Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A taste of Meredith Mileti's humor with a side dish of a book giveaway

**Giveaway is now closed**

Today we welcome Meredith Mileti to share with us her debut novel "Aftertaste: A Novel In Five Courses"(published September 2011). Meredith lives in Pittsburgh with her husband and their three mostly grown children. Since producing her first batch of gluey brownies from her Easy-Bake oven, Meredith has loved cooking for her family and friends. She is an adventurous and eclectic diner, and appreciates any well-cooked meal, whether from a lobster shack in Bar Harbor, a friggitoria in Naples, a Michelin-starred restaurant in Paris or an undiscovered little gem in her Pittsburgh neighborhood.

Meredith is here to share what makes her laugh the most. She also has two books to give away to some lucky readers in the US.

You can visit Meredith on her website, Facebook and Twitter.

Funniest chick lit novel?
"She’s Come Undone" by Wally Lamb. Poor old Dolores—she makes you laugh, she makes you cry. Although the subject matter is serious, the book is wildly, wickedly funny. I read it ages ago and my husband still talks about how I kept him up nights, laughing aloud.

Funniest book character (chick lit or any kind)?
Ignatius J. Reilly, the over-the-top egomaniacal protagonist from "A Confederacy of Dunces." I love Ignatius because he keeps us all from taking ourselves too seriously.

Favorite comedy film?
It’s an oldie but a goodie--"Planes, Trains and Automobiles." My family watches it every Thanksgiving and it never fails to make us all howl.

Funniest quirk you had as a child?
When I was a kid there was a "Masterpiece Theatre" series on the Six Wives of Henry VIII. My parents didn’t let us watch too much TV, but "Masterpiece Theatre" was on the ‘parent approved’ list. (For the record, I have no idea why—it was filled with nudity, sex and a fair share of beheadings.) After watching it, I became completely obsessed with Ann Boleyn. I’m not sure exactly why she appealed to me. Perhaps it was the fact that that she made the most powerful man in the world bend to her considerable will, albeit temporarily. Or maybe it was the fact that she got an entire country out of going to mass—high on my ten-year old mind ’s list of priorities. Whatever it was, she struck a chord with me. I took the paisley quilted robe my grandmother had given me for my birthday, cut off the arms and crafted it into a bizarre looking Tudor-style costume. I fashioned a headdress out of a headband, tin foil and a pillowcase. As soon as I got home from school, I’d don this get up and walk around speaking in faux Middle English. The coup de grace was when my mom walked in on my baby sister and me. She was dressed as an executioner in a pair of tights, a black ski mask and was wielding a plastic ax as I recited Anne’s last speech on the Tower Green. The end result—"Masterpiece Theater" was replaced by "The Brady Bunch" and "The Partridge Family."

Funniest thing that happened to you recently?
As part of the promotion for "Aftertaste," the dining critic for the Pittsburgh paper volunteered to do a story on me as a home cook and writer. Not being the professional chef that my protagonist is, I was more than a little intimidated by the thought of cooking for our discerning food critic. The day came, I smiled and cooked and came up with what I hoped were reasonably coherent responses to her questions whilst managing not to overcook either the pasta or the swordfish. I was in the home stretch. Everything had gone perfectly and according to plan. The photographer had packed up her camera and we were sitting around my dining room table, enjoying the last of the dessert and chatting about my journey as a writer and a cook while waiting for the espresso to brew.
Suddenly, right in the middle of my recounting what I hoped was an amusing anecdote about my foray into recipe testing for the book, I sensed that I’d lost their attention. I saw them exchange a stricken look. Was it something I said?
“Ah,” the critic said, gesturing behind me into the kitchen. “Are those flames coming from the coffee pot?”
Yes, in fact they were. Flames shot up from the handle, blackening the hood.
We rushed in. The kitchen quickly filled with smoke and the noxious fumes from the melting plastic of the handle. I shut off the gas and was attempting to remove the still blazing pot when my husband doused the entire mess with the pot of pasta water I’d left cooling on the stove.
There was no espresso. In fact, there will be no espresso in my house until I replace the coffeemaker AND have the stove repaired.

Funniest misunderstanding?
When my son was a little boy, he and his sisters were asked to be the ring bearer and flower girls in my sister’s wedding. The girls were so excited, imagining the beautiful twirly skirts they would wear and angling for high-heeled shoes and makeovers on the big day. Mark didn’t have too much to say about it. He was about five at the time. When several months later my sister called off her wedding, the girls were crushed, but Mark’s wiry little body inflated when he heard the news. “Phew,” he said, with noticeable relief, “That’s great news. I didn’t really want to have to wear that bear suit.” I looked at him, a puzzled expression on my face and asked, “What do you mean?” He looked across the table at me with complete disdain. “Duh, mom. The ring bear?” For months the poor little guy thought he was going to have to take part in some bizarre wedding ritual that involved dressing up in a bear suit.

