Today, we’re interviewing another author who contributed to our anthology All You Can Eat: A Buffet of Lesbian Erotica and Romance. Welcome to the Ylva blog, Karis Walsh!
Can you tell us a little bit about the story you contributed to All You Can Eat?
“East Meets West” is a story about a woman from India and a native Texan who meet on the San Antonio River Walk. It’s about combining flavors in new ways, both in cooking and in life.
What sparked the idea for this short story?
This story was inspired by my personal experiences as I adapted to the food culture here in Texas after moving from Washington.
I’m sure you’ve heard the expression, “The way to a woman’s heart is through her stomach?” Does that hold true in your story too?
Definitely! One of my characters (Liz) cooks a meal for the other (Rena). I believe that is such a nurturing and giving act in itself, but the meal takes on new meaning as Liz both honors Rena’s past and opens her soul for the future by combining tastes from India and Texas as she cooks.
Do you have any personal experience with cooking or the food business, or did you have to do research for your story?
I’m an amateur cook—it’s one of my favorite hobbies. I love to experiment with new spices and recipes. I also find that cooking grounds me and connects me to the people (and one favorite person in particular!) for whom I cook.
“Foodie” romance is a growing niche in romantic fiction. What do you think makes romantic stories featuring food and cooking so popular with readers?
Food and cooking are exceptionally relatable—we all eat and prepare meals (whether elaborate or microwavable). Sitting at a table and sharing food is an intimate and warm experience, and it’s not a long step to move the experience into the erotic. In food-themed stories, these everyday acts are elevated and given more dimension with the addition of romance and love.
Can you tell us a bit about the project you’re currently working on, just to whet our appetite?
I’m excited to be working on the next book in my romantic intrigue series about a mounted police division. The novel is called Mounting Evidence, and it features one of the secondary characters from Mounting Danger. Writing about animals (especially horses) is another way I can combine my personal passions with my love of storytelling.
What’s your favorite food, your least favorite food, and the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?
I love most types of curry—the assertive flavors and bold spices. My dad makes a cauliflower soup with turmeric and cumin and coriander, and that has to be one of my all-time favorite meals. Least favorite foods would be mushrooms and shellfish. Hmm…I can’t recall anything particularly strange that I’ve eaten. I did a detox diet once, with limited food types for a couple weeks, and I think that was the strangest way I’ve ever eaten.
If you ruled the world, what food would be the currency?
I’d have to plunge the world back into the era of spice trading and searching for spice routes. That aspect of world history fascinates me, and the thought of it calls to mind exotic scents and romantic travels.
Thanks so much for contributing to our anthology and for taking the time to answer our questions, Karis!
Readers, please check back next Sunday for an interview with R.G. Emanuelle, another contributor to the anthology and one of its editors!
Have a nice Sunday, everyone!