07-21-18 Patricia Sargeant

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Food Isn't Everything

Hi everyone! I am YA author B A Binns , writer of contemporary and realistic fiction for teens. My tagline tells you what I am about - Stories of Real Boys Growing Into Real Men - and the people who love them. 

I don't know if I'm the only Genre-ista who thinks cooking is a pastime invented by the devil, but  I do. So when I saw this month's topic, I cringed. Honestly I believe God invented restaurants and microwave oven for a reason.  In my twenties I accumulated a ton of cookbooks, I guess thinking the proximity might inspire me. Nothing. Most were never even opened. I watch Master Chef and Hell's Kitchen, mostly to get ideas of what to order when I eat out.

Yet, the characters in my books cook. In fact, after my fourth manuscript someone brought to my attention that my character's are always making spaghetti. (I admit its a personal favorite and one of the few foods I do actually cook because I can boil water.)

In my Work In Progress, entitled The Last Logan, my heroine, Beverly Jefferson, is an ace in the kitchen. She is also an ace Investigative Reporter in Chicago. She does everything from brew her own almond-infused Arabica bean coffee (because no coffee shop barista knows how to make coffee to her specifications and convenience is never an  excuse for compromise), to making multi-course
and supremely healthy meals for her nine-year-old daughter who longs for the taste of unhealthy snacks.

Frankly, if my mother fixed this "nutritious food" for my nine-year-old self I'd have plotted to run away and seek out so something supremely unhealthy myself. Fortunately the little girl in my story has a wonderful grandmother who helps her plot against her mother.

Even Beverly ends up fixing spaghetti as a special treat for the hero so the two former -- and soon to be reunited -- lovers can reminisce about their college days spent haunting a little off-campus Italian restaurant. (She also conjures up a mean Antipasto salad for their special meal.)

Different foods are valuable for different people in different situations.  And Beverly does spend a scene dining in a high-end Chicago restaurant for a meeting between herself and one of her confidential informants. 

Here's a scene from The Last Logan. In all honesty, this scene has been removed in favor of a much more private scene between the two women. That change is actually better for the story as a whole, but I am happy my Romancing The Genre readers will get to see the lunch in all it's original glory. (BTW, there really is a small out of the way, high-end restaurant that features this menu in Chicago, and yes, the food there is "to die for.") I hope you enjoy this banter between two friends, only one of which remains alive at the end of the book.


Sarah Raplee said...

"In my twenties I accumulated a ton of cookbooks, I guess thinking the proximity might inspire me. Nothing. Most were never even opened." Me, too! My husband is the great cook in the family.

Loved this excerpt! Can't wait for this book!

Judith Ashley said...

There was a time I cooked, actually made our own bread each week along with a pan of cinnamon rolls or pecan sticky buns. Those days are far in the past and have been for many decades. However, in my books you will find the men stepping up and doing the cooking. from scratch!

Your final bit of conversation in your excerpt elicited a smile and a chuckle. Thanks for sharing!!!

Lynn Lovegreen said...

Not al of us are born to be cooks, but with restaurants like the one you describe, B.A., who needs to? Fun excerpt, too!

Diana McCollum said...

Loved your post! the excerpt was a nice bonus!