Deb Lucke, a Salem, Mass.-based author, provides a bit of levity for foodservice directors in her latest graphic novel, “The Lunch Witch,” which draws comparisons between main character Grunhilda making potions and lunch ladies cooking, she says. Lucke, who herself had a short term as a K-12 foodservice worker, describes how she found her muse.
Q: What inspired you to write “The Lunch Witch”?
A: I had a distant relative who was head of all the lunch ladies for a school district. When I was young, she would talk to my mother for hours about all of the things that they were doing to economize and be creative.
Q: What interested you in focusing on day-to-day interactions between students and foodservice workers?
A: I have a friend who’s a lunch lady, and she interacts with specific children quite a bit. You’re not exactly friends but you’re getting to know them over and over, and you’re part of that [school] community. To me, it was an opportunity to write about an adult that’s in the kids’ lives who doesn’t get written about a lot.
Q: How do you see student interaction and other issues evolving in future installments?
A: The idea is that every book is a new semester, and there’s a new kid that interacts with Grunhilda. I definitely want to work in issues like recycling.