Saturday, October 1, 2016

I like to write cookbooks

10-1 Natl homemade cookie day
And so it's National Homemade Cookie Day!  Naturally, I WANT to participate, but then I looked in the mirror and saw the size of my butt and decided I would enjoy the day "virtually" instead of actually eating any cookies. That doesn't mean I can't enjoy it vicariously.

Like working on my Lotus Bay Cookbook. (No title for it yet.)

The real question is -- why work on a project that isn't likely to bring me any money and certainly not many people will buy or read it.

There, I said it.

I love cookbooks, and if it was feasible, I'd do a real one -- like Susan Branch's Heart of the Home, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary. I can't draw/paint like she can, and adding color photos to an ebook is prohibitively expensive. (Did you know authors get charged per download of our books?)  Anyway, it's a fun project and so I putter at it.

CowI puttered at Recipes To Die For: A Victoria Square Cookbook several years ago and, quite frankly, the sales suck. I'm lucky to sell 5 or 6 a month. But I'm really proud of that little cookbook. The trade paperback edition has little black-and-white clip-art illustrations, some of which were drawn by Mr. L, like the cow to the right. (In the book, the dialog balloon over Bossy's head says "Moo!")

In Recipes To Die For, I included an anecdote to go along with each of the recipes. Surprisingly enough, it was hard. I know the characters pretty well, but I wasn't as familiar with the lesser characters, and having to come up with ideas about their personalities was more difficult than I thought it would be.

Recipes-smMy friend Ellery Adams suggested that I start the book with Signature Drinks.  Now that was fun. I had to read the entire Mr. Boston Official Bartending Guide (Mr. L collects them and we have at least 4 different editions, some of them pretty old) to find the exact drinks that would go well with the characters' personalities.  Conrad Stratton's favorite drink is the Corpse Reviver. (Yes, there really is such a drink!) And Mr. Collier, from Collier's Funeral Home, drinks Zombies (maybe in hopes of keeping those not-quite-dead away from his funeral parlor). See, there's lots of fun stuff stuffed into that little book, which is why it was fun to write.

Check it out on my website.

Anyway, over the summer, I've been puttering on two cookbooks; one for Lotus Bay (and features food that you'd find in a B&B, because that's what Kathy intends to open), and the other for the Jeff Resnick series. That would be mostly Brenda's recipes. It wasn't something I planned, but I noticed that in my books, she make a LOT of soup, so it will feature more soup and dinner recipes.

Okay, so if you've read either of those series, what other recipes to do think Kathy and Brenda should include in their cookbooks?

P.S. I've made all the Booktown Recipes available to readers on my website.  Go to the site, look under the Angelica's Recipes drop-down menu, and you can find them from every book in the series.  Just click this link.