Linda Francis Lee: Portia flees Texas in a storm of betrayal and is shipwrecked on the island of Manhattan with nothing more than her grandmother's cookbooks.
(As someone who loves the long form of the novel, Twitter is always a challenge for me!)
LFL: With my entire family still living in Texas, my husband and I have created a sort of family here in NYC. It has been through long, lovely dinners with our close friends here that I was reminded of growing up in Texas and my mother's own long, lovely dinner parties. It made me think of how sitting around the table with good food creates closeness and bonds, creates family.
LFL: I have been blown away by the support from other authors. There is no greater gift than that sort of support.
As to what makes The Glass Kitchen work, I hope it is the combination of the bonds of sisters and the intensity of new love, combined with the richness of food that has drawn readers in.
LFL: I should never admit this, but . . . I had to get back into the kitchen! I had to put Portia's spin on the recipes she makes. In the past, I have been known for my kitchen disasters, and I had a few as I got back into cooking. But slowly it really did return, and I felt as though I had circled back to a time when my mother, sister and I created meals for all those long lovely dinner parties my mother always gave.
LFL: Despite all the talk about food in the book, really this is a book about family. If there is a main theme, it is the sense that everyone needs "family" — be it born into or cobbled together from dear friends — and that as frustrating as family can be, it is that foundation that makes life worthwhile, a jumping-off point for everything else you do. It is through the support of family that we can make it through the bumps we hit in the road, and Portia hit a big bump that sent her reeling off and landed in NYC.
LFL: I was lucky enough to have my first fiction writing professor start the very first class with: Writers Write Whether They Feel Like it Or Not. Coming up with story ideas is the easy part. I had to develop self-discipline. I had to learn to put the pages in every day, whether they are good pages or not. For me, it's far easier to edit existing pages than staring at a blank page and needing to fill it.
LFL: I loved writing The Glass Kitchen. Portia was so true and good regardless of the way people had betrayed her. Gabriel, a man always used to getting his way, was so intense in his desire of Portia, and also his need to try to figure out how to be a single parent. And then there is Ariel. I love 12-year-old Ariel, a girl who never thinks to edit what she says. It was so freeing to write her! And I hope readers will love their story.
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