www.sharimaurer.com, and go to her awesome blog.

or try:  http://www.sharimaurer.com/?page_id=2

On to the interview:

1. In Just Add Magic, you center the book around food. Are you a big cook? And did you have to do a lot of research (i.e. cooking and eating!) while writing?

I am not a good cook.  I can admit it.  And I don’t really like to cook when I have to.  I like to cook for fun.  For example, I don’t make very good pancakes (instant kinda stuff), but I make them pink, purple, blue…whatever color I feel like that day.  The hardest part about the recipes for JUST ADD MAGIC is that I don’t follow them.  I just have an idea for how much seems about right.  Then, I taste test.  Usually I’m pretty close, but sometimes it’s disastrous and I order pizza to be delivered.

I do like to bake.  I toss in a little of this…some of that…and oh yumm.

2.    What’s the nicest thing someone has said about the book?

There has been so much.  The feedback has been amazing both from adults who have read it and kids too.  I love, love, love going to pick my kids up from school and the other children run up to me with a copy of the book to sign.  I feel famous.

I think I am most impressed/flattered when someone takes the time to write me an email after they’ve read the book.  A few times a week I get a note from a tween who has read it and they tell me how much they loved it.  That’s what it was always all about for me….giving a reader something they can just fall in love with.

3.    Have you gotten any letters or reader reactions that surprised you?

Someone recently wanted me to send them an autographed picture of me.  I thought, “I’ve arrived!”  Then I thought, “I don’t have any autographed pictures of myself.”  My next call was to 1-800-DAD who printed some shots for me to sign.

4.    Where did you grow up? When you were 12, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I grew up in New Jersey and did my first few years of undergraduate studies in LA.  I wanted to be a celebrity, a movie star, maybe have my own talk show.  I still think I would make an absolutely amazing TV Detective.  It wouldn’t surprise me to get a call from Law and Order or CSI one of these days.

5.    Do you watch cooking shows? Which one is your favorite? (in our house, we don’t watch cooking shows, but we do have a thing for Man vs. Food.)

I really don’t.  If I happen to be home when Rachael Ray is on, I’ll watch her, but not even for the cooking so much; I just really like her.  There is a character in JUST ADD MAGIC that is based on Rachael Ray; her name is Felice Foudini.  I’ve contacted the show to see if Rachael would be interested in giving the books to her audience or something, but I haven’t gotten any bites.  (haha, get it? “bite”?)

6.  Besides writing, what do you do to fill your days?

I have a full time job as a marketer in the pharmaceutical industry, very polar opposite to my writing job.  I also have three busy kids and I try to be very involved with all their sports, clubs, activities and friends.  This provides me with tons of good material to write about. Besides that I love going to the mountains, reading, watching crime drama, walking, going to the movies and hanging with my pets and friends.

7.    If I told you tonight’s dinner was your last meal ever, what would you request? (appetizer, main course, dessert).

Nachos (staked high), Pasta (like a Fra Diavlo), Tiramisu (There’s a mean tiramisu in JUST ADD MAGIC)

8.    And the important question: Favorite Chocolate–Dark, Milk or White

Milk.  Hands down.

Cindy has a really fun website–complete with recipes. Go visit and say hi.

And don’t forget to comment to win a free book. And what the heck–include a recipe and we’ll count your entry twice.

Thanks, Cindy!

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