Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Simply From Scratch debut author Alicia Bessette

Way back, (or so it seems) when my own book was about to debut, the team at Harper Collins along with my agent, suggested I get a website, perhaps a FaceBook page and build a community on the web.  Naturally, having just mastered word, cut and paste and edit options on my computer I balked.  Not because I didn't want to -- just because it was way out of my comfort zone.  Slowly, I began to comment on blogs I regularly visited and hired myself a fantastic teenager to build a website and yes, waded into FB with the help of a friend who just couldn't bear to hear me moan about it another day and took matters into her own hands and made the page for me. 

One of the benefits?  Meeting (virtually) this amazing community of writers -- another of which I get to introduce to you here today.  

On sale August 5 from Dutton, Simply From Scratch [] is Alicia’s debut novel about a widow, a young girl, and a baking contest that will change both their lives.   You can pre-order right here:

Please join me in welcoming the lovely and talented Alicia Bessette!
A Warm, Sweet Mess

Given the baking theme in Simply From Scratch, people often ask if I like to bake. A German magazine editor recently inquired, “Is baking a calming, meditative activity for you?”

After I got my laughter under control, I explained that I find many activities calming and meditative¾playing piano, petting my dog, yoga sometimes. But baking? Baking kind of stresses me out.

I experimented with baking in my twenties. With many attempts, I forgot to add at least one ingredient. Like the time I made chocolate cake, but skipped the baking soda. Whoops. Or the time I made corn muffins, but skipped … I don’t even know what I skipped. The “corn muffins” were the size, shape, and density of hockey pucks, and tasted like hot sand. (Actually, “tasted” might be too strong a word.)

Thankfully, my baking has improved quite a bit, to the point where I take pride in my desserts. I’m even thinking of serving my famously smooth mini red velvet cupcakes at Simply From Scratch events in August and September. (Click here [] for a complete schedule of my appearances.)

My friend describes Zell, star of Simply From Scratch, as a Jackson Pollack style baker. Lots of dripping! You can glimpse Zell’s baking approach in the trailer [].

Zell unexpectedly finds herself a widow at age 34. She and her new friend, a nine-year-old neighbor, attempt to restore a little sweetness in their lives by together entering a twenty-thousand dollar dessert contest.

The result¾besides messy? You’ll have to read Simply From Scratch to find out.

Alicia Bessette was born and raised in central Massachusetts and graduated from La Salle University in Philadelphia. A pianist and freelance writer, she and her husband, novelist Matthew Quick [], live near Philadelphia with their adopted racing greyhound, Stella.


  1. This sounds like a wonderful book. Thank you for sharing, Robin!

  2. Thanks for having me, Robin! I'll be adding more events in the days & weeks to come, so check back often for updates.

  3. Alicia and Matt are walking a noble path.