Friday, 29 March 2013

Published ~ now I'm a real grown up writer!

Today, 29th March, is quite important to me because I am now a published writer!  My first book (yes, I have another one planned!) "The Leftovers Handbook" is now available in all good bookshops, I hope, I can't wait to meet it.

I have been looking forward to this day in particular for several months and in general, ie. the day I would have a book published, probably since I was a child.  And guess what!  It's the same as every other day. 

I should have been forewarned; in the excellent "Writers and Artists' Yearbook  Guide to Getting Published" by Harry Bingham
it says ...

"When your book is published ~ nothing happens."

Still - exciting times!  I am now pondering the best way to promote said book and a bit iffy about peaking too early it being  Good Friday when everyone is on holiday enjoying the spring weather (hahaha).  I have noticed, incidentally, that I get most hits on my blogs on weekdays during working hours - what a lot of cheeky buggers people are!

So this is a little, tentative self congratulation and I thought I'd take this opportunity to tell you a bit about my book.

As the title says - the book is an "A-Z of every conceivable ingredient in your kitchen with inspirational ideas and recipes for using them" but I can tell you more than that.  Leftovers have always been my favourite ingredient; I am much happier and more creative confronted with a seemingly random collection of ingredients than I ever am when I can choose from pretty well all the food in the World!  It is for this reason that I started my blog Sudden Lunch! which led to my huge friend Ian (he's 6'6") saying "If you know so much about leftovers why don't you write a book".

Each of the ingredients in the A-Z starts with some ideas on food pairing which are useful to see what other leftovers you might be able to use at the same time.  There are some ideas on storage and freezing, the occasional Handy Hint, a list of short suggestions and ideas, some complete recipes and any jokes, anecdotes or quotes I have thought relevant.  Towards the end of the book I give a chapter of basic recipes which can be useful for all sorts of leftovers and the whole book is cross referenced.  I am very proud of it!

Because the book is so stuffed with info there are no photos, just a few basic line drawings at the start of each letter.  I have, however, taken lots and lots of pics as I've cooked and tested ideas and these I will now start publishing on my new Pinterest Board which goes live today.

Soon I hope to install a widget so that my books and other that I recommend can be purchased from Amazon via my sidebar but do fee free to go ahead and get a copy any way you can eg. Amazon in the UK or W. H.Smiths or Amazon in the States.
I do so hope you find my suggestions and recipes useful and, if you do read the book, please can I ask you to give it a review on Amazon - its such as help.

Thank you,

Suzy Bowler

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Facebook ~ mostly good but a bit irritating!

I first joined Facebook as a friend of mine had married in Perth, Australia and put her photos on FB, since then it has been a very valuable took to me in two important ways.

1.   I now live some 4,000 miles from many close friends and we can keep in easy contact this way.  Even with friends closer to home this is helpful (the girl next door and I often chat with each other rather than having to go to all that faff of standing up, going outside, going to her house, going in etc!)
2.   Through FB I have found and 'met' some interesting people, had a laugh and learnt a lot.  In fact I would go so far as to thoroughly recommend it both generally speaking and as a way to get yourself 'out there' so to speak.  I am in touch with a number of food bloggers and enjoy swapping ideas and stories with them.

I also like the way a missing person's photo can be shared to help find them, petitions signed to stop cruelty and the way warnings about scams, health problems, travel hitches, etc. are posted. I'm all for things that amuse me, info about my old homes (Tortola and Trebarwith), competitions, lovely photos, interesting events, special offers, Rummikub (within reason ie. not paying for it), long rambling conversations with my friend Debs and keeping an eye on my family's doings!  I like knowing when a man I have never met but is a friend of a friend is doing a happy dance, he especially does these on Friday.

Having said that ...

There are several things that really irritate me, not about the application itself but about some of the stuff that floats about being shared etc.  They are, in no particular order  ...

~   The way cats, and to a lesser extent dogs, 'talk' with such strange accents or speech impediments.  I have lived with and been very friendly with many chaps of both species and never have I found any that talked in that ridiculous fashion.

~   The recent plethora of things saying "Bet you can't think of a film without the letter A in it" (ET?) or "..... a word that starts and ends with N" (nun, noon, nation, noun, neuron and I don't think I've even got started).  What is the point of these?
~   Even worse, the things that show a photo and say "Press Like and you will be amazed at what happens", and nothing ever does".  I know what the point of these is but surely people must have caught on by now.
~   Those things about serious illnesses that you are supposed to share and which say something like "I know one person who will but 78% (or some such number - very scientific) won't.  What is the point of them?  I am not heartless but these surely don't to anything for anyone.  If I am wrong and they do somehow help please let me know and I'll go for it.  
~   I can't think of the word for it but all those sayings that tell you how to think and live.  I'm a great one, me, for the old positive thinking, spiritual beliefs and all that and also am very keen on equality, respect for all life etc. and so on but I don't need to be reminded every few minutes (yes - I know that's quite a high frequency rate for checking into FB!)  Just thought - I think maybe proselytising is the word.

Perhaps I am being more irritable than usual due to still being heavily under the weather, hopefully when I don't have so much time for FB, soon,  I'll be a lot calmer about it.  Sorry!

The Leftovers Handbook

The good news is that my book is still on schedule to be published on 29th March - just two weeks and one day.  I hope I'll have my strength back enough to jump up and down in excitement.

All the best,

Suzy Bowler

Tuesday, 5 March 2013


"Should not the Society of Indexers be known as Indexers, Society of, The?"
 Keith Waterhouse

I am a bit (big bit) pretentious putting that quote at the start of this post; I know very little about indexing and am so very relieved that my publishers said a full index was not necessary; just one for the recipes, seeing as how the main part of the book is an A-Z! 

I felt very daunted anyway, although perhaps being daunted is just a normal symptom of the flu as that's been what I have been suffering from for the past week to ten days.  In theory indexing is easy peasy - just cross referencing from the manuscript to an alphabetical list - but in practice it was kind of long winded.  Thank goodness for modern day technology, just imagine having to sprawl all over the room with the physical manuscript and no cut and paste facility!

Perhaps I could have got some friends in to help with note taking.  Not a very good segue, I know,  but I wanted an excuse to show this picture of students at the Eden Project helping each other out - sweet!

Anyway the good news is the publication date for "The Leftovers Handbook" is still set at 29th March on which date I shall probably ...

.... do the same as usual! 

Keep well,

Suzy Bowler