I am jumping out of my chair excited about something. Like this is so big… no, huge that pretty much everything I have been doing career wise in the last seven years has been with this goal in mind. That big huge that I am practically burstingmypantyhosefaintingonthefloorexcited about it. katie-webster-recipe-developer-2013-by-Jim_Westphalen-Sm-1


I got a cookbook deal.


There I am on the floor in a dead faint, pantyhose burst.


Just let me stay there. I am happy. I have been so excited to tell you all about this but I had to wait until today to tell you, so now I am so happy to tell you that this is happening.  And I mentioned all the way back in December that I was working on figuring out how to make this happen, and I was really scared and excited. Well now it IS happening and I am still scared and excited. Mostly excited!


While I am in this pantyhosebustedfainted position on the floor, how about catching-up via the speedy 7-years-in-90-seconds version of  how I got a cookbook deal. (Side note: No worries there will be more details to come.)


September, 2007, just after my daughters 1st birthday, I told my boss at EatingWell that I wanted to step back from testing, focus on getting more by-lines and possibly branch out to do some freelancing so I could build up clips and work toward a cookbook deal.


August 2009, I write my first blog post. It was pretty terrible. For some reason I stick with it.

Spring 2010 I take a food writing class with Andrea Strong at Media Bistro.

May 2011 I went to BlogHer Food, I was actually there as a speaker for EatingWell. That was cool. I learned so gosh dang much my head exploded, and then I was quickly crushed when one of the speakers, I am not sure who but possibly Molly Birnbaum said that the days of getting famous writing a food blog and having a cookbook deal fall in your lap is over. I cried into my water glass. Then I drank a lot of wine.


August, 2011 and I finally got a pitch accepted at another magazine. And then another. And then I got really busy doing that.

Broccoli Chicken stirfry in a white bowl with chopsticks

June 2012 I asked Aran Goyoaga in Montreal how she got her cookbook deal and she told me she used an agent. I think her mad skills also have a lot to do with that, but my point is that I realized that if even she used an agent, it was probably in my best interest too.

The Best Advice I Got About Writing A Cookbook

Early 2013 I started approaching agents. And I also talked to the amazing Dianne Jacob about how to figure out how to make it all happen. She in the nicest way possible told me to work on my platform and decide on a topic. Best advice I have ever gotten. Thank you Dianne.


November 2013 I hired a business coach because I was still unsure of what to do, she helped a ton, gave me more awesome advice and gave me some courage to stop screwing around. ie I decided that the time was now.


December 2013 I decided on a topic. 


I spent the first many months of this year working on a real deal book proposal. This is what I used as my jumping off point:  Guide to writing a cookbook proposal.


By late March, I submitted it to The Lisa Ekus Group, they loved it and signed me! I’d be fainting again if I weren’t still out cold 😉  My awesome agent, Samantha and I continued to work on the proposal together to make it stronger. And she spent the summer pitching it to publishing houses. I got a LOT of rejections. Sob. And three offers. Yay! Follow the Lisa Ekus Group on twitter.

Today: The paperwork is signed and I am officially a forthcoming cookbook author!!


So you probably want to know who the publisher is: Quirk Books | Seekers of All Things Awesome. Seriously that’s their tag line. How crazy cool is that? I am so completely honored that they liked my proposal and I am really excited to work with them on this project. Yeah, I’m totally still passed out on the floor.


The working title is: Maple, 100 Sweet and Savory Recipes Featuring Pure Maple Syrup. It is due out in the fall of 2015.

Healthy Thanksgiving recipe Dried Cherry and Pecan Tart recipe from @healthyseasonal Healthy Seasonal Recipes

Okay 90 seconds over and now I am revived. Where am I… oh glad you are all still here. Seriously, dude, thank you so much for seeing me through this 7-year amazing journey to this point. High to the Fives!


So anywhoo, what does this all mean? Well not a whole ton as far as the blog is concerned other than the fact that I am going to be as busy as busy as busy can be until I hand in the manuscript. So you’ll be seeing some guest posts here in the months to come. I may not be able to punch out a totally awesome Thursday Things every week. But I am going to still post new healthy seasonal recipes on Tuesdays and Fridays as usual all the way through.


Hopefully I will be able to share a tidbits about this project here and there. Believe me, you all are going to be the first to hear anything about anything when it comes to news about Maple.

Happy Cooking!