Eating Authors: Craig Martelle

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Craig Martelle

It’s a recovery day for me. I’ve been away most of the past week at the Nebula Awards Conference. I only returned last night. It’s not usually this long an event, but the SFWA Board added an extra day for an amazing strategic visioning session (in addition to the regular day of Board meetings). In fact, this trip was all about meetings. I was off at dinner every night doing business with different parties on different projects and all I can say about any of that right now is the coming year is going to be jam packed and very interesting.

Not all of the dinners were all business, some merely set the stage for later business (and a good meal can go a long way toward such) and included other people. One of these meals allowed me to get to know Craig Martelle a bit better, which is pretty convenient as he’s this weeks EATING AUTHORS guest.

Craig is a former marine turned lawyer turned author. He currently lives in Alaska. He’s been having phenomenal success as an indie author, to the tune of some fifty-three books spread out over twelve different series. It’s a wonder the man has time to eat.

LMS: Welcome, Craig. Having just shared an incredible dinner with you mere days ago, I’m wondering what else stands out for you as a memorable meal?

CM: 9/11 happened in the twentieth year of my Marine Corps career. I was stationed in Washington D.C. at the time so the impact was near and dear, both in the lives of those I knew and the impact on the nation. Within five days, I was deployed to US Central Command in Florida. I wanted to go forward, but that wasn’t meant to be. I was a staff puke, so they put me up in a condo-like residence with a rental car for three months. The hours were long, but as far as a deployment went, it wasn’t bad at all. After a couple months, my wife flew down to join me since I wasn’t going to be home for our anniversary.

The Free Trader of Warren Deep

In Tampa, there is a five-star steakhouse called Bern’s. I made reservations and off we went. The place has fuzzy wallpaper and looks like a recovering brothel. They claim to have 30,000 bottles of wine and they give the diners tours of the kitchen and the wine cellar. When you order your meal, you also decide at that time to make reservations at the desert bar upstairs.

We did all that. I believe they have that much wine. Everything they cook is from their own farms, livestock, and fields. To be a server, the person starts at the farms and it takes a year or two to work your way into the restaurant. Every part of the process is managed, up until the best cut of steak you’ll ever taste is delivered to you.

Happy anniversary, sorry I’m deployed to a war, but glad you could join me.

Endure

Upstairs, there are separate cubicles with their own ventillation because out of a seventy-page menu, only one had food. All the rest were cigars and dessert drinks. There was a slight hint of cigar smoke upstairs, but that was it.

A memorable meal to be certain. My wife had to leave shortly after our anniversary because she had to return to Moscow to finish her first master’s degree in Russian philology.

For me? I can still taste the Bern’s steak. I don’t remember the dessert, as I was half way into a food coma.

Eventually, I too returned home, only to be sent to the Ukraine on a different mission. And then I retired from the Marine Corps because one can only spend so much time away from home.

Thanks, Craig. Anniversary dinners make for memorable meals. But now I’m wondering, did you and your wife indulge in cigars?

Next Monday: Another author and another meal!

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