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So, I’m writing a cookbook!

This post has been months in the making. Literally. Those of you who know me in real life will know that patience is not one of my strong points and that I am terrible at keeping secrets so you’ll understand the enormity of this!

So here goes, here are some words I never imagined I’d write in a million years.

I’m writing a French food cookbook for kids that Appetite by Random House will publish in late summer/ early fall 2018 (I know – so far away!)!

(squeeeeee!)

So exciting. And a little bit (ok, a lot) scary. But hey, 2016 seems to be the year where I take on things I am not entirely sure I will be able to do (hello Camino!) so why not throw a little book-writing into the scenario too?

Writing is something I love to do.  I mean, I’ve been sharing stories on this site (and others) for over seven years now. I must have written hundreds of thousands of words.  Over those seven years, I’ve kind of rejected the whole “your blog has to have a niche” argument I hear over and over again. So many people ask me why don’t I just stick to writing about travel. Or cooking with kids. Or baking. Or French-inspired posts. The answer? Because I love all the things I write about equally. In blogging terms, I think that must make me a well-rounded writer, right? But never did I imagine that someone a real publisher would be interested in publishing my words.  It was only when publisher Robert McCullough and editor Zoe Maslow from Appetite started chatting with me about potential book topics, I realised I had a few stories in me that I might want to tell in book-form.  And to be honest, I had a really hard time narrowing my focus down.

(at this point, I feel it’s only fair to mention that many of you who know me in real life will have heard me saying (quite publicly) that writing a cookbook was not on my “must achieve” list. And although I am stubborn and don’t like to admit that I am wrong, here I am today saying that after months of talks and many words written and read and critiqued, I’m very happy with the book we’ve decided on. And I’m not ruling out a second…)

I won’t pretend that landing this book deal was easy – like I said, this process began months ago (in October 2015) and it’s been an interesting, yet challenging path. Giving a book publisher and editor your words to read and critique is really really hard. Even if they read and love your blog, words for publication in a book are very different. It was very nerve wracking and quite humbling for me. There were a few instances of “We love this idea but that other idea is more sales-friendly”.  And along the way, despite myself I became quite attached to my ideas and my words and more and more invested in the idea of writing a book, softening a potential rejection by telling myself that if it fell through I hadn’t really actively pursued the idea anyway… Over the years, a lot of friends have suggested many publishers would be interested in working with me and why didn’t I just pitch them cold. Appetite and I came together quite by chance and from the outset, it felt like a good fit for me. The right fit. And I know without a good personality fit, publishing a book together just won’t work.

I am quite confident Appetite is the right place for me and this book I am about to write and I couldn’t be happier with THIS BOOK idea for THIS TIME in my life.

The book will feature real French food for kids. I’m aiming to take the intimidation factor out of French food by sharing recipes for everyday French dishes that kids and their parents can make and eat together. And hey, because I AM a French teacher after all, there might even be a little language or culture lesson along the way too!

Kids making fruit galettes on eatlivetravelwrite.comI’m thrilled to be adding photographer Kyla Zanardi and stylist Dara Sutin to the dream team working with me on this book and I can’t wait to get started (Gulp – our first photo shoot is in a few weeks!). And I’m gearing up for a very steep learning curve (it’s going to be like the Camino of writing).

I hope you’ll stick around here as I work my way through the writing process. I might be posting a little less in this space (though you can always follow me on Instagram where I’ll be sharing the process in images as best I can) but I can guarantee you that next spring once the manuscript is submitted I’ll definitely still be here. I mean, there are cookbooks to work through and kids to teach, right?

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93 Responses to So, I’m writing a cookbook!

  1. Jennifer August 10, 2016 at 02:26 #

    Words cannot express how excited and happy I am for you! You are so passionate and work so hard at everything you do…this book is going to be fabulous. Bravo, mon amie!

    • Mardi Michels August 10, 2016 at 02:41 #

      Thanks so much for your support and kind words! XO

  2. Teresa August 10, 2016 at 02:58 #

    Congratulations! This is such a perfect fit for you and it could encompass so many of the things you love and write about.

