California Based Baker Receives a Spiritual Gift
When Lattis Rosamond Richards started out with her passion of baking cakes and making pastries several years back, she did not know she would one day encounter a departure from the sweet smells of a bakery to the drudgery of writing at a desk. But this is precisely the turn her life has now taken. And when she switched lanes; those close to her thought that she’d write a cookbook. But she went in the unexpected direction of fiction. And there is no price for guessing the title of her debut novel correctly. She aptly called it The UneXpected!
The UneXpected is uniquely titled to capture two things. The twists and turns of events in the novel, and the manner the author came upon her peculiar novel writing process are both stated in the caption she has chosen for her story of kind emotions and disappointments. L. Rosamond Richards, emigrated from Barbados to the United States of America and set up Sweetreats by Lattis in 1986 in the Studio City area of California. She has been in the business of cakes and kindred products ever since and her products have reached all states in America. Lattis’ debut fiction is set in Southern California and it is about two young lovers and a disastrous disappearing act which leads to painful consequences.
She tells The Daily Scrum that writing this novel was never in her foreseeable itinerary and when she finally wrote something down, several of her friends believed she had written a cookbook since she was a well-known baker around town. This initial shock reaction somehow influenced the entire book. In her own words, “the reception was fabulous for The UneXpected,” she says. “Since most people know me as a baker, everyone thought I had written a cookbook, so they were quite surprised to find out that I had written a fictional novel. My friends and even customers from my business supported me and bought it. I had a launch party and invited a few hundred people.”
The art of novel writing is like the act of baking a cake. Ingredients have to be in the right quantity, quality and mix; in order to achieve a perfect and expected whole. It is acceptable to say Bakers will excel at the arduous task of writing novels. But Lattis has said that she never outlined this book the way she prepares for her cakes and pastries.
“This book was never planned. Just as the name says, The UneXpected, was quite unexpected, so I never wrote a synopsis,” she says with a hint of accomplished delight. “It was a spiritual gift. It just came to me. Even the characters’ names seemed to have dropped out of the heavens. It started out based on a morning in my life and turned into a book, and it flowed from there.”
The author had to contend with the arrangement of scenes and create believability, even when her creative juices flowed freely. She is writing of a time with unique experiences and inventions and she had the duty of staying true to the book’s time period. There was a time in the early draft when she went off course. Her sister’s timely observation saved the day. “Contradictions and inconsistences are common in writing books, especially for a new writer without a researcher.” Lattis Richards admits. “In an accident scene, I had everyone racing to the hospital in their own cars, but I had them all huddled together, and in their grief, they piled into one car to go home. My sister caught it and brought it to my attention. After laughing hysterically, I corrected it, but that is why people rewrite books several times, and also why one must have an editor.”
Although mobile phones and several communication gadgets are ubiquitous these days, many seem to have forgotten that they were not always around. The author had to ensure that she accurately depicted the telephony of the novel’s time setting in the book. “There is a scene in the book where a lady needed to use the phone to call an ambulance for someone involved in an accident, but she could not be seen using a cell phone because the period was the late eighties-nineties when cell phones were not common to most lay people. I had to write that she ran up a hill in a Canyon to get to a public phone.”
The author of the unexpected novel now has a new direction. She looks towards the screen and other projects, convinced that self-publishing is expensive; after having tried that option out with this novel. She would rather have a traditional publisher publish her next novel. “Since the book’s trailer, a new world has opened up for me and my goal is to get a screenplay and then a movie. The UneXpected was self-published through Amazon’s Create Space (now defunct), but I would never self-publish again. It is costly and a lot of work. I’d much rather have my book traditionally published, even though I’ll earn less royalty but get larger sales.”
Lattis Rosamond Richards has learnt a life-changing lesson and found a new passion as sweet as her cakes. She wants to stay the course. “I am currently writing The Final Hit. It is about a hit man. It’s more universal and action packed, and I intend to shop for publishers. She is emphatic about what she intends to do next. “No more self-publishing.” She says. The former personal assistant to NBC journalist, Tom Snyder; has hinted that she is working on a sequel to The Unexpected. Well, her readers can now expect that at https://www.amazon.com/UneXpected-1-L-Rosamond-Richards/dp/1475012276/ref=pd_ybh_a_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=5PK87V1K6SE5F4M06SN4 and at her website: www.sweetreatsbylattis.com.