What Really Goes Into a Novel–Researching for Fun and Profit

Sometimes I can’t believe my own good luck.  I have a built-in excuse to do the strangest things without one smidgen of guilt.  Yesterday, for instance, in the middle of writing a chapter that does NOT want to be written, I got the urge to bake a pie.  So I did.  Without feeling the least bit reluctant.  Pies are a big, big part of Happiness Key and Fortunate Harbor, the sequel, in progress now.  And it was time to put a recipe up on my website for Happiness Key.  Could I do that without trying the pie myself?  Would I do that to my faithful readers?  I mean, it’s GRAPEFRUIT pie after all, and it definitely needed a test drive.

Grapefruit pie cropped.jpg

So now the pie is baked and very soon the recipe will appear on my Happiness Key book pages, where you can try it, too.  I can honestly tell you that this is worth an afternoon in your kitchen.  In fact if I do say so myself, it’s delicious.  Even without whipped cream on top, just the way you see it here.  Yum!

As if that wasn’t enough fun, this afternoon I’m off to Charlottesville where my daughter-in-law and I are going to take a pie baking class tomorrow night.  And that will be after I spend the day learning how to use the family metal detector.  All in the name of research.

With Happiness Key about to debut, I’ll be talking about happiness a lot in the coming months.  Like Wanda, in Happiness Key, I can say that baking pies makes me happy, too.  Look for the recipe in mid-June and enjoy.

Meantime, don’t forget to comment on my interview with Diane Chamberlain if you’d like a chance to win one of Diane’s wonderful novels.  You have until June 3rd.


  1. Tara Green on June 15, 2009 at 11:38 am

    We’d love to have your recipe on our Chef Amore website (www.chefamore.com) we are launching this week, Emilie! Email me back if you’d like to.
    Tara Green

  2. Emilie Richards on June 15, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    Well, that sounds like fun. And since I know how energetic and creative you are, this will be a good one, too. Congrats and a recipe’s coming your way.

  3. Yvonne on February 1, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    I grew up in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas and just read about a friend picking his grapefruit before the freeze hits tonight. This reminded me of my grandmother making Grapefruit pies, so I Googled grapefruit pie and came across your website. I work in a junior college library and am an avid reader but had never come across your books. Your books seem like something I would love to read so I’ve put in for us to order some and can’t wait to read them.

    • Emilie Richards on February 1, 2011 at 4:46 pm

      What a nice connection. Thank you, Google. 🙂 Hope you enjoy the pie.

Leave a Comment