Marian Allen, author of the Sage series, has invited me to participate in a Tasty Summer Reads Blog Hop. I love food, and it does show up in my writing. Four ’til Late has mentions of roadside diner food and Cajun food in Memphis and New Orleans. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.
Here is the blog hop general blurb:
Welcome to the Tasty Summer Reads Blog Hop! Each participant invites a number of others to answer five questions about a recent or forthcoming release, and a recipe that fits with it. Links to the participants I have invited may be found in a while, just above the extract and recipe. Their contributions should be in place soon after this, so check out their blogs over the next few days.
Now for the Random Tasty Questions:
1) When writing are you a snacker? If so sweet or salty?
Usually salty, though I’ve got to watch how much I have. One writing getaway for me is to take my netbook or my Neo to the Broad Ripple Brew Pub and order the beer cheese crock. I’ll admit, it’s hard to type and dunk chunks of bread in tasty tasty beer cheese fondue, but it’s worth the distraction.
2) Are you an outliner or someone who writes by the seat of their pants? And are they real pants or jammies?
I started out as a pantser, and I still love when my writing can be spontaneous. I do outlines now to lay down rails to keep things moving forward, because if I have a day where I have to ask “what next?” I could get stuck. The rails are just guidelines though, if my characters demand something off the rails, I let them jump track into uncharted territory. I’ll fix the outline later.
Hmm, I guess I’d have to say real pants. Working in jammies would make me feel lazier. Plus, I often go places to write, and I’m not a jammies-in-public type person.
3) When cooking, do you follow a recipe or do you wing it?
My mom used to ask my brother and me if we liked dinner, and whether she should keep the recipe. We’d just laugh, because mom never did anything the same way twice. I’m like that. I might make something per recipe the first time, but once I get the idea down, I like to experiment with different ingredients. I’m also a pro at taking whatever’s on hand and making something out of it. It’s a little like a timed flash fiction contest at that point.
4) What is next for you after this book?
Four ’til Late kicks off the Road Ghosts trilogy, and the second book in the series has just passed editing and is getting ready for layout and artwork. It has some food elements as well, but they’re a bit more… disturbing.
5) Last question…on a level of one being slightly naughty and ten being whoo hoo steamy, how would you rate your book?
Four ’til Late has some off-camera sex, but it’s suggestive in parts, so I’ll give it a 3. It’s not the book’s main focus, but there is an old flame being fanned back to life as part of the story.
Sample from Four ’til Late
Everyone took his or her shot glass. Liz sniffed hers and shrugged.
Brett grinned at Gonzo. Jimbo was still staring at the murky gravylooking
stew in the middle of the table. “A toast,” cried Gonzo.
“I have to do this one at least once this trip. To friends and love.”
The others murmured a repeat of his words and clinked their little
glasses together. Gonzo and Jimbo threw back the shots and made
horrible faces at first. Gonzo’s melted into a happy smile, and he
took one of the beer glasses to wash it down.
Brett sipped, then gulped down the shot, closed his eyes, and
coughed. He reached for his beer as well. Liz sipped at her shot,
and when Gonzo looked expectantly at her, she rolled her eyes and
downed the other half, putting the glass down in the table with a
clack. She held a calm expression on her face for a few beats, but
then grabbed her water glass and took a long pull on the straw,
cheeks flushing pink.
Jimbo looked distressed, since he had not ordered a chaser. He
sighed and grabbed a soup spoon and lifted some Gator Gumbo
to his mouth. He looked at it for a moment, then slurped it down.
He smiled. His voice was rough as he said, “Can’t taste gator, it
might as well be chicken, but mmm, it’s tangy.” He looked at Liz
and asked, “I probably really don’t want to ask what’s in this, do
Liz giggled and shook her head.
Red beans & rice recipe
Once upon a time, I went on a road trip to New Orleans, and the first thing I did when I got back was to learn to make red beans and rice.
1 can (14oz) red beans
1 can (14oz) diced tomatoes
12oz beer (light flavored)
1 medium onion, diced
1 small green bell pepper, diced
8oz smoked sausage, diced
1 cup raw white rice
Cayenne pepper to taste
OIl a high walled skillet and heat to medium-high. Add onions and sausage, stirring fairly often, until onions are clear and sausage is browned. Pour in red beans and tomatoes, add 3 shakes of cayenne pepper and the diced green peppers. Stir until simmering. Pour in beer and raise heat to high to bring to a boil. Add rice, continuing to boil for 1 minute. Cover, reduce heat to med-low. Cook covered for 20 minutes. Makes 4 servings.
Works well as a main dish or as a side, and leaving out the sausage makes this a tasty vegetarian dish as well.