GREETINGS TO ALL “THOUGHTS ON THIS ‘n THAT” BLOG FOLLOWERS!
The HOLIDAYS have arrived and we’re doing something a little different on our blog. Over the next few weeks, we’re featuring some of our favorite authors and finding out what they like best about the HOLIDAYS. We’ll also learn all about their latest projects.CRYSTAL KING, author of the culinary masterpiece, FEAST of SORROW.
We fell in love with Crystal last year when she was one the Debs, class of 2017
Unlike the debutantes that parade around New York City and Paris for their “coming out to society” party. The Deb Ball is for first time authors. There’s a group of five writers and Crystal had one day a week to write about everything – getting an agent, getting published, the craft of writing, the importance of being in touch with fellow writers. I learned so much from her. And then I got the opportunity to read her debut novel, FEAST of SORROW (Touchstone).
FEAST of SORROW is the FOOD NETWORK meets HBO’s, ROME!
Debut author, Crystal King ushers us into another time in history in her novel, FEAST of SORROW: A Novel of Ancient Rome (Touchstone). Taking nearly a decade to research and write, it’s a four-hundred plus page journey through Ancient Rome highlighting the opulence, shrewd political maneuvering, fabulous food and relationships from the powerful ruling class to the slaves.
And who is Crystal? She made it very easy for us to find out by sharing her bio.
I am a novelist, editor, professor, social media professional, and critical & creative thinker. My work as a writer is the thread that ties my broad experience together.
My debut novel, FEAST OF SORROW, is about Marcus Gavius Apicius, the man whose name is on the world’s oldest known cookbook. It was published by Touchstone Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, on April 25, 2017. My work is represented by Amaryah Orenstein at GO Literary.
I am also writing my second novel, THE SECRET CHEF, about a famous Italian Renaissance chef, Bartolomeo Scappi, who was the cuoco segreto (private cook) to several Popes.
UPDATE: THE SECRET CHEF has been purchased and will be published by Touchstone/Simon & Schuster in 2019.
I have taught writing, creativity and social media at UMass Boston, Boston University, Mass College of Art, and Harvard Extension School. I often teach classes on social media for authors at Grub Street, one of the most amazing writing communities in the country.
So we sent some questions to Crystal about the holidays and this is what she sent back.
CR: What is your favorite holiday?
CK: Christmas. I’m not particularly a religious person but I love all the trappings of the holidays. I have a huge party ever year (this will be our 18th) when all of our old and new friends come together. It’s my second favorite day of the year. My first favorite day is when we get the tree. I put the lights on while my husband makes dinner, which is usually pheasant. With two of us, it’s smaller, but my husband, Joe used to sell wine, so it’s one of those rare days we break into the good bottles. After dinner, we have champagne and extra good chocolates and we watch “It’s a Wonderful Life,” while we decorate the tree. I look forward to both days every year.
CR: Favorite present you’ve given?
CK: I’ve started to give Joe a different Berni Knife every year. They are gorgeous, exquisitely handcrafted Italian kitchen knives.
CR: Favorite present you’ve received?
CK: Joe gave me a rare plum ruby ring for our first Christmas. I still wear it every day.
CR: Favorite Holiday music?
CK: I’m a freak for holiday music! I think I own about 1,800 songs, mostly classic crooner tunes or indie holiday songs. I particularly love the alternative Christmas songs that tell different stories, like Vanessa Peters “The Christmas We Hoped For,” “The Wedding Present,” “Holly Jolly Hollywood” and Ingo Star Cruiser, “It’s Just Like Christmas.” My favorite holiday song is The Pogues, “Fairytale of New York,” which is in truth super depressing, but I love it to pieces. I try not to listen to holiday songs until after Halloween, but at that point, I’ll pull out all the stops. I don’t subject Joe to it till after Thanksgiving though, to preserve his sanity and out marriage.
CK: I described the pheasant dinner earlier. Joe makes an insane mac & cheese and clam chowder for our party. But I also make cookies every year and some of those are treats I only make this time. I think my fav would be mayonnaise sugar cookies which is an old family recipe. Omg, so delicious.
CR: What are your wishes and/or message for 2018?
CK: I hope that 2018 is a year of peace – but it can only be so if we are kind to one another and if we try to put ourselves in the shoes of others. One small way to do so is by reading outside our comfort zones. Read broadly, read widely and pick up books in translation, in genres you don’t usually read, by people of color, of other countries, of opposite views and other experiences. Reading is one of the best ways that we can learn empathy and in doing so we can find new ways to change the world.
CR: That is such a compelling message – for people to read more outside of their comfort zone. So, I learned about mayonnaise sugar cookies and I’m hoping to be invited to Crystal’s amazing party. Sounds smashing! (FYI: I bring great hostess gifts.)
Our thanks to Crystal King. Feel free to contact Crystal at http://www.crystalking.com or on social media.
Remember, we’re giving away some journals to our blog followers at the beginning of the new year. Just tell us your wishes for 2018!