Here at Atom HQ we're starting to feel more than a little bit festive. It's not just our office either – here author Amy Plum tells us all about her gingerbread making adventures in Paris . . .
If I Should Die by Amy Plum is available from Atom on 1st May 2013. Die for Me and Until I Die are available now.
Last night I attended a gingerbread house-decorating party at the Paris apartment of a French/American couple. But very soon, and much to my horror, I discovered that in order to build a gingerbread house, you have to have SKILLS. As in CONSTRUCTION SKILLS.
The guests were each presented with a gingerbread house kit, and expected to build the houses with special sugar-glue, let them dry, and then decorate them with candy.
Now’s the time for me to let you into a little secret. Never ask an author to build anything . . . except a book. Even though I am Mom to a 7-year-old, I can barely put together a Playmobile Star Wars Space Station, and that’s only if I read the directions very carefully. And take things apart and reassemble them several times.
Playmobile parts are built to attach to each other. Pre-fab gingerbread houses are basically slabs of cookie with nothing to hold them together but a very runny sugar/egg white combo squeezed out of a tube. Which all adds up to a slippy-slidy-gooey mess.
This did not seem to seem to bother some of the guests. Like the person sitting next to me, who in no time had come up with this….
My children took one look at the neighbor’s gingerbread house and fled to the game room. Because they knew that when I am faced with a difficult project including breaky parts, it looks like this:
Within ten minutes, I had broken every major gingerbread building part, though I attempted to tie the structure together with stringy-candy bits and prop them up with marshmallows and rolled-up aluminium.
Finally, after breaking all of the parts but the roof, I came up with a brilliant alternative scheme: I concocted a gingerbread teepee. Which one of the French guests was polite enough to call a “chalet.”
And once the candy was on the sides…
…it looked like this and a little like this:
The moral of this story: If you hire an author to build your house, be prepared for a big surprise. Merry alternative-housing Christmas!