Deb Sarah on Snacking Her Way Through Writing THE VIOLETS OF MARCH

My dear readers, I will confess, there was a lot of snacking going on when I wrote THE VIOLETS OF MARCH. But can you blame me? I was pregnant (with boy #2–I’ve got boy #3 in the oven now!)! So as I sat at my desk typing away, I had an assortment of munchies to keep me going. My faves: almonds, vanilla kefir, chocolate (plenty of it), sliced granny smith apples, pistachios, and occasionally toast (see below).

Creativity requires plenty of fuel (even if it’s not really that great of a calorie-burning experience)! And, without snacks, I’d find myself running low on energy and ideas and would end my writing sessions early. But with plenty of munchies (and a big, tall glass of water) nearby, I could sustain hours of writing, and I think it’s why I was able to finish the book before my baby arrived. (For the record, I wrote another novel during this pregnancy. It’s done now, and it will soon be coming out into the world. Details on that soon!)

I wanted to leave you with a fun excerpt from THE VIOLETS OF MARCH shared by the lovely Dawn at the beautiful book blog She Is Too Fond of Books. Dawn runs a feature every Saturday, which is hosted by fellow book blogger Beth, of Beth Fish Reads, called Weekend Cooking, where she shares a bit of foodie fun from a book she’s reading. She was so kind to share this passage from my novel, where my heroine, Emily, reminisces about her aunt Bee’s breakfast habits:

“Bee. I could picture her immediately at her Bainbridge Island kitchen table. For every day I have known her, she has eaten the same breakfast: sourdough toast with butter and whipped honey. She slices the golden brown toasted bread into four small squares and places them on a paper towel she has folded in half. A generous smear of softened butter goes on each piece, as thick as frosting on a cupcake, and each is then topped by a good-size dollop of whipped honey. As a child, I watched her do this hundreds of times, and now, when I’m sick, sourdough toast with butter and honey is like medicine.”

You know who inspired this passage? My late grandmother Cecelia, who ate this exact breakfast for decades. Coincidentally, I co-dedicated the book to her. I only wish she could have lived to see it.

Let’s talk food and writing/reading–are you a snacker when you write/read? Do you love reading about food in books? (I do!)

xo, Sarah

17 Replies to “Deb Sarah on Snacking Her Way Through Writing THE VIOLETS OF MARCH”

  1. I’ve been a snacker in general since I was pregnant with my middle son (now almost 6). I worked a VERY boring job, made even more boring by the fact that I worked from midnight until 8 am. Now I can’t seem to give up the habit….but the extra 20 lbs. I’m now carrying say that I should!!!

  2. Nothing. I use music to feed my brain. Maybe coffee nearby or selzter water. My computer desk has always been TINY. And now I have an armoire – so I’ve little extra space for even a mug. Sad, isn’t it?

  3. Food definitely rules certain scenes in my books… but smells rule more. Many of them are food smells, and they, like your passage, often come from memories, as do the settings.

    So nice that this is in Bainbridge Island. Beautiful place. We visited it last year, before we moved from Seattle. Now, oddly, we live in Bainbridge, GA. Weird. Perhaps even mythic.

  4. I only snack while writing when I’m freaking out and Lamott station KFKD is telling me no one will like what I’m doing. When I’m on a roll, hours go by and I forget to eat!

    I do, however, drink alarming amounts of coffee.

  5. I tend to just drink – water, tea or coffee. If I snacked, it probably wouldn’t be on apple slices (although I like them) but things like peanut butter cups or peanut M&Ms or, well, you get the picture.

    PS: One of my grandmothers was named Cecelia, too. 🙂

  6. Actually Weekend Cooking is hosted by me on my blog BETH FISH READS ( Dawn is a good friend of mine and participates but she is not the host or the originator of the Weekend Cooking feature.

    I did love that passage Dawn shared last weekend.

  7. Morning Beth! I tweaked the sentence slightly to reflect that you are host of the Weekend Cooking feature (such a fun post idea). 🙂 xo

  8. Madeline, love that your grandma’s name is Cecelia too! Mine was called Cece growing up, which I think is so cute. Too bad I’ll never have a girl (3 boys for me!). xo

  9. Shakespeare, Bainbridge, GA?! Too cool. I didn’t know such a city existed! And, Kim and Elise, you two are my heroes–seltzer water and zero calories!? Clearly this is why you two are in great shape! xo

  10. I am DEFINITELY a reading snacker. (Less so when I’m writing because I tend to edit by reading aloud and snacks throw off the rhythm.) Favorite snacks are blister peanuts (they’re crunchier than regular roasted ones), pretzels and lemon cupcakes (but in fairness, it’s always a good time for lemon cupcakes).

    Ironically, my grandmother ate a breakfast similar to your aunt – and instilled in me a lifetime love of sourdough toast with butter and honey!

  11. As you know, Sarah, I am a big foodie as a writer, but as a reader, I confess to being much more susceptible to chowing down on Pretzel M&Ms! (Now, of course, I’m craving honey and whipped butter on toast…)

  12. Jael, I’m craving it too! I love to have tea or coffee when I write. I snack, too, but not always. But having a chunky pottery mug with something warm inside is necessary for me to write!
    Sarah, as I read this snippet I’m getting nostalgic for your novel and wanting to read it again… and cannot wait to read the next one!

  13. Sarah P., thank you for the sweet comment! I need that chunky pottery mug, too, or, rather, my current pregnancy fave: Talking Rain peach-nectarine sparkling water, so randomly satisfying! xo

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