What happens when you go out with a man whose shirtless picture adorns every second lunchroom wall? And his ex-girlfriend is a gorgeous underwear model? In this funny, hugely entertaining love story, Helen McNeil finds her life is turned upside-down...
Helen McNeil is a vet in the small rural town of Broadview. While taking evasive action from an annoying girl at a party, she falls over – and fails to recognise – national sporting hero, Mark Tipene. Much to Helen's confusion, Mark finds this charming and the following day he appears at the front counter of her vet clinic to ask her out.
A whirlwind romance follows and everything is going swimmingly until one little hiccup changes everything...
Chocolate Cake For Breakfast is a funny, heart-warming novel from the critically acclaimed author of Dinner at Rose's. Fans of Marian Keyes and Liane Moriarty are sure to love it!
Danielle Hawkins grew up on a sheep and beef farm and later studied veterinary science. After graduating as a vet Danielle met a very nice dairy farmer who became her husband.
Danielle spends two days per week working as a large animal vet and the other five as a housekeeper, cook and general dogsbody. She has two small children and when she is very lucky, they nap simultaneously and she can write. She is the author of critically acclaimed novel Dinner at Rose's.
Chocolate Cake For Breakfast
Allen and Unwin
Author: Danielle Hawkins
Question: What inspired the story of Chocolate Cake For Breakfast?
Danielle Hawkins: It started, I think, with wondering just what it would be like to go out with someone famous. It'd be exciting, and gratifying, and you'd get a certain sneaking satisfaction out of being seen on the arm of a man other women fantasise about – and yet relationships are tough enough anyway without the whole world watching.
Question: What was the best thing about creating the character of Helen?
Danielle Hawkins: It sounds terribly airy-fairy, but the best thing about creating a character is having them become real. It's like making a dear friend.
Question: Did your other job (two days per week working as a large animal vet) inspire Helen's career?
Danielle Hawkins: Yes, of course. It's a lot easier to describe a job you do yourself than to have to meticulously research one you know nothing about. Besides, I love being a vet, so I wanted to write about it.
Question: How do you find time to write whilst working and looking after a young family?
Danielle Hawkins: To be perfectly honest, it doesn't work very well. I wrote two books by replacing exercise, socialising, reading and sleep with writing, and that really isn't the most sustainable way of going about things. Once I'd submitted the manuscript of Chocolate Cake I fell in a bit of a heap, and I've only just got back to the point where I enjoy writing again rather than finding it a chore. It taught me some valuable lessons about work/life balance, but it does leave me with the problem of having almost no time to write, if I don't want to completely give up all the other things I enjoy. Maybe it will be easier once Blair goes to school.
Question: What's next for you?
Danielle Hawkins: Status quo, I hope. I have a cool life – a particularly nice husband and kids, a job I love and great publishers who pay me to do something I'd do anyway.
Interview by Brooke Hunter