The Debut of the Hungry Novelist Questionnaire

I thought I’d spice up the blog a little by introducing a new regular feature wherein published writers complete the newly minted (heh) Hungry Novelist Questionnaire, a set of questions about reading, writing and eating, in the tradition of Vanity Fair’s Proust Questionnaire, New York magazine’s New York Diet, and the NYT Sunday Routine.

First up to give the questionnaire a trial run is me! More writers to come in the weeks ahead.

Writer: Kim Moritsugu
Currently residing in: Toronto
Blog: The Hungry Novelist
On Twitter? Yes. As kimmoritsugu.

What’s going on in your writing life right now?
I recently had a YA story and an easy-read novelette published, I’m preparing to teach at Humber School for Writers Summer Creative Writing Workshop from July 9-15, 2011, and I’m chipping away at a novel in progress, my fifth or sixth.

What’s your writing routine:
Avoid writing for as long as possible each day, then consider myself productive if I get in two or three hours of writing or writing related work (like a blog post) before midnight.

What do you usually eat for breakfast?
Glass of o.j., slice of Harbord Bakery caraway rye toasted with butter, tea.

What good books have you read recently?
Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson. One Day by David Nicholls.

What did you eat for dinner last night?
Spaghettini with chopped fresh tomatoes, kalamata olives and baby salad greens, drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Writing rules you live by:
I admire clarity, a strong story, skilful plotting and a mixture of funny and sad/bitter and sweet in the works of others, and try to incorporate those elements and qualities into my work.

Foodstuffs you’re fiending these days:
Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar from PEI. Buttermilk bread from Allie’s Bread at the Evergreen Brickworks Farmers’ Market or the St. Lawrence Farmers’ Market. Lemon meringue tarts. Rainbow sherbet/lemon frizzante floats.

A scene or piece you’ve written that features food:
In my first novel Looks Perfect, a romantic comedy, the heroine slurps up some noodles while eating ramen at a New York restaurant called Omen, and splatters broth all over her dreamboat crush object. He likes her anyway.

Favorite restaurants:
In Toronto: Pizzeria Libretto, Nami. In New York: Locanda Verde, Ippudo. In L.A.: Pizzeria Mozza.

Three formative books from your youth:
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (C.S. Lewis), The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger), Brat Farrar (Josephine Tey).

Three formative books from your adulthood:
Heartburn (Nora Ephron), The Music Lesson (Katharine Weber), What Was She Thinking: Notes on a Scandal (Zoe Heller).

Dishes/recipes in regular rotation in your cooking repertoire:
Shrimp tacos, sesame-encrusted salmon on salad greens, caraway cheese straws, roasted vegetables in boeuf bourguignon sauce.

Random bits of writing advice:
Keep the story moving forward. Don’t eat over your keyboard.

What do you do when not writing, eating or reading?
Sing in a community rock choir. Go to step class. Walk. Procure and prepare food.

What’s your idea of comfort food and comfort reading?
Thanksgiving dinner – roast turkey with potato stuffing, rice, gravy and cranberry sauce. And a Maeve Binchy novel.


One thought on “The Debut of the Hungry Novelist Questionnaire

  1. A Taste of Wintergreen says:

    I really loved this interview with yourself – especially your description of your writing routine. But I am with you on so much of what you’ve written above! The questionnaire is a terrific vehicle for revealing bits of yourself and the others you’ve interviewed. And I adore the tie in between writing, food, and life. Such a wonderful and beautiful blog!

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