An Interview with Jake Marcum Hero of Secrets and Charades

s-c-jakes-quoteSecrets and Charades has a very interesting hero. Jake Marcum, rancher, Civil War veteran and doting uncle. I corralled him long enough to do this interview.

Thank you so much for stopping by.

Well, ma’am, Evangeline insisted it was my turn. Not so sure how interesting I’ll be but go ahead and ask your questions.

Tell us a bit about your childhood.

I had two brothers and a sister. Our family headed west when my Pa got gold fever in ‘49. Our wagon broke down near Ben Mitchell’s place. He talked sense into Pa and taught him all he knew about ranching. Our small spread adjoined Ben’s property.

What happened to your family?

My sister run off with some no count drummer. That’s a traveling salesman. Then Clevis went back to Kentucky to attend college. He wanted to be a lawyer. I’d rather ranch. When the conflict broke out Clevis planned to join the Confederate Army. Pa sent me to Kentucky to bring him home. My older brother persuaded me to join the cause instead. He died six months later. My little brother Robert died from an injury falling off his horse. My Ma had died before I went to get Clevis and Pa died while I was away.

herd of horses

photo by morguefile.com

What was it like when you returned from the war?

Tougher than the battlefield. There was this gal, Nora. I thought we had an understanding. While I was gone, she’d married my brother and expecting their child.   Well, I ain’t proud of my action at the time. Nightmares from the war made me unfit to be around. Ben Mitchell invited me to join his outfit. He helped me dry out and introduced me to the Lord. He’d lost both his sons in the war so he kinda adopted me. I inherited his ranch when he passed. A year later Nora died in childbirth. They buried her newborn son with her. My brother and I were working out our differences when he died. My niece, Juliet come to live with me. She was six. Having her in my life helped heal the rift between Robert and me.

After your conversion, did you still have nightmares?

Sure. God changed me and helped me be a better man. But when the responsibilities of running this spread make me lose sleep—the nightmares come. And worrying about Evangeline coming gave me a few doozies. I still have them. Not as often. I reckon it’s a cross I must bear.

What challenges did you encounter taking over a ranch the size of the Double M?

Yeah. The neighbors looked at me as a gold-digger. But  I think you mention it in your book. Anyway,  Ben was a real Duke or something back in England. He called the ranch the Royal M. I think his surname was something different before he came to America. Anyway, the Double M stands for Mitchell and Marcum.  Several of Ben’s crew have stayed on with me over the years. Cookie Slade was Ben’s old foreman before he got gored by a steer. He stays on helping where he can. Don’t know what I’d do without him. He’s the one who encouraged me to take in Juliet and get me a mail-order bride.Brides71

What were you looking for in a bride?

Let just say, I think God was laughing when I made my request. He knew the kind of wife I needed even if I didn’t.

What was your biggest challenge before Evangeline came into your life?

There were two. Too few cowboys to run the ranch.  My wealthy neighbor kept stealing my men by offering them huge wages. The loyal ones stay. Sides they don’t like that Farley character much. He thinks he’s King of the county.

The second, I had to juggle teaching Juliet to read and cipher around chores. So, her education was sketchy. I felt like I’d betrayed my sister-in-law when I saw how much of a tomboy Juliet was becoming. Nora wanted her daughter to be the bell of the ball, not a ranch hand. So, finding an educated wife to teach my niece was my number priority.

Thanks so much for spending time with my readers.

My pleasure, ma’am.

If you missed my interview with Evangeline, the heroine of Secrets and Charades click here.

Jake and Evangeline’s story Secrets and Charades is available for preorder on Amazon.

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Populating Your Historical Story World

 

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Notice the diversity in these cowboys.

I am a pantster, I write my stories as my characters speak to me. I don’t usually outline and sometimes characters appear I never met until the words appear on the page. During my research in preparation for my historical novel, I was fascinated by the various nationalities, who populated the geographic setting of my story. Because the information ruminated in the back of my mind, many minor characters took shape from those tomes.

 

Potpourri of ethnicity

During the mid -1800s significant immigration by many diverse people groups to the unsettled regions of the Midwest occurred.  African Americans came west after the Civil War. Former slaves looking to start new. Irish immigrants who’d help build the railroads and were sick of big city life in the East. Some who in order to gain citizenship fought in the Civil War on both sides. Chinese nationals helped build the railroad. Wikipedia places them only on the west coast. However, my resource books show they also moved inland. Not all Native Americans were on reservations either. And Mexicans were the first immigrants to the area under the Spanish flag.