    • Mardi Michels August 10, 2016 at 03:54 #

      Thanks Teresa – I am so pleased it covers so many of my “I love to write about them” topics too 🙂

  3. MiMi Aye (meemalee) August 10, 2016 at 03:15 #

    That’s wonderful news, Mardi – congratulations! Can’t wait to cook from your book with my children 🙂

    • Mardi Michels August 10, 2016 at 03:53 #

      Oh my thank you so much – that would be a total honour!

  4. Carina August 10, 2016 at 03:49 #

    Absolutely fabulous! I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy and make your creations with my little French people. xx

    • Mardi Michels August 10, 2016 at 03:53 #

      Oh my goodness – I would love your kids to cook from my book 🙂

  5. Nicole August 10, 2016 at 06:37 #

    Wow Mardi! Such exciting news! Congratulations!

  6. Jen August 10, 2016 at 07:09 #

    Congratulations Mardi! Amazing news and totally well deserved. I cannot wait to read your new book.

  7. Lindsey August 10, 2016 at 07:12 #

    This is going to be grand!!! I am so happy for you. You’ve worked so hard and have real talent that needs to be shared even more broadly. Hip hip hooray!!!

    • Mardi Michels August 10, 2016 at 07:36 #

      Oh you are so sweet – thanks for all your support 🙂

  8. Cakelaw August 10, 2016 at 07:17 #

    Good on you Mardi, that’s terrific.

  9. Pam August 10, 2016 at 08:13 #

    Congratulations! I am so happy for you and cannot wait to buy your book,

  10. fiona August 10, 2016 at 08:17 #

    way to go Mardi, this is fantastic, as we say as Gaeilge.. go néirí an bóthar leat xxxx

  11. Michelle @ Taste As YouGo August 10, 2016 at 08:20 #

    Mardi!! This news is beyond amazing and I am so, so happy for you! You were one of my very first blogging friends, and it has been an honor seeing you plot out your course over the years. I can’t wait to read the book when it’s finished! <3

    • Mardi Michels August 10, 2016 at 08:29 #

      Aw thanks! I hope you might want to cook from this with Caroline when it launches!

  12. Liren August 10, 2016 at 08:47 #

    Mardi, I am beyond thirilled for you! Congratulations! I can’t wait to see the book, I have two budding Francophiles and cooks who will be excited to cook from it!!

  13. Jessica August 10, 2016 at 08:59 #

    I’m so excited for this news and might I add, this sounds like the perfect topic for your first cookbook! Congratulations!

  14. Edite Sammons August 10, 2016 at 09:54 #

    Hourray Mardi! You are the perfect one to be writing this. I love living through all of your posts, pics, and love how you write. So very proud to call you my friend!

    • Mardi Michels August 10, 2016 at 10:01 #

      Thank you so much – your support and friendship is so appreciated XO

  15. Beth August 10, 2016 at 09:55 #

    Fantastic! Congrats Mardi!

  16. Renee August 10, 2016 at 09:58 #

    Wow, what a great concept! I’ve cooked since I was a small child and would have gone bananas for something like this!

  17. Jo and Sue August 10, 2016 at 10:01 #

    Congratulations!! That is very exciting 🙂

  18. Sean August 10, 2016 at 10:08 #

    Mardi, that is AMAZING. Congratulations! Your work is fantastic, your recipes lovely, and I’m always so happy to see the work you’re doing with kids. This book is going to be wonderful, I have no doubt about it. Way to go!!

  19. Amanda from Peppers & Pennies August 10, 2016 at 10:13 #

    Congratulations! I love the theme of the book, it is so refreshing! This is a fantastic and exciting opportunity for you and I have no doubt you will be met with success.

    • Mardi Michels August 10, 2016 at 10:41 #

      Gosh I hope it’s up to everyone’s expectations! Looks like there is a lot of interest!

  20. Sofia | From the Land we Live on August 10, 2016 at 10:13 #

    Congratulations Mardi 🙂 Such exciting news and an interesting concept for a book. So cool that you get to combine a few of your interests and passions into one book.

