It is true what they say about comparing writing a book to giving birth to a baby. You truly DO feel as if it’s a labor of love. Thus I give you a glimpse of my newest child…The Food Lover’s Guide to Oklahoma in stores and available on Amazon, Overstock.com, Barnes & Noble, The Book Depository and more. The book is due out February 5th but you can pre-order it at any time!
If you live in Oklahoma, this book will let you know of culinary destinations like eateries, specialty gourmet markets, farmer’s markets, and even places to learn to cook.
The eateries will be broken down by districts (like the Paseo district of Oklahoma City or the Cherry Street district in Tulsa) of the cities of Oklahoma City, Tulsa and even some landmark places around the state that might be worth traveling to. They will also give you menu items that are delicious and favorites at each restaurant, the price range, type of cuisine and also the address, phone number and website for each.
There will be outtakes on local star chefs and also a collection of recipes by these geniuses in the back of the book.
If you are visiting Oklahoma, this is a great guide to help you out as well!
Writing a book is not quite as glamorous as I thought it would be. There was no sitting in a log cabin in the woods by the fireplace, laptop perched on my fluffy quilt and a cup of steaming cider on the side table next to me. Let me tell you, though, that the next time I write a book, I am seeking that scenario out because I totally get it now. The point being here that writing a book is a load of hard work leaving you lonely and isolated with your thoughts and your need to get them down on paper. It’s plain and simple …hard work. But one that pays off in the end.
Mostly, here is how it went with writing a book.
First off, I had to write about the entire state, unlike some others in the Food Lover’s Guide series who only wrote about one large city like San Francisco. This meant weekends traveling around the state and up to Tulsa to experience places recommended by foodie friends and their friends. This meant one Saturday, Mr. Wonderful and I ate at 15 different places.
He swore off food for life.
Until the next morning when we ate at 5 more in Tulsa.
There are due dates, (again, much like having a baby right?) and certain sections of the book had to be finished and sent in to my editor on the time-table he gave me. Because of an active life with a family, working with youth, my full-time day job and my social life, deadlines seemed to always hit during a particularly busy time or even during special events or stress times at work. One of them even occurred while Mr. Wonderful and I were in L.A. for vacation. I wrote on the plane, and on the beach and in the car.
Also, please remember that up to this point, the extent of my book writing experience had been in 3rd grade when we made our own cardboard covers and my teacher had proclaimed over me that I would “one day be a writer of books”. By the way, NEVER underestimate the power of the spoken word of encouragement because that has stuck with me ever since.
There were nights when I locked myself in my bedroom at my desk while Mr. Wonderful entertained others out in the living room. There were nights when my family all sat out in the warm cozy living room watching movies, eating dinner and experiencing life as normal while I drank coffee and stayed awake late into the night to meet a deadline.
There were also non-weekends, and by that, I mean they actually were weekends but I worked the entire time writing to meet a deadline, going back to my job on Monday without having done anything at all for pleasure.
It is hard work, writing a book and there are times you feel like you can’t remember what you’ve written or where it’s headed. There were long writing times when I couldn’t come up with one more word for “delicious” and wondered why I loved writing about food so much.
And then there’s the editing process.
First my editor sent me back multiple corrections, multiple times to correct. I had the similar feeling of when someone criticizes your child, and my protectiveness reared its ugly head. Some of them were nit-picky, some of them total rewrites, but in the end, ALL of them were good corrections, and….. I fixed them all.
Lastly, the copy editor got a hold of the final draft and when it came back to me, heaven help me!
I tweeted this:
“My copy editor just got a hold of my book, and it has more red words in it than the Bible, and I’m NOT Jesus!”
This was another weekend of going through all 400 pages and fixing….fixing…
Much like giving birth, however, when that baby finally shows as whole, complete and beautiful, and you know you’ve done the best possible job on it that you can…there is nothing like seeing that book cover with your name up on sites with a publish date. There is nothing like knowing your best writing offerings are down in print, forever and you’ve offered a little something to the world (or your state) to tell them something they might not know themselves.
Writing is the most glorious of creativity to me with its rush of inspiration, its expression of a thought needing to be set to print and yes, even it’s incredible daily grunge of plodding through the corrections. Once you’ve had it, you find yourself longing to experience it again, no matter how great the labor pains were. It’s that birth at the end, the glow of the book jacket, the ivory pages within with their sharp black print containing months or almost a year of thoughts you’ve focused on and perfected; that birth and the love you feel inside that makes you want to go through the tough work again just to live it again.
I am so blessed to have had the opportunity.
Thanks also to my publisher –Globe Pequot Press for seeking me out and asking me to write this book. They have an entire line of Food Lover’s Guides for each state and even some of the bigger cities in the United States. If you’re visiting somewhere and want a book to direct you to local foodie heaven I’d highly advise seeking one out!
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