All of these nationalities took up residence either on the ranch or the surrounding community in my novel, Secrets and Charades.

Research the nationality of your setting

 

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Irish immigrants. Notice the one in the union hat.

 

When populating your novel with characters, it’s important to know who settled the area. For example, did you know that most police officers and firemen in New York in the 1800s were Irish? Those jobs were considered dangerous. The Irish were treated as second-class citizens when they arrived on American shores. Some had military training, either in Ireland or were Civil War veterans. Because these jobs paid better than most available to the Irish, many took up the call. Often patrolling tenement areas housing Irish

irish-laundry-girls

Irish women took any job available. These washerwomen might have traveled west for a better life. My ancestors among them.

immigrants. So, it would be appropriate to have Irish police officers in your novel set in this time period in New York. Those same poor, abused Irish immigrants came west as farmers, miners and the like. The various free land opportunities gave them a chance for a better life.

 

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Former slaves on their homestead.

 

African-Americans

African Americans who had served during the Civil War also participated in homesteading opportunities. Former slaves with specific skills such as blacksmithing could make a living out west.  Black communities sprung up throughout the west. The stigmatism leftover from slavery made it safer to form their own communities.

 

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Mexican vaqueros taught the American cowboy many things.

 

 

Mexican -Americans

Mexican-Americans from the rich to the poor had to make room for many settlers. The poor Hispanics found work on ranches. Non-Hispanic cowboys learned their skills from these experienced vaqueros. Often the household staff on large ranches were Hispanic.

 

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Chinese railroad workers

 

Chinese

The Chinese usually create their own communities in a section of town. Their different dress, language, and culture put them under suspicion. Chinese were not permitted to bring their families with them. Although I don’t explore the seedier side of their communities in my novel, sadly there was one.  Rather I chose to paint them with a more compassionate brush. Asians have been part of American culture for hundreds of years. Besides, a key scene in Secrets and Charades would be impossible without my Chinese characters.

 

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Native Americans

 

Native Americans

Native Americans were ever present in the old west. Not all lived on reservations. Their life was hard, abuse at the hands of the white man is well-documented. Still, there are accounts of Indians and mix-race families living peacefully with white neighbors.

Less Vanilla

Knowing the culture of those who lived during the time you place your story can make the tale not only more believable but far more interesting to the reader. Don’t hesitate to add some color to your otherwise vanilla characters.ed1c1dd3bf71efd7db9ad9c540d4421a

Who are the characters that populate your story world?

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Authors and Book Cover Creation

Creating a cover design is a fascinating process. My publisher provided a questionnaire for me to fill out. It gives the artist clues into my story world. Up until this point I had no idea what I wanted. The questions help get the creative juices flowing. The first few questions are basic: Title, author’s name. taglines, theme.

The next set of questions delves into specifics about the main character. What does your hero look like? Any distinguishing marks? Same questions for your heroine. This is where I get to give a clear description of the physical features of my characters. I had the option of adding photos of my ideas about the characters.

Who do my characters look like

The question about what actor or actress do you see playing them in a movie sent me to the internet to find photos. Did you know if you type in red-haired actresses with green eyes that you’ll find a large selection of photos? Evangeline’s hair is burgundy rather than carrot colored. I already had a picture of a model with burgundy hair but looking at more faces really helped narrow down an idea.

I have pictures of Tom Selleck, John Cusack and Sam Elliot all in cowboy garb that give me a feel for Jake. Evangeline looks a bit like Maureen O’Hara or Lori Loughlin (she’d have to dye her hair.)  I found a wonderful picture of Emma Stone. So I am adding photos of these actors to the form.

A fun exercise for you and your story, search the character description: cowboy, regency, blond soldier sees what comes up. If you’re a plotter and an outliner, you have probably already picked out your pictures before you started writing. What you want on the cover may be clearly define in your head. But, if you’re like me and lack artist know-how, you’ll be relying on the designer to bring your idea to reality. FYI: The publisher usually gets the final say on your cover. This is a good thing because they know what sells.

More details

I couldn’t find a picture of my ranch so I settled for writing a description. I got to choose whether I want people on the cover or a landscape. There is lots of room at the bottom of the form for more notes to further clarify.

