Food, the stuff of survival
Let me be clear, food is important to me! I love eating, but I also love feeding other people. So I was never going to let my characters starve…
When I started building the Skyriders’ world in my head, I spent a lot of time wondering what these poor people could eat after an earthquake destroyed their self-sufficient community.
Ever since childhood, I’ve had an affinity for foraging and picking mushrooms or berries. (I can still occasionally be spotted parking my car by the side of the road to gather fallen hazelnuts or apples!)
The Clan have a long tradition of eating wild food, and have lived off their land for centuries, hunting, gathering and farming.
Although I never mention it in the books, I know exactly where the story is set, and I was able to do some extensive research on what food would be available to them, season after season.
This has been one of the most satisfying piece of research I have ever undertaken.
Believe it or not, I have written recipes for their different stews and roasts, and I have personally tried the various infusions the Skyriders enjoy drinking, such as thyme, nettle, or sage ‘tea’.
Let me know if you’re interested in reading more about this!
Food, the stuff of comfort and fellowship
Despite or perhaps because of its scarcity, food sharing is one of the most important part of the Clan’s lifestyle.
The Skyriders enjoy sitting around a fire and eating meals that everyone contributed to putting in the pot. We can all relate to the sense of fellowship this brings.
I use carefully description of the Skyriders’ meals to enhance one of the main themes of the book series: human connection.
Throughout the story, I try to balance a sense of happy domesticity with the threats and challenges that the characters face.
For every trial and life-threatening challenge, there is a shared meal and a life-affirming friendship.
The tension between the dangers of the outside world and the comforts of home speaks to everyone who has ever longed for home after a difficult day.
Jane Austen, “There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort.”