Friday, August 01, 2008

Recipe Research - Mia King

Hi everyone! My name is Mia King and I am a women’s fiction/romance author of three novels, Good Things (Feb 2007), Sweet Life (Sept 2008), and Table Manners (Aug 2009), all published or to be published with Berkley Books.

My novels have a few things in common. My heroines are in their early 40’s, they all have a seemingly good life, and they all have their worlds turned upside down, usually by chapter three. As challenging as it might seem at first, it pushes them to discover who they really are and what matters most. I’m a big believer in relationships and HEA, so all my books have that in common, too, plus a dollop of humor. What else? Oh, right. My books all contain recipes.

Now, I have a great appreciation for people who cook, especially when they cook for me (one of my closest friends, Wynn, is one of these people), but I am quite the average cook when left to my own devices. Oh, I hit the jackpot every now and then (I make an amazing corn-meal crust pizza from scratch and can do a mean macadamia nut crusted mahi mahi with mango salsa), but the other times … well, let’s not go there.

With my first book, Good Things, I created the recipes on my own. I spent a disproportionate amount of time trying to get a recipe right versus actually writing and finishing my novel. It was beyond research; it was almost like another job.

With my second book, Sweet Life (out on September 2, 2008), I wised up. Sweet Life is based in Hawaii so I asked prominent local chefs, restaurateurs, vineyards, and foodies to contribute recipes that I could incorporate into the story line. It worked so beautifully that I did the same for my third novel, Table Manners (out next August 2009), which is based in Seattle with a short stint in Paris. The recipes are, to put it frank, amazing. Delicious. Delectable. And, for the benefit of my readers and myself, easy to make at home. Now this kind of food writing I can do (plus, can I tell you how cool these people are? They’re all so brilliant and passionate and talented. I am completely in awe of them!).

So now I’m thinking about book #4. Keep the recipes or change the format? Tell me your take on novels and recipes. Who are some of your favorite authors who include recipes with their stories?

"The ultimate 'escape-and-find-yourself' novel ... funny, poignant, and filled with home truths any woman can relate to. A delightful indulgence!" NYT Bestselling Author Susan Wiggs

What if you got away from it all—and then it all got away from you? Meet Marissa Price, a corporate exec turned full-time mom who trades in her stilettos for sandals when her husband is transferred to Hawaii.
Read an excerpt and enter my amazing Hawaiian chocolate/baked goods and books basket giveaway (each basket is valued at $80) at

SWEET LIFE: A NOVEL (Berkley Books) is a featured alternate of the Doubleday, Literary Guild, and Book of the Month book clubs. In bookstores everywhere September 2, 2008.

“A fresh and thoroughly enjoyable story as enticing as the delectable recipes at the end of the book.” ALA Booklist

Living simply isn’t simple. Deidre McIntosh, Seattle lifestyle maven and TV show host, learns to practice what she preaches when her show is cancelled and her life is turned upside down.
Read an excerpt and enter my amazing Hawaiian chocolate/baked goods and books basket giveaway (each basket is valued at $80) at

GOOD THINGS: A NOVEL (Berkely Books) is in its third printing and is a national bestseller.


Pat Cochran said...

Debbie Macomber has included recipes
in a couple of her books that I have read. I haven't tried any of them,
at first because I didn't know if
they were real. Now a more seasoned
and informed reader, I know that an author wouldn't put a recipe in her
book that wasn't tried, tested, and

Pat Cochran

Mia King said...

Hi Pat!

You're absolutely right -- in fact, many book clubs told me that they made recipes from the book for their meetings. I think it's important that the recipes work and work well, so that readers who take the time to prepare the recipes (and spend the money for ingredients!) are pleased with the end result. Thanks for stopping by!

wishing you well,

Estella said...

I enjoy books with recipes in them.
Debbie Macombers recipes are delicious.

Mia King said...

Hi Estella!

If you like Debbie Macomber, you might enjoy the recipes in Susan Wiggs' books, too. Debbie also has a database of recipes on her website that you might like to check out!

Thanks for stopping by!

wishing you well,

kimmyl said...

Thanks for the post. I'm heading over to Debbie's site to check it out.

Nathalie said...

I also enjoy some recipes... and I try some out if they are not very hard,

Anonymous said...

I love when books include a favourite recipe and since the authors are from all over the world and with different backgrounds, us readers get a nice variety of new recipes to try.