What do you do when you know too much? No, I’m not talking about being the absolute expert at everything. Lord knows, most of us (especially me), are far from that. What I’m talking about is when your life skills, experiences and knowledge fill a big bag of eclectic mish mash, the contents of which very seldom, if ever, interconnect. Life’s junk drawer.
I have a professional photographer friend who is also a builder and a champion fisherman. Another acquaintance is a math teacher, a tile dancer and expert volunteer. I once knew a woman who made clothes by day and stripped by night. Skills. Every single part of these people was an amazing skill and it made them all rather unique as individuals. The magic is in how they mesh all those abilities into one existence. Today I came across a woman who offered several different services within very similar industries; some as a staff executive, others as a free lance expert. She manages to stand on several different levels of a common need. Nothing conflicts but everything works. Genius. Absolute genius.
I try that too. I’m doing my best to combine as many of my acquired skills under one heading … writer. Having written for the advertising, marketing and public relations world for so long, I was always working on some novel or another behind the scenes. Understanding the ins and outs of publicity, I’m doing everything I know to make my work visible. But, there was a challenge missing.
When I became a chef, I thought it was such a drastic ninety degree shift I’d never connect things again. It was fun, it’s was massively creative, competitive and challenging and oh hell yeah, I loved every minute of it. But as this chef grew older, those three gallon stock pots got heavier and heavier. I knew it was time to return to the keyboard.
So, how can I stitch my two loves together? And … how could I do it to create additional excitement for my Cold in California, vampire urban fantasy series?
After a suggestion from a new acquaintance, it hit me like a salami to the head. A cookbook. But not just a cookbook, a Vampire Cookbook.
Now things really have begun to weld together. My learned skills of research and development from the old marketing days stood at attention and things started to pop. Did I want to write a blood cookbook? After all, the only two vampire cookbooks I could find were either a joke book or a book using blood as the major ingredient for all recipes. Ew.
See, I really wanted to write a cookbook for people who eat food, not suck blood. It seemed hopeless, but then I recalled some terminology that caught my interest before and now has me jumping for joy. Did you know there are Psychic Vampires? There are Emotional Vampires too. Now add to that the Husband Vampire, the Nosey Neighbor Vampire and the Cranky Sister-in-Law Vampire and now we’re cooking.
The cookbook took on a form and life of its own. The narrative covers how these people, although loved and cherished, can suck the life right out of us. It follows the same tongue-in-cheek style of writing as Cold in California, and like that urban fantasy series, the cookbooks also with have a series. Kid Vampire cookbooks that will benefit children’s charities; one for College Student Vampires who need a little guidance in the food choosing, preparation and quality area; Bachelor Vampires who want to impress and get some. Yes, this could be a lot of fun!
Who knows anything about writing a non-fiction proposal? Trust me; it’s a long, laborious, time consuming and utterly satisfying process. It’s like writing a business plan for your new, soon-to-be dynasty. I’ve got something here, I just know it. Aside from the duo-publicity potential between the Cold in California series and this cookbook series, I’m actually going to have a great cookbook with my own award winning recipes and a lot of playful narrative to soothe the savage writer within. Next: promotional plans, live demonstrations and tastings. Could life get any better?
Now, you. Your turn. It’s a challenge and I’d love to hear what you come up with. Take all those separate, unique skills and abilities of yours and find a way to knit them together. Who knows, you may just create a product, writing genre or service no one ever thought of before. It’s what we writers do, right?