We have a new book to plug. It’s by extraordinary author, Carly Ellen Kramer. She was gracious enough to sit for an interview. Here it is:
Q&A with Carly Ellen Kramer, author of the novel How to Bake a Chocolate Soufflé
Tell me a little about what led you to write this book. Is there a story behind the story?
Well, don’t tell anyone (ha ha), but I have a birthday ending with a zero approaching… and it isn’t 20! Birthdays with zeros tend to make women a bit reflective, I think. Lately I’ve been reflecting a lot upon my longest lasting friendships – how important they are, but also how unfortunately easy they can be to neglect with so many other adult responsibilities looming. How to Bake a Chocolate Soufflé tells the story of three women who became close friends during their college years, drifted very far apart as their lives took them in different directions, and then reconnected twenty years later. In the novel and in real life, true friendships don’t have an expiration date.
You’ve referred to How to Bake a Chocolate Soufflé as “women’s fiction.” How is that different from, say, “new adult” or “young adult” genres?
That’s a good question. I enjoy new adult/young adult fiction, and there are certainly elements of those genres in Soufflé. After all, the three women featured in the book meet when they are eighteen years old! This novel is better categorized as women’s fiction because it carries the story of the main characters forward, well beyond their teens and early twenties. I sometimes feel left short at the end of new adult/young adult novels, particularly when there is a brief epilogue offering a brief, tidy summary of the future. It’s as if all the good stuff – the comedy, the drama, the romance – ends in your early 20s. Nothing could be further from the truth! How to Bake a Chocolate Soufflé offers a refreshing portrayal of how exciting it can be to mature into one’s full self, greeting the twists and turns of life with enthusiasm!
What an unusual title…
[laughing] Yes, I suppose. Audrey, one of the key characters in the novel, learned an important life lesson while baking a chocolate soufflé, and the name stuck. Having a recipe reference in the title is also appropriate because there are recipes in the novel. So many pivotal life experiences are connected in some manner to food that I decided to bring the relationship to the fore. In places where food is central to the story (special dinners, that sort of thing), I’ve included the recipes.
Recipes in a fiction novel… isn’t that distracting?
No, not at all. Recipes are included unobtrusively at the ends of chapters. Where readers connect with characters, they can try their hand at a recipe to extend the story a bit. Between Audrey, Madeleine, and Annie, readers are bound to connect with a character! I love the inclusion of recipes in Barbara O’Neal’s novels, and have made the blackberry cobbler from one of Toni Blake’s Destiny novels more than once, so it seemed fitting to include recipes in my own writing.
Beyond your writing, do you spend a lot of time in the kitchen?
Oh, yes! I’m also a food blogger, and regularly post my own original recipes at www.crowdedearthkitchen.com – stop by for a visit!
Where can readers find your book?
How to Bake a Chocolate Soufflé is available in paperback and Kindle eBook at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/How-To-Bake-Chocolate-Souffl%C3%A9/dp/0692292101
Signed copies (no extra charge!) are also available at: http://crowdedearthkitchen.com/buy-the-book/
Thank you, Tracey, for allowing me to visit Book Mistress! Happy reading!