Note all the covers of fellow-authors I’ve added to this post so you can get a better idea of cover design.

HerDeadlyInheritanceColor-2

Mystery Cover

 

Mercy Rains

Historical landscape cover

Genre and time period are important questions as well. Secrets & Charades is set in 1870s so costumes on the cover need to resemble the period. The hoop skirt was no longer in fashion but bustles were popular.

hand of adonai smaller

Fantasy Cover

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Police thriller/ fantasy cover

A fantasy cover might have someone dressed like Star Wars characters. The focus might be on an object that is key to the story line. Perhaps a space ship, a sword or a dragon take center stage in the story.

Comparing covers

There is a place on this form to add comparables. So, books with similar themes (remember that part in your proposal?) can now be used as examples. Those covers show what’s selling.

 

Not good ideas

If the hero is very tall, then he shouldn’t be the same height as the heroine on the cover. Unless of course she is very tall, too. I actually saw this on a cover. Until I read the story I didn’t realize the hero was well over six feet tall. Once I knew this, the cover was a bit disappointing.

If the story takes places in the winter in Florida, it will look different than winter in Alaska. That also goes for trees not native to the area. This will date me, but the movie Wayne’s World was supposed to take place in Aurora, Illinois. One scene in the movie had palm trees in the background. I suppose comedies can get away with that. Book covers not so much.

If your genre is horror you wouldn’t want a sunny sky.

A romance—unless it has vampires or some violent fantasy theme—is not going to have blood and gore on the cover.

Capturing emotion

The form asked me to describe the tone, mood, and attitude. One or two word descriptions can make a big difference in helping the designer get a taste of my fiction world. I had to google these terms to get a deeper understanding of the literary significance. I’m a seat-of-the-pants writer so I don’t always have a tone or mood in mind until my characters speak to me.

Defining the tone and mood can make a difference in a novel’s content so it should reflect on the cover. A romantic comedy design is going to look different from a romance with a broken-promise-restored theme. The same with a thriller with a sullen cast of characters versus one with a hopeful mood.

Photo sites give lots of options

You may prefer symbols or settings for your cover. My fellow-writer Gloria Doty has a modern-day cowboy romance series. She opted for boots and a Stetson on the cover of Bringing  a Cowboy Home. She wanted her readers to enjoy their own images of her characters. Photo websites have lots of these sorts of images.

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Publishers purchase the cover art and, if you self-publish, you’d do the same. Linda Yezak has a great cover for The Final Ride. She created it herself using pictures of a model she found online. She purchased the rights to use her likeness. This helped her create her cover.51jgIj4jqfL

Being sure your cover reflects your story means more sales. So, I am taking extra time to fill out this form. Hopefully the designer will get me. If the cover catches the reader’s eye, then they will pick it up. If you’re self-publishing, spend the money on a quality cover. I can’t wait to see what my cover will look like. I’ve been impressed with Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas cover designs. The reveal of my design is some months away. But the process begins now.

The back cover is just as important as the front cover. I’ll talk about the process in the next post.

Anyone like to share their experience with cover designs?

 

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Writing For The Reader’s Enjoyment

woman reading book

Write so your reader keeps following you.

I’ve always heard you should write for your readers. Which seems reasonable. After all we want them to buy our books. Let me share how I understand what writing for your readers implies.

Oftentimes our rough drafts are full of lots of stuff.  All the things we want to say about everything.  All the details we know about each character, every room, all the historical data. EVERYTHING! Hopefully, during your numerous rewrites most of this wonderful stuff will be deleted. At least they should.

You don’t agree.

You say the details are important. Depends on the details.

Without the details who will understand the complexities of the heart surgery our hero’s mother is going through. Even though the hero’s mother never makes an appearance in the book.

An in-depth description of the room the character walks through and never returns to again.

Telling the reader what the villain is thinking while we are writing from the hero’s point of view.

Determine what details carry the story. The character’s obsession over having a heart attack. The villain telling the hero an important fact so the reader can piece together the clues along with the hero. Less is more is the adage for writers to cling to as they try to keep the reader engaged.

Real people in our real world

There are real world examples to justify even more why we write to the reader.

We all have at least one friend, relative or even our spouse who over explain things. You know what I mean. They can’t just tell you they got this great deal on bananas at the store. They tell you about all the other fruit too. Or you ask their opinion on which paint is best for interior painting and you get the history of the creation of paint.

