I recently had the chance to interview Bethany Turner, author of Hadley Beckett’s Next Dish. I’m currently reading this story and I love it! Y’all know that even though I’m not a cook, I love recipes and food. Throw romance in and I’m there. A big thank you to Bethany for taking time out to answer my Fast Five questions.
What was the inspiration for your latest book?
Hadley Beckett’s Next Dish is the story of two polar-opposite, rival celebrity chefs who have to star together on an ongoing television show. I wanted to write about that world—not just chefs but celebrity chefs, who are famous for their personalities as much as their cooking skills—and I thought it would be so fun to make them as different from each other as they could possibly be. My original inspiration was imagining what it would look like if Gordon Ramsay and Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman) had to share a kitchen. That idea made me laugh so much that, from there, I was off and running!
- What are the last three books you read and why did you choose them?
The last three books I read were actually all books that I had been asked by publishers to read for endorsement. And let me tell you…I hit the jackpot! I had so much fun with each of them in different ways. Provenance by Carla Laureano was the book my heart needed, right when it needed it. Husband Auditions by Angela Ruth Strong was a funny escape with a unique and irresistible hook. And This Time Around—a novella collection from Denise Hunter, Melissa Ferguson, and this new author on the scene named Kathleen Fuller (tee hee!)—was the literary equivalent of a fuzzy blanket, cozy fire, and steaming cup of cocoa on a cold night. (Me: Thank you, Bethany! )
- What is your next release, and can we have a sneak peek of the cover and or story?
Plot Twist releases on June 14th. It’s a romantic comedy about a greeting card writer/aspiring screenwriter named Olivia Ross who, after a magical meet-cute with a handsome actor in a coffee shop, agrees to meet him back in that same coffeehouse on that day, ten years later. By that time, they’re certain they’ll both be successful in the arenas they’ve chosen, and they commit to making a movie together. The only problem? Olivia neglected to get the stranger’s name. But she doesn’t forget his face—or the date. Every February 4th for the next ten years, Olivia has a day full of coincidences and ironies. As men come and go and return to her life, she continues to write, but still wonders about the guy from the coffee shop—the nameless actor she’s almost certain has turned out to be Hamish MacDougal, now a famous A-lister and Hollywood leading man. But a lot can happen in ten years, and while waiting for the curtain to rise on her fate, the true story of Olivia’s life is being written—and if she’s not careful, she’ll completely miss the real-life romantic comedy playing out right before her eyes.
- What inspired you to become an author?
Stress, actually. By the time I turned 30, I was married with two young kids, and had climbed the ladder from part-time bank teller to vice president. And I was working my life away. I needed an outlet, so at night after everyone went to bed, I started writing. I had no aspirations toward publishing. I was just trying to maintain my sanity! I’d never taken any writing classes or anything like that. I was just having fun. But I let a few friends read what I was writing, and they encouraged me to pursue it more seriously. A few years later I left banking when I realized I wasn’t okay with who I was becoming—a stressed-out, miserable person who was missing out on the best things of life. A few months later, I wrote The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck, which became my first traditionally published novel. And I guess there was no looking back after that!
- If you could send anyone in the world a copy of your book, who would it be and why.
The fact is I’ve sent my books to lots of famous people through the years—mostly because many of them are featured in my books. (I feature a lot of pop culture.) I’m always convinced that George Clooney will actually receive my book and, of course, set it aside. But then one day, he’ll be bored, and the electricity will go out, and he’ll have just boxed up all his books to move them to the villa in Italy…but my book will have been left out of the box. Probably because he was going to donate it to a library or something. But the boredom and the darkness and the lack of choice will all come together in one perfect moment (A Perfect Storm, if I may invoke more Clooney-ness into the ridiculousness here…) and he’ll read my book.
Having said that, George would be nice, but I think I’ll actually go with Delia Ephron. She and her sister, the late Nora Ephron, are among my rom-com heroes. My dream come true would probably be Delia saying something (anything) positive about one of my books. Especially if it was something like, “Nora would have liked this.” Even more so if it was along the lines of, “I read this because my friend George Clooney recommended it to me.”
BLURB OF LATEST RELEASE (Hadley Beckett’s Next Dish):
Celebrity chef Maxwell Cavanagh is known for many things: his multiple Michelin stars, his top-rated Culinary Channel show To the Max, and most of all his horrible temper. Hadley Beckett, host of the Culinary Channel’s other top-rated show, At Home with Hadley, is beloved for her Southern charm and for making her viewers feel like family.
When Max experiences a very public temper tantrum, he’s sent packing to get his life in order. When he returns, career in shambles, his only chance to get back on TV and in the public’s good graces is to work alongside Hadley.
As these polar-opposite celeb chefs begin to peel away the layers of public persona and reputation, they will not only discover the key ingredients for getting along, but also learn the secret recipe for unexpected forgiveness . . . and maybe even love. In the meantime, hide the knives.
Fan-favorite Bethany Turner serves up a heaping helping of humor and romance with this thoroughly modern story centered on cooking, enemies, and second chances.
Where you can find Bethany:
Text Me Anytime!: (970) 387-7811
Bethany is giving away a copy of Hadley Beckett’s Next Dish in paperback or audiobook format (winner’s choice). Winner will be announced on June 16!
To enter, answer the following question in the comments: Do you watch TV cooking shows, and if so, what is your favorite show/favorite chef?