Eating Authors: J. A. Pitts

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Categories: Plugs
J. A. Pitts

Hey there, welcome to another installment of asking authors about their favorite meals, a weekly feature inspired by my protagonist, the Amazing Conroy, who in addition to being a stage hypnotist is also very much a foodie.

This week, we hear from J. A. Pitts. I got to work with John last summer during the World Science Fiction Convention in Reno, Nevada, where we both did a bit of “paying it forward” and took a turn in Renovation’s writers’ workshop. I’d specifically asked to be on the team with him because I was a big fan of his first novel, Black Blade Blues. The sequel, Honeyed Words, was just as compelling (I finished while recovering from the convention), and I’m going to be hard-pressed to wait until next summer for the third volume, Forged in Fire. Oh, and those stunning covers by Don Dos Santos don’t hurt either.

LMS: Casino buffets notwithstanding, tell me what’s been your best, most memorable meal?

JAP: Good question. I’m not sure I’m the right guy to ask. My tastes run pretty mundane. I’m not one to experiment with flavors or seek out exotic dishes, alas. I gladly try new things when shared by friends, but I rarely seek them out.

But, you ask, what is the best meal I’ve ever had. That’s easy.

January, 1987. I’d known this young woman for just over a year. We’d worked together for some of that time, so we’d spent a considerable amount of time together. There was something about her that both bugged me and enthralled me. I couldn’t tell what the difference was.

That January she invited me over for dinner. She lived in a house with five guys, three of which were brothers. They looked after her like their own sibling so it was a bit intimidating to go around there. Somehow she had everyone disappear the evening in question. I arrived for dinner a little confused and a whole lot hopeful.

Black Blade Blues
Honeyed Words

I sat in the kitchen while she finished cooking. We chatted, and I just watched her move around the room. That’s when I finally realized that I was in love with this girl. The problem was, she’d been seeing another guy who was off to Italy for a semester of school and I was jealous. What I didn’t know was that they were not together any longer.

The meal consisted of some form of oven stew and some side dishes. Honestly I can barely remember the meal itself. I do recall that she burned the stew.

Funny thing was I ate every bite. I don’t remember the way the food tasted, but I remember the way her eyes looked across from me. I remember her laugh and how upset she was that the food was burned. But I ate it happily, blithely wondering how I’d worked with this amazing woman for so long and not really seen her.

We lingered over the remains of the meal for a long time, talking and laughing. Eventually the evening wore down, and it was time for me to go home. As I was preparing to leave she kissed me. This caught me off guard. Of course, I wanted to kiss her, I was just confused by the whole “other guy” thing.

I stood there, dazed. She stared into my eyes, waiting for a reaction. I finally said. “Well, say hi to Sam for me.”

You can imagine how well that went over. But this woman, this amazing sexy, funny, witty, intelligent woman punched me, then kissed me again.

Of course, I married her. You had to see that coming. And she’s quite an amazing cook.

But that first meal — that one stands out as the very best.

Thank you, John. Another classic tale of food and romance. But… whatever did happen with Sam? I guess we’ll never know…

Next Monday: Another author and another meal!


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