by Robin Newman

Psst, Storystorm reader! Are you hungry? I could use a snack. Got anything good in the fridge?

Food is a recurring theme in my books. Although writing about food has its consequences (last I checked it was about 10 pounds of carrot cake consequences), food is a wonderfully rich source of nourishment for a writer. You can steal it, share it, trade it, play with it, cook it, investigate it, idiomize it, dress it, accessorize it, travel to, for, or with it, procrastinate with it, eat it, digest it, and so on.

Food is also extremely flexible. It works equally well in fiction and nonfiction from board books to YA. It can be the conflict of your story where two squirrels are battling it out for the very last acorn on earth or be part of the setting in a brewing coffee shop romance.

By now, you must be thinking this author has gone bananas. I wouldn’t expect anything less.

No surprise my next book is about three feathered foodies. Let me introduce you:

This is Phil.

This is Jim or Harry.

Or Harry or Jim.

Phil, Jim and Harry are residents on the grounds of The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. They are neighborhood celebrities. When I say these birds are celebrities, I mean EVERYBODY knows them. They’ve been written up in The New York Times more times than I count. (I’d like to note that I have never been written about in The New York Times. Sniff.)

For five years my son attended The Cathedral School of St. John the Divine. From the moment I saw the birds, I knew I wanted to write about them. But then there was that small matter of what to say about the birds. Where was my story?

On one extremely fortunate day, I was attending a meeting for the school’s book fair. During the meeting one of the school administrators came into the room asking if anyone had left a sandwich in a stroller because one of the peacocks ate it. And as soon as I heard that, I knew I had my story.

NO PEACOCKS! is about Phil, Jim and Harry’s quest to taste the school’s very famous mac ‘n cheese. It’s a cheesy story of friendship and teamwork, with a mild sprinkling of criminal activity that’s perfect for influencing the impressionable minds of children ages 0 to 1000. It flies onto bookshelves September 2018.

So, I hope I’ve whet your appetite for adding an ingredient or two of food to your writing. It may sound nuttier than fruitcake but it’s sure to spice up your writing. And by golly, it sure is fun! Some food for thought . . .

Raised in New York and Paris, Robin Newman was a practicing attorney and legal editor, but she now prefers to write about witches, mice, pigs, and peacocks. She’s the author of The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake, The Case of the Poached Egg, and Hildie Bitterpickles Needs Her Sleep. She’s a member of the SCBWI, National Writing Project Writers Council, and the Bank Street Writers Lab. She lives in New York with her husband, son, goldfish, and two spoiled English Cocker Spaniels, Cupcake and Madeleine.

Please stop by and say hello! Her website is and you can follow her on Twitter @robinnewmanbook and Facebook.

And let her know about your writing success stories. She loves happy endings!

Robin is giving away The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake, The Cake of the Poached Egg, Hildie Bitterpickles Needs Her Sleep, AND a 15 minute Skype school visit.


Leave ONE COMMENT on this blog post to enter. You are eligible to win if you are a registered Storystorm participant and you have commented once below. Prizes will be given away at the conclusion of the event.

Good luck!