June 24, 2013
Feeding the Fingers

I recently posted a blog about food and writing for the blog "A Book Lovers Library" as part of the lasted blog tour for Head Case. Did you know that Agatha Christie was fueled by cups of cream?

Read on:

I work fulltime and have a busy home life, which can make it hard to find time to work on my craft. And since I have a dreadful record of hitting my snooze button when I try to wake up at the crack of dawn, my lunch hour often has to double as a writing retreat. So, when the clock strikes chow time, I often squirrel away in some corner of the enormous cafeteria that is housed in the bowels of the even more enormous building where I currently do my day job. This cafeteria is one of the most famous in Washington, DC, with food stations representing almost every part of the globe. The American grill always has a line, but it’s got nothing on the sushi bar, and the noodle soups are to die for. You really can’t go wrong with your selection, salivation-wise, but the question I often confront is what is the best food to write by. My keyboard is an unfortunate casualty of this quest, with crumbs and splashes stuck in spaces no Q-tip can ever seem to reach.

Which got me wondering... Hemingway liked his mojitos, Dorothy Parker liked a nice martini, but what foods have fueled some of our most celebrated writers? I did a little googling and I found quite a few intriguing answers. Apparently, I am not the only person to ponder this question.

According to an article that ran in the very cool blog paperandsalt.org, Agatha Christie—patron saint to all who write anything that even comes close to being a mystery novel (i.e. me)—had a passion for drinking cups of cream (not unlike Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot—write what you know, I suppose).

The AWL had a fabulously thorough blog about this topic, noting that Frank O'Hara “wrote most of Lunch Poems during his lunch hours—pausing, as he put it, ‘for a liver sausage sandwich in the Mayflower Shoppe’ and taking notes on what he'd seen while roaming Manhattan.” Also noted: Upon completing a difficult scene, Neil Simon would reward himself with Fritos, which I just think is weird, because if I were going to choose a reward food, it would involved chocolate, and Fritos don’t go very well with chocolate. Norah Ephron chose a treat much closer to my heart, which makes sense because I love everything about her. Her choice? Krispy Kreme donuts. That said, donuts would not be a good friend to a keyboard, and at least according to how she describes them in her New Yorker essay on the matter. (“The Krispy Kreme Original Glazed doughnut is yeast-raised and light as a frosted snowflake. It is possible to eat three of them in one sitting without suffering any ill effects.”) It remains unclear if Ms. Ephron actually ate the sugar coated fried dough while typing.

Flavorwire has a terrific post with recipes of some of the favorite foods of our favorite authors, though I doubt many of them wrote while cooking. That said, Hemingway’s pan fried trout sounds quite yummy, as does Emily Dickinson's coconut cake.

None of this solves the conundrum of my sticky keyboard, of course. But it does make me hungry—both to eat and to write. I just hope I don’t spill the soup I ordered.

May 22, 2013
Watch my Hangout with BritMums!

Had so much fun hanging out with BritMums. We chatted about Head Case, Kickstarter and the self publishing journey.

Watch the Fiverr video I did for Kickstarter, as mentioned in BritMums

April 9, 2013
Great Blogger Reviews Adding Up!

I love this review (and giveaway) from Anne Marie Stoddard.

Two blog posts in one day? I just had to--I just finished reading Jennifer Oko's "Head Case," just in time for another Sunday Book Review. Read my review below and then enter to win your own ebook copy of "Head Case"!

Olivia Zack is a neuroscientist who has just been murdered after being kidnapped and brought to a Russian mobster. The book is told from her ghostly point of view, dialing back and clock and recounting the events that led up to her death, as well as a few that happened after. Olivia recalls events and conversations with her best friend, celebrity publicist, Polly Warner. The two girls got mixed up in the sometimes glam, sometimes sordid world of dealing prescription drugs. While dealing pills has its perks, it also has its price: which is how Olivia ends up with a bullet through her skull. It's up to her spirit to sort through the mess that led up to her death and to send Polly and her boyfriend Mitya a few clues from the great beyond in order to not only solve her murder but to also save the day against the Russian mafia, drug-dealing grannies, corrupted cops, and some nasty unethical pharmaceutical execs.

I loved this book. Being in my twenties, it was very easy to relate to--who doesn't know someone--in their circle of friends or otherwise--that has suffered with addiction or substance abuse? And who hasn't seen one of those pharmaceutical commercials for a pill that marketers will convince you that you need while downplaying the long list of potential health hazards and side effects attached? Yes, even with prescription substances rather than drugs. The story is one that, while the stakes are much higher, can still, at the core, hit close to home for a lot of readers.

While there are a small handful of editorial errors/typos and the jumping around in the timeline can be a little confusing, overall this is a great book and a fun read. I even found myself tearing up a little at times. Oko has a great tale on her hands, told with a perfect blend of snark and heartfelt emotion about the bond between two friends separated by death.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is on the fence about reading it--and to anyone else, for that matter.

Now that you've gotten my take on "Head Case," why not read it yourself? Enter below for a chance to win an ebook copy of "Head Case" by Jennifer Oko for Kindle! Good luck!

March 28, 2013
Such a nice review for Head Case!

This review is so nice, I want to post the whole thing! But it won't fit here, so please check it out. http://ow.ly/jt7OX

Head Case is an adventure and a half as the reader follows Olivia Zack, as tries to discover who killed her. Yes, Olivia, neuroscientist and pharmaceutical consultant, has turned up dead and now her ghost wants to know who lay the “hit” on her. Olivia, with the help of roommate Polly Warner, sets out on a crazy adventure involving drug-dealing grannies, pill popping celebraties and a rat named Raskolnikov to discover the truth!

I’m a huge fan of Janet Evanovich and Carl Hiassen, so I love any mystery that has a large dose of humor. Head Case definitely falls into this category. It had me laughing every minute of the adventure, as Olivia tries to discover who killed her.

Olivia was a fun character, strong and witty, and nothing will stop her from discovering the truth. She’s just my kind of girl, and was an absolute blast to read along with.

Head Case was such a fun read and it kept me entertained every step of the way. Jennifer Oko has definitely written a great mystery and I sure hope there is more to come from this brilliant author.