I’ve been a pastry chef for over twenty years, and have spent my whole adult life in a kitchen, so when I set out to write my first novel, it felt very natural to build it around food.
In the first scene of my novel my protagonist, pastry chef Olivia Rawlings, is making meringue.
And the inciting incident involves a flaming baked Alaska.
The setting of THE CITY BAKER’S GUIDE TO COUNTRY LIVING is a small town in northern Vermont, where Livvy has to cut through an apple orchard to get to the sugar house where she is living.
Several kitchens, a farmers market, and a diner and tavern are all settings in the book—in fact, the majority of the book takes place in settings where the characters are making and eating food.
The external plot of the novel is driven by the need to win a county fair apple pie contest.
and the climax of the book takes place at the pie judging.
There are many scenes that include descriptions of local food, like maple creemees and apple cider donuts.
Food is even apart of my writing process! I dreamt up many of the scenes of the book while slicing flats of strawberries. I have taken story notes in between projects and have worked out my revision plans while burning sugar on top of crème brulees. I always try to end my writing session with a list of a couple of questions to ponder, so I come into work prepared to do some serious thinking while my body is busy rolling out biscuit dough.
Of course, there are other elements to THE CITY BAKER’S GUIDE TO COUNTRY LIVING, but food, and all the ways it is apart of our lives—from the cultural to the traditional to the emotional—is at it’s heart.
My publisher is giving away 25 early copies of THE CITY BAKER’S GUIDE TO COUNTRY LIVING on Goodreads. Click here to enter!