover – squeeeee! I think it’s gorgeous and while it probably doesn’t allude to some of the darker aspects to the novel, it certainly portrays the fun side to my heroine’s London foodie lifestyle.
Of course, there are certain benefits to having a physical book, aside from being able to display it proudly on your bookshelf. My book launch was enormous fun and visiting bookstores for signing events is a dream come true for a new author. It’s also easier to engage certain media for publicity when you can send them a physical book, which is a shame for eBook authors as there really is no difference. A horrible woman once told me that an eBook is not a REAL book – which is simply not true.
About the Book
Sassy foodie Becca Stone is over her job taking reservations in one of London’s most successful restaurant empires. So when she is unexpectedly catapulted into working as PA to celebrity chef Damien Malone, it seems like the opportunity of a lifetime.
Becca is quickly caught up in an exciting whirlwind of travel, reality TV and opening nights, and even her usually abysmal love life takes a turn for the better. But as Becca is slowly consumed by the chaos of life in the spotlight, she begins to lose touch with her friends, her heart and even with reality. Working with Damien has its challenges and she is soon struggling with his increasingly outrageous demands and sleazy advances, all while managing the ridiculous requests of his self-centred wife. It takes a disastrous trip to Italy for Becca to realise that she may have thrown away exactly what she’s been looking for all along.
Inspired by real-life adventures, this deliciously funny and romantic story reveals a tantalising glimpse of the trendy restaurant scene: a world where chefs are treated like rock stars, and cooking isn’t all that goes on in the kitchen.
Lisa loves to connect with her fans so, if you would like to do that, you can find her at the following links: