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 a glimpse of your book-making process--please do share. And I love the recipes--your egg and rice bowls became an instant staple for me. Thanks!

Lori

That is great news... I would also love to see the process behind the mystery... For the new book, can you ensure with the publisher that it is physically produced in a better way? My copy fell apart within a couple of weeks of getting it and I do take very good care of my books (i.e. I never, ever break a spine...) Good Luck! and thank you for taking this trip down the road of inspiration for us.

Hooray and CONGRATULATIONS--to you and to us readers! I use Cook 1.0 and Super Natural Cooking all.the.time. I seriously just got excited enough for it to me who has a book in the works! I'd love to get glimpses into the process along the way, and I cannot wait to have it propped up in my kitchen while I'm cooking through your fabulous creations and concoctions. Woo to the hoo!

Heidi - I've been following you for about a year now - you have changed the way I think about food and cooking and have been a tremendous resource as I've tacked cooking tasty, healthy food while sticking to a restrictive diet prescribed by a naturopath I'm working with. I would love to hear more about the making of your new book!

Sam

I recently purchased Super Natural Cooking and it had so much great information besides the fantastic recipes. Looking forward to your next collection.

Heidi, you are a great inspiration to foodies, bloggers and creative folks everywhere! Wonderful that you are working on a new book. I would love to follow your online "work in progress" tid bits. Your writing, ingredient knowledge, photos and lifestyle are so fun to follow. I would greatly honor the opportunity to review your new book on FFC when you are at that stage......should you wish. xo

yay! yay! yay! I love your blog, Super Natural Cooking and your photography!! You are such an inspiration, I would love to read about the process of book making/writing :) Good luck and happy cooking !

Those photos are really amazing (your photos always are!) I'm excited about your new book, can't wait!

I would love for you to share the process! I have a book (several) on health and nutrition floating around in my mind and "terrified" is where I am at, so it will be nice to hear about how you arrange your writing time and how the process unfolds for you~ I look forward to reading all about it and of course, buying the book when it is done~ Best of luck to you~ B

This sounds like it will be a beautiful testament to your lifestyle; encompassing choices and artistic talents. Looking forward to learning more. Thank you for sharing this window with your audience.

Oh Heidi, I knew this was coming and I"m still so happy to see this post. That wall of photographs inspires me. I can only imagine what the book is going to do! thank you for all that mulling and thinking, creating and cooking. we will all benefit from it.

yaaaaay! I've been cooking a ton out of Super Natural Cooking this past week, and am making a few recipes for a party this weekend. I was hoping it won't be too long until we see another book from you. But I still have lots to explore with this one - thanks for all your work and inspiration, Heidi!

I used to work in the publising business -- and we were distributed by Ten Speed -- they are GREAT! Can't wait for the new boo.

Laura

Congratulations, this is wonderful, exciting news. And like many others here I would love to read more about your creative process. You're an inspiration on so many levels.

Catherine

Yes, please. I'd love for you to share with us your book-writing creative process.

Congrats, Heidi! Sounds like a splendid idea for a new book. Super Natural Cooking is so good, and I can't wait to see what you do to take it to the next level. The posts documenting the process sound fantastic - I'd love to see a little more emphasis on your photography, because it is amazing!

Jmusic3

Heidi, I've loved your posts...they inspire me. Keep them coming and share your stories. You thrill me....

John

You really are the best! Beautiful pictures, beautifully balanced recipes...and so inspirational. Thank you!

I'd love to hear about the process! And I am very excited!

Oh Boy! New recipes! New Photos! Yes-please share some of your creative processes. SNC is so inspiring.Like what you said about not rushing inspiration.....Thanks Heidi!

Alice

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