Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Interview with Beth Kendrick and book giveaway

**Giveaway is now closed**

Today we are pleased to welcome the very funny Beth Kendrick, author of "The Bake-Off," to Chick Lit Central! We got to chat with Beth about her writing, where she would like to travel, and the difficulty of making a perfect pie crust. Beth lives in sunny Arizona (just like Melissa P, who got to meet her recently) with her husband, child, and two dogs. (Another thing she has in common with Melissa P....the dogs, that is. And the husband too.). She loves to hear from her readers, so if you have more questions for Beth (or you just want to tell her how great she is), feel free. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter. And for some lucky readers in the US and Canada, she has two copies of "The Bake-Off" to give away!

MP: What is your usual writing routine?
BK: I write whenever my child is sleeping or at preschool. As you might imagine, this means I have a spotty social life and a filthy house, but, uh, that’s good for building my kid’s immune system, right?

MP: What was your biggest challenge while writing "The Bake Off"?
BK: Okay, so the book is about two long-estranged sisters who team up to enter a high-profile national bakeoff in the hopes of winning some serious prize money. The catch? Neither one of them can bake anything more complicated than brownies from a mix. (They entered using their grandmother’s secret recipe that’s been handed down through the generations).
At the time I sold the book proposal, I couldn’t bake, either, so I enrolled in a 2-day intensive baking workshop where I spent the better part of 6 hours trying to create and roll out pie crust. Now, for those of you who don’t know much about pastry, let me just say this: HOLY COW. Pie crust is no joke. Making it from scratch is the culinary equivalent of having a triple black belt.
(True story: so when I finally finished rolling, filling, and baking my pie, the class instructor tasted the finished product, paused for a moment, and then said, “There are two types of pies, and you…have made the other kind.” You know that line went straight into the book!)

MA: If "The Bake Off" were made into a movie, who would you cast as the lead roles?
BK: The key would be finding the right chemistry between the two sisters--Linnie’s so serious and guarded and Amy’s so open and spontaneous. I think Mad Men’s January Jones would make a great Linnie. As for Amy, maybe Grey’s Anatomy’s Jessica Capshaw?

MA: What is your favorite song from the past year?
BK: It’s a tie:
1. Cee Lo Green’s “Forget You”. I like to drive around the suburbs in my pint-sized SUV, singing along to this song at the top of my lungs. Who needs personal dignity when you have lyrics like “I guess he’s an Xbox; I’m more Atari”? Total. Genius.

2. Sugarland’s “Stuck Like Glue”. It’s just so happy and bubbly, and it actually sparked the idea for a new book proposal I’m working on. Thank you, Sugarland!

MA: What are you looking forward to this summer?
BK: Going to the RWA writers’ conference in New York City. I’ll have lunch with my amazing editor, hang out with all my writer friends who live far away, and have cocktails at my favorite bar in all the world: Dive 75. (They have bowls of miniature Snickers and Milky Ways on the bar instead of pretzels or nuts! And board games! And an aquarium! I would live there if I could.) The only potential hazard is that large groups of jet-lagged writers + fruity alcoholic drinks = occasional lapses in judgment. I hope I don’t come home with a tattoo.

MA: If you were to bake us a cake, what kind would you make?
BK: Rose Levy Beranbaum’s The Cake Bible has a recipe called “Perfect All-American Chocolate Butter Cake.” I made this for my husband’s birthday and it baked up beautifully and tasted like the love child of a sponge cake and a Hershey bar. I would make that for you guys, and then slather it up with chocolate buttercream frosting. (Moderation? Never heard of it!)

(Side note from MA: Remind us to come over to your house if I'm ever in town to visit MP!)

MA: What is the oldest piece of clothing you own and how long have you had it?
BK: I have an ancient, threadbare Chicago Bears T-shirt I swiped from my grandfather when I was a teenager. For years, it was my favorite thing to wear while writing, but now it’s literally starting to fall apart at the seams, so I only break it out when I’m really sweating a deadline and need a double dose of good karma.

MP: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
BK: I've always wanted to spend a winter weekend in a luxurious subzero suite at the Ice Hotel in Sweden. (Think the Four Seasons meets an igloo.) My feeling is, you really haven't lived until you've slept in a bed made of reindeer pelts and polar bear ice sculptures.

MP: You live in Arizona with your husband and dogs, are you an Arizona native? Or did you escape from a frigid climate like most of us Phoenicians?
BK: I grew up all over the Northeast, then went to college in Minnesota. After 4 grueling Minnesota winters, I conceded defeat and headed to warm, sunny California for grad school. Now I’m in Arizona, and like many Phoenix residents, I cannot tolerate temperatures below 70 degrees Fahrenheit. All molecular movement in my body ceases. Scientific fact.

