Monday, October 25, 2010

Interview with Melissa Senate and book giveaway



**Giveaway is now closed**

Today we have three Melissas in one "room." Not only that, but our maiden names begin with S, so we're all Melissa S, as well! Plus, Melissa A can relate to Melissa Senate's love for pop culture and being the mom of a son (or two, in Melissa A's case). Melissa P can relate about cooking because her husband is a chef and he owns a restaurant. She is also a writer. We found these common interests by interviewing the lovely Melissa Senate and finding out some fun facts about her, that we hope you will enjoy too!

If you like what you read, you can follow Melissa on Twitter, friend her on Facebook and visit her website.

Finally, Melissa has offered to give away one copy of "The Love Goddess' Cooking School" (which will be in stores tomorrow) to a lucky reader in the US or Canada.

Melissa P: What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
Melissa S: I love reading in coffee shops, on those comfy overstuffed chairs with a strong mug of Sumatra coffee and a berry scone. Also love going to the movies in the middle of the day, but don’t get to sneak off too often. Reading and anything to do with pop culture are pretty much my favorite things to do.

Melissa P: What is your usual writing routine?
Melissa S: My best writing time is crack of dawn before anything can make an impression on me, whether the news or irresistible social media. So I pop out of bed at 5 a.m. and head to my desk and write for two hours before my 8 year old son wakes up. If I’m getting close to deadline, I’ll also write while he’s at school, otherwise I use those precious hours for my freelance work—writing jacket copy/back cover copy and freelance editing.

Melissa P: Did you celebrate when your first book was published?
Melissa S: Oh yeah! I threw a big launch party at a swanky lounge in my then neighborhood in New York City, and so many friends/coworkers/former coworkers from different eras of my life came to celebrate with me. That was a magical time.

Melissa P: What was your inspiration for “The Love Goddess’ Cooking School”?
Melissa S:: Dual inspiration: the first was my late grandmother, whose life was so interesting to me, yet she was so tightlipped about her past, her marriages, her early life on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, and her parents, who came to America from Latvia. But during my many weekends with her as a kid, I noticed she’d open up a bit while we were cooking together in the kitchen. She’d let me scrub potatoes or wash vegetables, and I’d get an earful. Out of the kitchen, not a peep.

The other inspiration was my son, Max, who loves to cook with me. On his sixth birthday, while beating eggs for his beloved bacon and cheese frittata, he leaned close to the bowl of eggs and said into it, “Please let Mommy get me a rat, mouse, hamster or rabbit for my birthday. Please, please, please.” He stirred the eggs some more and made his fervent wish again. And over time, the combination of my thinking about my grandmother in the kitchen and my son’s wishing into his eggs (his wish did come true and he got 2 fancy pet rats (ugh) for his birthday!) inspired the novel.

Melissa A: Which of your characters (from any novel you’ve written) can you relate to the most? Least?
Melissa S:: I definitely relate most to Jane from See Jane Date. She wasn’t me, but I was her—if that makes any sense! I least related to the characters from my novel The Breakup Club, despite having been through quite a few breakups myself. I love that book, but those four main characters came from an interesting place inside me instead of “through” me, if that makes sense too!

Melissa A: If “The Love Goddess’ Cooking School” were to be made into a movie, who would you want to cast in the lead roles?
Melissa S: Beloved Kate Winslet for Holly, the main character. Robert Downey, Jr. for her love interest, Liam. Emily Blunt for Tamara. Dakota Fanning or AnnaSophia Robb for Mia. Ryan Gosling for Simon.

Melissa P: You have moved around and lived in places that all vary in size, landscape, and energy. How did you adapt to the different communities and is there one place that holds your heart more than the others?
Melissa S: I’ll always feel like a New Yorker in my heart, but Maine (after 6 years here) has come to feel like home. I don’t adapt well to change at all. I think one of the reasons I’ve always been such a reader is because no matter where you are or what you’re feeling, you can always lose yourself in a book. And you’ll always come out of that book slightly—or sometimes very—different.

