A First Look

A First Look

There are a number of reasons I love working on books. I love being able to live with recipes and images for months, or even years. Something about revisiting and working on them over time just feels right. I love taking photographs for print. I enjoy the collaborative process of working on a book. I love holding a finished book in my hands...there are a lot of reasons.

I'm sitting here looking at a document dated December 18, 2005, it is my author agreement with Ten Speed Press for Super Natural Cooking. I don't know how four years passed so quickly, but it has. I delivered the manuscript and photography in August 2006, the book was published the following spring. I loved working on that book. And now, looking back on it, I'm realizing I sort of never stopped.

Not long after submitting the manuscript for Super Natural Cooking, I started setting aside photos I loved, and continued to keep notebooks of my favorite recipes, ideas, and inspirations. I wasn't sure what I would do with them, or what would emerge over time, but I had a hunch something might. Or not. Either way, I don't like the idea of rushing these sorts of things. I've come to believe you can't really rush inspiration, it comes on its own schedule, emerging and intersecting my life when it sees fit. I just try to keep my eyes open.

Keeping it local: Aaron Wehner, now publisher of Ten Speed Press, also happens to be a friend and neighbor. It's nice to be able to casually throw ideas around with him at the playground in the park across from my house, or over coffee up the block. I suspected (and hoped) that if I was going to work on another book, it would be with Ten Speed. They're located in Berkeley, and there's nothing quite like being able to share font inspirations with your designer face to face, or hang out with your editor over lunch or drinks. I've been very fortunate in that regard.

Now, there's a big difference between thinking about a book, and turning an idea into an actual book. I'm not sure if it is like this for everyone, but speaking for myself, committing to a book project is both exciting and terrifying. There was a point last year when my excitement about the prospect of making a new book tipped the balance away from terrified, and I started attempting to wrangle things into something real and cohesive. Something I was excited to share.

A new cookbook: I'm working on one :) I'll submit the manuscript and photography to Ten Speed this summer, and it will be published in spring 2011. It will be a follow up to Super Natural Cooking, and the working title is Super Natural Every Day. In short, it's a glimpse into my everyday cooking and everyday life. All new recipes, all new photography. In equation form: Me + Northern California + cooking with natural foods + my kitchen in San Francisco = Super Natural Every Day.

The recipes: The recipes are rooted in whole and natural foods. They typically feature a handful of seasonal ingredients, some inkling of nutritional balance, and most come together with minimal effort. At times it's tough, but I've resisted the urge to include any over-the-top, special-occasion creations. I also skipped any that had lots of components, or required elaborate time commitments. Instead, I went back to my notebooks and have anchored the book in my favorite everyday creations. The recipes I revisit over and over.

There is so much more I'd like to tell you about it, so much I'm excited to share. I was thinking I might write a series of posts focused on the creative process of making this book if you're interested? I was thinking: photography; the manuscript; the design process; inspiration; the recipes....? Let me know what you think.

And most importantly, this post wouldn't be complete without a heartfelt thank you to all of you who embraced Super Natural Cooking. Simply stated, without your support, I wouldn't be working on another book.

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Comments

I would love to read about the bookmaking/publishing process. Your photos are so beautiful!

Oh how exciting ! Lots of good luck to you, sure sounds like you will continue to enjoy the process, how ideal. And yes by all means, please do share thoughts and images and stories along the way. A behind the scenes bonus for us readers ! Can't wait to follow along...

So excited for you Heidi! Loved the first one and looking forward to your second! Bravo!

"I was thinking I might write a series of posts focused on the creative process of making this book if you're interested? I was thinking: photography; the manuscript; the design process; inspiration; the recipes....? Let me know what you think." yesyesyesyesyesyesyes...I never buy cookbooks, haven't bought one in decades and after several checkouts of yours from my library i realized i really needed to just go out and buy my own copy -- which i promptly did...

My shelf is ready and waiting for the next book. Looking forward to it!

Congrats Heidi. I love your work and look forward to your next book!

I am excited about this new cookbook, I didn't even know about the first one! Looks like I am going shopping tonight. Thanks for all the great recipes!

Nick

That's so exiting! I cannot wait for your new book. I would love to hear about the process - I often wondered how you go from idea to published book. Thanks so much for sharing. And a big congratulations!

Looking forward to your new book! It sounds perfect! exactly what I need!

Andrea

Heidi, I can't wait for this book! This sounds like exactly the cookbook I've been wanting, and you are the perfect person to write it. I would be very interested in hearing about your process, as well. Thank you for all you share with us!

Rosie

I just want to chime in on the book process posts - while I think it would be very interesting to see, I also get just a little bit sad whenever I see a new post that isn't a recipe...

Monica

YAY for a new cookbook!

Hi Heidi ! congratulations, sounds so very exciting, can't wait to see the new book and would love to hear about your process along the way ! all the best...karen

Yay, yay, yay! I love Supernatural Cooking and look forward to the next book. Also would love a series of posts on the process.

Stephanie

hi heidi, such great news! really looking forward to the new book and would love to hear about the creative process.

Ooh the suspense! I agree, I would love to hear about creative process of making a book.

What fine news for everyone (us, most of all!) I, for one, vote a huge yes in favor of creative process sneak peeks. What fun.

Oh this is great news, so exciting! I have been browsing through SNC lately because of being in a New England winter this year, and missing the farmer's markets there and the beautiful bounty, so your cookbook helps ease the homesickness. Still wish I could teleport to Contingo though! One request for the new book-the binding is totally falling apart on my copy, perhaps something more sturdy for the next one? Please do share your process!

rachel

I am so excited! It sounds like a great book and I can't wait for it.

Congratulations! I can't wait for the new book!

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