    • Mardi Michels August 10, 2016 at 10:41 #

      I know – it’s the best of all possible worlds!

  21. Cher August 10, 2016 at 10:53 #

    First of all, congratulations. I am still wondering when you find time to sleep, but if anyone can pull if off, it is the Magnificent Mardi. Your adventures with the “chefs in training” have been some of my favorite reads on this site and I love the idea of carrying that over into a cookbook. XO

    • Mardi Michels August 10, 2016 at 10:55 #

      Thanks Cher! I always appreciate your support XO

  22. Amanda Orlando August 10, 2016 at 11:00 #

    Congratulations! This is fantastic, I’m sure the book will be wonderful

  23. Karlynn August 10, 2016 at 11:24 #

    Congrats SO much!!! Robert, Zoe et al are amazing to work with, a dream team! So exciting!

    • Mardi Michels August 10, 2016 at 12:21 #

      I’m pretty happy with my little dream team, yes! Thanks so much!

  24. DessertForTwo August 10, 2016 at 13:00 #

    congrats! And I’m so excited for this book! My little babe loves French food 🙂 <3

    • Mardi Michels August 10, 2016 at 16:40 #

      Thanks so much 🙂 Maybe you’ll cook some recipes from the book with her? 😉

  25. Bernice Hill August 10, 2016 at 14:24 #

    woohoo!! Yes, you CAN do it and it will be amazing.
    These words resonated with me so much….”Because I love all the things I write about equally.” because I too, feel this way. Do what you love and the rest is butter.

    • Mardi Michels August 10, 2016 at 16:40 #

      Thanks so much, I hope doing what I love will pay off in the end 🙂

  26. Lisbeth @ The Content Reader August 10, 2016 at 15:14 #

    Congratulations! Sounds like a great idea, and I am sure it will be a great book. It is so important to teach children how to cook and eat healthy food. Good luck.

  27. Liliana August 10, 2016 at 15:45 #

    Congratulations Mardi! You’re the perfect person to write this cookbook. Can’t wait to see it.
    I wish you lots of luck and patience.

  28. Diane Zwang August 10, 2016 at 16:16 #

    WOW, Congratulations Mardi! So happy for you and can’t wait for the finished product. I think you will do great as you are one talented lady. All the best.

    • Mardi Michels August 10, 2016 at 16:44 #

      Oh thanks so much – I appreciate the support!

  29. Evelyne CulturEatz August 10, 2016 at 17:00 #

    I must admit, I am not surprised, I always knew one day you would publish a cookbook. Congrats on this great official news.

  30. Sharon Hapton August 10, 2016 at 17:08 #

    Enjoy the process! It is very awesome and rewarding to work with Robert and his team at Appetite. In fall 2017 I will launch The Souper Kids Cookbook– the third one with Random House. Best of luck to you and looking forward to your book!

    Yours in soup,
    Sharon Hapton, Founder, Soup Sisters

    • Mardi Michels August 11, 2016 at 00:42 #

      Hi Sharon and thanks for commenting! I am actually contributing a recipe to the Souper Kids book – can’t wait to see that in print, looks like it’s going to be a wonderful book!

  31. Pam Michels August 10, 2016 at 23:30 #

    Congratulations Mardi this is wonderful news. I know you will make a success of this project, as everything else you have tackled.
    WELL DONE.

  32. janet @ the taste space August 11, 2016 at 09:01 #

    That’s fabulous news, Mardi. You are hitting all areas of awesome. I loved your Camino posts and this is wonderful, too.

    • Mardi Michels August 11, 2016 at 09:45 #

      Thanks so much – glad you enjoyed the Camino posts too!

  33. Dianne Jacob August 11, 2016 at 11:33 #

    Mardi — at last! How exciting. I remember meeting you for the first time so many years ago, and now here you are. Robert is terrific. I know it will go well.

