It seems to me that there are two ways of going about writing books. One is when you have something inside you that makes you want to write; it could be about experiences or ideas or a story that just pops into your head fully formed. I’ve heard this method of instigation is a common one for many writers and composers. Often the most brilliant stories and pieces of music and even ideas for paintings, have come to the artist in the night when they have had the sense to keep a piece of paper by their bedside on which to write down these nocturnal inspirations.
The second way is when the author is approached by an editor or publisher to write a book. Which, for the author, on the one hand must be a comfort to know that there is an advance to spur them on and on the other if no inspiration is forthcoming, a curse.
The idea for “Androula’s Kitchen” was not a nocturnal inspiration but did come to me out of the blue.
I was musing upon my recent holiday with my cousin Androula, who I had met again for the first time in more than twenty years when visiting her home in the Troodos Mountains. She had spent sometime restoring a traditional house which now offers guests a secluded, restful environment from which to explore the surrounding countryside and the many beautiful monasteries in the vicinity. She has a love of the antique and articles produced by the artisan. This combination of surroundings, a traditional house and the eclectic mix of objects within triggered in me a curiosity to investigate and explore the crafts of Cyprus both old and new. I am a crafts-person myself and have spent many years practising my craft in the seclusion of my workshop and I took a great deal of pleasure visiting craftsmen in Cyprus and discovering a side of Cyprus that I don’t usually get the opportunity to see.
Of course once I got thinking, I had to include information about the food! Cyprus is an island that revolves around food. They say an army marches on its stomach and the same could be said of Cyprus.
There were many foodstuffs and recipes I had wanted to know about and this was an ideal opportunity for me to discover how the food was prepared and my favourite foods were cooked.
Now after spending a couple of years compiling, writing and re-writing the text and taking and organising photographs I want to see it in print. I have had discussions with a couple of publishers in Cyprus but nothing has come of these. It is the London Book Fair in April and I have bought my ticket. I feel like a minute piece of plankton about to float into the ocean. It is an overwhelming prospect and I will be feeling very out of my comfort zone. But needs must…….