CHIPS AHOY! My Book Is Here!

Chips Sampler

My book officially publishes today and I’m tickled pink. Being transported to the groovy town of authorville has been a journey that’s taken over a year. Here’s a short history of the long ride that dropped me off at this destination.

Summer before last Nicole McConville, my friend and former colleague from Lark Books, asked if I’d be interesting in writing a book for Lark. The subject was chips. Without hesitation I said YES and THANK YOU! The wheels were turning. There were all kinds of chips and I wanted to include them all. I love condiments so I was thinking there needed to be plenty of dips, drizzles, toppings, and seasoning blends too.

Approval got delayed, as book approvals often do. After 18 years in publishing I knew this was par for the course and I wasn’t concerned. Besides I already had the book in my head and I knew it was a great subject.  I could probably shop it somewhere else if I needed a Plan B..

But no Plan B was necessary. Chips got approved. And best of all, it was slated as a Fall pub, which means it would be rolled out for the holidays when books, especially food books, do their best. And an October pub month meant I was going to have extra time to work through the authoring process. I’d never written an ENTIRE BOOK.

January 2013 I was contracted and unleashed by Chip’s original editor, Thom O’Hearn, to go forth and develop a concrete outline. That’s when I officially started chipping away at it. Ahem.

Months passed with testing and typing, tasting and typing. Typing and typing and typing. Up to the office, down to the kitchen, out to the market, back to the kitchen, up to the office. It felt like a never ending process. Between all that I was patching things together professionally with my graphic design and photo styling gigs.

Over the summer (before last) I found a handful of amazing contributors who were game to let me feature their recipes in the book and spotlight what they do. These folks are some of my favorite food writers and bloggers and I’m honored that they agreed to contribute to this author’s first time project. I want to send a huge shout out to Mark Owen of UrbanFoodGuy.com, Ashley English of SmallMeasure.com, Marissa Lippert at NourishKitchenTable.com, Winnie Abramson of HealthyGreenKitchen.com, and Todd Porter and Diane Cu from WhiteOnRiceCouple.com. You guys are my (busy and prolific) heros and I’m honored to spotlight you in Chips.

About this time last year I was firming up the recipes and tidying up the text with lots of daily back and forth with the book’s editorial team, Linda Kopp, Julie Hale, and Kathy Sheldon. I was lucky to have each of them showing me the way.

By last Christmas the book was in good shape and I could turn my focus on the photo shoots. Back in my old comfort zone, I worked up storyboards and shot lists and headed back into the kitchen to make ALL the chips one more time! My good friend and photographer Lynne Harty came over and the fun began. We spent a month shooting and eating chips.

February and March came and Chips was in Lark’s art department in the talented hands of Kristi Pfeffer. Kristi and I worked closely together at Lark and I knew she’d get it right, design-wise. Boy did she ever! It’s the look and feel I was seeing in my head from the get go.

The end of April was the end of the line. The book was packed off to the printer and the first part of my job was done. (The second part is promoting it.) I fidgeted through the lag time authors know so well—the long wait for the first books to arrive.

And here it is! Whew! Soon I’ll post a recipe from the book, but until then, thank you everyone who made it happen!

Chris Bryant holds the Chips book he wrote

 

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Chris Bryant

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