Then there’s the people (all of us can talk like this when we’re excited.) They tell us every detail about an incident and then circle back around and tell us over again. Maybe adding a detail.

Of course, none of us has ever written like this. Ahem.

The readers follow the characters

Readers remember what they read in a previous chapter. We don’t need to repeat every detail when a new character enters the scene. This isn’t real life it’s fiction.

So, if your characters are cops and they are investigating a crime, when the chief enters- they fill him in. That’s the sentence.

Unless there is information we haven’t told the reader about the crime we don’t need to restate it. The readers go everywhere with our characters so we don’t really tell it like we would in real life.

Keep dialogue on point

Small talk unless it tells the reader something about the character should not exist. So don’t have your character pick up the phone, say hello, and chat about trivial things for a page. In our real world we might spend an hour visiting with a friend before getting to the point. But our readers aren’t that patient. They want to find out what happens next.

TwainKeep your vocabulary engaging yet simple

Mark Twain said “Why use a five-dollar word when a fifty cent word will do.”

Unless you are writing to academia or a technical book, keep your words simple.

If a reader has to reach for the dictionary, you’ve lost them. Be sure the word can be understood within a sentence. And even then is there a simpler more descriptive word. A fancy word that no one knows does not impress a reader. Enough of those in your work and they will stop reading.

Avoid adjectives

We aren’t writing for our English teachers. Adjectives are not the readers friend.

“Mary was miserably silent.” The sentence tells the reader nothing.

They want to experience the silence.

“Mary sat in the hard back chair, her lips flexing between a pout and a straight line. Tears fought for space on her cheek.”

This tells the reader so much more. They can feel her misery.

How do your characters talk?

Does your dialogue for a teen or child sound like them or their parents?

“Why, Charlotte, you should be ashamed of yourself.”

Instead: “Char, you’re so messed up.”

Give them flaws

As much as we want our heroes and heroine to be the pillar of perfection. Show their flaws. This gives the reader hope. Following the story of a woman fighting depression and winning might encourage a reader to get help.

A heroine who always says and does the right things is not only unrealistic, it’s boring. The reader can’t relate to perfection. Because our readers are human.

Non-fiction writers need to reach the heart

Even when writing non-fiction, share your ideas so the reader can relate without pointing fingers at them.

Avoid writing: you should…If you had or your problem….

Rather, say I have found. Research shows.

Share a story from your own life illustrating the point without sounding arrogant.

check list-tinyA check list

My challenge to all of us. Go through your manuscripts while you’re editing and before submission and ask yourself if you are getting to the heart of your reader.

Am I preaching or encouraging.

Does my character’s armor have some tarnish?

Do my ten steps to…whatever…have an ah ha moment.

Do I need to explain the history of the zipper to establish a time period?

Does this wonderful scene with my secondary characters shopping really move the story along?

We want our books to be passed around, shared and recommended and it will only happen when we focus on the readers and not ourselves.

 

What revelations have you come to understand about writing to the readers? Share in the comments. I’d love to hear it.

 

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Riding A Horse With No Name

I’ve ridden very few horses in my life. But I’ve ridden on the best of them through the pages of a book. My sister, Linda, however, not only rode horses but also owned a few and did rodeo roping and barrel racing. She was one of my go-to people when I did my research for my historical romance. I was quite surprised to learn that cowboys didn’t name all their horses.

photo by morguefile.com

photo by morguefile.com

Horses were work animals serving a purpose like cows, sheep and chickens. Most horses on a ranch were used for tending cattle and transporting cowboys from point A to point B. A wise cowboy took care of his horse before he took care of his own needs. The horse he was riding aided in his survival. A well-rested, well-fed horse made the difference in the productivity of a ranch and the success of a long cattle drive. Can you imagine naming a herd of horses? It wasn’t practical.

photo from morguefile.com

photo from morguefile.com

Many cowboys didn’t even own a horse. They owned their saddle and rode whatever horse the rancher provided for him. Those who did own a horse consider it one of their prize possessions. Nameless horses tamed the west on cattle ranches, Calvary units and service animals helping lay railroad ties. So important were horses in the old west, stealing them was a hanging offense.

photo from morguefile.com

photo from morguefile.com

Jake Marcum in my novel Secrets and Charades has a fine gray horse named Traveler. Jake served in the Confederate Army in the Civil War. If you’re up on historical trivia Robert E. Lee’s horse was named Traveler. Jake admired the man and respected his horse enough to give him a noble name.

