I’m not exactly new to publishing, working with publishers, or working with materials that I know will be published. But my latest project does have me doing something new: instead of editing the work to be published, I’m helping to write it!
Right now I’m working on a joint project with children’s author Rick Walton to put together a Christmas book for Familius, a new press specializing in family-centered books and collections. The book is going to have short stories, poems, recipes, and activities for families to use during the Christmas season. The experience is, so far, a lot different than editing.
One aspect of the book that isn’t difficult for me to adjust to is writing nonfiction. I’m writing the recipes and many of the activities, but honestly, I haven’t written any fiction in a long time. Right now I blog, write summaries, and write research papers, so I’m used to a wide spread of nonfiction styles and voices. I haven’t ever written recipes before, but considering the fact that I used to be the kind of person who could get lost in even the simplest set of recipe directions, it isn’t too difficult to make sure my recipes make sense.
The tricky part of this, for me, is that instead of editing the text to align it with someone else’s idea of what the branding and voice of the book should be, I need to decide for myself and reflect that decision in my word choice, topic selection, and more.
Writing Christmas Nonfiction
The biggest problem I’ve had so far is the fact that I’ve been testing recipes for Christmas … in September and October. Among other things, I’ve made peppermint meringue cookies (difficult to do when you can’t find candy canes in the store), spiced sugar cookies (which aren’t too weird, because the spices I used are associated with fall as well as Christmas), and two types of hot chocolate. The temperature has been up in the 70s or higher lately, so convincing people to taste-test the hot chocolate was a bit of a challenge.
Book Release Details
I don’t have a publication date for the book yet, but it will be out as an ebook this Christmas season (if all goes well, hard copies will come out next year). I’ll keep you posted on the details as I get them.