Friday, August 27, 2010

Guest Post/Virtual Tour ~ Margo Candela

Tea, Writing and Writing about Tea

I’ve been a diligent fiction writer since 2003 when I dropped my kid off at the door of a very good pre-school. It was also around this time that tea became especially important in my life. I was never a coffee drinker and had long stopped guzzling any type of soft drink and a cold glass of water in the morning wasn’t always the best way to start my day. With time to enjoy sipping something instead of having to gulp it down, I decided to give tea try and started out with a very basic box of Celestial Seasonings chamomile tea I picked up at the supermarket.

At first, I didn’t even have a designated mug and would just grab whatever was clean. In fact, I didn’t even have a kettle. For the first few months of my life as a tea drinker I would heat water up in the smallest saucepan we owned and pour it into the cup with mostly non-scalding results.

My husband, being somewhat perceptive and in need of a gift idea for my birthday, surprised me with a teakettle, mug and gourmet tea sampler. And that’s when I took my tea drinking to a new level. Meeting with friends? Let’s have tea! Dinner out? What kind of tea is on the menu?

At home, I have a whole shelf for my tea mugs (both ceramic and glass, tall and short) and a more than of bit of our small pantry is taken up by my many types of tea (from loose to tea in ‘handcrafted’ silk pouches). When I unpack from vacations, it’s not tourist T-shirts or refrigerator magnets, but tea. Sometimes its tea I can get at home, but it’s reassuring when I find it in an unfamiliar city or country.

Tea has also worked its way into my four novels. All of my characters have had at least one cup of tea and one was even a coffee and tea heiress. With my latest book, Good-bye To All That (Touchstone, July ’10), I tried to switch it up. Raquel, the main character is a hardcore diet coke and coffee drinker, but by then end she’s sipping green tea.

I can’t help but include tea in my novels; it’s such a big part of writing routine. I start my writing day with tea, break in the afternoon for another cup and end most nights sipping a cup before bed. Of the many habits I could have, I think this is one of the nicer ones and one I look forward enjoying for the rest of my life.

About the author 

I was born and raised in Northeast Los Angeles and moved to San Francisco to attend college. I ended up staying there for a decade before moving back home in 2005. My first three novels, More Than This (Touchstone, Aug. 2008), Life Over Easy (Kensington, Oct. 2007) and Underneath It All (Kensington, Jan. 2007) are set in San Francisco. More Than This was a Target stores Breakout Book and an American Association of Publishers national book club selection at Borders Books with Las Comadres. My current novel, Goodbye To All That (Touchstone, July 13, 2010) is my first novel set in Los Angeles and is the only novel picked by Los Angeles Magazine for it's 2010 Best of L.A. list

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Check out her interview on Wow! Women on Writing.


Good-bye To All That: A Novel

Getting ahead in Hollywood poses a challenge for Raquel Azorian, a lowly marketing assistant at a major production company, and while she has ambition, energy, and smarts, the heroine of Candela's wry latest doesn't have a mentor or even a boss who can hold it together. Determined to chart a course that will save her job and yield a well-deserved promotion, Raquel goes Working Girl, calls on her few friends, and begins making big plans. When a sexy superior takes an interest in her, there's equal potential for success and disaster; meanwhile, her parents and brother have plenty of problems and lean on Raquel for help. Candela (More Than This) combines a cunning wit with a deep understanding of the office politics specific to the entertainment industry to create a frantic atmosphere and a near breathless momentum as the story barrels toward an ending that's anything but your focusgrouped happy fade-out. 

Other books by Margo

More Than This: A NovelLife Over EasyUnderneath It All