A lot of you know what today is. It's something I've cried, bitched, gleed, bragged, and freaked out over multiple times.
My first book is finally out.
Melt: The Art of Macaroni & Cheese is the epic tome for the cheese lover and home cook. It's a dedication to my and my co-author, Stephanie Stiavetti's love of handcrafted and artisan cheese. Years of practice and education in writing and cooking all culminated to bring you what I believe is one of the most distinguished, artistic, and helpful guides to cheese and pasta (and certainly the most so on the subject of macaroni and cheese itself). I know it sounds haughty to say this, but I say it because it's the truth.
Then again, we've got a LOT of people agreeing with us. Ree Drummond called it "positively transcendental," and Dorie Greenspan considers the recipes, "modern, sophisticated, beautiful food." The Sacramento Bee adored it to say the least. I'm hoping for a lot of good reviews, but so far they haven't.
Instead, they've been amazing.
Here's what; I work as a restaurant reviewer in Sacramento. I regularly judge peoples' pride and joy. I pick apart their taste. I critique their judgement in a very public way. To be on the receiving end is hard, especially when it's anything negative. I'm learning to let the small stuff roll off my back (mainly the concern about a lack of nutritional information in a book about cheese and pasta) and not letting the positive go to my head. Still, I'm girding my loins and getting braced. Got to protect my baby, after all.
I'm utterly thrilled at how many of you pre-ordered the book through Amazon, Indiebooks, Barnes & Noble, and other online book sellers. I imagine, you probably have your copies in front of you now or will by the end of the day. For those of you who have yet to pick up a copy, please consider doing so.
The first few weeks of a cookbook are vital to its survival. The dash out of the starting gate needs to have a quicksilver pace. This determines a book's popularity. To get reviewed by the national media, you need to sell well. As you can see it's a Catch-22, be popular or the major media won't review you and make you popular. Essentially, the better the book initially sells, the more likely that national media will pay attention. You are who decides what books among the many that traditional media want to check out.
If you pre-ordered, I cannot thank you enough. If you haven't gotten your copy, now is the time. Perhaps for you or as a gift for a mac and cheese fanatic or curd nerd in your life (a fantastic Christmas/Hanukkah gift and plenty of ideas for Thanksgiving).
I also need to say thank you to all the recipe testers out there. Seriously, you guys are amazing. Eighty five total strangers came in and volunteered their time, money, and sanity to help two bloggers write a cookbook. Where else but in the world of food blogging could you find that kind of kindness and commitment? You guys rock.
A big hug to Matt Armendariz and Adam Pearson and their team who crafted the epic photos. My agent, Janis Donnaud. Michael Sand, Helen Tobin, and Michelle Aielli at Little Brown for putting up with my insanity.
My husband, Brian, for being having patience with me during my tantrums, panic attacks, and for eating recipes that weren't always safe for human consumption and putting away mountains of mac and cheese during the testing process. I'm sure you'll recover someday.
And, of course, my lovely, creative, and intelligent co-author Stephanie Stiavetti. She's family and one of my best friends and I could not have ever, ever, ever done this without her.
Okay. Cuddle time is over.
I'm off to book tour for the next few weeks going up and down the West Coast, as well as planning events in the East Coast and a few other spots. Posting is going to be a bit erratic for a bit, but I'll be sharing some of my experiences from the tour with you when I can. It's going to be more intense than that one time I tried kissing a girl in high school (and possibly just as awkward).