Hi everyone. Alan here—with a special post.
You know, throughout my life, people have always said I was “animated” And I’ve often been called a “character.” But now I’ve actually jumped right into the pages of a novel—Yona Zeldis McDonough’s new YOU WERE MEANT FOR ME.
Yona and I were good friends back at Vassar. Last year, we were reunited at the Brooklyn Book Festival. And we had a lot to catch up on: Yona’s many novels (for both children and adults) and, of course, my cupcake books. “I was fascinated to learn about Alan’s journey, with Karen Tack, into cupcake land,” says Yona, “and when he gave me a signed copy of What’s New, Cupcake?, I pored over the pages, in awe of the creativity and flair of their designs.”
After our chance reunion, Yona had an idea. “As it happened,” she says, “I was working on a novel in which the protagonist, Miranda Berenzweig, is a food editor at a fictional magazine called Domestic Goddess. And it occurred to me that it would be both fun and fitting to bring Alan and Karen’s work into my novel. After all, Miranda is a magazine editor always in search of good story ideas; wouldn’t these adorable and clever cupcakes make a great story for her? So I developed a small plot line in which Miranda is trying to score an exclusive recipe from Alan and Karen for her magazine. She succeeds, and Alan brings the cupcakes to her office so that she can see—and taste—them. Everyone loves them and Miranda’s boss is very pleased with her work. I based the ‘exclusive’ recipe on A Rose is a Rose, which I found on page 123 of WHAT’S NEW, CUPCAKE?”
I’m very proud to appear in Yona’s terrific book–which you should definitely order. (To do so, click here.)
Yona was nice enough to let us run an excerpt from her book, one in which the fictional Alan first appears. (I also crop up a couple of more times in the novel.) Here’s that excerpt:
A knock on the door halted the small tornado of her thoughts. “Miranda? Alan Richardson is here.”
“Bring him right in,” Miranda said. She’d been angling for this visit for months and she wasn’t about to spoil it; she’d have to deal with her personal life later.
Claudia opened the door Alan Richardson came striding into Miranda’s office with a flourish. “Cupcakes!” he announced. “Ready for the unveiling?”
“Of course!” Miranda moved aside some papers and Alan set down the Tupperware cupcake holder. He and Miranda had been in steady communication about the special, exclusive cupcake he was creating for the Mother’s Day issue of Domestic Goddess. But he hadn’t wanted to share too many details she had not actually seen the cupcakes before; today was the big reveal. “Let me just get a few other people in here too.” She buzzed Sallie and Marvin, and they all clustered around the desk as Alan took the lid off.
There sat twelve perfect pink and red cupcakes, nestled in red paper liners. They were iced with creamy white frosting and each decorated by a rose that had been fashioned from fruit chews that had been cut, shaped and dipped in decorating sugar. Tiny green leaves—also fruit chews—peeked out from the petals. Clustered appealingly together, they looked like an edible bouquet.
“They’re gorgeous,” said Sallie. “Our readers will love them.”
“We’re going to do a link to a video showing how to make the roses,” Miranda added. “And we’re going to roll out the click-through feature on the recipe.” The click through had been Miranda’s idea; it would allow the on-line readers to click to products used in creating the cupcake—a silicon frosting spreader, nesting mixing bowls, rolling pin—and order them on the spot.
“I’m already imagining the layout,” added Marvin. “Lush!”
“We’ll do another batch for the shoot,” Alan said. “I just wanted you to see them first. And taste them too.”
“You don’t need to ask twice!” Sallie began handing out the cupcakes. Miranda brought one out to the receptionist at the front desk, who actually squealed when it was placed in front of her. When Miranda returned, Sallie was halfway through her cupcake. “Great work,” she said. “I think this is really going to be a hit.”
Miranda reached for a cupcake and smiled. “Thanks. They’re even better than I had hoped.”
“Keep up the good work.” Sallie finished eating and dabbed at her lips with the pink napkin Alan had brought. Then she turned to go back to her office. But Marvin, Claudia and Alan were still enjoying the cupcakes—Marvin was in an atypically affable mood and Miranda was tempted to take another; there were still three on the tray. It was a celebration, right? A small but satisfying professional triumph.
Thanks, Yona. Once again, all I can say is that I’m honored. I loved the book—even the pages I wasn’t on!
Happy Reading to everyone,