3Ws – Louise Miller

Louise Miller_select_8744-1

What do you create?

By day, I create desserts, and by night I create novels that I hope are funny and true.
 

Why do you create?

I have always turned to writing to figure the world (and myself) out. As a kid my diary was my lifeline—I didn’t understand how I was feeling unless I wrote it down. As an adult, I find writing fiction to be a wonderful way to explore questions I have without having to upend my life. The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living was inspired in part by my wrestling with the question would I be happy living in the country? I have always had a longing to live someplace rural, to have goats and sheep and a dozen dogs, to have some land and to know it well. At the same time I live a very happy city life, full of theater and art and food and people from all over the world. I am perfectly divided. Writing The City Baker, which is set in northern Vermont, gave me the chance to dream about making that move, and to consider the ups and downs of it. But the simplest answer to the question why do I write is that I like to make people laugh. Which is pretty similar to why do I bake. I like making people happy. Sweets and a good story are some things that make people happy, and I get to provide that happiness. Satisfying work all around.
 

What do you consume?

Stories in every form. Novels, of course. But I am also a movie junkie. I love to be in a darkened theater with a bucket of popcorn. I believe movies should be seen on a big screen whenever possible. I’m lucky to live near a wonderful independent movie theater that shows smaller-budget movies, foreign films and old-time classics. Plus they have real butter. And then there are plays! My partner and I subscribe to two theaters in Boston, and we travel to New York frequently to see plays and to eat. And I can’t forget television—there is so much good storytelling happening on TV right now. Add several podcasts to the mix, and you can see that I’m a little story-obsessed.

 

Links

CITY-YELLOWDRESS-2

3Ws – Dana Bate

Author photo

What do you create?

I write what some call “foodie rom coms” – short for food-themed romantic comedies. Other people have called it chick lit, lighthearted women’s fiction, and foodie lit. I just write the stories inside me and try not to label them.

Why do you create?

I like making something that can bring a smile to someone’s face, including my own. When I’m in a groove and write a scene that is working, it’s like a drug – I can’t get enough. But what’s even better is when someone else reads that scene and has a similar reaction. I recently received a message from a reader who was going through a difficult time in his personal life, and he said, “Thanks for making some tough times in my life much better.” If I can make even one person’s day a little brighter with something I’ve created, then I’ve created something worthwhile.

What do you consume?

Food. A lot of food. I’m always seeking out new restaurants, bakeries, and food shops, both in my own neighborhood and travel destinations. Food is how I access culture. Every time I visit a new city or country, I track down the local specialties, which inevitably helps me understand that culture, whether I’m in Tel Aviv or Boston.

I also read a lot of books (mostly novels, all genres) and watch a potentially unhealthy amount of TV. The storytelling on TV is so strong right now – The Good Wife, Homeland, The Affair – and I’m a sucker for a good story.

Links

 

a second bite at the apple

3Ws – Stacey Ballis

gray tilt beaute

What do you create?

I’m primarily a novelist and sometime cookbook author. I write “foodie fiction,” novels with foodie heroines and recipes in the back. My current novel, Out to Lunch, is about a woman who loses her best friend and gains custody of her best friend’s annoying widower. My next novel, Recipe for Disaster, is about a house flipper whose life implodes leaving her jobless, homeless and fiancé-less in one horrible day, forcing her to fend for herself while living in the half-finished ruin of her current construction project. And my new digital cookbook is Big Delicious Life, over 150 recipes in a cool digital format, so a recipe resource right in your pocket! I also cook a lot, which always feels like an act of creation to me.

 

Why do you create?

I don’t breathe so well if I’m not writing something. Whether it is the novels or my blog, The Polymath Chronicles, creating recipes for publication or just for Tuesday dinner, I always feel most at ease in the world if I’m working on something. It is the best expression of my soul that I can imagine. If I’m writing a novel, I’m reaching out to my readers in hopes of touching their hearts, making them laugh. If I’m working on the blog, I’m sharing my life in a much more personal way. If I’m cooking I’m putting my heart on a plate in hopes of bringing someone pure pleasure and sustenance.

 

What do you consume?

Besides chocolate? Books books books, of all types. Contemporary, classics, fiction, non-fiction, mystery, humor, memoir, you name it. I read very quickly, I can read a whole book in a day if I get sucked in, so it helps to have a wide variety of interests. I consume anything related to food and cooking and entertaining, magazines, television shows, cookbooks, cooking equipment catalogs.

I’m a bigger consumer of television than I would like to admit, with a special focus on procedurals, if it is about police work or forensics, I’m pretty well hooked. And at the moment I’m consuming everything related to home improvement and interior design, because my husband and I are renovating our 107 year old home from the basement up, so my brain is very house-centric at the moment.

I’m also trying very hard to be a consumer of time with the people I love, and the people I like a lot. I lost a friend recently in an unexpected and sudden tragedy. She wasn’t one of my best buds, but one of those wonderful “second tier” people who you are so fond of, and always mean to get together with, but sadly let stay on the periphery because life intrudes. Every time we saw each other we laughed and hugged and connected and swore to make plans, and we just never got around to it. Her death made me realize how important it is to actually follow up and follow thru, and so I’ve been reaching out to all the other wonderful people I kept putting off in the name of being busy, and I’m making lunch dates and coffee dates and phone call catch-ups. I hate that I didn’t do it sooner, and that I didn¹t get a chance to do it with her, but I know I honor her memory every time I make room in my schedule for friends. Life is fleeting and precious, and the company of fine people is its greatest pleasure.

Links

Facebook: facebook.com/staceyballis1
Twitter: @staceyballis
Website: staceyballis.com
Blog: thepolymathchronicles.blogspot.com

9780425265499_large_Out_to_Lunch