LeeOnTraveler

Tony Sanchez named his horse Bonita. He spends his spare time working with Bonita teaching her tricks. He is very attached to his horse and is the top horse whisperer on the ranch. He trains Artie Weaver’s horse to follow the lad like a dog. This is connected to an important plot twist.

Jake gives Evangeline a gentle mare named Sage. Evangeline has not had good experiences with horses. So Sage will also play a part in her healing.

photo from morguefile.com

photo from morguefile.com

Nameless characters are also present in novels. An incidential human character may not have a name either. The waiter is the waiter and remains nameless. He serves a purpose in the scene, but unless he is a pivotal character in future scenes, he remains nameless.

A horse has no name unless there is a connection to the human characters that contributes to the plot. So if the horse has a name be prepared to see some specific action occur in the plot with that horse’s name on it. 🙂

What fictional horse is your favorite horse hero?

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Evangeline with the Burgundy Hair : Creating A Heroine

burgundy hair 2

Monday I shared how Jake the hero in my novel, Secrets and Charades came to be. Today I’d like to introduce the heroine by her most startling feature—her hair. How to describe Evangeline’s hair color was a challenge. I could picture it so clearly in my mind’s eye. A girl I went to high school with had the most beautiful red hair, but it wasn’t red like Lucille Ball or Carol Burnett. It was more…more burgundy. Evangeline is the heroine and strong-willed mail order bride to my determined cowboy Jake. She has green eyes but no freckles. Her skin is peaches and crème. You know, porcelain skin with just enough blush on her cheeks to draw attention to her eyes. But she’s tall for a woman in the 1870s and a doctor to boot. A rare combination for the time and not a desirable mate for most men.

Evangeline is compassionate, determined and intelligent. She’s strives for independence and surrounds herself with a cloak of confidence. Beneath it all is a deep-seated fear that creeps out of the shadows to taunt any happiness she might reach for.

1870s woman

I wanted Evangeline to look different than the many heroines I’ve read about lately. I wanted her to have an unusual hair color and height not common for a woman of the era. No actress came to mind when I created her. She appeared before me complete with her own history and begged for her story to be told. She has not change one iota from the first moment she revealed herself to me. Jake on the other hand grew a mustache and sported a scar on his cheek after our first encounter.

Evangeline represents those women who feel their past has so tainted them they can never consider marriage as a path for their lives. Evangeline’s journey mirrors so many woman who still hang onto the past like a badge of dishonor that they fear others will discover and then reject them.

Her unique burgundy hair represents how she views herself. Different from other women. Stained, yet, her past has shaped her into the strong woman she is. Her whole existence is to help readers who can relate to her find closure and completeness. The 1870s were a less forgiving time and society’s view of women much more controversial.

Her painful past haunts her and colors how she responds to her new life. It’s a time to face her fears and grow into the woman she was meant to be and find love in the midst of it all.

If you were writing an unusual female character what would set her apart? Tell me in a comment below.

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Food, Food Glorious Food- How Much Should You Have In Your Novel

did you know Green Bean Casserole was created in 1955 by the Campbell Soup Company? Be sure you do before you place in on the table in your 1800s historical novel.

Did you know Green Bean Casserole was created in 1955 by the Campbell Soup Company? Be sure you do before you place it on the table in your 1800s historical novel.

There were no hamburgers in the 1870s.

I start this blog with that statement to make a point. Do your research. Otherwise you’ll be branded an amatuer by readers who know.  Googling the origin of the hamburger clearly shows it was served in the 20th century. My novel takes place on a ranch in 1870’s Texas. A ranch has cattle (duh!) But a modern American hamburger was not on the menu. Food in your novel may or may not be a central part of your plot but it can speak to setting. It is important whatever is served is authentic to the time period.

Although I don’t focus a lot on the food in my WIP, many scenes take place at the kitchen table. The housekeeper is Mexican and she often serves beans and tortillas as well as steak, eggs and biscuits. Evangeline, our heroine, although she has little interest in cooking owns a few cookbooks. In them you will find detailed instructions on how to prepare a roast in your fireplace, making all manner of baked goods from breads to cakes from scratch. Being of Irish and Swedish parents her taste in food is definitely not going to include chili peppers.

