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Q&A with Kristen Mulrooney, Co-author of Gilmore Girls: The Official Cookbook
A humor writer and editor on co-writing a funny cookbook and satire writing tips
This month I talked with triple-threat Kristen Mulrooney, who is a co-author of the Gilmore Girls Cookbook, satire writer, and editor at The Belladonna Comedy. Kristen is also one of the winners of the Erma Bombeck A Hotel Room of One's Own Humorist in residence program (I'm not jealous, you're jealous).
Congrats on the book! Can you talk a bit about what it was like to work on? Have you memorized all the episodes of the show? Are you now close personal friends with Lorelai and Rory?
Thank you! Going forward, I would prefer to only work on projects that require me to binge-watch my favorite TV shows. Making the Gilmore Girls voice come through on paper was a fun challenge—I wanted readers to have a sense of that fast-paced dialogue, no matter what speed they read at. I think focusing on how to manipulate that reading experience made me a better writer overall.
I have memorized all the episodes! But mostly in terms of food. If you name an episode, I might not remember its plot, but I’ll know it’s the episode where they ate egg salad.
I’m only close personal friends with Lorelai and Rory in my heart. But in real life, I did meet Scott Patterson, who plays Luke! He was very kind, definitely more like sweet Luke than grouchy Luke.
Do you have a favorite recipe in the book?
It’s super hard to choose because I love so many of them for different reasons, so I’m going to cheat and pick three. The Lobster Pot Pie was a late addition, and I was excited we decided to include it because when I saw it on the show, I desperately wanted to eat it.
Then there’s Lorelai’s preferred sick food, Chicken Noodle Soup with a Side of Mashed Potatoes, which if you think about it is a brilliant sick food because it’s so warm and hearty. And my favorite recipe concept is Lorelai’s Giant Birthday Pizza. In the show, the pizza was so big they needed a crane to lift it, but my co-author Elena Craig has a fun workaround so fans can make it in a regular-sized oven.
In addition to being a very funny satire writer you are an editor at The Belladonna Comedy. What tips do you have for writers getting started with satire writing?
If you’re new to satire writing, start simple! I was just mining some of my old notes from when I first started, and I was surprised to find that a lot of my brainstorming was about super serious issues like politics and gun control—topics I never write about. Satire is supposed to say something, and when I first started writing, I thought that meant it had to say something heavy. It doesn’t! A recent Belladonna favorite is 7 Things You Know About Kim Kardashian But Not Your Dad. It’s very silly and fun, and even though it’s not a life or death matter, it still makes a (hilarious) point.
What is something you can recommend to readers that makes you laugh?
I just finished the latest season of Russian Doll and then watched the season finale of SNL, hosted by Natasha Lyonne. I love her whole deal so much. Her vibe is, and always has been, so uniquely her own. So I’m going to recommend her, just overall as an entertainer, because finding your own vibe and being unafraid to flaunt it is one of the biggest keys to finding success in humor.
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