Friday, October 14, 2011

Guest Interview: Katy Longshore

Today, Pots 'n Pens is pleased to have Katy Longshore, whose young adult novel, GILT, debuts in the fall of 2012. Gilt is one of the books I'm most excited to read next year. Here's the back cover description:
In the Tudor age, ambition, power and charismatic allure are essential and Catherine Howard has plenty of all three. Not to mention her loyal best friend, Kitty Tylney, to help cover her tracks. Kitty, the abandoned youngest daughter of minor aristocracy, owes everything to Cat – where she is, what she is, even who she is. Friend, flirt, and self-proclaimed Queen of Misrule, Cat reigns supreme in a loyal court of girls under the none-too-watchful eye of the Dowager Duchess of Norfolk.

When Cat worms her way into the heart of Henry VIII and becomes Queen of England, Kitty is thrown into the intoxicating Tudor Court. It’s a world of glittering jewels and elegant costumes, of gossip and deception. As the Queen’s right-hand-woman, Kitty goes from the girl nobody noticed to being caught between two men – the object of her affection and the object of her desire.

But the atmosphere of the court turns from dazzling to deadly, and Kitty is forced to learn the difference between trust and loyalty, love and lust, secrets and treason. And to accept the consequences when some lessons are learned too late.

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

I would have to ask for Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and chocolate. Preferably dark chocolate peanut butter cups from Trader Joe's. They could probably sustain me long enough to savor Mantel’s luscious words.

I love anything from Trader Joes. *Drool* 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?

I think my characters would be disgusted by what they found in my refrigerator today. I write about the Tudors, who ate a lot of meat, and pretty much scorned fresh raw vegetables. But I'm a vegetarian, so that's what I have in my fridge. However, in one of the first scenes of GILT, my narrator, Kitty, talks about midnight parties to which the boys bring strawberries. So she would probably go for those.

What are three must-have foods/seasonings in your kitchen?

Fresh tomatoes in the summer, garlic and chocolate. What else do you need?

Agreed! You can't go wrong there. Hot out of the oven: What inspired your latest book, and what ingredients do you hope make it a tasty treat for readers?

I was inspired to write GILT by the way Catherine Howard has been treated by history. She is often portrayed as empty headed, fashion-obsessed, and even slutty. I wanted to write a character who was Queen Bee before she became queen. I hope readers will be able to relate to this personally, and not just historically.

Tell about a time when food inspired your writing or a book inspired your cooking.

Haven't we all wanted to try fried green tomatoes? And when I was in college, working at a coffee bar, I thought that would be the perfect setting for a novel. Kind of Like Water for Chocolate, only with espresso.

 That's so funny because I actually did make fried green tomatoes from the recipe in the back of the book. They were...interesting. But I digress. R
ecipe Row: What favorite recipe do you have for us today? (If you have a
picture, please include it.)

This is a recipe that I go to when I only have about 15 min. to prepare dinner. During the summer, I don't actually cook, because where I live it gets too hot to want to turn on the oven or the stove. So we eat a lot of salads.

WHITE BEAN SALAD (serves 2 for dinner, can be doubled)

Combine in a medium-sized bowl:

1 can white kidney (cannellini) beans, rinsed and drained.
2 small celery stalks, thinly sliced
15 pimento-stuffed green olives, sliced.

In a separate bowl, whisk together:

1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced or put through a press
¼ tsp. sweet paprika
dash of salt

Whisk in:

2-3 Tbsp. olive oil (preferably extra virgin)

Pour dressing over the bean mixture and toss gently.

I like to serve this over a bed of baby arugula and top it with chunks of perfectly ripe heirloom tomatoes.  And if you have to have some kind of meat (like the Tudors!), it blends well with a small can of tuna, too.


You can follow Katy at her various websites:

Seriously, how amazing does that book sound? But on to the interview!


  1. I love great salad recipes! Thanks.
    And woo hoo on GILT. I actually haven't read anything set in the Tudor era... this may be my chance! :)

  2. Thanks, Ansha, and I hope you do take the chance! And really, if you want a salad that's easy to make and has lots of flavor, you can't beat this one.

  3. This salad sounds terrific! And your book is intriguing. I have never read YA from the Tudor period. Great interview!

  4. That sounds delicious! I'm seeing more calls for historical YA, and one set in the Tudor period sounds really intriguing to me.

  5. Gilt sounds great! I also agree that Trader Joes is totally wonderful too;)