Saturday, July 25, 2009

From Romance to Cook Books

On September 24, "Under The Tree' will be launched, a recipe book that celebrates the community of Fahan school and it will be the result of nearly two years of incredibly hard work by myself and a small committee of friends. If someone had told me that the first book I ever published would be a recipe book, I would have laughed at them as what I know about cooking you could fit on a postage stamp. But then again, "Under the Tree" is much more than a recipe book.

My husband and I have educated our four daughters through Fahan, a small private school in Hobart, and two years ago, several events occurred that made me pause and consider why, at an expense that at times we have struggled to afford, we have done so.

This 'pause' led me to discover that what I cherish most about our school is the community that binds it together. As I talked to people, I also found that I was not alone. To many students, both past and present, it is that sense of belonging and community that they most cherish about Fahan School. From this pondering, I formed a small committee and together we have created "Under The Tree" a recipe book that celebrates the community of Fahan and all the recipes that have helped bind our families together.

Our hope is that this book serves two purposes. That it will give the reader a sense of all that is special within the Fahan community. And secondly, that whilst the reader will discover some innovative and contemporary recipes within its pages, they will also be reminded of those special ones that have made their own families special. My personal favourite is the chocolate pudding recipe as it reminds me of meal times as a child and that garish orange dish that the pudding was always served in (that still survives to this day) and of my five brothers and sisters fighting over who went first.

So, whilst not the writing project I hoped would launch my career, it is still one of which I am incredibly proud and as the first copies become available (we are expecting the advances in approximately two weeks) I will share with you images from 'Under the Tree."

Friday, July 10, 2009


Well...not so much a lightbulb, but more the equivalent of someone switching on the lights at the MCG, then turning them up a wee bit. Years ago (well it seemed like that) I blogged (or did I comment on someone elses blog) re the dreaded synopsis and that the advice I was given from Jenny Hutton from HM&B was to write a synopsis that was totally based on the emotional journey of the characters i.e. you strip everything away so the story could take place in any time frame or in any setting. Hard to do...yes sirreeeee. But today I found the road map to doing this on Heidi Rice's blog (thank you Heidi). For those of you that havent already had a peak, she has posted the synopsis of her first book and then been good enough to give her tips and the tips of the editor who critiqued it.

Absolutely fantastic stuff. Not just for the advice, but also to see that such an accomplished writer had a journey as well and that the mistakes she made all sound very familiar (and that there is life after an Elvis impersonator).

And now, by jove, I think I get it. Although they do say that the proof of the pudding is in the eating. So, back to the manuscript, which is now three-quarters complete. Although, on the strength of Heidi's blog, I think today I will step back from the manuscript and write the synopsis. Then I will have a road map for the manuscript and will be able to see the journey forward as well as any pot holes in the road I have fallen into.

Onward and upward.