Author Interview – Yaffa Santos

Hi, Yaffa! Thanks so much for joining me today! Tell me about A Taste of Sage!

A TASTE OF SAGE tells the story of Lumi Santana, a Dominican-American chef who can taste food and know what a person was feeling when they cooked it. She has worked hard to open her own eclectic fusion restaurant in Inwood, which is a neighborhood in Upper Manhattan, NYC. When her venture fails, she is forced to get a job at a French restaurant owned by Julien Dax, who thinks tradition is grail and avoids creativity. She chafes at the restrictions, and it annoys her that she finds herself just the tiniest bit attracted to him, despite his arrogant attitude. She promises not to taste his cooking, but one day caves, and is surprised to find there’s a lot more to his emotions than she had imagined.

I love your description! That was my favorite part! How she can uncover emotions through tasting others’ cooking. Well, that and a certain interlude that way heats up the kitchen! What is your favorite scene?

I love the absinthe scene, where Lumi and Julien go out on the town across New York City. It reminds me of some of the most fun nights of my time in New York and I miss that now while sheltering in place.

Yes! It’s such a different time we’re living in. I miss roaming free. Where were you when your story idea for A Taste of Sage came to mind?

It was 2015, and I was living in New Jersey. I worked full-time at a job that wasn’t creative at all, and I feel like in some way that sparked me. During meetings and calls, I would find myself daydreaming about Lumi and her restaurant. I added details as the daydream progressed.

I can SO relate to the daydreaming of details. I think I tend to write it into some of my characters too! Does Lumi mirror some of your own quirks or character traits?

I think Lumi cooking is like me working in corporate America in my 20s. I would color-code all the spreadsheets and each one had a different color scheme and followed a different format. I thought they were art; my boss was totally beside herself.

I love that you now have a creative outlet beyond color-coding spreadsheets! And I extra love that as readers we get to be a part of it with you! What writing plans do you have next? New releases? Book Signings? Conferences?

Right now, everything is virtual because of the situation. On Thursday, May 21st, I will be doing a Zoom event with the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance.

That sounds like fun! A Zoom event with books from the comfort of home! Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

I am so excited to share A TASTE OF SAGE with you. This book is the product of over 4 years of dreaming, early-morning writing sessions, and prayers. I hope my love for Lumi and her world comes across in the story. And I think it’s the perfect read for whoever needs a little escape from within four walls.

It’s absolutely the perfect time for an escape of words! Thanks so much for joining me today! I can’t wait for the rest of the world to get A TASTE OF SAGE on May 19th!

“This delightful debut charms the reader with its unique conflict, savory dishes, and engaging characters that warm your heart.” —PRISCILLA OLIVERAS, USA Today bestselling author of Island Affair