Thank you for joining me today and I am sure that many of you already are connected to children’s author Robbie Cheadle, who writes story and cookbooks in the Sir Chocolate series with her equally talented son Michael.. The exciting news is that Robbie will be publishing a new book later this year set in wartime Britain, While the Bombs Fell. We can also expect another new release as part of a YA supernatural/horror series under the name of Roberta Eaton. Exciting times ahead.
Before we get to know Robbie a little better, here is the official word on this talented author and poet.
Robbie Cheadle was born in London in the United Kingdom. Her father died when she was three months old and her mother immigrated to South Africa with her tiny baby girl. Robbie has lived in Johannesburg, George and Cape Town in South Africa and attended fourteen different schools. This gave her lots of opportunities to meet new people and learn lots of social skills as she was frequently “the new girl”.
Robbie is a qualified Chartered Accountant and specialises in corporate finance with a specific interest in listed entities and stock markets. Robbie has written a number of publications on listing equities and debt instruments in Africa and foreign direct investment into Africa.
Robbie is married to Terence Cheadle and they have two lovely boys, Gregory and Michael. Michael (aged 11) is the co-author of the Sir Chocolate series of books and attends school in Johannesburg. Gregory (aged 14) is an avid reader and assists Robbie and Michael with filming and editing their YouTube videos and editing their books
More about Robbie and Michael’s books a little later, now it is time to find out which of the questions Robbie has decided to respond to.
How would you describe your fashion sense?
I never really thought I had any fashion sense as I have a blatant disregard for fashion. My Mother, however, says that I do have a fashion sense, it just isn’t really like anyone else’s. She says it is quaint and quirky.
I am a chartered accountant by training. People have a perception of chartered accountants, especially the women, as having a very conservative way of dressing. Grey, black and navy suits are what come to mind, with formal shirts or blouses, nylons and high heeled court shoes.
I have never favoured these colours or suits of any description. I like to wear colourful and bright clothes in yellows, pinks, pale blues and oranges. During the summer I wear full skirts with frilly, tight fitting tops and flat ballet-style shoes. Alternatively, I wear short dresses with high heeled shoes and no nylons. I love cardigans and have at least 50 in my cupboard. I have a cardigan for every occasion.
Sally here: I found this lovely photo of Robbie on Facebook at a book show wearing a beautiful red dress.
During the winter I like to wear slim fit trousers in bright colours or which sport flowery patterns. I wear long shirts over these trousers with a jersey or cardigan, colourful scarf and often short boots.
Even my hair no longer behaves itself and has gone quite wavy over the past few years. I wear it quite long now and often loose and wavy with a clip to keep it out of my eyes. No short and sharp power haircuts for me.
What do you consider the best “cake” that you prepare – and have you the recipe?
The most popular cake I make is a moist and rich chocolate cake. It is best made in a deep tin. It is not ideal for fondant icing but, as it is my family’s favourite, I often use it, together with a lovely milk vanilla cake recipe, to make a marble cake which is suitable for fondant icing.
I made a short video of how to make the rich chocolate cake which gives the ingredients. I don’t like making videos, partly because my son, Gregory, never seems to have time to do the filming and editing now that he is in high school, and partly because I often do my baking early in the morning when he wouldn’t be around anyway and I am still in my pyjamas. I have never fancied marketing myself as a pyjama-clad baker.
Sally here: You can find a number of tutorial videos on Robbie’s Youtube channel but I have to admit that I was very engaged in her video on how to make my favourite…. Choc Chip Cookies.
What is your favourite childhood song and why?
When I was a young girl we did not have a television in our home. I had to entertain myself by reading books and listening to my Mom’s record collection on her old and battered record player. Before she gave birth to me, my Mom used to enjoy to go to the theatre in London as often as possible. She would buy the record of the Broadway production after the show. She had a huge collection of Broadway records. I loved these records. I used to listen to them over and over again and I learned all the words and would sing along. My younger sister, Cath, also joined me quite often and she also learned the words. Our favourites were Mame, Cabaret, My Fair Lady, Fiddler on the Roof and The Sound of Music.
When my family moved into our new house and my parents moved into the cottage on the same property, my Mom gave her records to me. I still keep them in the old trunk she brought with her from England when we first came out to South Africa when I was a little girl. I often pull them out and listen to them and sometimes the boys come and listen to.
Their favourite is The Warrior from the South African musical Ipi Ntombi.
What is something you look forward to when you retire?
I harbour a hope that when I retire, I will finally have the time to do all the things I want to do. At the moment, I work full time in a demanding job, help my boys with their homework, projects and studying and also write poetry and prose, bake and make my fondant figurines. As a result, I am always frantically busy and never seem to get everything done that I want too. I hope when I retire this will change a bit but it may not as I may just find new projects to take on.
If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
I would love to live in England. I love the history and the literature that you find in England. I am not an outdoors person, preferring to spend my time doing fondant art, writing and reading to being outside. I try to squeeze in a bit of walking and pilates for health reasons but it is not a primary love.
I have travelled the UK a bit and my favourite areas are around Canterbury. I love the castles, Cathedral and other historical and religious points of interest. I feel quite familiar with this area now which is an added attraction.
I also enjoy Reading and the surrounding areas. I did enjoy Suffolk, and we have lots of family there, but I think if we moved we would need to be either close to London or Reading from a work perspective.
And I hope Robbie achieves her retirement dream and ends up living in the UK… and I thought that to end her interview I would share one of her music choices with this snippet from My Fair Lady.
Time to take a closer look at books by Robbie and Michael Cheadle
About Sir Chocolate and the Sugar Crystal Caves story and cookbook.
Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet get sugar water from the Sugar Crystal Caves to make delicious goodies for their shop. Unfortunately something is making the crystals melt. What can Sir Chocolate do? Includes four lovely new recipes.
One of the recent reviews for Sir Chocolate and the Sugar Crystal Caves.
This latest adventure of Sir Chocolate contains some of the most beautiful decorations in the series so far – the Chrystal Cave must have taken ages to construct and the other fondant figurines are lovely. The recipes are ideal for children as it shows them to make aeroplanes and wind mills with wafer biscuits. Sir Chocolate and Lade Sweet embark on another adventure to make sure that the sugar crystals won’t melt and they would still be able to make cool drinks for the inhabitants.
And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Robbie-Cheadle/e/B01N9J62GQ
Read more reviews and follow Robbie on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15584446.Robbie_Cheadle
Connect to Robbie and Michael
Thank you for visiting today and I know Robbie would love to receive your comments and answer any of your questions.. thanks Sally.