Eating Authors: Christie Meierz

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Christie Meierz

Anyone who’s been reading this blog feature for a while will have realized that, as a general rule, I don’t feature self-published or “indie” authors here. It’s not that they don’t have great memories of meals, it’s more that I believe the whole signal-to-noise problem is a couple orders of magnitude greater with self-publishing than with traditional or even small press publishing. Every writer, newbie or pro, benefits from an editor’s careful eye. So, while I have no beef when experienced and established authors decide to self-publish reverted books from their respective backlists, I hold newer authors who have only gone down the self-published route to a different standard.

And yet, every now and then someone comes along that provides an exception to the rule, which is the way I’m choosing to introduce Christie Meierz, this week’s EATING AUTHOR guest. When I first met Christie, she’d self-published her first novel, The Marann. I stopped short of inviting her to talk about a meal here on the blog because, hey, self-published. But then her novel went and won the RWA’s 2013 Prism Award for Futuristic Romance (making her the first self-published author to win the award). Soon after, the fine folks at Sky Warrior Books approached her to buy the rights to the book. Christie provided some rewrites and expanded on a few scenes, and last week they released the new improved edition under their imprint.

I confess, I’m fascinated to see what’s going to happen next. Christie is still self-publishing, but she’s also now being published by a small press. Will she pick up another Prism Award? Will Sky Warrior offer a contract on the next book in her series? The answer to both questions may be affected by what you, gentle reader, choose to do. Especially if, after checking out her most memorable meal, you go out and pick up a copy of one or more of her books.

LMS: Welcome, Christie. So tell me, what would you consider your most memorable meal?

CM: In the interest of full disclosure, I have to admit that I’m not a foodie. That said, a few meals do stick out in my mind. The sticky-outiest is probably some fried chicken I myself cooked up one very cold night in 1999, our first winter in our cabin in upstate New York.

It was a very tiny cabin, heated by a small cast iron woodstove that I also used for cooking. The high that day was -10° F, and we’d been repairing fencing for the sheep in two feet of snow. My husband and three teenaged sons and I had all worked up an appetite, so I chopped up some recently-alive homegrown chicken from our neighbors over the hill and threw it into a frying pan with some extra virgin olive oil.

It sizzled. And it sizzled. Annnnnnd it sizzled, turning a very nice shade of golden brown. I checked the fire. It was fine. I checked the chicken. Pink in the middle. I threw in some cream, and some mushrooms, and some sekrit herbs and spices. Okay, that’s a lie; I just tossed in whatever came to hand, and neglected to write it down. Half the time, I unscrewed the cap off the spice bottle, sniffed, and grabbed a pinch without bothering to look at the label. The light was fairly dim, since we used kerosene lamps and candles for lighting, and my night vision is poor at best.

TITLE
Into Tolari Space
Daughters of Suralia

So the chicken sizzled and steamed and took its very sweet time cooking all the way through. Meanwhile, the aromas had our stomachs growling, and the boys punctuated our nerves with frequent “Is it done yet?”-like questions called down from the loft, where they were hanging out reading with flashlights.

The resulting delicacy was so worth the wait. Savory, fall-off-the-bone goodness. We were glad to be warm, together, and alive, as nature outside was doing its very best to kill us. I’m salivating just remembering that meal, and boy, do I wish I’d written down what I threw in. Okay, okay, I wish I’d paid attention to what I threw in. It’ll live in our memories, though, that’s for sure.

Thanks, Christie. There’s a valuable lesson here: don’t just write novels, write down your recipes too!

Next Monday: Another author and another meal!

#SFWApro

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