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Wednesday 22 June 2016

✉ Friend of the Devil - Mark Spivak

Today author takes over our blog to tell us about his latest novel, Friend of the Devil (, Black Opal Books, 299 pages), a Culinary Thriller.

Friend of the Devil is Mark Spivak's first non-fiction novel; here is some early praise:

"The writing is strong and the character development superb." -Taylor Jones, reviewer

"With excellent, well-developed three-dimensional characters, an intriguing mystery, and dark humor, Spivak has crafted a culinary thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat, turning pages until the end." - Regan Murphy, reviewer

Author Guest Post | Synopsis | Teaser | About the Author | Giveaway & Tour Stops

The Background to Friend of the Devil

by Mark Spivak

My first novel, Friend of the Devil, tells the story of America’s most celebrated chef, Joseph Soderini di Avenzano, who has cut a deal with Satan for fame and fortune.  Whether he is actually Bocuse or Beelzebub, in 1990 Avenzano is approaching the 25th anniversary of his glittering Palm Beach restaurant, Chateau de la Mer, patterned after the Michelin-starred palaces of Europe.

Michelin Starred Chef Paul Bocuse Beelzebub sample of a Michelin-starred restaurant in Europe
The story is told through the eyes of David fox, a freelance journalist who arrives in Florida to do a piece on the restaurant’s silver jubilee.  He quickly becomes involved with Chateau de la Mer’s hostess, unwittingly transforming himself into a romantic rival of Avenzano.  The chef invites Fox to winter in Florida and write his authorized biography.  David gradually becomes sucked into the Avenzano’s vortex: shipments of cocaine coming up from the Caribbean; the Mafia connections and unexplained murder of the chef’s original partner; the chef’s ravenous ex-wives, swirling in the background like a hidden coven.  As his lover plots the demise of the chef, Fox tries to sort out hallucination and reality while Avenzano treats him like a feline’s catnip-stuffed toy.

Palm Beach, Florida

Many people have asked me if this is a story based on life experience.  To a large extent it is, although the inspiration came from a chef I worked with in a different city and at another time.  Autobiographical material is the hardest to work with, because it cuts in two directions: it provides a vivid story filled with compelling detail, but writers frequently find that they are too close to the material to render it clearly.  In this case it was a tale I carried around with me for decades, until I was finally able to spit it out.

Another frequently asked question is whether or not I found the material to be disturbing.  The answer is yes: I consider myself to be a spiritual person, so it was difficult to deal with many situations and themes in the book.  However, the process of dealing with them, of questioning beliefs I thought I had, actually strengthened those beliefs in many cases.

I hope you enjoy Friend of the Devil, because it was a long time coming.  Hopefully it won’t haunt you as badly as it haunted me.

Mark Spivak

Friend of the Devil
Available NOW!

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Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Mark Spivak said...

Many thanks for hosting me on your blog today. I look forward to meeting your readers and answering any questions they might have.

Unknown said...

Looks like a fantastic read, thanks for the chance to win :)

CJ said...

Thanks for this informative post! I always like to know the story behind the story! Really enjoying the book tour. :)

Victoria Alexander said...

Great pictures - thanks for sharing them.

MomJane said...

Really great comments, and I think this book sounds excellent.

Nikolina said...

I was really enjoying following this tour, thank you for all the great blog posts and excerpts!