“Friday-Fortnight” Interview with Lois Ledanowski
We’re in the middle of another festive season and I hope things are going really well with you all. Boxing Day, eh? I’m exhausted.
Today, I’m chatting with Lois Lewandowski, who’s taken time out of her holiday to spend in my little writing cave.
KJD: Hi Lois, thanks for coming. I have to say, you look surprisingly alert for this early on a Boxing Day morning. Welcome, welcome indeed.
LL: Thanks, Kerry both for the kind invite and for the blatant lie. I must look a fright.
KJD: Not to me Lois. You look better than I feel.
LL: Oh dear, a little hung-over are you?
KJD: Not a little, and there’s no need to shout. Excuse me a moment while I do the old, plink, plink, fizz.
*Leaves holding head and promising never to drink seven bottles of red wine in an evening ever again*
Okay, that’s better. Let’s concentrate on you, eh? You hale from New Jersey, I understand? What’s the best thing about the place?
LL: The best thing? It was small. You could walk and ride your bike everywhere. Parents didn’t seem to worry like they do today.
KJD: Times change. I’m wondering how much of the change is real, and how much is down to scaremongering by the boys in the media. Oh dear, we shouldn’t go any further down that discussion at this time of the year—too depressing.
On a brighter note, what do you see out of your studio window?
LL: Oh my, it’s beautiful. There is a trellis heavy with confederate jasmine vines and plumbago, a periwinkle blue flower. The butterflies love it. When the jasmine blooms, I have hummingbirds sneaking for a little sweet taste. There’s some incredible wildlife too: turkeys, bobcats, all sorts of birds.
KJD: Plumbago? I That’s what the doctors call my bad back, but backache aside, your place really does sound idyllic. What a beautiful place, you lucky thing.
LL: Yes, I am, aren’t I. It’s such a lovely setting to write.
KJD: Now I’m jealous.
So, here we go with the psychology stuff getting to know you better. Imagine you are shipwrecked on a deserted paradise island. Apart from the Bible and the complete works of Shakespeare (yeah, right), what other book must you have and why?
LL: The Hobbit. It bored the life out of me the first time I read it. I think I’m mature enough, and desperate enough, to take it on in this scenario.
KJD: Interesting. The Hobbit is rather short and aimed at children. Most of my guests choose a heavier tome to keep them occupied for longer. Don’t know what to read into that one. You have me stumped.
Okay, let’s try another along the same theme. Under the same conditions, what’s the one luxury item you take with you and why? (No beauty items allowed).
LL: Drat! I would have brought sunscreen or shea butter. Since you’re going to make me sunburn, I would take a cooler filled with ice-cold beer.
KJD: Yep, horrible, aren’t I and as the cooler is one item and the beers are extra items, you fail that test too and are allowed nothing. You should have read the small print. See, told you I was horrible. Tee hee. This is going well. *wink*
LL: That’s so harsh!
KJD: That’s me all over—harsh. 🙂
Moving on to your book interests, what genres do you read?
LL: I read most things except slasher books.
KJD: I hear you, Lois. Gratuitous violence is a no-no for me too. As for your writing, what’s the first thing you do when starting a new novel?
JJ: I think about the end. Then, I write a loose outline that will bring the characters and the story there. I revise as I go along. Then, I write the first chapter, but at least in the beginning stages it is never in order.
KJD: That is interesting. You work on the end first. I’ve not heard that one before. What excites you about writing and the writing process?
LL: Oh that’s easy. I’m thrilled when a project flows, and the pieces of a story begin to fit together. I love developing characters, and I like writing about food, art, fashion, and adult situations.
KJD: Love it, but as for food, I prefer eating to reading about it. I even to get through a restaurant menu. Too much choice confuses the heck out of me.
Now, tell me a little about your latest work.
LL: I have just published a dystopian short story as an ebook. It is about a world ravaged by an ebola type disease. The main character is conflicted by her mother’s faith and the science she needs to follow to keep the disease under control.
I have another WIP that is almost completed. This is a themed cookbook and includes several of my own recipes that I’ve never shared. It will be published in November and a local high-end boutique will carry it for the holiday season. Okay, I’m giving up the recipe for my almond Christmas biscotti.
