Thursday, July 3, 2014

Wilma's Flavors from the Past

Yesterday I received word that my mother's memoirs and recipes book has been published on e-books.  Let me share with you a little about Wilma and our experience in writing this book. 

Back in 2000, I made the decision to leave my banker position to go back into business doing accounting for small businesses and consulting with a local bank.  My mother had said for years (as many of us do), "I should write a book".  So after buying myself a new computer, I took my older one to her house to begin the process of writing her book.  I had found a book entitled "To Our Children's Children" as a guide for how to start the thought process of writing family history.  The questions recommended in the book gave us a starting point for her story.  We decided to start with the Spring season, as that was a sort of awakening time in Central Illinois where Mother grew up and lived her entire life.

Every Friday for 10 months I drove the 20 miles to her house, we had breakfast with my dad, and then we retired to her bedroom to work on the book.  At some point we decided it would be fun to add family recipes.  There were boxes of recipe cards, scraps of paper, and cut outs from magazines with recipes from which to choose.  Many of these were incomplete and cryptic to say the least.  My husband's mother had a 1945 cookbook (referenced in the book) from which we were able to find some similar recipes with directions to complete these old "notes".

We supplied the entire document to a cookbook publisher, acquired an ISBN#, and ordered our first 100 copies (minimum).  Mother was then 81.  We first made sure that all the kids and grandkids had a copy, then more distant relatives, etc.  Our promotion of the book took us to Mother-Daughter banquets, ladies luncheons, and other venues.  Mother would talk about her book, and I would talk about the importance of family history and how to go about preserving it.  In all we sold 700 print copies, part of which were with Barnes and Noble at a book signing for Mother at 82.  I can still see her smiling there behind her little desk to sign books for customers.

Mother died in 2003.  The books are out of print.  But her story is so delightful that I thought it would be fun to get it published with Smashwords as an e-book.  I still had the original document which needed to be reformatted for online readers, and was able to get the original cover photo.  The cover had to be changed slightly to add my name as the author for the publishing.  Now it's ready for purchasing and reading at a number of different venues.  If you are interested, you can click on this link or on the side of the blog to enjoy Wilma's story and some great old family recipes:  Flavors From The Past

Now I must get to my first novel, probably to be published in the next few weeks, if I can get through the editing.

Linda Kay

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