Behind the Book: The Food Series

1. Where did you get the idea of combining recipes with a romantic comedy?

When I was coming up with the idea for this series, I sat down and made a list of the things that are most important to me. Family, love and food made that list—and some days food is at the top, depending on whether there’s any chocolate in the house! I have always loved to cook and loved books that incorporated food into the storyline, then wondered what it would be like to have my characters reflect that love. Hence, the idea for having the characters write the recipes was born . . . and an entire series based on my three favorite things was concocted.

2. How did you come up with the plot for The Devil Served Tortellini?

It sprang out of necessity! After I wrote The Bride Wore Chocolate, I had, ah, gained a few pounds from testing all those recipes. Each book I write in this series leaves me a few pounds heavier. (How I suffer for my craft – those rum balls were just torture to consume!). This means I need to watch my diet after I turn the book in. I decided to write a book about a woman on a continual diet (having been there myself), who meets a man who undoes her best intentions. Any mom with kids who crave Twinkies will know all about the temptations the people you love can bring into the house.

3. Among the characters that you have created for this series, do you have a personal favorite?

I have to say I love them all! I love Grandma Woodrow in The Bride Wore Chocolate, because she’s not afraid to live her life. I love Vinny in The Devil Served Tortellini (despite his faults), because he lets his feelings show. I love the Chubby Chums (an off-the-wall support group for people who want to slim down); I love the heroine, Maria, who is on a mission to lose weight, and especially Dante, the wicked chef/restauranteur who tempts Maria with food and a whole lot more. I have to say I am always partial to my heroes, but each one of my characters has a tiny part of them that I admire, and, thus, they all become close to my heart.

4. Why does Pretty Bad have a different, two-word title?

A couple of reasons. One, Kensington wanted to make my name bigger because I have more name recognition (after that New York Times hit with Sugar and Spice) [compare the size of my name between Bachelor and Pretty Bad; it’s kinda cool to see the change]. Two, they wanted a nice segue to Really Something, which will be my December 2007 title (which is not a food book) and three, there weren’t too many cute and catchy titles we could come up with for cheese and models ;-).

5. Why do you reference the Top of the Hub restaurant so often?

That’s the restaurant my husband took me to the night he proposed, and of course, since it’s my life, there’s a funny story behind that. My husband had planned a romantic night, but he forgot the ring (he says it was on purpose…uh-huh). Anyway, here we are in this fancy-dancy restaurant, a couple of kids, really (we were 21 and 22), at the top of the Prudential, all dressed up, trying to act well-mannered. I ordered lobster.

Big mistake.

In trying to be all nice and neat and prim and proper, I ended up flinging a huge hunk of lobster at the wall. Where it stuck. So if you ever go to Top of the Hub and notice a dried up old hunk of lobster (assuming they never found it), that’s from me ;-).

A side note DH did pick up the ring later and did successfully propose 🙂

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