He discovered his love of exceptional cuisine while vacationing on a cruise ship at the age of twelve. When I introduced the character of Bradley Whitman into my first novel, I intended him to be a side character; a lovable, precocious young boy more advanced than his age. However, he had such a wonderful, colorful personality that I didn’t want to let him go. So, I didn’t. I fast-forwarded him sixteen years in my second novel.
People often ask me if I base my characters on people I know. The answer to that is yes, and no. As an adult, Bradley loves to cook. His love of food and cooking is my love of food and cooking. But that is the only intentional similarity to an actual person you will see in Bradley, as much as I wish I had his intellect. (Yes, he is fictional, and I created his accomplishments, but he is much smarter than I am.)
To this point, I’ve incorporated food into most of the stories I’ve written. Like Bradley, I use cooking to help me think. Whether I need to contemplate the plot in one on my books, how I plan to market my work, or just plan my week, a casserole or fresh baked bread help me to run through the details.
Then there are those times when I just want to relax and empty my head of words. So, I replace the words with ingredients and try new recipes or create my own. I call it therapy.
Some people exercise, some go fishing, others read a book. I create concoctions then collapse on my couch and consume countless calories. Therapy! Maybe not the healthiest, but quite satisfying.
Now, if I could just find a way for my kitchen to magically clean itself!