Eating Authors: Andrea G. Stewart

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Andrea Stewart

I’m catching my breath today. If all goes well (this post being written in advance) then I’ll have just returned from the second of two back to back conventions. It began with World Fantasy running from November 1st through the 4th in Baltimore, which was followed by a flight out to Las Vegas on the 5th, for a business dinner and then the 20Booksto50K conference from the 6th to the 8th. Tack on an extra day to hang around Vegas and add in a redeye flight and I finally arrived home on 10th, and spent all of the 11th playing catch-up with projects and correspondence.

I should also mention that before heading off on ten days of travel, I started the month by launching my new Patreon page (literally seconds before jumping in the car to drive to Baltimore). So, yeah, I’m a little wiped out today, and I still have two more conventions to do this month. What was I thinking?

Unrelated to any of this (because I’m too tired to provide you with a decent segue) is this week’s EATING AUTHORS guest, Andrea G. Stewart. Andrea is a fantasist, and expresses this both as a painter and a writer. Back in the day, she took first place in the Writers of the Future contest.

Her Changeling Wars series revolves around a young woman who discovers she’s not human at all, but a changeling left behind by the Fae. Add in that her existence is illegal and you’re off and running through what is currently two novels (the second one, Spare Changeling, came out just last month) and a novella. I’m hoping there’s more to come.

LMS: Welcome, Andrea. What stands out as your most memorable meal?

AGS: My most memorable meal was actually quite recent. It was a year ago at Thanksgiving. I’m half-Chinese, and big family meals are an event on my mom’s side of the family. Thanksgiving is just a good excuse to spend the day in the kitchen chopping, pan-frying, grilling, and gossiping. That year we’d chosen to cook Indian food.

The food was great, but that was only half of what made it so memorable.

Loose Changeling

It was the first big family function I was bringing my boyfriend, John, to, and I really, really liked him. My mom tends to be an exacting judge of boyfriends. Before I met John, when I’d been dating a car salesman, my mom had paused in our conversation to tell me, “Car salesmen…are not good people.”

“She’ll ask you how much money you make,” my brother-in-law and sister-in-law warned John. “Offer to help out,” my siblings told him, “and when she says she doesn’t need help, offer again. If she still tells you to relax, find something to do.” I reminded him, a couple times, “Never eat until everyone is seated and ready.”

I like to tell people my mom asked John two questions when she first met him: “Do you know how to cook?” and then, the inevitable, “How much money do you make?”

Spare Changeling

Forewarned, John took it all in stride. We ended up making chicken tikka masala; he prepared the chicken while I made the sauce. John was the newcomer to this elaborate kitchen dance–where we traded off cooking stations and asked where the kosher salt was. Despite his confession that he was a mediocre cook, the chicken came out perfectly–juicy, fragrant, and spicy. After a long day, we finally sat down to eat (and yes, he waited). I watched for my family’s reaction and relaxed when they proclaimed the chicken tikka masala “amazing.”

A year later, we’re married, and my parents send him precautionary, parental emails, just like the rest of us. Yes, he too gets to be warned about garage door wires and fish parasites.

And my mom recently paused in our conversation to tell me, “I’m glad you met John.”

I’m glad too.

Thanks, Andrea. Bringing one’s intended to Thanksgiving with the future in-laws is perilous indeed. Been there, done that, and ate the pies. Speaking of which, I hope you had pie at your Thanksgiving. Nothing better with chicken tikka masala than some pecan pie and a little whipped topping. Trust me.

Next Monday: Another author and another meal!

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