I told the caterer I'd work for nothing if he'd teach me about catering. I lasted one week full-time. It was exhausting.
Catering is extremely demanding financially and physically. It's a business.
I'm always astonished to see how badly people can behave when they think no one is noticing.
I write in the morning - and then I'm always experimenting and tasting recipes for the books.
What one's goal should be is just to become a better writer and to tell different kinds of stories.
When I make a recipe for the first time and it's fabulous, I know I'm in trouble because I don't know exactly what I did, and I can't replicate it.
One thing that improved my cooking skills was being a poor student in California... If you don't have much money, you have to learn to cook.
The main thing I look for in a recipe is taste, which is different from caterers and restaurants, who first ask 'How does it look?'
When I started to write culinary mysteries, I did it because nobody was doing it anymore.
After I outlined 'Catering to Nobody,' I went and worked for a caterer. And the other thing I had to do was to talk to the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department about how they investigated a crime.
I like cream cheese in just about anything.
I wanted to be a literary writer, so I wrote story after story and sent them to 'The New Yorker.'
In a mystery, the sleuth must be believably involved and emotionally invested in solving the crime.
Writing is work and cooking is relaxing.
The thing is, if you make best-sellerdom your goal, you're going to be in trouble. It's a very nice thing to have happen, but if one makes that a goal like, say, a literary writer has the goal of getting the Pulitzer Prize, that's so unpredictable.
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