About Suzy Bowler:
After spending my life as a professional cook all over the world and having inexplicably got a bit old for the job I now spend my time cooking, eating and writing about it (or “sitting on the settee” as my partner calls it!)
After 14 years in Cornwall I cooked in a ski resort in the French Alps, on a passage making yacht around Madeira and the Canary Islands, in New Zealand and on a catamaran in the Caribbean before settling in the BVI where I worked as a chef for many years. I have learned so very much about food and cooking that I’ve decided to spend my dotage passing it on.
What inspires you to write?
Mainly ingredients especially leftovers! In fact I started by writing my blog, Sudden Lunch! ~ spontaneous eating from storecupboard and leftovers. This evolved into a book and encourages me to keep writing.
I am also inspired (if that is the word!) by the fact that so many people don’t seem to have a clue about cooking even though it isn’t really very difficult.
Tell us about your writing process.
Well as I write cookbooks a lot of my writing process involves cooking and eating, happily!
I have a very large collection of notes, recipes and ideas from my many years working as a chef and they are all in my computer so the first thing i do is just search for the relevant food or method and see what I have thought or made in the past. After that I experiment with the recipes and take pictures. I sometimes search online for relevant quotes or interesting facts.
I use OneNote to gather info together and then start sorting it out into chapters, type it up on Word using Mark Coker of Smashwords excellent Style Guide and publish!
What advice would you give other writers?
How did you decide how to publish your books?
A couple of years ago my first book, “The Leftovers Handbook: A-Z of Every Ingredient In Your Kitchen with Inspirational Ideas For Using Them” was properly published and I was very proud and excited. Soon after that I became very irritated, upset and a bit cross! I had worked so hard on it and I feel it is full of really useful, unusual and creative ideas for leftovers. I also felt it was very timely with all the discussion of food waste currently on the media. When the book was edited I was aghast at the mess the editor made of it (some ludicrous changes which I changed back, some just weakened my writing), once published I found that the “artwork” was just clipart that had been downloaded for free, the promotion was virtually non-existent and the sales, consequently poor.
In short I thought I can do better myself! I self published my books on kindle but am now expanding their reach via Smashwords and maybe Createspace or similar.
I would advise new authors to at least try going it alone, maybe start with Amazon kindle and then take it from there.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Um … whilst I enjoy writing ebooks and reading them real books are still the best and I cannot imagine that they will fade out. I do think that the ease of self publishing is diluting the quality of the written (or typed) word because anyone can publish what they like with no-one to judge whether it’s good enough (for all I know this may include me) so perhaps “properly” published books do have some sort of quality guarantee that self published ebooks lack.
What genres do you write?: Food and Cooking so far.
What formats are your books in?: eBook