I hope that Kitchen Addiction! will give folks a light-hearted, feel-good read – honestly nothing serious. That said, I think the things that may resonate with some readers might come from Mina and her employment dilemmas; and the feeling of being a round peg in a square hole. There’s also a foodie aspect here, that anyone who’s succumbed to watching back-to-back episodes of Chopped! might understand. And, there’s a perspective for pet-lovers, as Mina and her buds consider their pets family. There’s also the situation of being a 40-something single gal, and living in an unfamiliar locale, with local customs that seem a bit odd, at least to an outsider/Jersey transplant.
I'm being asked often lately what prompted me to write Kitchen Addiction! My former SOP of boatloads of money and rockstar fame wasn't taken very seriously, though... Honestly, I think most everyone has a book they want to write in their head. Luckily for me, I was let go from my job a few years ago, and found I had scads of time on my hands, in-between looking for a new job. My mom was really into Janet Evanovich at the time, and I soon began gobbling up her Stephanie Plum novels. I loved the fact that Evanovich uses first person, and that Stephanie’s from New Jersey – like me. I also love reading Marian Keyes, too, for similar reasons. And I really love living in Lancaster. So, an idea began to brew. After a little digging, I became a bit perplexed that most of the fiction I could find, using Lancaster as a setting, was about the Amish. I mean, I live here, and I’m definitely not Amish, right? So, I set out to use my local environs in a way that is fresh, writing-wise at least. I also thought it would be fun for readers to find out that most of the street names and directions given in Kitchen Addiction! are actual street names and directions in and around Lancaster, PA. And I thought it would be a unique approach to include recipes – good and bad – as part of the storyline. And, of course, I set out to write something funny.
If I could compare Kitchen Addiction! with other existing works, so a reader to could tell whether or not it's their cup of tea, I'd have to rely on my editor’s, as well as “beta readers” feedback. Nicholas J. Ambrose, of Regarding the Hive, who I’m very thankful is my editor, lives “across the pond” and put Kitchen Addiction! in the Marian Keyes category (for which I am extremely flattered.) In terms of Mina being a Jersey transplant in Central Pee-Ay; I’d say I was definitely influenced by Janet Evanovich. Other writing style comments from my first readers in the States have compared me to Erma Bombeck. All of these comparisons frankly make me feel very happy and grateful; especially as they did not include references to anesthesiology digests or other soporifics.