Monday, 3 February 2014

A Blog Chain Virgin in the Virgin Islands

This post is a little different as I have been invited to take part in a Blog Chain – a first for me and quite exciting.  The basic idea is that the initiator decides on a topic, writes about it and then nominates another blogger or bloggers to do the same.  I am the last of this current chain, scroll to end of this post for earlier links.

Wendy Percival who writes contemporary mysteries inspired by genealogy and family secrets nominated me, bless her. Read about her newly published book “Blood-Tied” (which I shall be searching out as soon as I return to Cornwall) here and visit her blog about writing here where you can read her link in the chain.

These are the four questions which are the subject of this post:

1)    What am I working on?
2)    How does my work differ from others of its genre or type?
3)    Why do I write what I do?
4)    How does my writing process work?

They look quite simple but I’m not so sure, here goes.

What am I working on?

Lots of things, that’s why I’m so confused!

I have written and published four ebooks on Amazon Kindle, I enjoy doing them, the independence they give me from all the palaver involved in traditional publishing and the small pittance that I occasionally receive from Amazon. 

I am currently in the Caribbean where I used to live and where (very sadly for me) we are packing up our remaining belongings and selling our boat as a final break with the place.  This seems a good time to write about my experiences as a chef here so I am starting on that as an ebook.

There has been talk of publishing a sequel to my real grown up book “The Leftovers Handbook” which, despite what I said above about the publishing process, I am very proud of.  I am not sure if this second book, about cooking from the store cupboard, will go ahead but I am collecting ideas and recipes just in case.

I also have lists of ideas to pitch to magazines, things to post in my blog and lots more 
ideas for ebooks.

How does my work differ from others of its genre or type?

If it does differ then it may be because of my diverse cooking experiences not only in England and the Caribbean but also in The Canaries, France, Madeira, New Zealand (and maybe other places too that have slipped my mind!) including working on a passage making yacht and a day trip catamaran and living, cooking and eating in camper vans, caravans and living on a boat for 16 years. Also I like to think, when writing, that I am chatting to a friend so am not too formal.

Why do I write what I do?

Well one big reason is that I am so irritated with the way people eat, the lack of basic food knowledge, and the waste of perfectly enjoyable good food simply because people don’t know what to do with it.  Also I feel I have learnt so much it would be a good idea to pass it on! Oh - and I enjoy it, of course.

How does my writing process work?

I’m not sure it is organised enough to be called a process.  Once I have decided on a subject I make a “collection” of everything I might want to include from background info, quotes and anecdotes to, of course, recipes and foodie ideas.  If there is enough to make something worth reading I then sort it under various headings and start writing. Anything I am not sure of I type in red to go back to. Any information from elsewhere I type in purple so as not to plagiarise anyone. I test recipes that I am not totally sure of, take pics and go for it!  Part of the “process” involves grabbing any opportunity I can to write when my real man doesn’t have the telly on which really distracts me!

Links in the chain:

I can’t find the start of the chain (!) but here are the most recent ones: