Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Live with no regrets: An interview with cookbook author Sydne George by Mrs. Schwinden

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.
Henry David Thoreau.
This week we continue our focus on “setting goals and following dreams” with a conversation with author Sydne George.
Some people dream of becoming a librarian or owning a bookstore. Sydne’s dream was to combine her love of cooking and writing and publish a cookbook. Her dream came true with the recent release of her self-published book, Little Red Book of Recipes to Love.  I’m fortunate to call Sydne a treasured friend and recently caught up with her between book signings to talk about planning, scheduling, the writing process, and making dreams come true!

What inspired you to write a cookbook?
I’ve loved creating in the kitchen since I was a child. I grew up on the kitchen counter watching my mother create fabulous meals for all of us, from small snacks to huge meals for the harvest crews on our family wheat farm. I will be forever grateful to her for sharing her love of cooking and creativity with me. It’s an activity I enjoy with my own daughters.

Can you tell us a bit about how you made the decision to dive in and self-publish?
I’m part of a long-standing and incredibly supportive Artist’s Way group that writes annual creative goals every January. My creative goal for 2016 was “The Year of the Cookbook! Live with no regrets!” I started by researching self-publishing companies, looking for a company that could handle cover design, interior layout, ebook conversion, placement on Amazon and a many other issues. I took a huge risk and went for it!  

Writing a book is a huge task! How did you tackle it?
I set up a schedule and a list of tasks to accomplish each month, then compiled a monthly goal sheet to track my progress. I gave myself the birthday gift of having the manuscript finalized by May 15th. There’s nothing like a deadline to motivate you! I had the ongoing support of several creative friends to keep me accountable. There was a lot of back and forth with the publishing company over the summer: redoing photos, sending edits, etc. The Little Red Book of Recipes to Love was published in October 2016, and became available online on Amazon and Barnes & Noble in November 2016.

How does it feel to accomplish your goal and hold your beautiful book in your hands?
Self-publishing the book has been one of the best and most rewarding things I’ve done of late. It’s surreal seeing my title on Amazon, selling out at my book signing celebration, and having so many people in my life tell me how proud they are of me. One of the best unexpected bonuses is hearing from friends from all over expressing their words of support. I’ve been overwhelmed with sentiments of love and support, and feel like the luckiest girl in the land! It’s hard to believe my dream is coming true.

Many thanks to Sydne for sharing her story with us. What’s your dream? Share it in the comments below.
Photo credit: Madison George

Sydne George is a food journalist specializing in recipe development, food writing and food photography. Email her at Sydne’s recipes are archived at

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