Okay, so... Food. I realize most of you who read this blog do not come here for food, food talk or food pictures. So many blogs do food exclusively, and so much better than I would.
And yet, somehow, Paris, France, food, decor, girly things, novels.... those all seem to go together so well.
In my novel Hidden in Paris (for those of you who don't know, Hidden in Paris is my first novel, which I self- published just one year ago) my main character, Annie, uses food as a way to fill all kinds of holes in her soul. This is the way through which she experiences purpose. This is the way through which she integrates into French culture (she's American), and the way she expresses her generosity of spirit even though she can't help but have things come out all wrong in her speech and her actions. Food is how she cares, and love, and heals.
I would say, looking back on it, the novel being written, published, sold, read and reviewed and all that good stuff, that Annie's experience eerily mirrors my own. Goodness gracious just how much of me is in this character? And to think we writers believe ourself to be in control of what we write :)
I used to believe in not talking about things for fear of jinxing them. Now I adhere to a different school of thought that suggests you should talk about what you want to do, say it out loud and obnoxiously to the entire world so that you become accountable for it.
What you're doing is making a promise to the Universe. And you do not bullshit the Universe!
So when I said I was going to write the cookbook of Hidden in Paris, I did not really mean it. But the instant I said it, it became the truth I had to live up to.
As most of my endeavors (and tell me if you can relate) the work involved is not nearly as challenging as the fear of rejection and failure. I could work alone in my little world and be perfectly content, but there is some sort of dark (or light?) force that both pushes me to go forward and holds me back. When I will hit that 'publish' button on the cookbook, I will have braved all manners of fears and doubts.
So this is it, I'm releasing the cookbook of Hidden in Paris, (now I'm saying it Universe! Bring it on!) with most of the recipes in the novel, and photographs produced by yours truly.
I can vouch for each recipe. They are super delicious. Mostly French comfort food but simplified. The kind of recipes a French mom (me) prepares for her family on any given night. Nothing pretentious, just simple, tried and true, fattening, buttery, wholesome French staples.
In the cookbook are my own cooking tips and personal philosophy about food, (which I can sum up to three words: 'me like food'.) There are also funny bits and comments, pictures I took in Paris and Normandy, as well as excerpts from the novel.
The only thing I omitted is the copious cursing involved in teaching myself food photography. Or photography, period. I still have everything to learn and have little pretense. Some images came out better than others, that's all. For me the learning curve was like that roller coaster you don't think you'll come back out of alive. The final result is beyond what I used to be able to do, so in that sense, I feel like pounding on my chest gorilla-style.
I'm trying to make it so that most of you will be able to download the cookbook for free, at least for a limited amount of time. I'll keep you posted. (should be later today or tomorrow.)