What inspired you to write your book?
I wanted to to write a book that featured characters who live their lives in a values-based way in the “real” world. In addition, I wanted to be able to share my mother’s recipes with the world. I also wanted to lift the discussion of romantic comedy from relying on sex, nudity and language and show that a good story can be told with interesting characters, good dialog and plot.
About your Book:
Readers’ Favorite Award™-Winning Love on the Back Burner spins the story of sassy Alexandria D’Agostino. She is youngest in a tight-knit Italian-American family with a successful marketing career and a passion for cooking, yet her romantic life is less than 4-star. For years, she has tried cooking her way into men’s hearts by flaunting her old world culinary skills, but now, she’s changing the menu. She dishes up childhood favorites to a succession of first dates (recipes included). The book features an engaging cast of characters including a rock-star-turned- priest brother, a no-nonsense Italian immigrant grandmother, and a crew of friends who are always up for a good meal. With a dollop of persistence and a dash of laughter, will Alexandria discover the recipe for happiness — and perhaps love?
Cuisine Style or Food Genre
Romantic Comedy with a Dash of Home Cooking
Sample Recipe or Food Advice
2 or 3 small zucchini, peeled and sliced very thin
5 or 6 medium to large potatoes, peeled and sliced very thin
3 cups spaghetti sauce (preferably homemade)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
Grated cheese (Romano or Parmesan)
Seasoned bread crumbs
1. Place the zucchini and potato slices in separate bowls.
2. Pour just enough sauce in each bowl to coat the slices without drenching them (usually about ¾ cup for zucchini and 1 cup for potatoes). Set aside the remaining sauce.
3. To assemble: Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
4. Pour the oil in the bottom of a 9” x 13” pan to coat.
5. Layer in this order: potatoes, zucchini, sprinkle of onions, sprinkle of cheese, sprinkle of bread crumbs. Repeat until the potatoes and zucchini are gone.
6. Pour the reserved sauce over the top. Add a final dusting of the cheese.
7. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until bubbly, then uncover and bake for about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are done.
What formats are your books in
Both eBook and Print
How do you see writing a food/cookbook as different from writing other genres of books?
Weaving food into the plot of the story is more than just saying “and then she made pasta.” The author needs to set the stage for how and why the particular dish is, in itself, a character at that point and make it such that the reader is enticed to make that dish after reading the book.
What advice would you give to someone that is thinking about or currently working on a food book or cookbook
Remember to get permission for any recipes that are not your own or that belong to your family. Copyrighting is a very serious issue. In addition, make sure that you have someone actually test any recipe that you will be including — you may have made a dish countless times, but remember that for someone else it is their first time. Also, as mentioned before, if the book is a novel, remember that the food/recipe is a character itself and give it the respect that it deserves.
How did you decide how to publish your book and where is it published through:
I am independently published. I made this decision after a long bout of submitting the book to countless agents who gave me very positive feedback about my writing, characters, and concept but said that books about food were “overdone.” I took a deep breath and decided to go independent because I know that books about food are always welcome.
I have a marketing background, so the fears that many threw at me that I would have to market would my own book were not as great for me. If you are not willing to accept that you’ll spend a great deal of your time doing your own P.R., marketing, etc., then going independent is not necessarily the route for you.