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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Evertaster: The Debut Novel of a Modern Mormon Man

by LJ (bio)

It was my great pleasure to interview Adam Sidwell on the upcoming release of his debut novel Evertaster, a story about a picky kid and his family racing a cult of overzealous and sinister chefs to find the legendary Gastronomy of Peace ... the one greatest recipe in the world. Adam's day job is (I'm not making this up) working on computer graphics for movies like Pirates of the Caribbean and TRON Legacy. He and his family live in L.A. and his claim to fame is once showing a famous movie star where the bathroom was. Evertaster will be released by Trident Media Group on June 14th.

LJ: Adam, how are you? Also, who are you?

Adam: LJ, I’m having the time of my life. The story for Evertaster has been pent up inside me for four years now, and it's like I finally get to tell my big secret to the world and to all my friends. Who am I? I'm a guy who likes to live stories and then tell them. I love adventure, whether it's to a far off place or just in the mountains out back. I never want a good adventure to be lost, so I always feel obligated to write it down. That's one of the reasons I just had to write Evertaster.

LJ: Do you seriously work for Disney? Doing computer-y things? (If you do, that's seriously badapple.)

Adam: Sort of. I work in Visual Effects and Animation for film. It's all the same industry. I've had some opportunities with Disney and Pixar, but just wasn't ready to move cities at the time. I've worked for Industrial Light + Magic, which is really fun because every day Boba Fett is there to greet you when you walk in the door. I also worked in New Zealand at Weta Digital where they made Lord of the Rings. That place IS Middle Earth. There were elven swords and orc shields from the films hanging on the walls, but employees were not allowed to use them to settle workplace disputes. I did have a great opportunity to build the digital characters for TRON while working at Digital Domain. Digital Domain worked with Disney to get the film off the ground in the first place. All of the lightwalls in the film and most of the characters riding the lightcycles were my work. We build digital versions of all the human characters because actors don't feel comfortable getting de-rezzed into millions of tiny cubes. It's against union contracts.

LJ: I just have to ask ... who was that famous movie star you directed to the bathroom?

Adam: It was Jeff Bridges. Disney put on a big show at work for some of the executives prior to the release of Tron. I was in the office -- it was a Saturday -- and this bearded, weathered fella who looks like a cowboy comes trotting down the hall.

"You lookin' for the bathroom?" I asked.
"Yeah," he said.
"Down there to your right," I pointed it out to him.

Then I said, "Hey Jeff, you want to see the digital version of yourself?" since I was working on it only five minutes before. But I could tell he had to go.

LJ: HILARIOUS. Okay, so give me the scoop on your book Evertaster.

Adam: Here’s the scoop: Evertaster is the story of 11 year-old Guster Johsonville who rejects his mother's casserole for the umpteenth time and so she takes him to the city of New Orleans to find him something to eat. There they meet a dying pastry maker who tells them of a legendary recipe called the Gastronomy of Peace -- a recipe created hundreds of years ago, shrouded in secrecy, and sought after by connoisseurs everywhere. It's a recipe that people will kill for. The Johnsonvilles have to leave their home because they're in danger when a maniacal chef attacks them. So they set out on this quest because it might be the only thing that will save Guster's life. They meet sinister enemies along the way, as well as a duplicitous celebrity homemaker who is bent on discovering the One Recipe at all costs.

I guess you could think of it like this: imagine if Rachel Ray and Martha Stewart had to battle it out between themselves and a sinister cult of gourmet foodies. That's where the Gastronimatii come in. That's all I'll say here about them. What it is that drives people to pin hundreds of thousands of food pics on Pinterest? What are they all looking for? Is there a be-all end-all? Is there one final taste? Do you think that some of those Pinteresters are above killing for those foods or for the recipes that make them? Think again! All while a poor, picky kid and his family are trying to find the most delicious taste ever known, and they're out of their league. Someone's bound to get hurt.

LJ: Be honest, do you have a tiny chef squirreled away somewhere? Is that how you came up with the concept of Evertaster?

Adam: Well, that;s actually funny ... I don't have a tiny chef inside me. I have far fewer opinions about food than most people. I've even been accused of eating a brownie off the floor. The concept for Evertaster came to me during a writing class taught by Orson Scott Card. He challenged us to come up with three story ideas, one of which we should find by going into a section of the bookstore that we did not normally go. That's when I saw the cookbook Larousse Gastronimique, and I wondered -- what is it that all these chefs and cooks are looking for? The story in Evertaster is my best answer.

LJ: Were you a picky eater as a child? If not, why not? If so, what did you subsist on? (For example: from age 4 to 6, I refused to eat anything but Rice Krispies, french fries, and scrambled eggs cooked in the microwave.)

Adam: I was not picky. I ate everything on my plate. I think I was just hungry. But I am a writer, and so as a writer you have to try to understand and get inside someone's head that is not your own. I tried to understand what it was like to be a picky kid. I also had to try to understand what it was like to be obsessed with gourmet food. I did a lot of research. I ate a lot of delicious meals to prepare myself. You can never be too prepared.

LJ: So, when does the book come out?

Adam: June 14th!

LJ: Where can our readers get a copy?

Adam: The best place is to get it on Amazon. It will be available in ebook and paperback. You can read it on your smartphone. You can read it in your lap. You can read it while on horseback.

LJ: More importantly, where can I get a copy?

Adam: I’ll tell you a secret. If you go to goodreads, there's a drawing there that you can enter, and if do, you just might win the book early. Also while you're there, you can recommend it to the adventurous readers in your life.

LJ: Thanks, Adam. This has been deliciously informative (pun!).

Adam: Thanks for the opportunity, LJ!

MMM readers: go ye and Like the Evertaster Facebook page. You can see some great concept art as well as enter to win some great prizes.

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