Saturday, July 25, 2020
How to Feed Readers a Good Book ~ by Bianca Sommerland
First of all, thank you so much for having me on your blog, Kristine! It was awesome chatting with you about all things writing!
And I promise, the title of this post will make sense. Kinda. 😉
Obviously, no one should actually eat their books. I’m not a nutritionist, but I’m pretty sure there’s very little in the way of vitamins. They might be filling depending on page length, but I digress.
But mentioning food in a book can have a very real impact. It’s one of the many grounding techniques that uses all the senses to make the story FEEL more real. A character waking up to the rich scent of coffee, the smell of bacon and melted butter on toast can make your mouth water. Their first sip might make the reader perk up a bit. The crunch of the bacon, the crumbly sensation of the toast, are things most of us can recall my memory, so your brain often brings that back. The experience of reading reaches a whole different level.
It’s hard not to fall a little in love with the hero feeding you—no, wait, feeding the character—a decadent slice of cake that practically melts on your tongue.
When you’re feeding your characters, you’re also giving the reader a nice, tasty meal with words. All senses are involved if done right. A special fulfillment that is hard to ignore.
In Raw Justice (The Asylum Fight Club Book 5), Keiran Stone, one of our heroes, is an aspiring chef. He absolutely loves feeding people and he actually gets a job working at The Asylum, in part, by describing what he’d like to add to the menu. A lot of readers messaged me to tell me how much they enjoyed the food scenes. How much they wanted whatever he was making.
A little warning, though. Even if you feed your readers well in your book, they’ll need to put it down for a real meal at some point.
Leave them hungry for more.
Here’s a short excerpt from Raw Justice (The Asylum Fight Club Book 5):
Breathing deep, he looked at the security camera and replaced the less-pleasant image with the ones that followed. Holding his boy, soothing him, and the way Keiran’s soft smiles had blossomed into something more when Dallas requested cinnamon rolls for a late breakfast. The taste of that sticky sweet icing hadn’t quite made it onto the doughy treats before he’d sampled it from Keiran’s buttery soft skin. He’d caught Keiran admiring the marks from his punishment in the mirror as the sub had cleaned up after. Eyes shining, Keiran had met his gaze and whispered his ‘thank you’ against Dallas’s lips.
The door buzzed open after a very long pause. He yanked it open, eager to get back to his boy. Warmth rushed over his skin. Someone had turned up the heat full blast, fogging up the windows with condensation in a way that made him shrug off his coat before he took another step.
“Where is everyone?” Throwing his jacket over the nearest chair, he looked toward Noah, who sat with Jamie cradled so tightly in his arms it just might...leave more marks than the ones already dotting his neck.
Damn, that’s some rough love, man.
Noah looked up from the ledgers spread over the table, something dark passing through his eyes. “The club’s closed tonight. But I’m glad you’re back. Keiran’s in the kitchen.”
Behind the bar, Matt moved stiffly, subdued but in one piece. Even Reed’s sparkle was muted, his black-and-white striped T-shirt reminding Dallas of early-twentieth-century prison wear.
Curtis slung his arm over the back of his stool and nodded to Dallas. “He’s making a roast for dinner. I think I’m in love.”
Crossing the room, Dallas shook his head, an edge to his playful response. “You can teach your own subs to cook. Hands off, my man.”
Reed’s lips parted like Dallas had sprouted a second head. Or eight arms. “Your… Well damn. Good for him, poor guy has it bad.” His dimple showed faintly as he met Dallas’s eyes. “I’m happy for you. Both of you.”
“Thank you. I’m…” Joy flooding him from the top of his head to the tips of his fingers, Dallas grinned. “If I’d known this could feel so amazing—” Shaking his head at himself, he continued toward the kitchen. “But then I wouldn’t have him. And nobody else would do.”
Rhodey came down the stairs into the bar as Dallas put his hand on the galley door and popped his head inside. Keiran turned from the oven, lifting the roast pan. Steam and heat rushed out of the kitchen along with tantalizing scents, not all of it from the cooking. Stare going heavy-lidded, Dallas took in Keiran’s position and showed his appreciation with a lingering look. “You good to come on out when you’re done with that?”
Setting the roast on the top of the stove, Keiran took off his oven mitt and gave a quick nod. “Yes, sir. It needs to sit for a bit and soak in all the juices. I got the perfect fu—freakin’ cut from the local butcher. Anniston Falls may be small, but there’s definitely…” He gave Dallas a sweet smile. “Everything you would ever need.”
Grab Flawed Justice (The Asylum Fight Club Book 1) FREE!
For more about The Asylum Fight Club, visit the website.
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Listen to Bianca Sommerland's podcast episode here.