Here is the first post for my maiden voyage into crowdfunding: to raise money
for the creation of my magical cookbook. Those of you who have read The Willow Lake Group, know that Sondra is a wonderful cook. You also know that she's a photographer, a Hedgewitch and Gavin's soulmate.
I aim to produce the book she's always dreamed of creating - full of wonderful recipes (Pagan and otherwise), personal tips on the Craft, poetry and art from the other members in The Willow Lake Group.
I wrote the novel from the perspective of 42 year old Gavin (which was fun!) - who travels to the sleepy town of Willow Lake to complete a carpentry contract. Along the way he meets Liam - a 28 year old hipster who ends up falling in love with a woman's handwriting - which just happens to belong to Sondra!
They both meet all the colorful characters in the literary group - who become a family to Gavin. Lucky for Gavin - Sondra falls for him - even though he has a checkered past. Liam isn't so lucky - but his obsessive desire for Sondra proves to be more than they all bargained for!
To learn more, go to the website.
Sondra prepares all the food for the gatherings at the Willow Lake Bookstore, where the group hold their readings. She is helped by the other women: the shy and mysterious April; the middle aged, lesbian lovers - Beth and Delia, and the self-styled Manga obsessed space cadet - 20 year old Mena.
All who meet Sondra are bewitched by her beauty - and her food. (Sondra has her own blog at the website - written by your's truly, of course - but it's a fun exercise to write as one of the characters. You can read her blog here.)
I'm currently researching all I'll need to do for the campaign - which is daunting, to say the least! I'll start creating videos over the next two weeks - so you'll be able to see me blather away about what I hope to achieve, updates re: planning, researching etc - as well as news about perks, giveaways and other tidbits.
How this all came about...
When I was writing my fantasy series - the Storming Archives - I was immersed in bizarre worlds filled with even more bizarre characters. Even though I love writing in that genre, I wanted to flex my muscles and produce a contemporary novel about a writing/artistic group - much like my beloved Beat Generation or the Bloomsbury group. (I'm currently trying to start my own writing group - so we'll see how that pans out! Anyone living locally - Springfield, TN - is more than welcome to join.)
I also became fascinated with the idea of someone falling in love with handwriting - like they would a lover. I wondered if it was possible to become infatuated with another's handwriting - to the point of obsession - and if that infatuation would dissipate after meeting the person who wrote it.
All the different elements of the story - along with the experiences and characters - coalesced into a "charming" novel about a group of people who all ended up in the magical, faraway setting of Willow Lake. (This is a fictional place for the purpose of the story - somewhere in New England!)
With my love for cooking, my pagan background, adoration for writing and the Beat Generation - it became obvious that a cookbook needed to follow the novel. Food is one of the integral parts of the story - like a magic spell weaving throughout the narrative - so I incorporated the cookbook in the novel.
Sondra longs to produce her own magical cookbook, so why not bring it to life - as a nice accompaniment to the novel?
I also maintain a blog about healthy eating (called Shapeshifting on Wordpress) - where I post my recipes and photos. I realized that I had a lot to learn about food photography, so I've set out researching and trying the hints and tips I've discovered.
What do I hope to achieve?
This picture is a mock-up that I made for the cover of the cookbook. I want to create a book that includes other pleasurable aspects, aesthetics, and art-forms which exemplify the atmosphere in The Willow Lake Group. I'd like it to be an introduction to traditional and pagan cooking (using local, global, organic, non-gmo, free-range, whole-food where possible) - interspersed with poetry, artwork and spells from the characters in the novel.
I expect it to be a delightful addition to the novel - including my own recipes, spells, poetry and art - "channeled" through the various characters of The Willow Lake Group.
There will be intimate portraits of the characters, using backstories, letters and photos (hopefully I'll be able to get people to model for me!) I also plan to make it a stand-alone book - not necessarily needing readers to read the novel in order to appreciate it.
So - I will keep you all posted regularly - throughout the planning as well as the campaign, along with videos on Youtube and pins on my Pinterest board. I created it to inspire me and to prepare me for the HUGE job ahead of me!
I hope you'll come along for the ride - and please feedback if you have any ideas, suggestions or comments!