What would you like to tell readers about yourself?
* Peggy Lampman was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. After graduating from the University of Michigan with a degree in communications, she moved to New York City, where she worked as a copywriter and photographer for Hill and Knowlton, a public relations firm. She moved back to Ann Arbor, her college town, and opened up a specialty foods store, The Back Alley Gourmet. After selling the business, she wrote under a weekly food byline in The Ann Arbor News and MLive. This is her first novel.
Today Peggy Lampman will be talking about how she became a writer and what inspired her in regard to the story she's promoting.
* Since earliest memory, I imagined that I would write a novel. No person or event inspired me to begin writing, I started writing in my diary when I was nine; writing was as cathartic to me then as it is to me now.
* I grew up in Alabama, but went to school at the University of Michigan. There, I majored in communications/journalism; I wanted a way to earn a living yet continue to write. My first job out of school was writing copy for Hill and Knowlton, a public relations firm in Manhattan. New York beat me up, and I eventually moved back to my college town, Ann Arbor. There, I opened a specialty food store, had children, and my aspirations to write a novel were derailed. After selling my store, I got a food by-line in the local paper and then with a Michigan dot com.
* After the transition from paper to digital, my salary was reduced, so I quit and wrote “Simmer and Smoke”.
* One December afternoon in 2010, I was visiting my ancestral graveyard in Stewartville, Alabama. As I watched a young woman and child wander down the road, I wondered how a young mother could escape a town of poverty and crack houses. That evening I wrote the first page of "Simmer and Smoke".
* I write about what I know. There were experiences in life that changed me, and there was no closure for me until I wrote about them. “Simmer and Smoke” reflects these experiences, albeit twisted, tortured and exaggerated. I grew up in the deep South and intimately know her landscape and people.
* A food writer who just lost the love of her life.
* Two women discover what's worth fighting for in this deliciously rendered novel that illuminates the power of food, love, friendship and family on the human heart .
* 1. ASSEMBLE INGREDIENTS:
* Shelby Preston--a young, single mother trapped in a hardscrabble life in rural Georgia--escapes her reality as she fantasizes herself a respected chef in a kitchen of gleaming stainless steel and pans shimmering with heat. Mallory Lakes--an Atlanta newspaper food writer--may lose her job, and searches for her muse in a shot glass of illusion.
* 2. SIMMER:
* Mallory secures her job by crafting a zealous doppelgänger to satisfy the expectations of an illusive cyber audience. This also mollifies the memories of her lover who recently bolted; no warning. Shelby persuades her mother to take care of her daughter so she can pursue her dream of going to chef school in Atlanta. She cooks them a special dinner said to bring good luck; Lord knows her family could use a pot of something good.
* 3. SMOKE:
* Chasing desires and ambitions, the women's lives unravel down a path beyond the kitchen, then weave together in an unsettling culinary landscape of organic farms and shadowy borders--some borders not meant to be crossed. As Mallory combats her demons with booze and pills, and Shelby battles the odds stacked against her for becoming a chef, the women discover what's really worth fighting for.
* Memos from the edge, self-help hieroglyphics, throwaway lines galloping off paper, most of them unfinished. These are the words I should have said to Cooper the day he left, bade farewell, adios, arrivederci—however you say goodbye. Itchy, my dearest friend, is returning a platter and will ignore them, assuming they are recipe scribbles. But if these tourniquets had a voice, their banshee wail would rant, rage and scream, shaking the foundations of Atlanta.
* Dearest Cooper. What a splendid feast you made of me. A sprinkle of salt, a grind of pepper, you chewed me up then spit me out. Was I that abhorrent?
* Visceral, grisly, teeth-gnashing words; much better script. I write, post, then return to my cutting board. Chopping furiously, I collect, examine, and discard words much too ordinary to assuage my grief. Words...words...I need more words; what words can I write that will ease the pain of what you’ve done?
ANNOUNCEMENT! Peggy Lampman will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour! So be sure to leave a comment AND use the Rafflecopter below. Also, visit the other tour stops for a greater chance of winning!
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