April 19, 2012

A Sweet Read


Our Q & A With Mother-Daughter Authors Sheryl And Carrie Berk

By Whitney Casser


It seems like cupcakes are on the menu at just about every eatery in the city these days. From dessert trucks to local bakeries to gourmet restaurants, the single serving sugar bombs have all but won the culinary popularity contest. —

Now, the sweet treat makes its latest appearance in a new kids book series (ages 9 and up), The Cupcake Club, by mother-daughter writers Sheryl and Carrie Berk. In their first book, Peace, Love and Cupcakes, Sheryl and Carrie tell the story of Kylie, a fourth-grade student at a new school who makes friends by starting a cupcake club. Along the way, Kylie and her group of friends must overcome bullying and other issues. And, without sugar-coating it, the girls must confront their problems with strength, smarts and grace.

To learn more about the authors and the inspiration behind The Cupcake Club, we asked Sheryl and Carrie all about their sweet new book adventure.

1. Congrats on your new book! Tell us all about The Cupcake Club, Kylie and the
story you tell in Peace, Love and Cupcakes.

Sheryl:
Thanks! It was all Carrie’s idea. She loved cupcakes and wanted to read a
fiction series about a group of girls in a cupcake club. There was nothing out
there, so she wrote her own story. The Cupcake Club is
about four girls, each very different, who come together to bake fabulous
cupcakes. Along the way, they become BFFs who help each other through some tough
situations. They help each other to grow.

Carrie: I love the show
Glee
, and how the kids in the club are kind of outsiders who come together to be
winners. That’s what Kylie, Jenna, Sadie and Lexi are–they’re all different or
picked on. One likes monster movies and they call her a freak; one is
overweight; one has dyslexia, and one is really shy. Then they come together,
and they’re a great team. 

2.
What inspired you both to write as a mom-daughter team? Have you ever done
anything like this before?

Sheryl:
Well I usually collaborate with celebrities on their books. This is the first
time I have collaborated with my daughter…and she’s my fave writing
partner!

Carrie:
It’s a lot of fun working with my mom. I edit her. I tell her when it doesn’t
sound like a real kid in the dialogue. I’m tough!

3.
What message do you hope to send with The Cupcake Club series? What can kids get
from reading the stories?

Sheryl:
That you should embrace what makes you unique, special, different. That there is
nothing sweeter than having friends by your side. There are also messages about
bullying, being a responsible friend and not giving up. Each book deals with
some very real issues that elementary school kids face.

Carrie:
And if you like cupcakes, you learn a lot in the books about how to bake them.
There are original recipes and my tips. 
COVER_Cupcake_ClubPLC_Final.jpg

Sheryl:
She’s got serious piping skills!

4.
What is your favorite cupcake flavor?

Sheryl:
I love banana.

Carrie:
Red Velvet from Georgetown Cupcake Soho. Yum!

5.
What do you love to do together in NYC?

Sheryl & Carrie: Besides
tasting cupcakes ALL over NYC for Carrie’s Cupcake Critique blog, we love having
tea at Alice’s Tea Cup, going to American Girl and seeing Broadway shows. Our
faves are Wicked and Phantom at the moment. We know all the songs!

6.
Carrie, would you like to continue writing with your mom? Do you see yourself as
a lifelong writer? Any advice for other kids your age who like to
write?

Carrie: I want
to be a writer–a bestselling author. I write a lot of stories. I started when I
was in second grade writing sequels to Judy Moody books! I always tell kids the
best way to be a writer is to write everyday, read a lot of different types of
books and believe in yourself. If you can’t think of something to write, you
should look around you for inspiration. The Cupcake Club is
inspired by my friends, my family, my school, stuff I do. Sometimes the best
subjects for your writing are right there in front of you.

Sheryl Berk, New York Times bestselling author of Soul
Surfer, and her nine-year-old daughter, Carrie, a cupcake connoisseur
who has reviewed confections from the world in her Carrie’s Cupcakes
Critiques
newsletter, have cooked up a delightful new series sure to be a
treat.

sherylcarrietlc_credit_Heidi_Green_Photography_sm.JPG

Photos by Heidi Green (heidigreen.com)

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