How did you know you wanted to be an author? I lived in Vancouver, Canada for several years, and the co-author and designer, Bee Kapitan and I were
roommates. At the time, I was the Assistant Manager of Benton Brothers Fine Cheese on Granville Island. It ‘s one of the world ‘s most thriving markets with over 11 million visitors a year. The idea for the eBook came from customer experiences that I would occasionally share over dinner. Working at Benton Brothers, I realized that many folks are intimidated by the cheese counter and I wanted to help people feel more confident. Knowing this, I had to find ways to connect with potential customers. It’s much easier to enjoy discovering new flavour experiences when you feel you have a bit a knowledge. I wanted the book to fun for people who like cheese, not a just cheese nerds, but those who enjoy eating cheese any day of the week.
What is your advice for aspiring authors? Have fun and connect with others who are passionate about the niche or topic you are writing about. This helped me keep my ideas fresh. Also, jot those ideas down, as they help with writing your first draft or revisions. Huge tip: when working editors you need to park your ego and remember they are giving you a fresh perspective.
Do you have any writing rituals or practices?Having a deadline and working closely with another person is how we created this book. I like doing research, sharing and bouncing a few ideas off my designer and then writing my first draft. I learned that my first draft is just that, a draft and it needs to be revised several times. I worked with three editors over two years and I’m glad that I did. The first helped with the first draft, after those revisions I worked with another editor that helped build on the content that included visuals. The final editor was looking for inconsistencies, punctuation and possible grammar errors. Being a cheesemonger and cheesemaker, I’m really passionate about the dairy industry, but when I would write it was like I was back in university, which is informative, but not that entertaining. I’m grateful for each editor’s suggestions and feedback as I wanted the information to be light and approachable.
What message to you want readers to remember?Go explore your local cheese shop and make a new foodie friend by chatting with the cheesemonger and don ‘t be afraid to ask for a sample. Pop-up farmers markets are a good place to discover locally made cheese. If you are lucky enough to live in an area where there are local dairies, plan a road trip to visit a cheesemaker. Most producers have little farm tours or a cafe and are more than happy to talk about their animals and how they make their cheese. I would be thrilled to learn that I inspired someone ‘s travel plans to discover first hand a cheese within the book. Regardless, if a reader experiences a new cheese locally or abroad, the goal is to build future relationships with cheese producers and a reconnection with wholesome food.
How can fans get in contact with you?You can find me @howtosaycheese. I would love to connect with folks about their flavour discoveries or cheese questions through Instagram, Twitter or on my Facebook page. Come over to www.howtosaycheese.com and download your free pdf ebook on seasonal cheese platter ideas. You can also download a sample of my enhanced ebook on the iBooks store. apple.co/1qpCsFU