This week, Mme. Lisa de Nikolits writes about her new venture, a self help cookbook, entitled Bake Your Way to Happiness. Lisa’s novel, Between the Cracks She Fell, recently won a bronze IPPY for Contemporary Fiction.
The six degrees of separation between baking, happiness and crime
There I was, writing about one of my most objectionable and nasty characters to date. The book is titled Rotten Peaches — you get the picture – this dame ain’t nice!
What exactly does she do? Well, apart from being a morally nihilistic, self-indulgent narcissist, she inspired me to put together a self-help cookbook called Bake Your Way to Happiness. So I guess she can’t be all bad!
It’s really ironic that this joyful book came from such a nefarious origin. The character is, of course, a work of fiction, and she steals her recipes; she is a shameless thief. She does get caught in the end and she pays the price, I will say that.
She is also a therapist, but there’s more than one screw loose in her wacky head — so the scenario couldn’t be more different to the real cookbook which is out now (and available on Amazon. Just click the links here– shameless promo insert!)
The real cookbook has an awesome therapist, Marilyn Riesz, and an amazing food editor, Gilean Watts as the contributing authors. They are two of the nicest people you are ever likely to meet!
This is a great example of how fiction and real life are not the same thing at all – a seed planted in one will germinate into a completely different animal in the other. That Rotten Peaches was the seed of origin for Bake Your Way to Happiness is in itself quite comical!
In Rotten Peaches, the protagonist pens a number of Bake Your Way books; Bake Your Way to a Great Career, Bake Your Way to Mr. Right (or Ms. Right), Bake Your Way to a Happy Family and others. I can’t see the three of us doing any more of the books; we covered so much ground in this one by way of recipes and therapy.
The mouth-wateringly delicious recipes and associated therapy chapters include: How To Find Happiness (Melt Your Heart Blueberry Scones) ; Shower Yourself With Love (Coconut Whipped Cream Cake With Fluffy Icing) ; Achieve The Success You Want (Never-Fail Fudge); and Get A Good Night’s Sleep (Classic Biscuits).
When it came to the publishing side, I approached my wonderful publisher, Inanna, who said that while they don’t do self-help books, they thought it was a fabulous idea and that I should definitely pursue it.
So I did. I decided to self-publish it, for a number of reasons. Primarily, I was interested in checking out the quality of self-publishing. I was dubious, I will be honest, but I was extremely (and most pleasantly) surprised. The paper quality, the colours, the glossy cover, the sharpness of the typography and crispness of the artwork are all fantastic.
I will add that while I had the idea for the book, I had no part in the actual writing of it. I left that to Marilyn and Gilean as this was their area of expertise. I put on my art directing and design hat and happily set out trying to make the book look as beautiful as I could.
I worked with a large format (11 inches high by 8.5 wide) so that the book will also be a personal journal of each person’s path to happiness. We want this book to be a gift to each person who holds it. Our lives are so hectic and filled with so much stress, we would love for this book to be a sanctuary, a place where one can go after a harried day and connect with peace and happiness.
So truly, could anything be more different to its evil twin, Rotten Peaches? I say never mind — and who can really understand or explain the six degrees of separation in life?
We have a website that we hope you will visit, with more about us and more about the book: www.bakeyourwaytohappiness.com and follow the Amazon links on this page.