But what happens when she discovers her new boyfriend is really a duke? Reading about royalty and fairy tale romances is one thing, living in the limelight is quite another. Bronte has some soul-searching decisions to make about what she really wants her future to be like.
Megan Mulry's A Royal Pain has been described as a fun (and very adult) story that's a cross between romance and woman's fiction. I'm getting the impression Bronte has her feet on the ground and isn't going to be too quick to turn her life upside down for the duke.
I'm thrilled to welcome author Megan Mulry to my blog today. It likely comes as no surprise that I encouraged her to write something foodie. What will come as a surprise is just how perfect that topic turned out to be. Take a look.
No, thank you for such a terrific post. Now you have me dreaming of those hydraulic chutes so my coffee could be delivered to me in the morning and my wine at night. What fun that would be! By the way, I have a particular obsession for the movie Out of Africa, so I know exactly which scene you mean. And I love your restaurant recommendations; when I get back to London, I'll give one or two a try.From Food Writer to Novelist
Cultivation to the mind is as necessary as food to the body. —Cicero
I was so excited when I heard you enjoy blogs about food and food research! My daughter recently asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up (what I imagined I wanted to be when I was her age), and I told her I wanted to be an architect and then I wanted to be a food writer. At first, I wanted to be an architect so I could design my own house to include little hydraulic chutes like they have at the drive-up teller of the bank, so I could have holes in the wall—near my desk or where I sat watching television—where those Plexiglas cylinders could come flying out with that satisfying whoosh and inside would be a can of Coke or a Pop-Tart. Those were my childhood food fantasies; today the chute would provide a glass of micro-brewed beer and a plate of butternut squash ravioli in sage butter.
When I realized architecture school would force me to learn lots of other Very Important Things before I would ever get around to building Barbie's Gastronomic Dream House, I tried to figure out a simpler way to get paid to eat.
When I was in Italy for the summer between my junior and senior years of university (ostensibly learning about the Italian Renaissance, but really eating and drinking), one of my classmates suggested the idea of becoming a food writer. Genius! It has caché! It has style! I would do it! It took a while, but eventually I became a lifestyle editor at Boston Magazine and was able to go to restaurants and write about them. It was a great gig, but like all good things, it came to an end. My husband's company offered him the opportunity to work in their London office. Did I want to go? Uh. Yes!
Upon our arrival there, I discovered magazine jobs were *cough* rather low paying. ("But you'll be able to say you work at fill-in-prestigious-intellectual-British-magazine-name-here . . ." one kind interviewer explained when I gasped at the paltry salary. To which I replied, "But I won't be able to afford my dry cleaning!") I ended up getting an entry-level (higher-paying) job in banking. And eating. And looking.
Being an expatriate is really the ideal way to do book research without appearing to be a fool or a snoop. "I've never had a summer pudding . . . please enlighten me!" "Squab? Really? Yes, thank you!" Being American meant my ignorance was easily passed off as an eager desire to become culturally literate in my new home. If I was caught staring at the window of Allen & Co. butchers—their website proudly declares that from the day they opened in 1887: "carcases have been hung at 117 Mount Street ever since"—I merely explained that I was an ever-curious American.
I didn't know it at the time, but it turns out all those episodes of looking and snooping and foolishness were percolating into lots and lots of stories. I love that scene in Out of Africa where Karin Blixen offers to tell a story if someone else will provide an opening line. I figure every little snippet of my British experience is an opening line. That startlingly handsome man working at the car repair shop with the pain in his crystal blue eyes; the former army engineer who described the isolation of his occupation; the friend of a friend who died in the plane crash. Now that I'm writing full-time, I feel like I finally know what to do with all of this particulate information. All of those conversations and experiences and observations were feeding my mind all these years. I just didn't know it.
I don't write about actual people I know, but as a dowager duchess might say, one hears things, especially while sitting adjacent to a quarrelling couple at a table for two in Mayfair.
Some of my favorite restaurants in London are
Buy A Royal Pain at an Indie or at a bookstore near you (link leads to an affiliate program).
Sourcebooks / Sourcebooks Landmark, 2012
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