Last week, for Weekend Cooking, I reviewed Pies & Peril: a Culinary Competition Mystery by Janel Gradowski. This week, Janel stopped by for an interview!
Do you bake every thing that Amy bakes? Or, are these treats for your imagination?
Most of the foods start out as imaginary dishes. I keep track of every food that is mentioned in a story and then decide which ones I want to develop into actual recipes. Once in awhile, like for the tomato pies, I come up with the recipe first and then integrate it into a story. I came up with that recipe last summer when I couldn’t resist the heirloom tomatoes at the farmer’s market. Not only did the pie make it into Pies & Peril, so did the farmer’s market, although the one I go to isn’t quite as crowded as the fictional one in Kellerton.
As a librarian, I’m always interested in the research that authors do for their books. What research was required for Pies & Peril and what were your best resources?
I didn’t really have to do a lot of research for Pies & Peril. I love watching Food Network and Cooking Channel. I also have a huge collection of cookbooks. Between those things, the many cooking blogs I follow and Pinterest I found lots of ideas for the foods I mentioned. The book is set in a fictional Michigan town. I have lived in Michigan my entire life, so I took bits and pieces of the many cities I have visited in the state and turned them into Kellerton, the small town where Amy lives. I guess you could say paying attention to things in my everyday life was the research.
Is Pies & Peril the first in a series of culinary competition mysteries? Can you give us a clue about what we can expect next?
I am working on the next book for the series. I will also be writing a short story based on the series that will be published in an anthology for the holiday season. For Book #2 readers will get to experience winter in Michigan. Instead of pies, chicken soup will play an important part in the book. Some minor characters in Pies & Peril will return to take on more prominent roles. Of course, there will be lots of food and some interesting new characters to read about.