Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Amanda Elliot serves up a hot story!

Introduction by Melissa Amster

Funny coincidence: I recently found a copy of It's My Party and I Don't Want to Go by Amanda Panitch for my daughter, as she is having her Bat Mitzvah this year. Then I was doing research for Amanda Elliot's interview and I found out she is the same one who wrote It's My Party...! I love book coincidences (and when my daughter and I have shared interest in the same author). I am pleased to introduce Amanda today and I know you all will enjoy learning more about her. I just added her latest adult rom-com, Best Served Hotto my five-book TBR pile and I'm excited to read it soon!

Amanda Elliot lives with her husband in New York City, where she collects way too many cookbooks for her tiny kitchen, runs in Central Park, and writes for teens and kids under the name Amanda Panitch. (Bio courtesy of Amanda's website.)

Visit Amanda online:
WebsiteTwitter * Instagram

Foodie influencer Julie Zimmerman is crushed to discover that her dream position as a restaurant critic for major newspaper The New York Scroll has gone to yet another uppity reviewer, aptly named Bennett Richard Macalester Wright. While her social media account @JulieZeeEatsNYC has racked up a respectable fifty-thousand followers, Julie still craves the prestige and dining opportunities afforded to a distinguished paper like the Scroll. 

When Julie runs into Bennett at a local food festival, she doesn’t hesitate to confront the annoyingly handsome critic about his outdated views on social media and the changing landscape of restaurant reviewing. On a whim, Julie decides to post the resulting footage and is shocked when the post goes viral. Hoping to attract a younger crowd to the Scroll, Bennett proposes that he and Julie partner up to review some of New York’s hottest restaurants on their respective social media channels. Seeing this as an opportunity to finally gain some repute in the restaurant critiquing world, Julie begrudgingly agrees.

 Though Julie is initially put off by Bennett’s snobby attitude, after sharing delicious meals and competing over foodie trivia and their seriously lacking cooking skills, Julie finds herself drawn in by Bennett’s genuine love of food that rivals her own. When the chemistry between them boils over, Julie and Bennett will have to decide how much heat their relationship can take.

Best Served Hot is a sweet, spicy, absolutely delicious romance! Julie and Bennett's love story will leave you smiling, while the food scenes will leave you hungry. I recommend reading with takeout menus within reach.”
—Jen DeLuca, USA Today bestselling author of Well Matched

"Best Served Hot is the perfect recipe for a fresh, fun, and foodie-licious romcom: A spunky and relatable main character with a decent serving of edge and a hilarious inner voice; a sexy yet strong love interest with a side of cinnamon roll; a large helping of diverse and well-fleshed out supporting characters; and a healthy dash of spice in the bedroom! Warning: do not read on an empty stomach unless you have seriously amazing plans for dinner! Delicious fun."
—Meredith Schorr, author of As Seen on TV

What is a favorite compliment you have received on your writing?
I love hearing that when someone was having a bad day, they read my book and it made them feel better, or at least crack a smile. 

How was your experience of going from writing middle grade and YA to writing adult rom-coms?
While writing a book is never easy, I honestly find writing adult books easier than writing YA or MG books. It's a lot easier for me, an adult, to get into an adult mindset than it is to go back into the mindset of a kid or teen. Otherwise, it's not all that different - I still structure the story with the same story beats and draft/revise in similar ways.

If Best Served Hot were made into a movie, who would you cast in the leading roles?
A younger version of Matthew Gray Gubler as Bennett, definitely. I'm not sure about Julie! If you have any ideas, I'd love to hear them in the comments.

Side note from Melissa: I'm excited to do some casting once I read it!

Which TV series are you currently binge watching?
I'm late to it, but I'm absolutely loving Derry Girls, a dark comedy about a group of teenage girls growing up in Northern Ireland during the Troubles. It's dry and funny and yet totally nails its serious, emotional moments.

What is the last restaurant you went to where you had a completely positive experience?
One of my favorite neighborhood haunts is Jing Fong, which has the best dim sum. I was lucky enough to eat there with two author friends, so the company was great and everything was delicious. Don't sleep on the turnip cake!

Who was your role model when you were growing up?
Probably my parents. In terms of author role models, I was (and still am!) a huge fan of Neal Shusterman and Gail Carson Levine.

Thanks to Amanda for chatting with us and to Kaye Publicity for arranging the interview.

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