Favorite humorous quote?
“When my brain begins to reel from my literary endeavors, I make an occasional cheese dip.” (Spoken by Ignatius J. Reilly in John Kennedy O’Toole’s "A Confederacy of Dunces.") I consider those words to live by.

Funniest TV or movie character?
I’m a huge fan of the television show "Bored to Death." In fact, I’m hard pressed to choose which of the three main actors—Jason Schwartzman, Zack Galafianakis and Ted Danson—plays my favorite character. I think I’ll have to go with Jason’s character, Jonathan Ames, a neurotic, self-absorbed, self-medicating writer, obsessed with the Amazon rating of his lackluster first novel. Completely blocked and unable to complete his second novel, Ames hires himself out as an unlicensed private detective, hoping to find inspiration. That sets the stage for some wonderful misadventures.

Favorite joke?
I don’t have a favorite joke, but I do have a favorite poem:

See the happy moron.
He doesn’t give a damn.
I wish I was a moron.
My God, perhaps I am!

Thanks to Meredith for leaving us with a pleasant aftertaste of her humor and for sharing her novel with our readers.

How to win "Aftertaste":
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: Who do you think is the funniest TV or movie character?

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. Please read our posting guidelines, as well. (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 to edit their settings.

US only. Giveaway ends October 24th at midnight EST.


jane said...

Great interview and book; however, there is a typo in the intervew. It's dessert not desert!!

BRN2SHOP9 said...

The funniest person on tv is Eric Stonestreet. He plays Cameron on Modern Family.

Follow via Facebook, twitter, and gfc.

Brn2shop9 at gmail dot com

Melissa said...

Jane, Nice catch! I fixed it. :) However, interview is missing an "i" in your comment. :)

Krystal Lynn said...

Funniest characters: Lucy and Ricky Ricardo! I Love Lucy is one of the funniest shows of all time! :D

Also have to throw in Dwight and Andy from The Ofice, Ross and Chandler from Friends and basically any character played by Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, Bill Hader, Jason Segel, Michael Cera, Steve Carell, Will Ferrel, Zach Galifianakis, Amy Poehler and Tina Fey.

Marthalynn said...

Funniest character - any of the Arrested Development cast! Each one of them plays their role so well! And they all have such unique and quirky personalities.

I'm follower :)

acluisi (at) hotmail (dot) com

Jane said...

Thanks for catching my spelling of interview and fixing dessert! Hard to type and read on my small keyboard!

Erin said...

Thanks for the giveaway. I am a follower of your blog. erins826 at gmail dot com

Tiffany Drew said...

I also have to go with Chandler and Ross from Friends, although Darlene from Roseanne is a very close second!

GFC follower Tiffany Drew
Facebook member Tiffany Drew


Linda Kish said...

I would love to win a copy of this book.

Inspector Clouseau from The Pink Panther (what can I say, I am old).

I am a GFC follower

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Jeryl M. said...

I would like to read this.

Jeryl M. said...

I think the characters of Sheldon and Amy on The Big Bang Theory are very funny.

I am a Facebook follower.

I am a subscriber.

Nina said...

Flames coming from the coffee pot! Oh boy!!!
I think Dorothy Zbornak of the Golden Girls has GOT to be the funniest TV character ever for me! I never tire of the humor on that show, no matter how many times I watch an episode! :)

Kristen said...

My favorite character is Barney from How I Met Your Mother!

I follow on FB.


The Phantom Paragrapher said...

At the moment Im loving Zooey Descahnel in The New Girl. Its such a classic role and shes so FUN :)
Follower via GFC , FB, Twiiter

Anonymous said...

Sheldon on Big Bang! Hilarious...!

Susan @ The Book Bag said...

Thanks for the chance to win this one - I need a good laugh!

Betty White has got to be one of the funniest people alive!

I am a GFC follower and 'Like' CLC on Facebook!


Amy said...

Funniest TV/Movie character has to be Will Farrell. Everything he does is SO hilarious!

I am a GFC follower.

I follow via email

Amyrbromberg (at) gmail (dot)com

I'm a member of CLC on Facebook.

I follow on Twitter.


rubynreba said...

Good interview. I'd enjoy this book.

rubynreba said...

Facebook member

Nancye said...

1. This sounds like a fun book! Thanks for the chance!

2. The funniest person on TV is Ray Romano on "Everybody Loves Raymond" I also love "The Middle" All of the actors on that show are hysterical!

3. GFC Follower

4. I like you on FB

5. I Tweeted---@NancyeDavis!/NancyeDavis/status/128649007718342656

6. I posted this giveaway on my FB Wall!/nancyecdavis/posts/248137128567386

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

mep said...

This book sounds like a totally satisfying and entertaining read -- I hope I win it, but now I want to buy it if I don't! Funniest television character? Tough question as there are so many ... Let's go with the cast of Community, great ensemble cast on a hilarious, witty, creative and underrated show.

mep at nottobrag dot net