Posted on 10/11/2017 at 12:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

The same reader who requested we interview Summer Prescott also recommended chatting with Patti Benning.

And once we got to know Benning, we could see why; she’s another mystery author with a passion for food, as evidenced by her series titles: Darling Deli, Papa Pacelli’s Pizzeria, and Killer Cookie.

It’s a perfect pairing with Prescott, whose company publishes Benning.

“I love that I can create the sandwiches, soups and pizzas in my stories, then the readers can have a sweet treat for dessert while reading Summer’s incredible stories,” Benning laughs.

Read on to learn more about her and her work.

SADYE: What inspired you to use food as a theme in your writing?

PATTI: My hubby is actually an outstanding cook who does more of the cooking than I do! He is the recipe follower, and I am the “throw things together to make a masterpiece” kind of gal.

That’s how I come up with many of the soups in the Darling Deli Series. I love experimenting with different flavors.

I always remember my mom and grandma cooking together when I was young, and I get a tremendous amount of inspiration from that as well. Can’t go wrong with good food and good family!

SADYE: How do you keep the content (and your own interest in it) fresh in a series of twenty-plus books?

PATTI: Lots and lots of research! I take one day out of the week and spend it researching ideas for all the delicious dishes, adding my own twist, of course.

I always have crime podcasts or television shows on in the background when I do my other research. Something interesting will jump out at me, and get my imagination rolling, and I run with it.

I haven’t ever felt like I wasn’t motivated to keep writing these books. Even when the Deli Series was supposed to end, so that Papa Pacelli’s Pizzeria Series could be my focus, I begged Summer to let me bring back Moira and friends.

They have become like family to me, and I want my readers to feel the same way.

SADYE: What has been your proudest moment (or a few) as a published writer?

PATTI: Aside from my very first book being published, I have to say that when I get messages from readers or see that they are invested in one of my series.

It just is so surreal that they want to talk about the characters and they get excited when good things happen to them or feel a connection to them in any way. It’s so cool!

SADYE: What has been the biggest struggle for you as a writer?

PATTI: When I first started writing, it was writer’s block that was my biggest struggle. As I have grown as a writer, I think it’s the opposite.

Now I have so many stories that I want to tell, I am not sure I will ever get the chance to write them all.

* * *

Learn more about Patti Benning on her Facebook page; you can find her books on Summer Prescott Books’s website and Amazon.

Know an author you'd like to see featured? Email sadye (at) thefussylibrarian.com with a recommendation!

Categories: Author Interview

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