LKBR: Hi, Galit. Thank you for being with us today!
GPG: Hi Lisa, thanks so much for inviting me as a guest on your blog.
LKBR: Please tell us about your newest book.
GPG: Charred: A Whipped and Sipped Mystery is the third book in the Whipped and Sipped mystery series set in the same Chicago neighborhood where I live. It’s also set during the first week of June 2020, when we were all living the nightmare of the Covid-19 pandemic. The city of Chicago fenced off all the parks and even access to the lake out of fear that people would spread the virus even while walking on the beach, playing in the park, talking to friends outside. I saw friends with kids struggling even more after all the camps were closed – city kids without backyards had nowhere to go. Anyway, every time I go for a walk, I’m grateful for the freedom to be surrounded by trees, grass, and water in.
LKBR: Readers always have a favorite character. Do you have a favorite from this series?
GPG: I love them all, but Alene’s dad, Cal Baron, has a special place in my heart. He’s based on several dads, but also on mine, and my 93-year-old dad passed away during that awful summer of 2o2o. My other favorite character is Ruthie, the pastry chef, because she’s the moral compass of the Whipped and Sipped Café. Everyone behaves better when she’s around. I based her on some of my sweetest, kindest friends.
LKBR: Once you’re finished writing a book, how long is it before you start writing the next?
GPG: It looks like I’m on the 2 year plan: Battered launched in 2019, and a few months later I began working on Smothered, which came out in 2021. But I started thinking about Charred shortly after submitting Smothered because what else was there to do in the summer of 2020 when everything was closed, there were no restaurants or movies, theater or gatherings. I might not get back to writing so quickly this time!
LKBR: What is your favorite part of writing? Your least favorite part?
GPG: My favorite part is sitting at my desk making up an entire pretend world of characters, situations, problems and solutions. My least favorite part is trying to sell books (although I love meeting and chatting with readers). I want the books to just fly off the shelves and into readers’ lives.
LKBR: Where do you do your best writing?
GPG: Sitting in my study with no distractions and a cup of hot herbal tea.
LKBR: What are the different ways you research for your books?
GPG: This is a fun question to answer because this series is set in a café, so whenever I’m sitting in a café sipping a hot drink or trying a pastry, I consider it research.
LKBR: Have you ever started writing a story just to find the idea simply isn’t working?
GPG: Many times, and there were many chapters in all three of my books that got deleted in later versions -I think it’s worthwhile to write out some of the backstories, but sometimes I went off in another direction and lost the train of the main story. I don’t begrudge the time spent on those tossed chapters though because they helped me understand some of the characters.
LKBR: Any new projects in the works?
GPG: I’ve been writing short essays and stories, preparing to submit them to various publications, and I’d also like to focus (when I take breaks from working on the 4th book in the Whipped and Sipped Mystery series) on a collection of stories that might come together as a book. Also, I continue to invent recipes (not all of which are successful) that combine ingredients in new and unusual ways.
LKBR: What do you love to do in your free time? LOL Do you get much free time?
GPG: I interview authors of literary fiction for the New Books Network which entails reading lots of novels, I love baking, puzzling, walking, watching movies, and travelling (As I write this, I’m in Denver, about to head over to our daughter to do some cuddling with her baby as soon as he wakes up from his nap).
LKBR: Where can readers go to learn more about you and your books?
GPG: Please visit my website https://gpgottlieb.com
for new recipes, links to essays and articles, links to my podcast interviews of literary authors, and updates about my mystery novels. You can also find me on Facebook: authorgottlieb, Instagram: WhippedSipped, and Twitter: GottliebGP.
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LKBR: Thank you so much, Galit, for letting us get to know you better!
GPG: It’s been a pleasure, Lisa, and thank you for highlighting authors like me who love writing but didn’t realize how hard it would be to get our books into the hands of readers! I look forward to chatting with your followers!
Known for her imaginative baking and fabulous dinners, G.P. Gottlieb was always an avid reader. She enjoyed several careers, but after recovering from cancer, turned to writing in earnest, melding two passions: nourishment for mind and body, and recipe-laced murder mysteries. She is also the host for New Books in Literature, a podcast of the New Books Network.