BookView with Laurie Boris, author of The Kitchen Brigade

At the time, it was great therapy for me. I may have borrowed a trait or two, from people I’ve met and from myself, but the characters are mostly fictitious. I had to imagine what the world would/could be like in thirty years, in a complicated geopolitical landscape. I think I hit the balance right. The head chef has a mysterious past, the Russians have a more insidious agenda than what they’ve promised, the resistance wants her on their side, and one of the guards wants her dead. How much she loved him and worried about him; how conflicted she became when she grew old enough to understand that he was a flawed, complicated man who had to make difficult decisions under immense pressure. Are your characters entirely fictitious or have you borrowed from real world people you know? How was writing this book different from what you’d experienced writing previous books? End of Interview:
For more from Laurie, visit her website, follow her on Twitter, and like her Facebook page. I love writing about food. But I felt driven to write this story. A few concepts blended together. I also learned that while I never, ever want to cook some of the things that Valerie had to (woodchuck stew, anyone?), I’m stronger than I thought and I can tolerate more hardships than I believed I could. The risks are monumental, the choices few. I put it down to work on other projects; I rewrote it a couple of times based on some really good feedback that helped me expand the scope of the story. Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) Then I read a couple of Malcolm Nance books positing that Russia is behind a calculated cyber-warfare and disinformation campaign to take down democracy in Europe and America. Loyalties are uncertain and resistance could be deadly. What if the technology we’d become so dependent on could no longer be trusted, or was even available? And food, of course. Laurie Boris – 15 February 2019
The Back Flap
If an army marches on its stomach, can a cook find a way to win the war? It took about three years from start to finish, longer than most of my other books. When the regime discovers this daughter of privilege is also a talented culinary student, she’s forced into service in the kitchen of a Russian general whose troops occupy New York. Were there any parts of the book where you struggled? What came easily? And the food. I’ve never really done anything political. I had another reminder of how dependent we are on technology…and how easy it would be to disable it. What new things did you learn about writing, publishing, and/or yourself while writing and preparing this book for publication? Then, as I started talking with friends and neighbors about what I was working on, and as they got more excited about it, I had more of a target reader in mind: a reader who not only wants entertainment but something to think about afterward. And that’s good for anyone to have in their pocket. The general’s mansion proves a prison of a different sort. But how long can she serve the men bent on destroying her beloved country? Even though it had taken me maybe ten minutes to write that story, it crawled under my skin and stayed. Even though it had taken me maybe ten minutes to write that story, it crawled under my skin and stayed. Maybe one who would like to read a cautionary tale from a mainly female perspective about war, and pride, and patriotism. How to show what was going on outside of the general’s mansion without totally getting lost there. Valerie knows she must take a stand. Too little would leave the characters ungrounded. Hey, it happens. Also, I had some new learning curves to tackle while publishing the book. There is no truth to the rumor that the Austrian character came from a certain international company where I was formerly employed. Then I read a couple of Malcolm Nance books positing that Russia is behind a calculated cyber-warfare and disinformation campaign to take down democracy in Europe and America. About the book
What is the book about? It started with a flash fiction piece I wrote about a group of kitchen slaves plotting to poison their captors so they can escape. The “what if” part of my brain started churning. Get your copy of   The Kitchen Brigade from Amazon US or Amazon UK. It’s 2049. What would an American resistance look like? In an America torn apart by a long-predicted civil war, Valerie Kipplander—daughter of the assassinated secretary of state—is thrown in jail. The bond Valerie had with her father, and her memories of him…that came easily. Some of the world-building was a challenge. Too much focus on details would detract from the human element of the story. I began writing a few key scenes in early 2016, starting with the head chef’s past, most of which got cut from the final novel. The “what if” part of my brain started churning. What if Russia were successful? Where did you get the idea from? It’s a huge part of the story—food as comfort, for those who cook as well, especially in wartime. I was walking a tightrope of suspended disbelief. When did you start writing the book? Her passion for cooking is something of a comfort, but how long can she bear hiding behind the relative safety of her pots and pans while Russia’s plan for her country grows more nefarious?   How long did it take you to write it? A culinary student is forced to work in the kitchen of the Russian general whose army occupies an America torn apart by a second civil war. I’ve never written a dystopian story before. First I began writing it for myself, as a way to explore the questions in my head. Do you have a target reader for this book? It started with a flash fiction piece I wrote about a group of kitchen slaves plotting to poison their captors so they can escape. And…off I went. I tried new software and a new way of printing.