Andria Gaskins 2I love being a stay-at-home mom, but when both of my boys started school full-time I was faced with trying to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up.  I love to cook, so I needed a way to earn money with this skill.  I dabbled in catering and selling baked goods at the farmers market. And then I discovered cooking contests and kicked catering and the farmers market to the curb.

I’ve competed in several competitions for Food Network, Cooking Channel, Nordic Ware, Beringer and Martha White. I also submit recipes for consideration in various contests I find online. I’ve won some and lost some. Winning is way better than losing, so I try to win as much as I can. When it doesn’t work out, I try to be gracious in public.

A couple of years ago, I decided it’d be a good idea to write a cookbook. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get agents or publishers to take an interest in my book. They all said my platform wasn’t big enough. To be honest, I didn’t know what that meant at the time.

After I stopped resenting all the rejection, I went to work on my first novel. I had all this time on my hands and I wasn’t interested in getting a real job so writing a book sounded like  a good idea. I wrote a love story because I’m a sucker for real, deep grown-up love.  And since I also love food, there’s a lot of that in the story as well.

I set out to write a book inspired by true love and great food. My story celebrates regular people living in North Carolina who are just trying to make it in the world with the support of family and friends. They laugh, cry, argue and love passionately.  They also eat wonderful food without guilt.

I’m a Jersey girl who fell in love with the North Carolina over twenty years ago as a college student. I live in Matthews with my husband, two boys and our dog, Jack Bow Wower.