Guest Darien Gee aka Mia King on
The Bread That Inspired a Novel

Guest Darien Gee aka Mia King on
The Bread That Inspired a Novel

[One of the most frequently asked questions of an author is: “Where did the idea for your novel come from?” In today’s guest post, Darien Gee aka Mia King (Good Things, Sweet Life, Table Manners) explains how her novel Friendship Bread “started.”]

Guest Darien Gee aka Mia King on the Bread That Inspired a Novel

If you’re never heard of Amish Friendship Bread, your life is about to change forever. Mine certainly was.

Amish Friendship Bread is similar to a quick bread except it’s made with a sourdough starter. If you’ve ever seen (or smelled) a bag of fermenting batter, I’m sure you’ll agree with me that it’s something you won’t likely forget.

Amish Friendship Bread is similar to a chain letter in that after ten days you’re asked to divide the starter into four portions, keep one for yourself and give the other three portions away to lucky (and unsuspecting) friends or neighbors so that they can do the same. After five rounds, there will be 1,024 bags of starter floating out there. After ten rounds: 1,048,576.

That’s a lot of starter to emerge from one bag of the stuff.

I’m often asked if Amish Friendship Bread is really Amish. I don’t know, and I’m not sure anyone else does, either. There’s no documented evidence of its origins, and I know some people’s suspicions are raised when they see instant pudding listed among the ingredients. But what I do believe is that the inspiration behind the bread is undoubtedly Amish in nature. It’s about friendship and community, about sharing what you have with others and expressing gratitude for the good things in your life.

Friendship Bread was inspired by my own experience with the bread, when my daughter brought it home along with a bag of starter she’d received from a friend. I was eating the last few crumbs when I started to think about a woman who receives the starter and just doesn’t want to do it. I saw a sadness hanging over this character and I knew I wanted to find out more. I started writing and the story quickly took shape—more importantly, it soon became clear that the book wasn’t about any one person, but an entire community ready for change and connection.

Friendship Bread is about what can happen when one person is willing to reach out and help another. It may seem like an overly simple solution, but maybe it’s not as insignificant as we think. Maybe there’s more power in it than we realize, and all it takes is one person who’s willing to give it a try.

* * * * *

Book Giveaway: The Divining Wand is giving away one copy of Rebecca Rasmussen’s The Bird Sisters in a random drawing of comments left only on this specific post, Rebecca Rasmussen and The Bird Sisters. Comments left on other posts during the week will not be eligible. The deadline is Wednesday, March 30, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. EDT with the winners to be announced here in Thursday’s post. If you enter, please return Thursday to see if you’re a winner.

5 thoughts on “
Guest Darien Gee aka Mia King on
The Bread That Inspired a Novel

  1. I am so impressed with Darien/Mia and the marketing machine she has created for this book…I’ve been following Friendship Bread on Facebook and think she’s just amazing. I hope that she will talk about she created the marketing campaign.

    And now that I’ve read about her book, it sounds wonderful, a great read. Best wishes for great success.

    BTW, going forward, will she write under Mia King or Darien Gee?

  2. Lol — that woman who just didn’t want to do the friendship bread? Totally me. I thought it was a great idea, but when it came down to it, I was just too lazy. I dumped my starter baggie in the trash. (Sorry!)

    It’s a great spark for a novel, though. 😉

  3. Just goes to show that a novel can be created from any experience if you let your imagination flow. What a wonderful flight of imagination was necessary in this undertaking.

  4. I was given a friendship bread started when I was in college. I am sad to say that mine eventually ended up in the trash. Too hard to take care of in a dorm – and my roommate complained about the smell.

    That said, I am not sure I would take part even now, but I can’t explain why.

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