The two things that feed my inner soul—cooking and writing—are also my full time job. Trust me when I say it is no coincidence as in my 20’s I set out to do what I love and love what I do. Food was surely central to my journey I just didn’t think that writing would be such a critical part of my professional recipe.
Truth be told, I never dreamed of writing a book—it was more about being in the trenches doing the work. But as I continued to grow as a culinary nutritionist, the edible conversation in my head expanded. And it was the people I worked with—clients, students and colleagues—who encouraged me to speak up.
Anyone can write a book and self publish, but that was not the direction I wanted to take—a literary agent who believed in me and could help me position the book for sale to a reputable publisher made more sense. Lofty dreams. But after years of pounding the pavement, a kick-ass agent and detailed book proposal, What The Fork Are You Eating: An Action Plan For Your Pantry and Plate was sold to Tarcher/Penguin Random House (after it was rejected at roughly 25 other publishers).
My first book deal in hand, I set out to write. And for roughly one month was utterly paralyzed. You see the book is a reflection of that edible conversation in my head plus a guide for my readers on how to rehab their pantries, navigate the grocery store and rehab their meals (yes, with recipes). In other words, it is my life’s work on paper!
Seeking a little encouragement, I called my dear colleague, friend and nationally recognized cookbook author extraordinaire Rebecca Katz, to share my book writing woes and she said this, “Honey, writing a book is like giving birth. I don’t have kids but I have three book babies.” And with that, the words somehow started to flow. It was like creating life. I have two kids so I embraced the challenges of writing as I did being pregnant, giving birth and being a mother.
While creating this book, I oddly found peace and quiet in the bustle of local coffee shops or cafés. One day while writing, a man approached and said, “I often see you working so intently. May I ask you what you are doing?” I replied, “I am writing a book.” The man’s jaw dropped, “How many words have you written?” “80,000,” I said. Jaw still dropped, “How do you have that many words in your head? I can’t even hold 20 in my noggin at once.” With a friendly smirk and a little sass I answered, “My problem is that I have far more than 80,000 words in my head. Writing this book has been a welcome relief to my overactive brain!” With a warm smile he wished me luck and walked away to fetch his cup of Joe.
I just received my manuscript back from my editor and am about to embark on editing my book baby so she is just right for my readers. I must admit, I am a little anxious about this next phase. But then again, what mother doesn’t have nerves for each new stage of her child’s journey.
What The Fork will be available for pre-order online in June of this year and on the shelves in December. I only hope that you all enjoy my creation as much as I have enjoyed writing it. Stay tuned…