Food and setting

Because the setting is a ranch, beef is going to be served often. Although we can choose at the supermarket what cuts we prefer. These ranchers ate all parts of the bovine from the tongue to tail. Steaks for breakfast verses porridge. Cowhands need a stick to their ribs kind of meal for the hard work ahead.

This ranch has a chicken coop and a large garden so a greater variety of food is available. An orchard and berry patches are nearby as well. So, jams, jellies, preserves and pies would appear on the table.

There is also a dry goods store in a nearby town. One could purchase salt pork, dried beans, flour, sugar, crackers and possibly eggs, milk and fresh produce brought in from neighboring farms. This would be a good way to supplement their diet with things they can’t produce themselves.

Lots of Bread

Biscuits and bread take on different forms in historical. Baking powder biscuits as well as sourdough biscuits might be served. Sourdough is made with a starter. Bacteria in the air causes it to rise. The starter is scooped out and mixed with flour, salt and water an allowed to rise before cooking. It can be baked or fried. (I made some right from a Little House on the Prairie cookbook with my kids years ago. It is much heavier than yeast bread and very filling.) Yeast bread was a luxury. Sourdough starter could be easily taken on the trail traveling west rather than yeast which needs special care. The sourdough would rise even in a jostling wagon. Yeast bread referred to as light bread might be purchased from bakeries rather than made at home.

On the trail

On a cattle drive the trail cook may create stews, soups and pies from dried meat, vegetables and fruit. These take up less room in the wagon. Lots of fried potatoes, salt pork and beans. And coffee, coffee, coffee. If there were towns along the trail supplies could be replenished. Even so lots of flour and other staples filled the chuck wagon.

Food and characters

Recently I read a novel set in the Yukon during the Alaskan Gold rush. The Christmas meal in the far north was quite different. Salmon was the main course. Red beans and rice fixed Cajun style was also served. One of the characters had learned to make it while in Louisiana. That explained why a lady from Massachusetts would serve such a dish. It reminded the reader she was well-traveled. Food can give a lot of backstory without actually revealing backstory.

Food equals emotions

Unless, there is a reason to go into detail about what’s being served I avoid planning those menus. Food can be used to create mood or show emotion. My reluctant bride, Evangeline is not a great cook but she loves to bake cakes. Jake is surprised to find his new bride and not the housekeeper had made the delicious cake. The cake represented another change in Evangeline’s attitude toward marriage. The new bride Marty in Love Comes Softly by Jeanette Oke is determined to prepare something besides pancakes for her new husband. A hilarious chase scene occurs in the chicken coop resulting in the rooster getting his beak hacked off with her ax. Clark rescues her and presents the bird plucked and pot ready suggesting it might be better boiled with dumplings rather than fried. We learn how to prepare a tough old chicken while experiencing Marty and Clark’s budding relationship.

Menus

Know why you are sharing the menu and what purpose it serves in creating your scene. If the main character is a chef or a foodie then meal preparation and even recipes in the back of novels are important elements to keep the readers attention. A historical novel restaurant menu is going to be different from a modern one. No fast food and limited daily selection. Often the waitress told the customer the few items available. And others only had one choice for the day. It all depends on the setting.

Even homesteads consisted of simple menus often the same thing every day.

Food and Culture

Contemporary novels set in America can focus on the culture of the area, latest trends in food or ethnicity of the characters. Her in Aurora Illinois we have a large Hispanic population and many foods common to that culture are available in most grocery stories. I have eaten cactus and chicken mola (chicken in chocolate sauce). I have a daughter-in-law from Mexico and many Hispanic friends so my culinary experience has grown beyond American style tacos. My other daughter-in-law is from the Philippines and I have friends from Sri Lanka. There are several grocery stores that carry items to prepare their dishes. Red rice is a treat for my Sri Lankan friends and my daughter-in-law is very particular about the rice she buys. I had no idea there was something called sweet rice. Sushi is becoming popular almost everywhere. And now southern sweet tea (you know the kind that reminds you of Kool-Aid) is now a common selection at all restaurants even fast food. The Midwest she is a changing.

Get it right

My final thought on food in a novel. In true life settings get the menus for the restaurants and fast food places right. If the eatery is fictious be sure the menu is typical for the setting or serves a purpose in moving the story along. Comfort food like mac and cheese can set the mood to de-stress. While prime rib is definitely a date night.

As a writer how much detail do you put into scenes with food?

As a reader how does food in a story effect you?

Please share, I love comments and learning from my readers.