Jennifer Thompson

JENNIFER TRAINER THOMPSON is the author of seven cookbooks and the best-selling Beyond Einstein. She and her young family live in Williamstown, Massachusetts, where they are creating their own family customs. THE AUTHOR SCOOP Have you have anything in the back of your fridge that's been there for over a year? It was created by a former Navy Sea Dog who now owns and operates a pub in the Adirondacks that is only accessible by snowmobile in the winter. You earn your name on his Wall of Flame next to his live tarantula if you can eat a dozen chicken wings marinated in this explosive sauce.

Are you six degrees of separation from someone famous? (I haven't been successful.) My children find it fascinating, and a Boston radio station reportedly announced that Harry Potter was still alive and well in the Bay State. He had Harry Potter stickers produced last year and leaves them all over the place - on the examining table at the doctor's office, on the underside of the toilet seat in my kids' bathroom, and so on. What was the title of your first job?

The night before I was supposed to start my employment, I received word that the king had been deposed and that the job had been canceled. I already had my car packed, so I drove down to New York, found an apartment in the East Village, and got a job at Simon & Schuster as a lowly editor's assistant. After six months, I was dismissed, and my employer advised me to start writing instead - the best advice I've ever received, and I signed my first book contract a few months later.Where were you when you found out your first book will be published? When I got a call from Carol Houck Smith at W.W., it was quite cold in the flat, and I was all bundled up; I remember wearing gloves and making myself tea.