Friday, November 16, 2018

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Nick Cook, Author of Cloud Riders

Jake Stevens is one lucky teenager because his mom, Sue Stevens, runs the famous Twister Diner, the best place for food this side of anywhere and favoured haunt for storm chasers. So what might Sue be serving her patrons that has made her so famous?

A day in Twister Dinner might start with an Eye of the Storm breakfast, a stack of smoked bacon on silky scrambled eggs, with that essential stack of pancakes, the best maple syrup and fresh strawberries on the side, and all arrange in an inverted tornado shape. One of Jake’s favourite meals is his mom’s slow cooked chill with its melt in the mouth meat with just the right hit of spice tang to tickle your taste buds. Then of course to finish there’s the baked cheese cake that storm chasers have been known to cross the state to grab a slice.

Cloud Riders also deals with parallel worlds. In Breaking Storm, Jake journeys to Floating City, a place that’s literally constructed from hundreds of thousands of airships. I had a huge amount of fun creating the ultimate noodle bar, a place called called Ramas. Think steampunk themed restaurant with food delivered to the tables via a pneumatic system and you’ll get the general idea. However, when Jake tries his first ever bowl of Sanfire Noodles, he makes the huge mistake eating the spiced leaf on top of the noodles and that nearly blows off the top of his head! This was actually based on a real life incident… When I visited San Francisco a long time ago, I tried sushi for the very first time. How was I to know that wasabi shouldn’t be eaten like a green been? The look on my colleague’s face was priceless as I swallowed it whole and she too late tried to stop me. As a man who enjoys spicy food I will never forget that intense wasabi heat travelling all the way down to my stomach and burning all the way. Think of that when you’re reading that sequence with Jake!

I always notice references to food in novels and I find it easy to tell if it’s written by someone who actually cooks or not…and just so you know cooking is a huge passion of mine much to the joy of my wife. In stories food is another strand of world building that helps bring texture and bring life to a story. And sometimes food is there for the joy of it. I mean who wouldn’t want to experience a banquet at Hogwarts under a roof with a moving celestial sky on it? Yes, J.K. Rowling definitely cooks!

In my latest Fractured Light trilogy, food once again is there taking a central role at times. Food is life, so why not reflect that in one’s writing? And coffee, there always has to be great coffee!

So to conclude, I do love great food and it seems, having read this back to myself, so do my characters!

Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought, Nick!

You can find Nick here:

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