It is all about cooking with the wines made in the Carolinas. We haven’t found anything like my book on the market. I definitely would have purchased it though, because I love NC wine and food. If I compare it to something, hopefully it comes close to an informal version of say Wine Country Cooking by Joanne Weir or The Wine Lover’s Cookbook: Great Recipes for the Perfect Glass of Wine by Sid Goldstein, Paul Franz-Moore and John Ash, although these focus on pairings. My book focuses on using the wines in cooking. Also those are counter style cookbooks, and Carolina Wine Country Cooking is meant to be a companion on the road, visiting wineries in the Carolinas and then to be used at home with the wines found along the way.
What inspired you to write this particular book?
I was inspired by my love of the experiences that food and travel extend to our lives. Sharing my recipes with others is one way to spread that love.
How long did it take you to write your book?
Folks ask me this all the time, and the answer truly is “I don’t know” because it was only an extensive form of journaling when I met my publisher. I am about to find out how long the second book will take. We have an anticipated release set for the Salute Wine and Food Festival in Downtown Winston-Salem, NC in late spring 2013.
What is your goal for the book, ie: what do you want people to take with them after they finish reading the story?
Since my publisher has asked for a series, I am excited that the conversation is continuing. There are so many ways these stories about wine and the industry can be told. There will be more than just recipes in the next volume. I will be including short stories, interviews, special photography and poetry intertwined in these beautiful Carolina Vines. So my hope for this is that people will actually take the book along on their visits to wineries. When they read the extras, I hope they will come back to me when my fiction works are published.
What was the most difficult part about writing the book?
For me, finding quality time to travel to new wineries and get a tasting from the staff, is difficult. There is a lot of territory out there to cover. That is why I am so thankful that in the western part of the state there are large AVA areas with high concentrations of wineries and vineyards in close proximity to each other. I can take long weekends and make it to several locations.
What are you working on right now?
I can’t wait to see what happens next. It has been so exciting. This book includes recipes for savory and sweet uses of your favorite Carolina wines from Scuppernong to Cabernet. It is also a kitchen journal for the reader to use in creating their own dishes. My cooking advice is simple, “follow your palate and in all dishes, seek a balance first. The majority of us want that in our dishes. We want comfort in our lives and in our food”. I also don’t want you to forget to occasionally try something new, “you might find comfort there too!”
When where you first published? How were you discovered?
In high school, I found joy in most of my writing assignments but was told by an English teacher that I admired very much, “It will never happen”. Over that summer I progressed in a job I held and followed some advice I received from my boss. He saw good business sense in me I suppose. That was when my focus shifted into finance and business management. During college, I was told by a professor that they thought I would make a good investigative journalist. However at the time my professional business career had already begun, and I was working part time in my field, so I stayed the course in my studies of business. Over the years I continued to write for myself, poetry, music, short stories. When my corporate job ended in 2011, writing started welling up due to the emotions of that change I believe, and I wrote a short story about a dream I had. So I was thinking a lot about writing when I found out about an event called Book Em NC. It is a writers conference and book fair in Lumberton, NC.
If your book was made into a TV series or Movie, what actors would you like to see playing your characters?
This next book will include more than just recipes, and a story or two is likely to pop up. I have a couple of actors in mind for one of the stories I am developing. Jennifer Aniston and Joaquin Phoenix would do nicely as two very unlikely “types” who could find exactly what they need in each other. Will they, even I don’t know yet, I am still letting the story percolate so to speak.
Who designed your cover?
All of the photography is my own. Somewhere along the process of just documenting my creations, I started taking some photos. When I found out that my notes were going to become a book, I had to go back and work like crazy to remake some of the dishes just to get a photo but it was fun. I self titled those weeks dinners as “The Iron Chef’s Country Cousin”.
Where can people learn more about your books?