Friday, November 30, 2007

Katy's Cookbook by Colin Harvey

1 - How did you get interested in the topic that’s featured in your book?

Well, my publisher asked each of the Swimming Kangaroo authors for a recipe for a charity cookbook, and I went flicking through (my wife) Katy’s book of recipes that she’s written up and copied out over the years, often adapting to taste. I couldn’t read her writing, so decided to type it up then realized I had enough for several books.

At the same time, I had started to cook as my day-job wound down, and realized that I could cook if I had a recipe to follow.

From there it was a short conversation with my publisher. When I asked whether she would like to publish a cook-book, she agreed straight away.

2 - Tell us a bit about your background. What have you done in the past that relates to your book and that topic?

My wife finds it difficult to believe, but I actually cooked before I met her. But the results were often erratic and hard to classify! Add to it that I tended to use whatever was in the fridge, and she could end up with chilli con sardines, or pizza trifle.

3 - What advise would you give to someone who is interested in your topic?

It’s like everything else - practice, practice, practice. The chefs that you see on TV have been cooking the equivalent of ten or even twenty several meals a day for years on end. I found after even a month that I was getting more confident, and therefore better able to salvage a ‘crisis’ when it occurred.

4 - What do you see as the benefit to participating in groups and organizations? My first thought would be networking opportunities and the chance for personal and business growth. What are your reasons?

I would echo that; group participation means fresh ideas and possibilities.

5 - Who is the ideal person to read your book? If each person that reads this was going to recommend your book to one person, what sort of person would they want to chose?

The ideal person would be people leaving home or living on their own for the first time, like students or freshly separated people with no cooking experience. There are a few complicated recipes for the more advanced cooks, but most of them are as simple as possible, for culinary dummies like me!

6 - What do you think ignites a person’s creativity?

I find the greatest stimulus is outside input; going to new places, trying a new recipe, meeting someone for the first time.

7 - What have you found to be the biggest stumbling block for people who want to start writing?

Those people themselves. No-one else can make you or free you to write. The world doesn’t owe you. If you want to write, get on with it.

8 - How would you suggest they can overcome that?

Write every day. I keep saying this, and I’ll keep saying it. It will take time, and you may not yet be ready, but one of the lessons to learn is patience, and another is persistence. But none of that matters if you don’t write.

9 - What do you find is the biggest motivator for people to succeed? Is it money, security, desire for fame or something else?

The writers who succeed are the ones who want it the most, who if they don’t write every day, start to feel twitchy, who can’t think of anything else they want to be. Who, if they have a career, believe that it’s all just research for writing. It doesn’t just apply to writing look at the tycoons, they’re all people who have no life apart from making money.

10 - Who is the ‘perfect’ person to read your book?

People who believe that they can’t cook, but want to try to learn.

11 - Is there anything else you would like to share with us?

Only that you can order it from the Swimming Kangaroo website at

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