The Next Big Thing

This week my blog is slightly different then usual. L T Bentley invited me to be part of this blog hopping journey called The Next Big Thing. I think the purpose is to help us discover the next great book that we absolute have to read or an author whose works might just resonate with our spirits. I had never heard of her work before, but given that I am a Gemini, I am looking forward to reading something outside of the norm for me, her book Shattered Gemini, is a psychological murder mystery. Who knows her work might be the Next Big Thing, or perhaps mine is. Who knows?

I have never written fiction that is unless you think about my life as a piece of fiction, which is a work in process. In my life story, then I am the main character and everyone else in my life are the supporting cast of characters. So thinking about my work, which has traditionally been about exploring various aspects of the mind, body, spirit connection, based on questions that were designed for fictional writers, has been interesting and fun.

So, this week, I am going to answer 10 questions and you get to learn about my current WIP (work in progress), The Zenful Kitchen, how this came to be, and where I am in my journey. Of course, as always, feel free to comment and ask me questions to keep the dialogue going.


Ten Interview Questions for The Next Big Thing:

What is the working title of your book?
This is the easy one The Zenful Kitchen

Where did the idea come from for the book?
I had been writing these blogs for a while about the spiritual lessons I have learned from food. It was during a conversation with a friend of mine that the idea began to germinate in my brain. He mentioned to me that my work reminded him, in some respects of a cookbook author Laurie Colwin, now deceased, who wrote a book called Home Cooking. It was about the stories behind the recipes people make.

What genre does your book fall under?
 I would have to say that my book is definitely of the mind, body, spirit genre with a secondary home in culinary.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
This has been an interesting one for me to think about and I am not quite sure. I think there are some characters, so to speak, who should play themselves, like Alex Guarnaschelli. If I had to cast someone to play me it would be Susan Sarandon. After some interesting discussion with my friends, I settled on her because she has this amazing spiritual aura around her and I still remember her performance in Dead Man Walking, a film that had a profound impact on my life. Although there are no other characters per se in my book, my wife Zoe does get mentioned more then a few times and I could see her being played by Whoopi Goldberg (if you know Zoe, you will understand this choice). Most of the supporting characters, so to speak, in my book are foods and so they will be playing themselves.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
The kitchen and that which is created in it and flows from it provide spiritual lessons, which enable us to evolve in our spiritual journeys.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
That is a great question and I am not sure. I was told by an established author to connect with her when I was done and she would assist me in the process. It would be amazing if I could be represented by an agency. However, it not, I will self-publish.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
LOL – I am still working on it and it is ever a work in process. however, I am hoping to have it done by my 57th birthday in June 2013

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
This is a tough one, as I have not seen anything quite like what I am writing. Probably the closest would be Laurie Colwin’s Home Cooking and More Home Cooking in terms of how I tell stories, but hers is more food focused and mine is more spirituality focused.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?
This is the easiest of the questions. Among those who inspired me, all those who I have ever cooked for or with including my mother, grandmother, friend’s mothers, friends, lovers, ex’s, and my wife. Then there are those who I have never personally met but who teach me via the Food Network. Of no surprise to anyone who knows me Alex Guarnaschelli who never fails to teach me something powerful spiritually every time I listen to her talk about food. Then there are the countless chefs I have watched on some of my favorite shows, Chopped in particular. Some of them tell these amazing stories about how food changed their lives, saved them from a path of destruction, etc. Their stories inspire me, enlighten me, and continue to motivate me.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

This is not one of those books that you pick up when you are looking for a recipe, although it will have a few of them in it. nor is it a book that will is about teaching one how to cook, although it may offer some of that as well. it is a book of stories which will begin with something we can all relate to like spaghetti or waffles or even yeast and then take you places with it, you have never been before.  this book is about assisting one in releasing fears, tapping into one’s own creativity, intuitive wisdom and spirit, and experiencing a state of being which alludes many in life.

Here are the friends (new and old) whose blogs I am going to encourage you to hop to next Wednesday to read about their works in process or recently released.

Barbara Lavi

Mary Kaufman

Teri Pickens

Claude Bowen

Demetris Dennis Taylor