Having been published, and having advised others on marketing their books, I thought I had a pretty strong understanding of the processes that occur in producing a book. My experience in publishing just got a little wider.
The concept was conceived on an mountain trekking expedition through the Armenian enclave of Nagorno-Karabahk: why not create a powerful sense of intercultural connection (through the taste buds) as a way of informing the supporters about the charity’s work in diverse locations?
This is a genius idea.
(I wish I’d come up with it.)
From the beginning the book was part-travel guide, part-recipe book, including intriguing recipes like traditional Armenian flatbread, Sudanese falafels and Burmese Kao Soom (spicy rice). Each recipe came from one of HART’s project partners and was tested by a brave HART supporter in the UK.
As the book’s editor, I had a number of challenges to overcome. It was important to capture the character of the projects and the faithfully reproduce the individual voices of the contributors. At the same time, I had to protect the confidentiality of some of the workers in delicate and dangerous situations and bring the book together in one strong voice that fitted within HART’s existing messaging. Easy? Not exactly. Fun? Absolutely. And my friends at HART were excellent to work with.
As an author, I’d previously seen the Editor as a tetchy and defensive creature who would work happily enough for many pages before abitrarily seizing on a passage that was fine as it was (in my opinion) and carving it to pieces for no obvious reason. Now I understand that the editor has to manage both the preciousness of the author and an unseen tier of interested stakeholders, hovering above and dropping demands, new information and comments and inopportune times.
God bless editors everywhere!
I am very proud of this book (buy it HERE) and I am pleased to be listed as its editor. I am even more pleased to be associated with a beautiful idea that brings people together in a way that celebrates the delicious cultural differences instead of dissolving them.