Giddy guys and gals, I have a treat for you today. And it’s all thanks to a chance, very non introvert encounter at a coffee shop.
Earlier this year Mr. Giddy and I were at a Starbucks meeting up with fellow blogger and friend, Skye McLain. On our way out Skye pointed to a petite brunette who was writing away on her laptop and said ‘She’s a blogger too’. There is a thriving creative community where we live so this wasn’t this surprising but after walking up and introducing myself I could tell that this gal, Sara Mitchell, wasn’t the average blogger.
To be honest I’m not that impressed with most bloggers. There are many bloggers that don’t really blog or write but more so post pictures of themselves pretending to be fashion models to sell clothing. This does not interest me at all. But Sara had told me the name of her blog (Quill & Hammock) and I checked it out later that night. It was a ‘real’ blog, with words and everything! Minimal living, creativity, faith and family. Delightful and true.
And then wouldn’t you know Mr. Giddy ran into her the very next morning at yet another Starbucks. This gal was serious about her caffeine! Oh, and writing too. Even though I went above and beyond my introvert duty the night before to introduce myself Mr. Giddy made the real connection and gave Sara my contact information. I had an email from her a few hours later.
We’ve met up several times since, she makes me want to be a better writer and inspires me to grow stronger in my faith. Sara is a treasure and I want to share her talent with you, one of which is that she’s writing and has written books including Love Love Bakery. LLB is children’s book based on the most adorable coffee shop/bakery that she and I both frequent. Jane and John Dough is located in Tomball, Texas.
I hope you find Sara and her story as charming as I do. Please consider supporting the Love Love Bakery Kickstarter – you won’t be sorry!
Q: What is the title of the book?
A: Love Love Bakery: A Wild Home For All
Q: What was your initial inspiration for writing the book?
A: Jane & John Dough in Tomball, Texas is one of my favorite bakeries/coffee shops ever. I have always loved places like this but this spot is extra magical. Jane, one of the owners, has a magical smile and a gift for connecting people and creating community. I love to go there to do creative work or just to nosh on pie and coffee with my family. I loved the idea of writing a story that lifts up the artisanal work they do as well as the community aspect of gathering places like this.
Q: Who is the book for/dedicated to?
A: I think millennials who have been going to coffee shops as their second home for years now will enjoy seeing their favorite spot celebrated. One time a coffee shop owner remarked to me that my daughter was being raised on the couch in her coffee shop! In some ways, she was right. I love taking my kids to these places where we will see all kinds of people, eat yummy food, and feel welcome. So the book is also for people who are starting to bring their kids to the neighborhood bakery every Saturday. It’s a way of telling our kids, “You’re welcome here, too.”
Q: How did the owners of Jane & John Dough feel about you writing the book?
A: Both Jane and John have been very supportive of the project. Jane has encouraged me from the moment I first voiced the idea to her. They let us film our Kickstarter video in their space, gave us permission to draw them in the story and to use their names. I know Jane loves the idea of love inspiring more love. She has poured light and encouragement into me and I have poured that into the book and we are both excited to give that to the world.
Q: How did you meet the illustrator?
A: Hayley Hayne’s painting of Jane & John Dough is hanging up in the bakery. It’s the image we are using for the Kickstarter. It’s just gorgeous and fun. I found her on Instagram and begged her to meet with me. She is an artist but this is her first time to illustrate. I love that this book is a challenge that will push both of us to take the next step in our creative work.
Q: What has been your favorite part about the process of writing the book?
A: When I sat down to write the book, I wrote it all in one go. It first emerged as a series of poetic vignettes— it just showed lovely little scenes in the bakery from sun up to sun down. Being in that space where you are making something out of nothing, that feeling is magic. I just kept my head down and typed typed typed until I got to the end. It was exhilarating. I had actually tried to write the bakery story a couple times a year ago but it wasn’t working. This last year I have really buckled down and committed to my daily writing practice. So by a combination of discipline and passion, this draft came together quickly and easily. That feel is just intoxicating.
Q: What was your biggest challenge concerning the process of writing the book?
A: Believing in myself and my work! There is nothing harder than pushing myself to really chase what I want. The biggest challenge was getting out of my way and reaching for what I really want.
Another challenge was getting over the weird stigma about not following the traditional publishing model. I didn’t even try to get an agent for this book because I don’t see this as a generic Barnes & Noble type bestseller. It has a very specific source of inspiration and I wanted to keep it’s creation very local. Written, illustration, and published all in Houston. And I wanted to be in complete control of the look and feel and how the book is marketed, not because I’m a perfectionist but because I knew I would enjoy the whole process start to finish. So I signed a contract with a partnership publisher who will let this be my baby.
Q: What is your fundraising goal?
A: My first goal is to raise $11,000. That pays for illustration, design, production, printing a small number of books, and marketing. I feel confident that we will meet our goal. So our next goal of $13,000 would give us the capital to get a better deal on printing a higher quantity of books. If we were to raise more than that, we could do lots of fun things and pay our illustrator and designer more to put even more artwork in the book. Love Love Bakery Kickstarter Page
Q: When do you expect the book to be published?
A: April 2018! Then we will embark on our Tour of Love Love, visiting bakeries and coffee shops all over the countries for events and readings.
Q: Where will the book be available for purchase?
A: My website, QuillandHammock.com will be the best place to buy the book. It will also be available on my publisher’s website and on Amazon and Barnes & Noble’s website.
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See, now wasn’t that fun? To donate to the Love Love Bakery Kickstarter click here!
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