Tuesday, December 20, 2011

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Apryl Baker, Author of The Promise

Good Lord, who doesn't enjoy a gooey yummy delicious treat?  That is what I think about when I think about books.  I love food and tend to use a lot of those references when describing what I'm reading or writing.  I grew up in a kitchen reading while my Gran showed me how to cook.  I learned to associate food with good and bad memories.  We celebrated in the kitchen and we came together to cope with pain and loss in the kitchen.  I learned to throw my feelings and passions into creating food, each dish showcasing what I was feeling.  I owe all that to my Gran who took something as simple as basic as food and showed me a form of art that got my creative skills working.  I don't think I would be the writer I am today without learning from her how to express things in food.  So hats off to my Grandmother who is 101 years old and still living well. 

My debut novel, The Promise, is centered in the world of witchcraft.  Not Wicca, but real witchcraft.  Wicca is more of a religion and witchcraft, at least for the intents and purposes of the book, doesn't need prayers and deities.  Instead, it uses the Elements around them to manipulate magic.  The more I developed the concept, the more I realized that it was like being back in my Gran's kitchen.  Witchcraft needs ingredients to create spells and potions, just like any good recipe does.  So I sat down and planned out my spells just as I did any menu I create for an event or special dinner.  It all came together nicely for me once I realized I could pull from all those kitchen memories. 

My main character, Cassie, is like a good wine.  She has layers upon layers of flavor to her.  With each chapter, another piece of her complex personality unfolds, just like the flavor of a good wine that rolls and wraps around your tongue.  She's sweet, innocent, yet saucy and more than a little sassy.  Her story is one of discovery about who she is, her past, her present, and what her future could hold.  You could think it of it as a seven course meal.  Each element of the meal tells a story that leads into the next course.  The Promise is as at heart a mystery and in almost every chapter you get hints of the truth, and the more questions you get answered, it leads you to even more questions, right up until the very end of the book.  Each chapter leads into the next course and the final course, while delicious, still leaves you with just a hint of longing for a second helping of the luscious dessert. 

Now what would a YA book be without a love interest?  In walks Mr. Melt In Your Mouth Gorgeous, Ethan Warren.  From the second she meets him, she's fascinated with his rich dark chocolaty hair and searing gray eyes.  His voice is rich like dark chocolate and his eyes can make her melt like butter on the hottest summer day with just a glance.  The more times she spends with him, the more she craves her own personal M&M.  Ethan is like one of those dishes you see, it looks fabulous, tastes like Heaven, but you know if you start to ask questions about the ingredients that make up the dish, you'll fear you will become ill because you know it's not something you'd normally eat.  So it is with Ethan.  He looks like a yummy delicious sweet but you know if you start digging, you'll uncover something you'd never in your life eat.  But the question is after you've tasted the Ambrosia that is the dish, would you care what was in it?  That is the question that faces Cassie and one that she is forced to answer. 

My favorite character in the book is Neighbor Boy Jeff.  He has lived next door to Cassie since she was born.  He started out as a background character, but wrote himself into the book.  He became Cassie's anchor, her life raft in a sea of lies.  He was her strength and the more she leaned on him, the stronger her feelings became for him.  He grew on her so to speak much like blue cheese grows on you, lol.  I have a fondness for cheese fries and blue cheese sauce.  I hated the taste of blue cheese to start with, but the more I tasted it, the better I liked it.  Jeff was like that.  The more he popped up in the story, the more I liked him.  He wove himself into the novel and Cassie's heart, he grew on her. 

There are a huge number of people who want her with Jeff and just as many who want her with Ethan.  Personally, I still haven't made up my mind as to whom she will end up with in the long run.  I want to let it grow and see where the stories take me.  Who knows what sort of nonsense will ensue over the next few books and how much her feelings can and will change for either or both of them.  Time will tell.  

Either way, I'll keep writing the tales of the Coven with a warm cup of cocoa and piece of chocolate cheese cake to get me through the worst of my writer's block.  I hope anyone who reads The Promise comes away happy, sated, and wanting more. 

Thank you for having me and listening to my ramblings.  Happy Holidays to everyone!

Thank you for stopping by to share some food for thought, Apryl!

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