KJD: I’ve read the short and can thoroughly recommend it. Teh WIP is just fantastic. Can’t wait to read and try the recipe. You didn’t bring any samples, I suppose? Of the biscotti, I mean.
LL: Uh-uh, sorry.
KJD: There’s always my kitchen. Guess it’s my fault for being so hard on the luxury items, question, eh?
LL: What goes around …
KJD: Yep. I can see you believe in karma, eh?
LL: Maybe …
KJD: Okay, moving on. If there were a single thing you’d like to change about yourself, what would it be?
LL: I wish I was a morning person and needed less sleep. I write much better in the morning.
KJD: Now there’s another place where we differ. I’m an owl. I write late into the night and sleep half the morning away. Takes all sorts doesn’t it?
Here’s a question I like to ask sometimes.
You are planning a dinner party and have a choice of five guests, (you can chose from anyone in history). Who do you chose and why?
LL: Oscar Wilde, Rudolf Nureyev, Mata Hari, Mozart, and Audrey Hepburn. I would sit between Oscar and Rudolf.
KJD: Nice choices. I’d be the noisy one sitting between Mozart and Audrey. So, what’s next in your life?
LL: My daughter is getting married in 2016 so we are looking forward to that.
KJD: That’s a biggie. I wish you all the luck with your planning. I’m guessing with your culinary expertise, the guests will be in for a real treat.
LL: I hope so.
KJD: No doubt about it. Finally, tell me something about yourself you wouldn’t want you partner/parents to know. Don’t worry; it’ll be our little secret. 😉
LL: I invented the Internet.
KJD: Wow. And here’s me thinking it was Tim Berners-Lee. You’re joshing me aren’t you?
LL: Might be, I’m not saying.
KJD: Hmmm. And finally, finally – is there anything I’ve forgotten to ask that you’re desperately, desperately keen my readers should know?
LL: Independent authors rock!
KJD: Wahay. I’m with you on that one, Lois.
LL: Thought you might be.
KJD: Blimey, will you look at the time. I’m so sorry, we have to end there as I’m in need of some sustenance.
LL: Me too. I was expecting better hospitality, Kerry. I understood you provided drinks and cake.
KJD: Normally that’s true Lois, but as you’re the gourmet, can I prevail on you to follow me to the kitchen? I have all the ingredients for those biscotti.
LL: You are a cheeky little–
KJD: Yep. That’s me. 🙂
What happens when a Jersey girl falls in love with the Florida sunshine? Lois’s life changed when she made sultry Tampa her home. It might have been the subtropical heat that forced the stories out of her head and into the books she writes. The southern migration has allowed her to pursue her passions; cooking for family and friends, growing orchids, and learning tennis. Her food blog, the Culture and Cuisine Club, continues to push the envelope of dinner club creativity. She’s obsessed with art in all forms, and her interests are the entrées that fill her books with a fillip of sexy seasoning to spice things up. On most weekends she can be found enjoying the perfect cocktail with close friends.
About A Gourmet Demise
Genre: Murder Mystery
Can dinner clubs be hazardous to your health? In sultry South Tampa, the Gaspar Gourmets are having unfortunate accidents…
After escaping the brutal murders in Montauk, L.I. Katherine Montgomery breathes a sigh of relief and settles into her sophisticated mansion on Tampa Bay. Her nights are filled with dear friends at the Gaspar Gourmets dinner club. Katherine’s life seems ideal until a close friend dies. But the accident may not be what it seems, and Detective Frank Olson is assigned to investigate. Katherine is immediately attracted to the smart, handsome detective.
She can’t help but wonder if his interest in her is as a woman or a suspect.
When another friend dies after an elegant event attended by the local elite, it becomes obvious there is a common thread. Katherine’s world is turned upside down as the police investigation focuses on her intimate circle of friends. Frank follows a trail of clues, leading him to suspect a malignant secret curdling below the serene surface of the Gaspar Gourmets. Can he solve the puzzle before the killer strikes again? And has the exhibit of the Santeria paintings exposed Katherine to a murderer’s evil agenda?