Welcome to the penultimate Monday of 2013. Here in the northern hemisphere the days have finally begun to grow a bit longer again and much of the world is gearing up to celebrate the winter holidays. Some will do so with religious observation, others with olympic feats of shopping and gift-giving, and still others with visits to Chinese restaurants. Personally, I’ve spent much of the past week battling the flu (and mostly losing the battle). All of that aside, I think it’s quite fair to say that this week’s guest to the Eating Author series is indeed a treat and a lovely gift.
Anne Bishop is easily one of the most well known fantasy authors around. In 2000 she received the Crawford Award for The Black Jewels Trilogy (Daughter of the Blood, Heir to the Shadows, and Queen of the Darkness). That trilogy spawned other stories and books, and in addition Anne has written other series including the Tir Alainn Trilogy (The Pillars of the World, Shadows and Light, and The House of Gaian), and the Ephemera series (Sebastian, Belladonna, The Voice, and Bridge of Dreams).
Anne’s newest series is The Others, which opened with Written in Red last March and has a second volume, Murder of Crows coming out in March of 2014.
LMS: Welcome, Anne. So, what came to mind when I asked you for your most memorable meal?
AB: The meal I look forward to every year is the Potluck and Pirate Party that is held at a friend’s house on Christmas. Our hosts cook the turkey and provide beverages. The rest of us bring a dish to make up a traditional dinner. The same people have gathered for so many years, we each have our designated dish. One person brings mashed potatoes. Another brings sweet potatoes. I bring a broccoli casserole (one of the few dishes I make well with any consistency). There are rolls and garnishes and other vegetables, plus the desserts that beckon but are off limits until after the Pirate Party.
We each fill a plate and find a place to sit, catching up with friends we haven’t seen in a while. There are musicians and storytellers among us, so sometimes someone will bring an instrument and play for a while or tell a story befitting the season. It’s a reminder that friends are the best gift in any season.
After dinner, the rest of the guests arrive for the Pirate Party. Gifts are placed under the tree—inexpensive gifts that are useful or silly. Every year I place one of my author’s copies of the new book under the tree. Technically it’s above the price limit allowed for gifts, but everyone has agreed to waive that particular rule in order for the book to remain in play.
We all take a number out of the hat, and the game begins. At first it’s a polite game. The first few gifts are taken from beneath the tree and opened so that everyone can see the loot. Then the stealing begins and gift change hands with sometimes startling speed. After the last gift is opened and the last round of stealing has come to an end, we set aside the trinkets and DVDs—and books—for the coffee and desserts that provide a sweet end to an evening of laughter and camaraderie.
I’ll make my broccoli casserole again this year and wrap a book to put under the tree. And I’ll look forward to spending time in the warmth of friends on a cold winter’s night.
Thanks, Anne. As I’ve long suspected, any holiday can be made even better just by adding pirates.
Next Monday: Another author and another meal!
Tags: Eating Authors