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Author Interview: Ruth Reichl

Jessica Howard / February 8, 2015

Ruth Reichl is the author of the novel Delicious! and four memoirs: Tender at the Bone, Garlic and Sapphires, Comfort Me with Apples, and Not Becoming My Mother. She was Editor in Chief of Gourmet Magazine from 1999 to 2009. Before that she was the restaurant critic of both The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. She recently took a few minutes to answer some of my burning book-related questions.

What inspired you to write your books?

When I was the restaurant critic of the NY Times editors kept calling to say, “You must be writing a book, and I’d like to see it.” I wasn’t writing a book, but I began to think I should. That was the start of it all.

Since your writing is food-influenced, I'm curious about what your food habits are like while you're in the thick of the writing process. Lots of restaurant food? Or does cooking give you a break from writing?

I find cooking is the perfect complement to writing. Writing is hard and slow, and it takes a very long time until you put your work out in the world for others to see. But cooking is fun and easy, and the results are quick. You make a meal in a few hours, and then you have the great pleasure of sharing it with people that you love.

What does the day-to-day business of being a writer actually look like for you?

I have a little writing studio out in the woods, and I go out there, light a fire in the wood burning stove, and spend the day by myself. I’ve got no internet out there, which makes it much easier.

Are you working on any books right now? If so, fiction or nonfiction?

I have a cookbook coming out in the fall, and right now I’m working on another memoir, about the Gourmet years - and also thinking about my next novel.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Keep at it.

Where can we buy your books?

Wherever books are sold.

You can find Ruth Reichl on Saturday at 1 PM at the Tucson Festival of Books at the "Fiction of Facts"session. She will also be moderating the "Prune" session on Sunday at 10 AM and the "Chez Panisse" session on Sunday at 4 PM.

Jessica Howard is a blogger at Quirky Bookworm.

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