Hi, friends! Today I’ll be introducing you to my friend K.L. Kincy, who wrote the fun and sweet (pun intended) middle-grade zombie book DEADLY DELICIOUS. It’s about magic-driven, cake-eating zombies and is enjoyable for both kids and their grownups alike. Karen, tell my readers about your book, and what inspired you to write it?
Someone told me there’s no such thing as American cuisine; we just stole a jumble of recipes from other cultures. Since I think we’re more than culinary copycats, I started digging up vintage cookbooks from used bookstores. Inside these musty pages, I found recipes with a distinctly American flavor, especially those concocted by pioneers and southerners.
An idea started nagging me. Could I write a book with that flavor? And make it taste really “vintage American”? The 1950’s looked like the best decade, since it dovetails with a lot of famous Americana. I wanted to talk about old recipes, preserved in heritage cookbooks, and new eats, like drive-ins, fast food, and TV dinners.
In Deadly Delicious, Josephine’s mama comes from a long line of witches who pass down their magic recipes through the generations. Josephine’s daddy, on the other hand, runs a drive-in restaurant where she hopes to work as a carhop one day. My own dad’s family comes from Missouri, the perfect setting for the small town where Josephine lives.
And every time I start to write a book without fantasy, the magic always sneaks back in. Like cake-eating zombies scratching at the windowpane.
That’s fantastic, I love your approach. Are there any plans for a sequel to DEADLY DELICIOUS? I would really enjoy that.
Josephine lives in Paris, Missouri. Obviously, I wondered what would happen if she went to Paris, France one of these days. I do have a title, Bitterly Bewitching, and the start of the plot, but no promises on when I might finish the sequel! Historical fantasy always takes me longer than I think it will, since it involves so much research and worldbuilding.
Awesome. If you manage to get a sequel done, I will be the first in line to buy it!
What was the most fun part of writing DEADLY DELICIOUS? Was it researching voodoo? Or doing lots of baking? And what kinds of recipes did you test while writing the book? Darn, this question is making me hungry…
The most fun part had to be buying vintage cookbooks. Used bookstores are addictive, and finding retro dessert recipes? Even better. I don’t remember trying any of the really weird recipes, since some of the gelatin fruit salads look repulsive, like alien brains with eyeballs floating in them. No, really, Google it. Grapes inside Jell-O sounds okay…
Eww. Grape Jell-O sounds…grapey. Okay—what are your fave zombie movies and books out there, and why do you like them?
The movie Fido manages to make zombies creepy and cute at the same time, though it’s rated R for gore. (They eat brains, not cake.) It takes place 1950’s, like Deadly Delicious, and juxtaposes a cheery, chipper town with darker secrets.
I love Fido! Such a great film. My next question: Everyone’s always curious about writers and their rituals. Do you have any unusual writing rituals? Is there a certain kind of music you jam to while you write?
Without music, I can’t concentrate on writing. I made a Pandora station for Deadly Delicious with a lot of bluegrass and vintage hits from the 50’s. Some of the songs made it into the book, if you look closely at what’s playing on the radio.
If DEADLY DELICIOUS were to be made into a movie, who would you want casted as Josephine? How about Shaula?
Amandla Stenberg, especially when she was younger, would make an awesome Josephine. Though I still think of her as Rue in The Hunger Games. For Shaula, maybe Lupita Nyong’o.
That sounds excellent! I love those casting choices. Thanks for coming to my blog today! Readers, please connect with K.L. at the following links:
(note: K.L. writes for older readers as “Karen Kincy”)