So I wasn't sure if you all would be interested in the story about how I ended up writing a cookbook.
This isn't going to be a how to get a cookbook published post, because to be honest I can't help you with that. But what I can tell you is a little bit about my story, my love for baking and where it led me.
I started off this blog because I was boring my family and friends senseless with my interest in cute and yummy food. Sure they were all more than happy to eat it all, but talk about it.....eh, not so much.
A little off topic I was a bit of a True Blood fan and about this time had been reading Fanfiction online and was amazed at the authors willingness to share their artistic souls for free on that forum for little more than feedback and reviews (SeaStarr and Missus T were a couple of my favorites). It was refreshing and inspiring, I wanted to do something similar.
I had a look around at a few baking blogs I was interested in, had a name brainstorming session with my 2 sisters-in-law over a coffee and jumped right in.
My first post was a recipe copied from Martha Stewart, I thought that perhaps it might encourage people to look if they found it while searching for recipes, it was not really inspiring and did not take the blogging world by storm, I had little understanding of search engines and the irony that this type of post would be more likely to be lost in the multitude of similar ones. But I was not deterred and my second post was something original I had thought up all by myself, marshmallow fondant covered lollipop cookies, the execution was not the best but I did have some lovely photo's that my sister in law had taken of my girls eating the cookies. As I sat loading up the pictures I can remember my husband saying, 'Are you at the computer again typing out recipes that no one is ever going to read?'
Once again the post was not an instant hit but something amazing happened I got a comment on my blog and not just any comment. It was from Not Quite Nigella a very well know Australian Food Blogger. Ha - Don't think I didn't rub that in my husbands face straight away. Lorraine from Not Quite Nigella followed up her lovely comment with her own interpretation of my cookies and a link to my page and it was a huge boost to my confidence.
My love of sweets on sticks was born and although there were quite a few more lackluster posts of copied recipes I branched out and started including some of my own original recipes and many decorating ideas that I came up with myself.
I joined some online baking forums and made some lovely blogging friends. Around this time I created a recipe for Tim Tam Cookie pops which were a huge hit, there were recipes around already but I came up with my own which I am going to be completely biased about and say are perfect. Once again I was making my mark with treats on sticks.
Another turning point was my daughter's birthday party. I never knew how popular kids parties were and the online community surrounding it. Lilli's 6th birthday pink fairy high tea party was featured on a number of US party sites and was quite popular it still receives thousands of visits a week. Then I worked on a project with a couple of inspiring women I knew Elizabeth Murphy and Naomi Vassington to create a photo shoot tea party in the woods. Both of these women had inspired me all through early blogging when I received little feedback, just by doing what they loved with such passion and it was an amazingly fun shoot which once again was featured on other blogs.
I was doing what I loved with a bunch of fun people. I was not selling to the public so I didn't have restrictions on what I could make. I was lucky to be involved in some further photo shoots and my treats were featured in magazines.
and it seemed I loved putting my treats on sticks, cause you know it always makes stuff more fun and cute and the treats I was making were mostly inspired by and for my children.
They inspire every sweet thing I do............
Ok so fast forward a little bit to earlier last year and I was contacted by a Publisher in the US.
For Real that's what happened, they contacted me and asked me to write Sweets on a Stick..
They thought there was a hole in the market for sweets on a stick that were kid friendly to make. We all know there are a stack of books out there where you have to perfectly double dip a gazillion pieces of candy and then pop them onto your treats with tweezers to make a magical and beautiful masterpiece, but they were looking for someone more down to earth and simple....yup you know that's me.
So there you have it - that's a kinda condensed version of my story which is a long way of saying I was just doing what I loved, inspired by my family and a great group of friends. I learnt to be myself and not copy everyone else.
Collage of recipes included in sweets on a stick taken during recipe testing
pictures not included in actual book
pictures not included in actual book
Anyhoo the result of all of this Sweets on a Stick was released in December and is published by Adams Media. It is a US release so it contains US measurements and ingredients and has a conversion chart for metric in the back. It is a collection of fun and easy to make recipes and ideas that are kid friendly and includes decorated cake pops, decorated cookies, baked cookies, pies, candies, cupcakes, muffins, fruit plus more that you can make with your kids. And they're all on a stick, ever single one.
Hello - it's me Linda nice to meet y'all
Or here at fishpond (Aus/NZ)
Sweets on a Stick photos by Terri Vandermeer or Linda Vandermeer
Family photo's by Naomi V Photography