MP: What are some of the places that you take visitors to when they come to Arizona?
BK: I always try to make time for a drive up to Sedona to see the red rocks and go hiking.
In the Phoenix area, I like to drop by the Poisoned Pen, which is a very cool independent bookstore in Scottsdale. They have signed first editions of lots of titles, and they host great writers’ events. All the big authors in mystery/suspense stop by for a signing while touring for a new release. I’ve learned a ton about writing from attending the author Q & As.
Oh, and our guests invariably end up lounging around the pool in my backyard. I live a few blocks away from a resort, and the hotel puts on a huge extravaganza every year for the fourth of July. We can sit in the pool, drinks in hand, and watch the fireworks directly overhead. It’s so awe-inspiring, it almost makes one forget that the midday temperatures will be over 110 degrees for another 10 weeks straight.

Special thanks to Beth for chatting with us today and for offering the books for the giveaway.

How to win "The Bake-Off":
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 or blog if you can receive messages there.)

Bonus entries (can be listed all in one post):
1. Please tell us: What is your favorite song from the past year? (All this talk about food is making us hungry, so it was time for a change of pace!)
2. Follow this blog and post a comment saying you are a follower (if you already follow, that's fine too).
3. Post this contest on Facebook or Twitter or in your blog, and leave a comment saying where you've posted it.
4. Join Chick Lit Central on Facebook. Edit settings if you don't want to receive a lot of messages at your e-mail account. (If you're already a member, let us know that too.)

5. Add a friend to our Facebook group. (Tell us who you added.)
Be sure to remind them about editing their settings. :)


US/Canada only. Giveaway ends May 31st at midnight EST.


More by Beth Kendrick:




44 comments:

rbooth43 said...

Thanks to Beth for Telling us about today for "The Bake-Off," and for offering the book for the giveaway!
My Favorite song is also Sugarland’s “Stuck Like Glue”.
I am a google follower!
I joined Chick Lit Central on Facebook!
Rebecca
rbooth43(at0yahoo(dot)com

Kat said...

It's always a delight to learn more about authors!

ladykathryn@rogers.com

Kat said...

My favourite song from the past year has to be Perfect by Pink. I never get tired of hearing it and it has such a wonderful message.

ladykathryn@rogers.com

Kat said...

I am a follower of the blog through GFC.

ladykathryn@rogers.com

Kat said...

Posting on FB.

ladykathryn@rogers.com

Kat said...

I am a member of CLC.

ladykathryn@rogers.com

BRN2SHOP9 said...

My favorite song is Katy perry teenage dream

BRN2SHOP9 said...

I follow via gfc

BRN2SHOP9 said...

I follow via twitter

BRN2SHOP9 said...

I follow via facebook

Kritter said...

My favorite song right now is Thompson Square's Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not.

I am a GFC.
I am a member on facebook.

kdurham2@gmail.com

S.Sabia said...

I have been wanting to read this one, count me in!
sfsabiaATverizonDOTnet

S.Sabia said...

Bonuse entries: my favorite sond is Rolling in the deep by Adele. I am loving her new album!
I am a follower of the blog.
I have joined the group on FB.

Karen said...

Favorite song from the past year has been Never There by Cake (older song, but I love it!)

I follow this blog.

I'm a member of Chick Lit Central on Facebook

kschomaker(at)gmail(dot)com

PoCoKat said...

Bake off ... baking...I like it already!

littleone AT shaw DOT ca

PoCoKat said...

My favorite song from the past year is Hiding My Heart by Adele from her 21 album.

littleone AT shaw dOT ca

PoCoKat said...

GFC follower

littleone At shaw DOT ca

PoCoKat said...

Member of Chick Lit Central on B

littleone AT shaw DOT ca

PoCoKat said...

Posted to my FB page.

littleone AT shaw DOT ca

Robin Blankenship said...

I am so looking forward to this one. I lover her other books.

robinblankenship at gmail dot com

My fave song I discovered from Glee. Keane's Somewhere only we know.

I follow your blog under robin blankenship.

I asked to join chick lit central on Facebook. www.facebook.com/robinblankenship

Thanks

Robin

Alyssa Goodnight said...

I'm already a Beth Kendrick fan, and I'm looking forward to reading this book!

My favorite part of this interview was the description of the chocolate cake Beth made her husband. :) (And little bowls of Snickers on the bar?? Love it!)

Thanks!
alyssa AT alyssagoodnight DOT com

Teresa said...

