Introducing the Delicious Duo Behind the Sweet New Series, The Cupcake Club

| May 4, 2012 | 0 Comments

The Children’s Book Review
Published: May 4, 2012

Introducing the Delicious Duo! The Mother-Daughter writing team behind the sweet new children’s book series, The Cupcake Club.

For years, Sheryl Berk has been a top ghostwriter/book collaborator in Hollywood. “I’ve worked with everyone from Britney Spears and Carmen Electra to Whitney Port and Tia Mowry,” she explains. She also co-authored the New York Times bestseller Soul Surfer with Bethanny Hamilton (also a hit movie). But even with all those A-listers, her 9 year old daughter Carrie remains her favorite writing partner. Here’s how the two cooked up the idea for The Cupcake Club book series:

Carrie: I was having a sleepover with my BFF Jaimie. We were bored so I took out some paper and started writing a story. It was about four girls who started their own cupcake club. I showed it to my mom.

Sheryl: She was learning about realistic fiction in Second Grade, and she was a huge fan of Judy Moody books. But she was always looking for a book series she could relate to more.

Carrie: I wanted to read about cupcakes!

Sheryl: So she wrote up a summary of her idea, and I sent it to my literary agent.

Carrie: We got a book deal really fast and I was excited. I was going to be an author.

Sheryl: It’s great to work with her on the series. She draws inspiration for the characters and their adventures from her school, her friends, her teachers. There’s a realness to The Cupcake Club, and that comes directly from the fact that it’s written by a kid. The book deals with issues that kids deal with, like bullying, crushes, friend drama.

Carrie: My mom and I talk about how the book will go: what the characters will do, what problems they’ll have, how they’ll solve them. Then she writes the first draft and I edit it.

Sheryl: Sometimes she can be a little tough! I get comments in the margins like, ‘A kid would never talk like that!’ or ‘Needs more explanation!’ She has some very strong opinions.

Carrie: I want it to sound like a kid said it. And I read a lot, so I know what’s a good book for my age.

Sheryl: And we also incorporate a lot of crazy cupcakes in the story. Stuff like a cannoli cream cupcake, a spaghetti and meatball cupcake, or maple red velvet.

Carrie: I watch Cupcake Wars and take notes. Then I give my mom some ingredient suggestions. I just saw a cupcake with pickles and peanut butter and I want to do something like it for Book 3!

Sheryl: We work closely with a recipe developer, Jessi Walter from Taste Buds. Carrie does a tasting and they talk over what cupcakes we want to create from each book.

Carrie: Like The Eco-licious Cupcake from Peace, Love and Cupcakes. I’m an EcoKid in my school, and I really wanted to give readers a recipe that was all organic and used recycled paper cupcake wrappers.

Sheryl: I’ve learned a lot about cupcakes from Carrie, and I think she’s learned a lot about the writing process and publishing business from me.

Carrie: I never knew how many times you have to revise a manuscript! My favorite part is when we get the galleys. Then you can really SEE what the book looks like. And I also didn’t know how long it takes. It’s about six months from the time we write it to the time it’s in stores.

Sheryl: The best part is we get to be creative and imaginative together.

Carrie: The best part is making and tasting cupcakes together. We just went on a Cupcake Crawl in Boston. We’re always looking for great new cupcakes to spotlight on my blog site (www.carriescupcakecritique.shutterfly.com) and Facebook page (www.facebook.com/PLCCupcakeClub).

Sheryl: It’s the sweetest job I’ve ever had!

Carrie: One day, I want to be a bestselling author. Or maybe a judge on Cupcake Wars. Maybe both.

Add the book to your collection: The Cupcake Club: Peace, Love, and Cupcakes 

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Category: Ages 9-12, Author Interviews, Books for Girls, Chapter Books, Food and Drink

About the Author ()

The Children’s Book Review, named one of the ALSC (Association for Library Service to Children) Great Web Sites for Kids, is a resource devoted to children’s literacy. We publish reviews and book lists of the best books for kids of all ages. We also produce author and illustrator interviews and share literacy based articles that help parents, grandparents, teachers and librarians to grow readers. This article was written and provided by one of TCBR's regular contributors.

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