NOTE: Olive and Grape is in New Hope, not Bryn Mawr, sorry!
This week the Fictionistas are talking about what we eat while we write. I had to make something up because I don’t eat anything while writing. I don’t eat or drink, I don’t listen to music, I turn off my phone – if I could bring my laptop into one of those Altered States isolation pods, I would. (I don’t think ASUS makes a waterproof lappy.) The only things I have no choice but to deal with are the extremely agressive displays of affection my cats like to shower me with. A couple times a day, one or the other decides it’s time to LOVE ME NOW MOMMY OMG CAN I SIT ON WARM SQUARE LIGHT UP THING??????
Of course they can. Exhibit A:
Anyway, now that I have my lap back (for the moment), I think I realized how important food can be to a novel – particularly a fantasy novel – when I talked to Chelsea, one of the creators of the website/cookbook Inn at the Crossroads, which is the official Game of Thrones food blog. (Stop what you’re doing and make Honeyed Chicken. It is the literal best.) There is A LOT of food in GOTS and it not only gives you break from all the murder/rape/torture/general nastiness but also opens a window into the lives the characters lead. The folks in Dorne eat very differently from those on The Wall, for instance.
I tried to apply that in my own series. After their world was devastated by war, the people of Eriis used their natural ability to translate one thing into another by turning sand (and eventually rats) into any kind of food they wanted. As we come to discover, it doesn’t taste like it used to, but a whole generation grows up not knowing any different. When my hero travels (because of reasons!) to the human world of Mistra, he’s astonished at how intense all the flavors are, among many other things. (I also gave him a nut allergy, because he doesn’t have enough going on.) He develops a particular fondness for pears. You’ll see. (Update: Carly the Great is editing right now, and it’ll be ready to go in October.)
This month the Fictionistas are talking about indulgences, and next up, we’ll tackle profanity. See you *%**$^&Y*E next *8&^&($ week, (&$*6(*&^%!