Saturday, April 5, 2008
In Detail with Colin Harvey
Tell us the book title and your author name.
Katy’s Cookbook by Colin Harvey
What inspired the book?
Several things; my wife Kate (her full name is Katy, hence the title) has been collecting recipes for years, playing with them to suit to taste (we like spicy food, for example), some –like the trifle- have been passed down from grandparents or even great-grandparents; I’ve tried to read her writing, and often joked that I need to type them up to be able to read them; then my publisher asked for a recipe, and I realized we had enough for a book. Put all of those things together and voila! Katy’s Cookbook!
What makes this book special to you?
Because Kate is very shy and retiring, and would never dream of pushing herself forward. If books are an author’s shot at immortality, then this is our equivalent of the Taj Mahal in India . I hope that in years to come people will know of Kate through this, if through nothing else.
What makes this a book that other people MUST read and WHY?
It’s for people like me who don’t consider that they can cook, but who find out that, erm, actually, they can, if they just have a set of instructions to follow.
What people NEED to read this book and WHY?
I’m concerned at the number of people who can’t cook, or can’t be bothered, when some things take only a few minutes. I’m worried at the number of people who are overweight, but don’t know how to go about changing their diet.
For example, did you know that a portion of spinach a week can defer the onset of Age-Related Macular Degeneration? (It’s a form of blindness that comes with old age) I hate spinach. But bury it in food that masks its taste, and I’m fine with it.Food should be fun, not punishment. So we’ve put recipes that are mostly as healthy as we can make them without being boring, but which are also as quick as we can make them, because like most people, we don’t want to spend a lot of time hunched over a cooker.
But there are some which are about taking your time, or even marinading overnight. It’s all about variety.
NON FICTION - Why are you the BEST person to write this book? What in your background or in your research makes you qualified to do justice to this topic?
(Laughs) Well, I had the recipes, so no one else could have……but seriously, that’s the whole point. I’m just an ordinary man who likes his food, and can read a set of instructions. I’m hoping that we’ll inspire other people to try these recipes, and then they’ll create some others – who knows, maybe we can get cooking back into people’s lives?
NON FICTION - If a potential reader thinks that your book wouldn't interest them, what would you say to convince them to buy? I'm thinking something better than "Its the greatest book ever." Give me something more specific :)
Do you like food? Are you concerned about your health? Do you want to know what goes into
your food? Do you like a challenge – such as cooking a meal? If the answer to any of these questions is ‘yes,’ then buy the book and try some of the recipes!
NON FICTION - Why does the topic of your book interest you? Why would it interest potential readers? Give us a hook to reel in new readers.
Because I’m a gannet -- I can eat for England . But I also like to be able to see my feet, and to not hear my doctor take a sharp intake of breath when they check my blood pressure. I’m sure that I’m not the only person who wants to ‘eat their cake and have it.’ Oh look, there’s another common saying that involves food….
NON FICTION Is there a way to tie your book topic to current events? If so, tell us about how you could do that. I have a blog to feature information and examples about tying books into current events that might be a good place for you to promote your book.
I think that obesity and potentially declining life-spans are about the most current events that you can have. We’re sitting on a demographic time-bomb, and I don’t know about in the US , but in the UK the politicians are proposing raising the age of retirement on one hand, while people will have lower life expectancy on the other. This current crop of retirees may be living the Last Golden Age, whereby they have long lives after retirement. Instead we could be looking at working into the grave. I don’t know about you, but if cutting salt and fat in my diet means I hang around a few more years on this planet, then the salt and fat go into the rubbish bin!
This book won’t change that – but if enough people start to think about what they’re doing, maybe we can tackle our quality of life. It’s not consciously a health book – but that’s the whole point; everything we eat should be geared toward not pumping fat into our arteries and creating cancers in our bodies. It should be the norm, not something that’s unusual. That’s not a swipe at other cookbooks, by the way, but at the instant food lobby at the drive-thru.
If there's anything else you would like to share, this is the time and place.
I’ve suddenly realized that I sound like a zealot! Seriously, food should be fun too. And it makes a wonderful Christmas present, if you’re still looking for that unusual something, for that special someone….
Thank you for visiting with me and in closing, give us your website address and a link to order your book.
No, thank you for having me here, and to everyone who’s read this far. Have a wonderful Christmas and a great – and healthy – 2008
Interview Presented by Nikki Leigh
Book Promo 101