Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

“Reading and writing are acts of empathy and faith. Guard that trust carefully — in this rapidly changing business, it’s the only sure thing.” ~Erin Keane
"Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in." ~ Louise Brown

"Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it."
~Jesse Stuart

"A writer's job is to take one thing and make it stand for twenty." ~ Virginia Woolf

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Next Big Thing

I’ve been invited by Helena Halme, author of The Englishman (which I just started on the Kindle and LOVE) to take the Next Big Thing questionnaire, where authors talk about what they’re publishing next. Thank you, Helena! Questions and answers follow:
 
What is the title of your next book?
"The House of Diamonds Cookbook: Hearty Meals for the Frugal Family"

Where did the idea for the book come from?

From my life. My husband and I had ten children, eight of them boys, so talk about your big appetites! I had to learn how to cook well on a budget, and I wanted to share my ideas and recipes in a cookbook. Since all of my books deal a lot with food, (Lighting Candles in the Snow even has recipes at the end of each chapter), I felt like writing a cookbook would be a natural step. 

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
It will be published by WiDo in 2013.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I am currently testing all the recipes and linking them together in meal planning so that is taking me awhile.

Who or What inspired you to write the book?
I talked about the idea to my two daughters-in-law, both married just a short time, and they were really excited about it. That surprised me because it's not like they had large families to feed. I figured if newly married women like the idea, then it should be applicable to anyone with a desire to eat well on a budget.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
The recipes will be for complete meals, with suggestions for what to have for main dish, salad, dessert, etc, and each element included. I'll also include tips on how to cook for a crowd without breaking the bank.
 
And that's it! I hope you enjoyed reading about My Next Big Thing. I will now pass the task of answering these same questions to another writer. Next week in the spotlight will be mystery author, Clarissa Draper!
 

I look forward to reading about Clarissa's next thrilling mystery!

32 comments:

  1. I wish you all the best with your new book It sounds exciting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Maria! I just added your book blog to my book review list on the sidebar :)

      Delete
  2. I like the sound of this, and its certainly in tune with our times. 'Hearty' takes any misery out of 'Frugal': it's a fine title.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mise, "Hearty takes any misery out of Frugal" How very well-spoken. Now I know why I liked this title!

      Delete
  3. Hi Karen .. love your new photo - looks very professional and your header - your daughter is a brilliant photographer.

    I love the idea of recipes at the end of chapters - so will look forward to reading and finding those.

    Cooking for 12 every night (every day I suppose!) ... amazing - but what a great idea to write it down ... it will be so interesting to see and read about .. congratulations.

    Looking forward to Clarissa next - cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hilary, Fortunately we didn't have them all at once but in a steady stream. There was actually only a few months when all 10 children were together in the home, when our youngest was a newborn and right before the oldest set off on his two year mission to Japan.

      Delete
  4. Love the title of the cookbook!! All the best with it! Take care
    x

    ReplyDelete
  5. I like that idea of presenting complete meal suggestions, Karen. Often the most difficult aspect of meal planning is balancing the courses.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Christine, That's actually what my two daughters in law liked about it too. It can be daunting knowing what to put with what.

      Delete
  6. In this day and age, who doesn't eat on a budget.
    Actually I'm still in awe of the ten kids...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alex, LOL. Me too when I think about it....

      Delete
  7. Looking forward to reading this, just hope I can get the ingrediants here in this land of Impossible to get :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Siv, I'll bet you can as the recipes all use simple basic foods, easily available and low-priced.

      Delete
  8. I always like cookbooks with complete meal/menu suggestions. I'll be mulling over yours.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Dear Karen, this is a good idea--interviewing authors about their projects.

    Your project appeals to me as someone who loves to cook. I'm a vegetarian, however, and I'm wondering if you will have a section for vegetarians in your book. Peace.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi Dee, Although there won't be an entire section, I'll mark certain dishes as vegetarian since I cooked many vegetarian meals, not out of any principle except saving money when meat was expensive while grains and vegetables plentiful. (Not vegan however)

    ReplyDelete
  11. As a former professional chef, you might think I would get up the gumption to write a cookbook. I still might, but not just yet. I need to get all my fiction out of my head before I tackle a project like that. Like you said, testing all the recipes would probably test me.

    And 10 kids. Karen I had no idea. And I read your books.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I think you have a wonderful idea for a cookbook. Feeding such a big family must be expensive! I can't believe what we spend on groceries, and we save $ where we can. Good luck! I'm sure you'll have an eager audience.

    ReplyDelete
  13. My friend Charity is published through WiDo and they seem very professional and produce a high quality product. I think your cookbook will be a huge success :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thanks for the supportive comments, everyone! It is inspiring me to get cooking LOL. Still many more recipes to test for the final draft. (My husband will be happy to hear that.)

    ReplyDelete
  15. I wish you great success with the cookbook, Karen. And thanks for stopping by my blog to welcome me back. Your words warmed my heart!

    And I too am looking forward to Clarissa's next mystery. I really liked her first one!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ann, Not even sure if Clarissa saw that I linked to her. Let's hope she's busy writing her next book! I just noticed that Shauna over at the CeleryTree blog used your blog as an example of how an author should blog to his audience. (The link is celerytree.blogspot.com if you want to check it out.)

      Delete
  16. Wow Karen! 10 kids!! 8 of them boys. I'm amazed. I can barely survive my 1 boy. lol.
    I bet you've got some fantastic recipes. I can't wait to check them out. :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Fascinating. I love cookery books and it does sound like you've had the relevant experience for the job! I love the photo too.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Wow, this is so exciting! I might have to give cooking a try again now. Good luck with it, Karen :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. What a cool project! I'm doing a little cook book for my sisters as Christmas presents this year. Fun!

    ReplyDelete
  20. what a great idea! And I don't know how you managed to stay sane with ten kids. There are seven in our family; I can only imagine how loud it must be when you have everyone there!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Marcy, Loud doesn't even begin to describe it. Is there a word that means loud times ten? That's our family when we get together, even with only half the kids since it's very rare when all of us are together. The last time was at a wedding August, 2011.

      Delete
  21. I love cookbooks with realistic recipes and meal plans. This sounds like such a book. :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. Testing recipes? Sounds like some fun--and potentially fattening--research. I've been cooking a lot more elaborately lately and I'm afraid I may have gained a few pounds in the process. My wife has been loving coming home from work to a good home cooked meal.

    Lee
    A Faraway View

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lee, I'll bet she does! She's one lucky woman.

      Delete
  23. I can't wait to read your cookery book. And ten children, I salute you super-mom! Helena xx

    ReplyDelete