Behind the Book: Mary Carroll Nelson, A Portrait of a Barnard College ’50 Fine Arts Alumna

I'm pleased to mark the beginning of a new blog post series on the historical background of Before the Flood, and we're starting off with Lydia's artistic background at Barnard College, one of the Seven Sisters colleges of the Northeast. Someone asked me if Lydia is based upon a real historical figure, and the answer is … Continue reading Behind the Book: Mary Carroll Nelson, A Portrait of a Barnard College ’50 Fine Arts Alumna

Retro Recipe Review: The Brooklyn Blackout Cake

I always believe that you can get to know a city by eating your way through it. While researching Before the Flood, I got to know quite a few lost treasures of the Big Apple. One of these featured in the novel is Lydie's birthday cake: the legendary Brooklyn Blackout Cake. Lydie never passes up … Continue reading Retro Recipe Review: The Brooklyn Blackout Cake

Behind the Scenes: Inspiration for Night and Day

I began drafting Night and Day in November of 2013.  I sustained neck and back injuries from a car accident in July of that year. I was already weakened the day of my accident from low potassium and dehydration from a bad stomach virus I probably caught at work. The physical and emotional effects of … Continue reading Behind the Scenes: Inspiration for Night and Day

The binding force of food

Chris Cleave recently released his new novel Everyone Brave Is Forgiven, set in Second World War London and North Africa. Chris describe how he researched his novel, and one of the things that I noted is that he ate the rations diet of that time period to help get into the mindset of his characters. This is … Continue reading The binding force of food