Melissa A: What is your favorite thing about Halloween?
Melissa S: The huge sack of candy treats my son will spill out on the table after trick or treating and share with me. He hates all the good stuff—meaning anything with nuts, caramel, nougat, cream, or mint.

Melissa A: What is your favorite thing to cook?
Melissa S: My favorite thing to cook is Camilla Cucinotta’s Chicken Alla Milanese, which Holly, the main character, of The Love Goddess’ Cooking School, teaches in the first class. It’s so simple and delicious. And the final ingredient is a wish. (You can find the recipe—and others—at the end of the novel.)

Melissa A: What is one thing about you that people would find surprising?
Melissa S:: That I’m really such an introvert. I don’t think I come across that way, but after an hour or so with people, I crave being alone.

Bonus question: Since we're all Melissas here...who is your favorite celebrity with the name Melissa?
Melissa S: I want to say Melissa Gilbert, since Little House on the Prairie had such a profound effect and influence on me as a kid. But it’s really Melissa Joan Hart. I’ve loved her since "Clarissa Explains It All."

Special thanks to Melissa Senate for a fun and interesting interview and for providing a book for the giveaway!


How to win "The Love Goddess' Cooking School":
Please comment below with your e-mail address.
(Please note: Entries without an e-mail address will NOT be counted. You can use AT and DOT to avoid spam. Or provide a link to your facebook page if you can receive messages there.)

1. Please tell us: Who is your favorite celebrity with the name Melissa?
2. Please tell us: What is your favorite cooking ritual (or favorite part of cooking, aside from eating the finished product)?
3. Follow this blog and post a comment saying you are a follower (if you already follow, that's fine too).
4. Post this contest on Facebook or Twitter or in your blog, and leave a comment saying where you've posted it.
5. Join Chick Lit Central on Facebook. (If you're already a member, let us know that too.)

US/Canada only. Giveaway ends Thursday, October 28th, at midnight EST.

Don't forget to check out Melissa Senate's bucket list at Chick Lit is Not Dead, as well.

76 comments:

Jonita said...

This one has been on my wish list since I first heard about it. Please enter me to win!

jonitathebookchick(at)gmail(dot)com

Jonita said...

Even though she's already been mentioned, I would have to say that Melissa Joan Hart is my fave Melissa. I loved her in "Sabrina the Teenage Witch", and she's just so darn cute now, especially now that she's a mom.

jonitathebookchick(at)gmail(dot)com

Jonita said...

I'll admit that I'm not huge on cooking, mainly because I'm not very adventurous in the kitchen. Last night I dig up a bunch of cooking magazines that I haven't looked at in a while and looked at recipes, and I would have to say that is my favourite part- finding new recipes to cook for my family.

jonitathebookchick(at)gmail(dot)com

Jonita said...

I am a GFC follower of this blog.

jonitathebookchick(at)gmail(dot)com

Jonita said...

I am a Facebook fan of CLC.

jonitathebookchick(at)gmail(dot)com

Jonita said...

I've posted your contest on my sidebar at http://book-chic.blogspot.com.

Stephanie G said...

I am SOO excited about the release of this book! Been looking forward to it. ADORE Melissa Senate.

daniels_mommy04 at yahoo dot com

Stephanie G said...

Melissa Etheridge

daniels_mommy04 at yahoo dot com

Stephanie G said...

Honestly I love the whole cooking process. Cooking is a talent for me. It is effortless. But I really got the deep love of producing food for loved ones from my grandma. She showed her love through food. Holidays were a big production. Now she is gone, but I find myself mimicking her in the kitchen.

daniels_mommy04 at yahoo dot com

Stephanie G said...

Of course I follow your blog!!

daniels_mommy04 at yahoo dot com

Stephanie G said...

Already a fan of Chick Lit Central on FB, which incidentally is how I found your blog.

daniels_mommy04 at yahoo dot com

Stephanie G said...

