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!)!
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!
I’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?