Eating Authors: Doranna Durgin

2 comments Written on December 29th, 2014 by
Categories: Plugs
Doranna Durgin

I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted! Despite my expectations and intentions of a relatively easy December, things took a few unanticipated turns this month and more than a few of them went a bit… flooey. Fortunately, we have passed through into what I like to call “Dead Week,” the time between Christmas and New Year’s Day during which most people have slumped into food comas, collapsed following the departure of friends and relatives, and/or otherwise succumbed to celebratory overload. This tends to leave folks disinclined to require or expect much from anyone. At least that’s how I spin it. My big accomplishment for this week is this blog post. So, you know, you’re welcome.

Closing out EATING AUTHORS for 2014 is past Compton Crook Award winner Doranna Durgin. With more than thirty books out, including both multi-volume series (e.g., Sentinels at six books, The Changespell Saga at four books with an omnibus volume on its way) and stand-alone singles in universes of her own creation, as well as popular media tie-in realms including Star Trek and the Buffyverse, if you haven’t discovered her work before now then you’ve got a lot of reading ahead of you.

Animal elements are a standard in her fiction, so it should come as no surprise that Doranna has a strong connection to horses and dogs outside of her writing life. Indeed, she almost has me convinced that beagles are superior canines to mutts. Almost.

LMS: Welcome, Doranna. Thanks for helping us end the year by sharing your thoughts on memorable meals

DD: Truly, I am the last person on earth to write a food blog. I don’t cook, I don’t make a fuss over meals, and I spend more time dealing with the dogs’ raw diet (including regular meetings of the Bloody Tarp Society) than my own human needs. As a kid I hated most foods and mealtimes in general. As an adult, I…

The Changespell Saga

Well, I haven’t grown out of it. It turns out that I have a neurological thing called sensory integration disorder and it has a huge impact on how I perceive tastes and textures. Add in a number of acquired food restrictions along the way* and there you are. A utilitarian eater with chocolate on the side.

*Yes. I was gluten free when gluten free wasn’t cool. Oh, who are we kidding. It still isn’t actually cool; it’s a pain in the patootie. But it’s an easier diet to follow than it once was, thanks to rising awareness and changes in labeling.

In any event, I suspect the point is radically made. I am not a foodie. A foundation of eating distasteful-to-me food means I’m well trained to bolt what I can stomach and then bolt from the table (and in fact, I don’t even bother with a table most of the time).

The Heart of Dog

Although it would be unfair to leave out the mid-life discovery of five-star restaurants via publisher and convention friends. (Of course, this is also the way I discovered really bad rubber squid fritters, so maybe it all evens out.) Such restaurants taught me that subtly layered flavors do exist. So until last year, I undoubtedly would have chosen Nikolai’s in Atlanta courtesy of my friends Beth and John Maddox Roberts as my most memorable. It still stands out as the single most amazing culinary experience I’ve ever had.

But it’s this year, so my answer is different. Because this year, I have discovered…


Which is strange, really, because on the whole tea and I are not friends and never have been. Iced tea from a pitcher? It is to spew (she says, with no delicacy whatsoever). But as with food, it turns out that to a SIDS mouth, there’s a tremendous difference between tea and TEA. And when tea comes in gourmet blends and is made by tea house people who know how… And when it comes with a three-tiered tray of gluten-free sweets and savories and biscuits… And when it’s served to you and a friend or two in a private little tea house nook with charming appointments and lovely light background music…

Sentinals: Jaguar Night

A revelation!

Not to mention it suddenly becomes something I arranged to do every other month or so, depending on the confluence of three very different schedules.

So that first tea, on invitation from my friend Pati Nagle, was not only a revelation, it’s become an ongoing pleasure. And that makes it more memorable than even the big convention meal during which the Huge Name Pro called the chef out for an extensively loud discussion about the state of his escargot. (“CHARRED!” he cried. I’m thinking, “How do you tell?”) And also more memorable, in a different way, than the discovery that five-star venison is heavenly and broccoli can actually be cooked so as to be palatable, or the experience of that amazing chocolate concoction at a New Orleans publisher meal, or the little gourmet owner-run restaurant in Flagstaff that became a once-a-year indulgence.

Yum. It turns out that food can be good!

Thanks, Doranna. Personally, I don’t drink tea, but my wife must have easily thirty different kinds of the stuff in the house. It boggles me.

Next Monday: A new year, another author, and another meal!



2 comments “Eating Authors: Doranna Durgin”

Thanks for the opportunity!  It made for a nice discussion on Facebook…things gluten and things tea…  8)

Always happy to promote discussion and the spread of information. Thanks again for being a guest!

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