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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104 thoughts on “So, I’m writing a cookbook!”

  1. 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!

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  2. 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!!!

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  3. 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

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  4. 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!!

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  5. 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!

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  6. 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!!

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  7. 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

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  8. 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.

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  9. 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.

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  10. 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

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    • 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!

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

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    • 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!

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  12. 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.

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    • 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!

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    • Thanks so much- but after I’ve just spent the last year working on the book (and it’s still not finished), I can tell you that it’s a lot of hard work and not at all “dream like” LOL!

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