This week I chatted to author of ‘Smoking Food at home’ AKA Smoky Jo about what inspired her to write the book, and why she looked to 2QT Publishing…
Introduce your book in a few sentences
‘Smoking Food at Home with Smoky Jo’ is an easy step by step guide to start smoking your own food at home. It teaches you how to both hot and cold smoke with information about smokers, woods, brining, herbs and spices, recipes, service suggestions and much more.
What have you hoped to achieve with your book?
I hope that I have written a book that will make the art of smoking simple to master. I wanted this book to be fun to read and easy to understand.
What inspired you to start writing? What inspired the idea for the book?
Many other books on smoking food that I have read seem to make it very complicated and it really doesn’t have to be. I think it was this that first inspired me to write a food smoking book. Also I wanted to write a sort of text book that complimented the food smoking courses that we run at Smoky Jo’s. I think reading a self-help book gave me the inspiration for what I wanted the book to look like – not the self-help bit but the layout of the book. The book was called S.U.M.O. which stands for ‘Shut Up and Move On’ – which is of no relevance at all – other than the book had this funny sumo wrestler that kept popping up with advice and it sort of caught my imagination. Which is why I came up with the Smoky Jo and Smoky Georgina cartoon characters.
What’s your favourite book/who is your favourite author?
My favourite book of all time is ‘The Snow Goose’ by Paul Galico and illustrated by Peter Scott. I have a number of favourite authors – and they are all really good story tellers. I love a good story with characters that I can really care about. Wilbur Smith is a good example – yes he is prolific and some will say a little light – but his books are always very well researched and historically very accurate which I think is really important. They are also mostly set in Africa – which I love and they are almost without exception a cracking good read. Sarah Waters is another author who makes you really care about her characters.
What made you look to 2QT publishing?
2QT was personally recommended to me. I had a meeting with the owner and she was very professional, she left me with the impression that she was knew what she was doing and she was able to explain the process of publishing to me and offer support through the whole process. She inspired confidence in me and after that I didn’t look for any other publisher.
Any advice for anyone contemplating writing/publishing a book?
My only advice is to get a good publisher like 2QT for help and advice. Then sort out in your mind a timeline for writing the book and another for the publishing. Try to understand the processes involved and treat it like a project. Give yourself a realistic end date and work backwards from that to give yourself deadlines. Once it is written don’t expect it to sell without a significant amount of leg work to market it. If this is not your forte – find someone who will do it for you.
What are you planning on/hoping to do next
I am not sure what to do next – I suppose that the natural progression would be a smoking recipe book. I have started collecting recipes so I will see how that goes.
Who have you written your book for?
I have written the book for anyone who enjoys food and cooking or who likes to entertain. There is a great ‘theatre’ to smoking your own food – both in the kitchen and outdoors and I hope that his book will inspire those people who love to experiment with food and ‘have a go’.
You can buy ‘Smoking food at home with Smoky Jo here
Follow Jo on Twitter for more updates @FoodsmokingJo
By Kate Cousins