Sunday, July 14, 2019

Flash back 2018 Writer's conventions' treasure trove of books

The writer's convention I attended in August left me with a bagful of marvellous books. As I'm slowly reading my way through them, I find that panellists are releasing gems worth collecting. As a book collector, I don't merely mean display them in your bookshelf. No, no, no! These books I've found are filled with information worth kingdoms and fiefs.

As far as I can remember—and locate in my unending mass of books—I bought six titles. I already mentioned Jim Jackson's excellent How to Tell a Really Good Story about Absolutely Anything in 4 Easy Steps in a previous post.
All of these books were from authors whose panel were on my extensive list of must-see events.
One of them was Krista D. Ball, whom I was lucky enough to meet in the vendor area, at the booth where her book was displayed. She signed a copy of her two reference books, one of them displaying the name of her panel "What Kings Ate and Wizards Drank[: A fantasy lover's food Guide]."  I did not make it to her panel, but I was lucky to find out she was selling a book on the subject.  If there's something I love, it's history taught in a practical way like this! She also released another fascinating reference book titled "Hustlers, Harlots, and Heroes: A Regency and Steampunk Field Guide." I have read the former, and it is far from boring. It contains so much useful information, and I love how reading it sparks some fine golden threads of inspiration through my mind. I have found myself spacing out, as I indulged in what-ifs scenarios, and her writing style is so enjoyable, I've been reading way past my bedtime on many occasions. It's easy to keep reading and if you're like me—you can't get enough of research data—you're going to love her book! I can't wait to read the second book as I admit, both version of The Enquire Within make for a dry read-through.

You may be wondering by now what kind of wonders lay between those pages.
First of all, you need to understand that the author is fascinated (*whisper* obsessed) with food, its history and culture. She studied history and doesn't fool around with facts. She isn't kidding when she says that food is power; it was even used as a weapon throughout the ages.
In Edmonton, she ran the Mustard Seed, an evening meal program, and worked with the homeless, giving her a real understanding of the power of food.

Her book What Kings Ate and Wizards Drank: A fantasy lover's food Guide discusses how to keep your party from dying from hunger while on the road in a realistic way, what foods to expect in towns and big cities, warnings about fake foods (yes, it's was a thing back then too.), food in the military and the navy, what were considered luxury items, seasonal foods and their availabilities before refrigeration as well as how did they manage preservation. She talks about the lives of the rich and the poor, how feasts were planned, and plenty more. There is a section for beverages and medicinal uses for food, including birth control.
She offers plenty of references and recipes to try out as well. I have made her recipe for drawn butter many times! I was left with the feeling that I wanted more, and I hope she keeps publishing such gems.

Check out her What Kings Ate and Wizards Drank: A fantasy lover's food Guide

Follow Krista D. Ball on Facebook or Twitter
come check out her new blogging site.
She used to be found on this blog, while no longer active, the page is still up. It contains lots of great writing tips, information and reviews.

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