The package was sitting on my porch when we got back from vacation. I was almost afraid to open it, which is ridiculous since I've already seen the proofs. But what if I opened the package to find a book that I didn't recognize at all, on a subject with which I was completely unfamiliar, in a language unknown to me, with all kinds of abstract art I don't understand and would somehow have to try to explain because my name is on the book?
Could that happen? Could it?
I eyed the package suspiciously for some time until, finally, I just opened it. It was exactly what I remembered—in English no less—and all of the good feelings came rushing back like I was reuniting with an old friend.
1. It's beautiful. The cover is stunning. The photos are gorgeous. The whole design is just lovely. It's exactly the kind of book I'd be delighted to find under the tree on Christmas morning. I feel so fortunate to have worked with a publisher that somehow managed to align the art with my own personal aesthetic so closely (or, more accurately, the aesthetic I strive for). Don't you just love when you get some good luck once in a while?
2. Wow, it's really thick. Sure, I saw the manuscript pages numbering into the high two-hundreds, but I still couldn't picture what 280 pages of nice, thick paper would look like between a jacket-less hardcover. It looks really substantial. Not "intimidating" substantial, but certainly "you're getting your money's worth" substantial.
3. How the hell am I ever going to top this?
Last week, I was on my computer when the 7YO came in, sat down, and started quietly paging through the book, which was sitting on the armchair next to my desk. We used to do this all the time when he was little. He would sit on my lap in that very chair and we'd go page by page through whatever cookbook he picked out, usually a dessert cookbook (like mother, like son!). He'd look at all the pictures, read all the recipe names, and decide which ones we would make. He learned how to read that way.
At the time, I never considered that we would be sitting down doing the same thing in a handful of years with a cookbook I wrote myself. But there we were, cuddled up on the chair, the 10YO soon joining us as we plotted peanut butter blondies and whoopie pies. I was sure we wouldn't make it all the way to the end of the book in one sitting, but we did. I don't think there's a single review or sales statistic that could top that feeling!
Just a reminder that the book will be out next month. If you've already pre-ordered, thank you so much! Every copy supports my family and this blog. If you'd like to come to the book release party, it is open to the public and will be held on Friday, October 25 at 7 p.m. at Back Pages Book in Waltham. You can RSVP here so I know how much cake to make. (If you can't come, you can still purchase signed copies here.)