It seems there are a lot of authors in Arizona (at least that I've been hearing about) I really want to read this one.

teresasreadingcorner at gmail dot com

Teresa said...

I am a follower

teresasreadingcorner at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

I loved the pie story.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

Current favorite song...I Won't Let Go by Rascal Flatts

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

I am a GFC follower

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Jencey said...

Jencey
jenceyg@msn
I am a follower of Chick Lit Central on both fb and blogger.

My favorite song of the last year. My favorite song is "On The Floor" by Jennifer Lopez.

I will share on my web.

I love to bake and have the baking gene in my family. :)

RivkaBelle said...

The cover of this, and that chocolate cake description, have made me want to raid the kitchen now, LOL!

quarterback.girl[at]gmail[dot]com

Bonus entries:
+ 1 My fav song of the year ... Lady Antebellum's "Our Kind of Love" - I love it, it's just so sweet, and what I would want as the "theme song" for a serious relationship!

+1 I am a GFC follower

+1 I am part of Chick Lit Central on facebook (RebeccaMFleming)

Dolly said...

Thanks Beth,I've been looking forward to reading 'The Bake-Off' - I seem to have developed a taste for a sub-genre of books about food!

I don't have a favorite song from this year since I don't hear much current music, but my newest favorite song is 'Bad Romance' - I'm a recent Gaga convert, thanks to 'Glee'!

I follow here via GFC, and have sent a 'Join' reqeust to Chick Lit Central on Facebook (how did I not already belong??)

jcsites2002 (at) hotmail (dot) com

faithspage said...

Sara Evans, Stonger is my favorite so far of the year

I've been following on gfc
I've been following on fb

kyfaithw at aol dot com

Denise Sandra said...

I follow via Facebook "Denise Sandra" Link

My favorote song from last year/
"Just The Way You Are" by Bruno Mars not the same song by Billie Joel, although that song is wonderful as well).

I am following the blog- check
Posting contest on facebook- check
I am already a member of Chick Lit Central on Facebook I mean duh, how do you think I knew about this contest :):) so check and i will add a friend or try to anyway :):)
Ok there ya have it.
Thank you

Jeryl M. said...

Sounds like a good book. I'd like to read it.

jeryl.marcus@gmail.com

Jeryl M. said...

My favorite song is constantly changing and is usually something I heard on Glee. Right now, I like Rolling in the Deep and Pure Imagination.

I'm a facebook fan.

I follow this blog.

jeryl.marcus@gmail.com

Margaret said...

Any book with food works for me!

Fav. song: When a Man Loves a Woman

I'm also a follower.

Thanks! Margaret
singitm@hotmail.com

StereoQueenBee said...

1. Please tell us: What is your favorite song from the past year? (All this talk about food is making us hungry, so it was time for a change of pace!)

Rollin in the Deep - Adele

2. Follow this blog and post a comment saying you are a follower (if you already follow, that's fine too).

Already follow!

3. Post this contest on Facebook or Twitter or in your blog, and leave a comment saying where you've posted it.

FB and Twitter (stereoqueenbee)

4. Join Chick Lit Central on Facebook. Edit settings if you don't want to receive a lot of messages at your e-mail account. (If you're already a member, let us know that too.)

Already a member!

queenofcrunk at gmail dot com

leonel said...

leonelescota at gmail.com

follower/FB member

fave song: anything by Adele from her album '21'

Bonnie said...

Sounds like a super book! My favorite song is "Rolling In The Deep" by Adele.
intrepid9923(at)yahoo(dot)com

Bonnie said...

I am a loyal follower!
intrepid9923(at)yahoo(dot)com

Bonnie said...

I follow on Facebook!
intrepid9923(at)yahoo(dot)com

Bonnie said...

I posted contest on Facebook.
intrepid9923(at)yahoo(dot)com

Bonnie said...

I am a Twitter follower!
intrepid9923(at)yahoo(dot)com

Bonnie said...

I tweeted contest on Twitter!
http://twitter.com/intrepid9923/status/74895340687462400

ADR said...

I love P!nk's "Raise your Glass"
I follow on Twitter and Facebook and I follow the blog.

alvah67 at aol dot com

msamy said...

I loved the candid interview with Beth....I'm more than likely going to visit if I'm ever in the Phoenix area, as I'm sure we're kindred spirits!! Can't wait to see what Sugarland has inspired her to do, either, as they're in my Top Ten list of bands I like.....would love to read this one!~!

www.facebook.com/jewelz4u2 is preferable or you can e-mail me at

msamy AT pobox DOT com