Successful Cookbook Supporting Victims of Domestic Abuse
- Created: Monday, 11 August 2014 14:47
Over the last seven years I have worked with hundreds of mums who have been through domestic abuse and despite all the misery they have been through I have discovered they all share a love of food. By this I mean, having the freedom to choose what to cook, cooking food which reminds them of their childhood, food their children enjoy eating and most of all the pleasure of sharing and eating together. In addition, I have often found mums lacking knowledge around healthy eating and struggling to find easy and fun activities to do with their children on a small budget.
So in November 2012 I decided to write a children’s cookery book with each recipe shared by a woman who had been affected by domestic abuseand proceeds going to Women’s Aid. This was as a celebration of their freedom and a way of mum and child building a bond together through cooking.
So how did I do it? The book took 16 months from start to finish and I self published which was a real leap of faith. I went through a process of collecting, adapting, testing and tasting recipes, working with a photographer, an editor and designer to finally bring the book together! The book contains 25 delicious recipes from making your own favourite takeaway style food e.g. Chicken Fingers to after school meals like Mini Shepherd’s Pie to weekend treats like Mighty Muffins all adapted for mum and child to cook together with everyday budget friendly ingredients.
The exciting parts of my journey were collecting recipes from mums and hearing why they had chosen the recipe, seeing their faces when they saw their recipe in the book, learning about really simple recipes and how yummy they can be, working with the food photographer and models who were family and friends and of course seeing the published copy of my book. The more challenging parts were working with my editor as this is quite a lengthy process and self funding the project while committing to proceeds going to Women’s Aid. It was hard work but I always had a clear vision of what I wanted my book to look and feel like, what made my book different and focused on the bond created when mum and child cook together.
Since my book launch, I have appeared in the media, attended book talks and signings and run workshops on healthy eating with recipes from Cooking Together - Step by Step guide to Yummy, Healthy and Fun Recipes and have enjoyed a growth in business.
I often met mums who say their dream is to write a book and so my top tips would be to know exactly what you want to write your book on, your target market, have a goal of when you are going to start and finish writing including research, writing and editing. Always keep a clear vision of what makes your book different and then decide whether to get a publisher, self publish or publish it as an e-book. Also get some support during the process such as a writing buddy or joining a writing group as it can be a lonely process.
I have loved the whole process and have found it challenging, empowering and have learnt so much about myself and would definitely recommend it to everyone!