Sharing the contest on Facebook.
http://www.facebook.com/stephanie.gutenberger

daniels_mommy04 at yahoo dot com

Ruthie said...

This sounds wonderful! Please enter me, thanks.

ruthiekb72@yahoo.com

Ruthie said...

FB follower

ruthiekb72@yahoo.com

PoCoKat said...

Melissa Gilbert

littleone AT shaw DOT ca

PoCoKat said...

I follow on GFC.

littleone AT shaw DOT ca

Tiffany said...

I would love to enter! It is on my TBR list!
Schlarmette at gmail dot com

Tiffany said...

Hmmm I can't think of another Melissa aside from Joan hart! I was totally won over by Melissa S with her coffee house reading comment! I couldn't agree more!
Schlarmette at gmail DOT com

Tiffany said...

I love to cook to music and I always set out all the ingredients I need before starting my dish!
Schlarmette AT gmail DOT com

Tiffany said...

I am a gfc follower
schlarmette AT gmail DOT com

Tiffany said...

I am a facebook groupie! Haha
schlarmette AT gmail DOTcom

Anonymous said...

Melissaq Gilbert is my favorite Melissa.


CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Colleen Turner said...

I keep seeing reviews and praise for this book all over the place, and I would love a chance to win it!
Thanks,
candc320@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Picking out the receipe is my favorite part of cooking. I like to try things new to me.


CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Colleen Turner said...

The only one I can think of is Melissa Joan Hart. I loved her on the Teeange Witch show!
candc320@gmail.com

Colleen Turner said...

My favorite part of cooking, besides eating, is smelling the food while it is bubbling/baking away. It just does so much for the anticipation of the meal! Is there much better then the smell of sauteeing onions?
candc320@gmail.com

Colleen Turner said...

I am a GFC follower of this blog (Colleen Turner).
candc320@gmail.com

Colleen Turner said...

I am a Facebook fan (Colleen Turner).
candc320@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

I am a GFC follower of Chick Lit Central.


CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Anonymous said...

I tweeted. My twitter name is Carolee888.

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=144689614408 See above for 'Love Goddess Cooking School' Giveaway

CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Anonymous said...

I am a Facebook fan of Chick Lit Central.


CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

a real librarian said...

This one sounds great! Thanks for the chance to win!!

areallibrarian[at]gmail[dot]com

a real librarian said...

I like Melissa Ethridge!

areallibrarian[at]gmail[dot]com

a real librarian said...

I like to cook with a glass of wine and some good music!!

areallibrarian[at]gmail[dot]com

Janel said...

This book went on my wish list the minute I heard about it!

jgbeads(at)gmail(dot)com

Janel said...

My favorite celebrity Melissa in Melissa Ethridge. :)

jgbeads(at)gmail(dot)com

Janel said...

I find chopping vegetables very meditative. I love watching the piles of veggies form!

jgbeads(at)gmail(dot)com

Janel said...

I joined Chick Lit Central on FB!

jgbeads(at)gmail(dot)com

Janel said...

I am a Chick Lit Central Follower. :)

jgbeads(at)gmail(dot)com

Inspired Kathy said...

Please enter me bkhabel at gmail dot com

Inspired Kathy said...

I follow on GFC bkhabel at gmail dot com

Amber @ A Little Pink in the Cornfields said...

I'm a follower of your blog and on FB as well!
amber_johnson2004(at)yahoo(dot)com

Amber @ A Little Pink in the Cornfields said...

My fav "Melissa" celebrity would have to be a toss up b/w Melissa Joan Hart and Melissa Gilbert!

Anonymous said...

cooking with music on, thx for the contest..
thehighflyer3(at)hotmail(dot)com

karissa said...

Would love the chance to win a great new read!

DarcyO said...

This one's on my TBR list. Thanks for the chance.

dlodden at frontiernet dot net

DarcyO said...

Melissa Gilbert is my favorite.

dlodden at frontiernet dot net

DarcyO said...

The smells are my favorite part of cooking.

dlodden at frontiernet dot net

Marian Pearson Stevens said...

Would love, love this book! I like having people around in the kitchen when the aroma fills the house. A homey feel. Melissa Hart, since she's a cutie and Sabrina. I'm a chick lit groupie and blog follower. And shared your link on FB.

Congrats on the release, Melissa!

marian(at)marianpearsonstevens(dot)com

Heather said...

My favorite Melissa is also Melissa Joan Hart! I love all of her shows!
ra6352 (at) gmail (dot) com

Heather said...

My favorite part of cooking is that my husband does most of it! I am just the helper!
ra6352 (at) gmail (dot) com

Heather said...

I am a follower!
ra6352 (at) gmail (dot) com

Heather said...

I shared on facebook.
ra6352 (at) gmail (dot) com

Heather said...

I am a member of Chick Lit Central.
ra6352 (at) gmail (dot) com

Linda Kish said...

Melissa Rycroft is a cutie.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

I am not much at cooking but I do love the aromas when you get it all put together.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Laura Rachel Fox said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laura Rachel Fox said...

1. Melissa George. Mostly for her role on my fave TV series "Alias.

lostlibrarygirl@sbcglobal.net

Laura Rachel Fox said...

2. My favorite part of cooking is licking the cake batter bowl!

lostlibrarygirl@sbcglobal.net

Laura Rachel Fox said...

3. I'm a follower

lostlibrarygirl@sbcglobal.net

Laura Rachel Fox said...

I tweeted:

http://twitter.com/#!/LostLibraryGirl/status/28914261585

lostlibrarygirl@sbcglobal.net

Laura Rachel Fox said...

5. I'm a member of Chick Lit Central on Facebook.

lostlibrarygirl@sbcglobal.net

Jennifer said...

My fav celebrity Melissa is Melissa McCarthy! I've been a huge fan of hers since Gilmore Girls (one of my all time fav shows!). Love her! And I've been eyeing this book, so I am interested in reading it. Please enter me in the giveaway.
jlcole09(at)gmail(dot)com
Thanks so much!

Jennifer said...

I also just posted it on my facebook- Jennifer Cole
jlcole09(at)gmail(dot)com

Jennifer said...

I alos just posted it on my twitter- titangirl09
jlcole09(at)gmail(dot)com

Anonymous said...

I am so looking forward to reading this- it would be a great bonus to win my own copy!
cherbason at cox dot net

Jeryl said...

My favorite celebrity Melissa is Melissa Gilbert, but I also have a friend, Melissa Rauch, who just became a regular on The Big Bang Theory so hopefully some day she will be my favorite celebrity Melissa.

Jeryl said...

I don't really have a favorite cooking ritual.

jeryl.marcus@gmail.com

Jeryl said...

I am a follower of chick lit central.

jeryl.marcus@gmail.com

Jeryl said...

I am a facebook fan of chick lit central.

jeryl.marcus@gmail.com

minishoes1 said...

Mellisa Gilbert-great actress! Thanks!jacquecurl1(at)gmail(dot)com

minishoes1 said...

I am a follower. jacquecurl1(at)gmail(dot)com

minishoes1 said...

I love to cook simple things and love to look at recipes on the internet. I try to cook something I have never tryed before and like to bake-mostly cakes. thanks!jacquecurl1(at)gmail(dot)com

Jennifer said...

My name is Jennifer, I love to try a new recipe every few days for dinner with my husband. I am a follower of this blog, and also CLC on fb. I posted this contest on facebook.

sweetyjenj(AT)hotmail(DOT)com
please enter me to win :)

Tina said...

I've been a Melissa Gilbert fan for years.

please enter me for this one.

tbranco AT hughes NET

Tina said...

My favorite cooking ritual is actually browsing cookbooks to get inspiration for what to cook.

tbranco AT hughes DOT net