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book cover

Creating Slow Cooked

book cover

I’m not sure I’ve mentioned this before now or anything, but I’ve written a book! You’ll have to forgive me getting meta and writing about writing a book but I’m still in post book writing withdrawal and indulging myself with as many blog posts as possible before Slow Cooked comes out on November 6th.

After people congratulated me on the book deal (and believe me, nothing gets people more excited than a proper paper book even in these days of blogs and e-readers), they generally wanted to know two things. Firstly, how do you get published and secondly, how do you actually write a book from scratch?

Getting published is as personal as what you are writing and every path will be different. Mine involved using North/South Food to develop my writing and recipe testing skills and shaping my style into something people paid attention to. In many ways, it’s the epitome of practise making perfect. From there came the Observer Food Monthly and then the attention of publishers.

By the time I was talking to Ebury about writing a book, I’d teamed up with my fantastic agent at Hardman Swainson who helped me negotiate the practicalities of a book contract, held my hand emotionally and answered a multitude of questions about publishing in general. Along with my fantastic editor, their encouragement and enthusiasm got me to the place where a slow cooker book could happen.

I’ve been a huge fan of the slow cooker for ages as its low energy style of cooking (both electricity and exertion wise) is perfect for my spoonie lifestyle, but I’d never found the inspiration I needed to take it beyond the ubiquitous stews. Most stuff I read about it seemed to be about simply fuelling yourself with stuff warmed up in the slow cooker rather than experimenting with ingredients, techniques and the genuine enjoyment of food. This is what I wanted from my slow cooker so I thought that rather than wait for someone else to do it, that was the book I would write.

With the idea at the back of my mind that Slow Cooked would be aimed at all the people the other books weren’t, like the retirees who are too busy all day to be chained to the stove, the students who don’t have great kitchen facilities, the 50 something men who’ve never really cooked before, the young couples with hectic lives and the people like me who can’t reliably use a standard kitchen all the time, the book started to take shape in both my mind and my Evernote folders. Read more