    • Mardi Michels August 11, 2016 at 11:51 #

      It’s so funny – so many people have said “at last” so I guess everyone thought I would do this when all along I was thinking I’d never write a book! I still remember meeting you for the first time at IACP all those years ago then again at FBC in 2013 where I so enjoyed hearing you speak. Thanks for stopping by – appreciated!

  34. EmilyC August 11, 2016 at 22:13 #

    Mardi, this is definitely being added to my shelf! Congratulations!

  35. Gina August 12, 2016 at 13:07 #

    A huge congrats!!! I know it will be wonderful for your love of cooking is more than apparent. I have 21 nieces and nephews if you can believe that, so I’m sure they will enjoy reading it I have to add getting back into my insta account to my to-do list, lol.

    • Mardi Michels August 13, 2016 at 21:28 #

      Thanks so much for stopping by 🙂 21 nieces and nephews? That’s epic!!!

  36. Cassie | Crumb Kitchen August 12, 2016 at 14:02 #

    This is so exciting, Mardi! What a wonderful opportunity you have. And judging by the many years of blogging you have under your belt, you’ll not only be fine but do great. 🙂 Can’t wait to read it!

    • Mardi Michels August 13, 2016 at 21:28 #

      Thanks so much – not sure years of blogging is enough experience to write a cookbook – it’s very different – but I certainly am up for the challenge!

  37. Geoff August 13, 2016 at 03:14 #

    Wait a minute, wait a minute. I thought I was the writer in this family.
    Oh wait.
    Well done, Mardi. Proud of you.

    • Mardi Michels August 13, 2016 at 21:27 #

      Well clearly we all get our talent from you 😉 XO

  38. Dom August 13, 2016 at 07:32 #

    SOOOOOO exciting!!!! I’ve wanted to for so long but feel I need a niche! Well done you. CANNOT WAIT!

    • Mardi Michels August 13, 2016 at 21:26 #

      Well I think I am living proof you can successfully write about a few different things (as long as you are passionate about them!). Thanks so much for stopping by!

  39. Krista August 13, 2016 at 11:05 #

    A million congratulations!! This is perfect for you and I can’t wait until it’s out. 🙂

  40. Trevor August 14, 2016 at 15:31 #

    Such a great thing for you Mardi. Very excited and I agree with all that say this seems like the perfect focus and fix. Yay!

    • Mardi Michels August 14, 2016 at 16:38 #

      Thank you so much Trevor! Totally came out of left field but it felt like the right thing to do right now, you know? I am excited to combine a couple of the things I am so passionate about in one book!

  41. Carrie August 25, 2016 at 18:51 #

    Ah!! I’ve finally caught up with this amazing news. Congratulations! You will make a success of this as you do of every venture and challenge.

    • Mardi Michels August 25, 2016 at 19:32 #

      Thank you so much 🙂 Appreciate your support, always!

  42. Sarah, Maison Cupcake September 16, 2016 at 12:40 #

    Congratulations! I know you’ll pour your heart and soul into producing excellent work!

  43. Glamorous Glutton October 20, 2016 at 04:37 #

    How wonderful, congratulations! What a great idea for a book – Enjoy!! GG

    • Mardi Michels October 20, 2016 at 09:08 #

      Thank you so much! I hope lots of parents agree with you 🙂

  44. Peggy Gilbey McMackin December 17, 2016 at 10:28 #

    Congratulations Mardi! and Very Best Wishes in the Journey and Much Success in the Outcome!

    • Mardi Michels December 17, 2016 at 16:10 #

      Thank you so much – appreciate you reading and your support!

  45. summer December 21, 2016 at 12:05 #

    Congratulations Mardi! Thats awesome. I’m looking forward to your boo, you write so beautifully.

  46. Bill Facker January 15, 2017 at 18:02 #

    Excellent ! Wishing you “Creative Power”, focus, and persistence in your coming accomplishment.

  47. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella March 20, 2017 at 18:40 #

    Mardi that’s wonderful! A big congratulations to you! Book writing is such an interesting process isn’t it? It was nothing like what I thought it would be.

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