It is a pleasure to finally have an opportunity to meet you. You see, you only have had the ability to hold this book in your hands since December 18, but I have been living with it and dreaming of meeting you for three years.
The writing and publishing of a book is unlike anything else we do. I got the idea for One Taste Too Many three years ago. Because I love reading cozy mysteries, I knew I wanted to write one, but I
immediately ran into a problem. Most cozies focus on food or crafts – two areas that I am not particularly skilled in. The more I thought about it, I realized there had to be readers out there who, like me, are challenged in the kitchen or when they try their hand at handiwork. It dawned on me that I could write a book showcasing a cook of convenience.
To me, a cook of convenience is an individual who prefers to bring take-out in or to make dishes using pre-made ingredients. For example, I make my spinach pie with two Stouffer’s spinach souffles. My sister thinks that is horrible. She believes everything should be farm to table and made from scratch. When we were kids, she shadowed my mother and became an excellent cook. I preferred to lie on the couch watching Perry Mason. Funny thing, I can’t cook, but until I gave it up to follow my passion for writing, I had a pretty good career as a litigator and then a judge.
Thinking of my sister’s reaction to my cooking style, I decided to play a character like my sister off one like me. Being the mother of twins, I thought making them polar opposite twins would make the comparison more fun. From these thoughts, the characters of Sarah Blair, the cook of convenience, and her twin, the master chef, were born.
Even though I had an idea where I wanted to go with the book, it took me almost a year to write. After many revisions, I sent it out seeking an agent. Once that was achieved, the agent went through the manuscript and made more editorial suggestions. I did another revision of the book and then she submitted it to several houses. We opted to accept the Kensington offer. Acceptance is not the end of the game. There still was another revision, copy edits, proof reviews, cover art, printing of ARCS, submission of ARCS for reviews, and design of publicity and social media campaigns. Soup to nuts, the release of One Taste Too Many was three years from when I began writing.
My goal in writing a cozy mystery was to produce something that could be read at the beach, on a plane, or at home to relax. It is meant to be fun. I hope you enjoy the first book of the Sarah Blair cozy mystery series, One Taste Too Many.
Debra H. Goldstein