Questions & Answers with Leigh-Chantelle, Author of There's a Vegan in the Kitchen: Viva la Vegan's Easy and Tasty Plant-Based Recipes.
Here's some of the Q&As for my recent book, to go along with the press release. Hope you gain some more knowledge on the process etc. Enjoy.
Questions & Answers with Leigh-Chantelle
Author of There's a Vegan in the Kitchen: Viva la Vegan's Easy and Tasty Plant-Based Recipes.
Why did you decide to write your book?
I had released three recipe calendars in 2006, 2007 and 2008 and thought it was about time to compile the collection of all 36 recipes into one book and add some extra elements eg illustrations and professional photographs.
What do you hope to achieve with the release?
As with most things I do in relation to veganism, for me it’s about educating those who want to be educated, and inspiring those who are already in the know.
How long did the book take to make from creation of recipes to release?
As with anything creative, the book took a lot longer than I anticipated it would. The recipes were created from 2005-2007, with many updated over the years, and a few more updated in 2013. Sometime in 2012, I decided to release the collection of my recipe cards as a book. An artist friend on FaceBook, Sarah was looking for a vegan recipe book to illustrate, and I took this as a sign to move forward with the book. She sent me the illustrations for the book and the cover in August 2012, which was around the same time I’d left Brisbane for my 6-month adventures in South East Asia.
Because of my travels, not much really happened until I came home in February 2013 for a friend’s wedding. I went over the book concept with my designer friend, Adele who advised that I needed better and new photos. I knew my photographer friend Carol was interested in getting into food photography, so we worked out what was needed, and followed Adele’s guidance to how to set up the shots. In mid-April 2013, I spent a few days preparing for the photo shoot, then spent a few more days cooking, and getting the photos completed with Carol.
Within a month, the photos were chosen and edited, and I worked on a basic layout with Adele. I was off to North America via Fiji for 9 weeks, and then Cambodia for a month, before being in Indonesia for another two months after that. When I was in Indonesia, I finally finished the full write up of the book text, and when I arrived home in Brisbane, mid-October 2013, Adele worked hard to get the proof finished so I could submit and release in time for Christmas.
I had hoped that the book would be out in time for Christmas 2013, but it just didn’t go as planned. We had a few issues with the paper stock and quality, some fraction/icon printing issues and little changes from my end here and there. I’m an extremely patient person, but this was definitely a very good lesson in patience, and letting go of trying to control things, which I have no control over. It was really a blessing in disguise though, as I’d had a bit of a break in between submitting and receiving various new proofs of the book. This was good, as I was able to see things anew and find a few other small things, which needed to be changed.
I signed off on the forth or fifth (!!) proof - finally - at the end of June 2014, and it’s taken almost a month for the online versions to be listed and up for purchase. That’s quite a story above with the creation of this book, but in short, it took two and a half years from the initial stages to the release.
What other vegan people helped you with the book?
My fans and followers across various online social media sites suggested names for the book, as well as voted for their favourite - Jim Campbell
’s idea was the most popular. A selection of vegan and non-vegan friends also gave me feedback on various aspects of the process as well. I’m very fortunate to have a wonderful tribe of people in my life that I call friends.
What has the response been like so far?
The response has been wonderfully receptive and positive. I’ve had a few groups and websites feature some of the recipes from the book over the past couple of months, and that has received a lot of positive feedback. Quite a few people became aware of myself and Viva la Vegan! due to my recipe calendars, I know a lot of these people can’t wait for the book. Everyone is very impressed with the professional look and feel of the book – that has my own unique style, of course!
What are your future plans?
"There's a Vegan in the Kitchen: Viva la Vegan's Easy and Tasty Plant-Based Recipes" by Leigh-Chantelle
Published by Epicentre Equilibrium Publishing
Digital ISBN 978-0-9808484-5-8