Author: Pearl Barley
Page count: 143
I write under the name of Pearl Barley (a name chosen by my daughter as it is food-related) and am a part-time medical secretary. Born and brought up in the English countryside, I moved to London in my late teens and always kept diaries, such that it was an easy choice to choose the diary entries that related to my lifelong struggle with my weight. I had been a slim child but life brought forth issues overtime that I found hard to cope with and I turned to food for comfort (as you do!). My love of food has always been my biggest weakness and while never obese, I’ve struggled for years to lose weight…and I often succeed; I just can’t keep it off!
Tell us about your book:
This tale, made up of diary entries, takes you on the journey of the hapless yo-yo dieter – in situations that many can relate to, punishing and suffering for a battle that is never won. Described as Bridget Jones’ Diary-esque (big baggy knickers sadly appropriate), adding a bit of dry wit bordering on the ridiculous, sarcasm, moans, groans and a teeny bit of self-pity, it’s an amusing read, telling it like it really is with no frills.
“THE FAT BAG…” title is a play on words (yes ‘plaice’ spelt like the fish) that resonates throughout the whole book, which includes chapters entitled: “This Little Piggie Went to Town”, “Mind Over Platter”, “Not All Menus Are Created Equal” and “My Cup Runneth Over”!
And just so you know, this is NOT a dieting book that will help you to lose weight or give any reasonable dieting advice.
How long did it take to write the book?
It took about a year to write and was finished in 2006 and saved on a disc. Then the disc disappeared until it resurfaced in 2010, and that’s when the first edition was published through lulu.com. The second edition with a more impressive cover was published in November 2011.
What inspired you to write the book?
The inspiration for writing this book came from the fact that I’d never seen a dieter’s or dieting book that recognized the dieter’s struggle. Too many folk assume that overweight people never do anything about it, yet many ‘in the know’ know full well how many times they’ve tried and failed.
Talk about the writing process. Did you have a writing routine? Did you do any research, and if so, what did that involve?
I just wrote from the heart as it’s easier to write what you know about, and added the humorous and tongue-in-cheek bits as I went along. Some of the situations are slightly exaggerated but for the most part, it’s all true. It was just like chatting to a friend, but in print.
What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?
The response I got in one of my reviews is exactly what I hoped the readers would gain from reading my book:
“…She describes perfectly the ups and downs associated with the process – the joy of losing weight and being proud of your accomplishments, and the agony of defeat when you slip back into old habits and re-gain the poundage. Anyone who has ever dieted will recognize themselves on these pages and will be able to relate completely to the process. Using a dry sarcastic wit that I find hilarious, Ms. Barley has told her tale showing both the ridiculous and serious sides of yo-yo dieting. The British terms sprinkled liberally throughout the book also add greatly to the charm of the story…”
Where can we go to buy your book?
Also in paperback
Any other links or info you’d like to share?
Visit my authorsden site for more info on this book and the upcoming sequel (yet to be titled)
Excerpt from book:
Excerpt from Mind Over Platter, chapter 17
I don’t understand it. I can’t really work out what happened. What day was it that I woke up sans enthusiasm and suddenly found myself indulging in a cooked breakfast? What happened to my innocent scrambled egg on toast (no butter, no milk)? What happened to my sweeteners instead of sugar? What happened to my abstinence from biscuits? One minute I was dieting for England, the next I was back to my old comfortable eating habits and I wonder, seriously, how I came to this point. Granted the weather has turned bitterly cold and my appetite for Bird Eye Chicken pie has been strongly re-kindled, so why does that excuse not sit easy with my conscience?
The cross-trainer sits there in the middle of room, frozen, it seems, in the position it’s been in for the past couple of weeks, baring testament to the fact that, whilst my eyes might pass across it ruefully (I can’t help that since it’s stuck slap bang in front of the telly) I can’t seem to muster up the enthusiasm to get on it and use it for the purpose for which I bought it. Watch what will happen, it will become a clotheshorse or something just as useless but never again, maybe, will it help to tone up those buttocks or firm up the inner thigh.