My stories make people hungry.
I once did a reading at a local library just before lunch. One of the women in attendance made a point to find me later in the afternoon at the table where I was signing books to let me know that she had to order a grilled cheese from the cafe because of the scene I read. It was my proudest moment as an author. Also my most confusing one.
Because, I don’t write about food.
The book wasn’t a foodie memoir. The character wasn’t a chef. That scene I read wasn’t even about my character making a grilled cheese. It was about her trying to get a panini press off a shelf in the recesses of her closet so she could make the sandwich the way she remembered her mom making it for her. She is standing on a chair to reach the press, starts to fall, and knocks something down as she tries to steady herself. The thing she knocks down triggers strong memories. It’s a dark moment in the story, a turning point in which she decides that she needs to take steps to move past the life she had built with her recently deceased fiance.
My stories are about becoming.
The characters I write about are shedding something old and worn out that isn’t serving them anymore. They are becoming a new versions of themselves. Just like cooking is all about putting grains, and spices, and proteins or sugar, flour, and chocolate together until they become something else. There’s an alchemy to it.
And it’s this- this alchemy of becoming, that inextricably links food and story.
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About the photos: All author photos are courtesy of the lovely and talented Thi Steele.
Disclosures: marychrisescobar.com may receive promotional copies of books featured in the Books & Brews series, however all opinions are my own.