Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Interview with Author Kristine Carlson Asselin

Today I'd like to welcome my wonderful critique partner Kristine Asselin, represented by Vickie Motter, whose novel Sweet Spot is currently out on submission.

Kris, tell us a bit about your book and what foods play a role, if any?

My book is called THE SWEET SPOT. It’s a contemporary realistic young adult novel loosely based on bits and pieces of my life growing up on a golf course. Here’s the synopsis:

With the family golf course on the verge of bankruptcy, Kate Anderson decides she's going to be the first girl to win the Junior State Championship to draw the crowds back, but her plans are derailed when her best friend and crush is accused of vandalizing the course with a blowtorch.

I’m not sure my characters eat at all in the book! Actually, a couple of the boys munch on Snickers bars during a stake out to catch the bad guys. The fact that Kate, my MC, drinks diet soda is particularly important during one pivotal scene.

You’d think that with a title like THE SWEET SPOT there would be some tasty treats! But no, actually the sweet spot refers to the middle of the golf club face. Hit the ball squarely on that spot and you’ll have a great shot! Of course, it’s not that easy.

What's your favorite snack while writing?

I love snacks. But I try really hard not to snack while writing. When I sit in the Barnes and Noble coffee shop, I do like a nice mochachino.

Do you have a go-to meal when you're strapped for time and need to feed the family?

I actually chuckled when Ansha invited me to participate in Pots and Pens, since I am not known for my cooking. Having two picky eaters (spouse and child) makes it a bit hard to be creative. My go-to meal would definitely have to be angel hair pasta, sauce, and garlic bread (see my recipe for homemade no-knead bread). Throw in a salad to make mom (me!) happy, and voila.

Let’s say a couple of your characters are raiding your fridge right now, what are they most likely to eat? Are they disappointed or excited about what they find?

Hmm. My book is populated with teenaged-boys, and a fifteen-year-old girl. The boys would probably be looking for junk food. And volume. I’m embarrassed to admit they’d probably be okay. They’d find half gallons of ice cream and a stock pile of girl scout cookies right now. No Snickers bars, though. Kate would be okay too, I think. Plenty of Diet Coke.

If you were marooned on an island, and Pots & Pens granted your wish for only one book and one food, what would you choose?

This is a hard one! I think I’d be content for a while with HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN by JK Rowling. Though, I’d really want the whole series. If I couldn’t have a series, I think I’d choose ENDER’s GAME by Orson Scott Card. I get so bored with one food, but I think I’d probably take a Cinnamon Raisin bagel with peanut butter. Actually, to survive? All I really need is coffee.

We writers may be able to subsist on coffee and craft alone, but the family inevitably comes calling for food.

Here is a recipe for no knead bread that is super yummy if not super fast. It certainly fills out a pasta and salad dinner into a fit-for-a-king meal.

Speedy No-Knead Bread

3 cups bread flour

1 packet ( 1/4 ounce) instant yeast

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Oil as needed

1. Combine flour, yeast and salt in a large bowl (I sometimes use garlic salt rather than regular salt to add a bit of baked-in flavor). Add 1 1/2 cups water and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest about 4 hours at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

2. Lightly oil a work surface and place dough on it; fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest 30 minutes more.

3. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6-to-8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under dough and put it into pot, seam side up. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes.

4. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

Yield: 1 big loaf.

This bread comes out awesome—the picture is one I took myself of a loaf baked earlier this year.


  1. Thank you so much for having me! This is such a fun blog, especially for non-cooks like me. Got to try some of your recipes!

  2. The bread is awesome. YUMMY! As soon as autumn weather hits I'm making soup and this bread! :)

  3. I'm a first time visitor to this blog and I love the concept!

    Great interview, Kris. Not only am I looking forward to reading your book, but now I'm excited about baking your bread, too!

  4. Ooh, I've seen this recipe around on the internet and have been wanting to try it for awhile! Great interview too:)

  5. I love baking my own bread, so I am super excited to give this recipe a try! Nice interview! I hope to hear of a sale soon!