The best cookie recipe in my personal arsenal of sweet bribes is my great aunt Maggie’s whipped short bread cookies (recipe below). These one-bite treats melt in your mouth, leaving you reaching for more. I’ve been accused of evil misdeeds when gifting them, because the recipient immediately demands the recipe in order to make more.
With only four key ingredients, they’re easy to prepare, but require a cookie press, exact timing, and practice to create the perfect cookie. My name is occasionally cursed by those who try to replicate my cookies, and fail because they’ve never made them before, and lack the skills, tools (cookie press), and/or experience to create a good cookie.
Writing a good book also requires the right number of key ingredients. Characters, conflict, plot, theme, and the writer’s voice must all be present and in the correct amounts. Too much of one or two and not enough of the others with result in a book that doesn’t satisfy the reader. Skills like pacing and writing experience/practice are also essential to creating a novel that goes further than just satisfying the reader—it hooks them and has them eager to read more.
My favorite novels are those with interesting and flawed characters, whose goals are clear, but face difficult challenges in order to achieve those goals. Nalini Singh, Patricia Briggs, and Anne Bishop are all authors who excel at creating stories that are simply and perfectly satisfying for me as a reader and writer.
Which authors satisfy your need for a great story?
Aunt Maggie’s Whipped Short Bread
2 cups of butter
1 cup of icing (powdered) sugar
½ cup cornstarch
3 cups flour
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Beat ingredients with electric mixer until the consistency of whipped cream.
Use a cookie press, icing bag or roll in a ball and place on an ungreased cookie sheet (the last option should only be used…last).
Bake for between 10 and 15 mins or until golden brown on the edges.
Julie’s most recent release is Viable Threat (May 22, 2017), book 1 in her Outbreak Task Force series. Smoke & Mirrors, the 2nd book in the series, will be released on Feb 26, 2018. Check out her website and/or social media channels for more info on her books.