Be Afraid, Very Afraid…I’ve Written A Book

So I’ve written a book. Yikes! It’s called 101 Sandwiches and is due to be published by Dog n Bone Books in the autumn. What’s that? You think sandwiches aren’t important enough to fill a whole book? Think. Again. There are some incredible sangers being eaten around the world and I’ve selected the best of them. There’s a recipe for every sandwich featured and the book will have chapters on all time classics; street food; curry and spice; summer and BBQ; ‘project sandwiches’ for when you’re feeling ambitious; well connected sandwiches; a luxe category and also some sweet tings for you strange people who like that weird sugar stuff.

The sandwiches featured veer from the well known like the Japanese katsu sando and the American Reuben, through some you may not have heard of like the Barros Luco, the vada pav and rou jia mo, then right out to the other side to the outrageous, like the francesinha which is a Portugese beast featuring several types of meat, cheese and BEER SAUCE. Beer. Sauce. There’s even a contribution from everyone’s favourite pub landlord, Oisin Rogers of The Ship, who dreamily explains the concept of the fridge buffet.

I thought I’d also offer a little bit of advice for anyone else who is thinking about  writing a book. So here goes…

1. Do NOT, under any circumstances, download ‘Ninja Fishing’ for the Iphone.

2. Get a lot of tea in. I thought I drank a lot of tea but it turns out I knew nothing about the upper limits of normal. Nothing.

3. Have other people around like housemates, mates, boyfriend/girlfriend so when someone says, ‘does anyone want anything from the shop?’ You can shout YES!! I would like this and this and this and TEA and this and MILK and this and this and this and on and on and on until they HATE you. Then when your book is published they will feel obliged to buy and rave about it and they will hate you even more*.

3. Buy several new sets of pyjamas. You’ll be spending a lot of time in them.

4. Find a comfy place to work. I’m not a freelancer, and so I’m not used to working from home. Writing a book perched on a wooden kitchen chair with an insufficiently padded cushion beneath your numb arse cheeks for 5 hours is not the way forward.

5. Do not do a PhD at the same time as writing a book.

6. Do not do a a 9-5 job at the same time as a PhD at the same time as writing a book.

7. Download some proper writing software. I had a conversation with a friend that went like this:

Him: ‘what software are you using?’

Me: ‘say what now?’

Him: Oh Jesus, you’re not using Word are you?’

Me: ‘er, yeah’

Him: ‘PAAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHA (seriously you need to download Scrivener)’

So there we have it. Pretty profound shit I think you’ll agree. As I say, the book will be out in the autumn. At the moment someone else is doing the photography and that kind of stuff which is frankly a huge relief because the idea of ‘food styling’ makes me want to poke myself in the eye with cutlery tied together with raffia, or perhaps a piece of gingham ribbon.

 *small voice* please buy it…

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120 thoughts on “Be Afraid, Very Afraid…I’ve Written A Book

  1. Now I’v done a couple of them just wonderful, but I’m gaining weight (just kidding)
    Fantasic book you’v done. Ceep up the good work

  2. Blimely Helen, glad you have got through it all. Just handed in draft myself and it sounds like you have had an interesting: OK- lets move,get ill, work full time and finish a PhD -lets do 100+ hours a week, not moving /increasing girth ride too! Think both aged since MSc!

    If you are having a book launch can I come? As long as sandwiches of course :)

    1. Yeah, still doing the PhD here though! Damn that part time option ha ha. Yes I have aged a LOT since MSc! And yes of course you can come to the book launch :)

  3. congrats! Love how it looks (that font you use for your title, love it) – I’ve got my book out in May (the first of many I hope) and people don’t realise how much hard work goes into it. Well done and best of luck! Right, off to Amazon now to wish list it….!

    1. Thanks! I didn’t really have anything to do with the design to be honest but thanks anyway! Ha ha. Also, yeah, it’s hard work. What’s yours called?

  4. Yep it was good but new style – not worth going just for the Croque uses you r passing – your truffle version should be on menu!

  5. Hi Helen congrats! I meant to write to you – on your sandwich blog – about the Connaught’s (the Mayfair hotel) Croque Monsieur – served from 12-3 in the brassiere – it’s the best in town 😉 Tony

  6. Hey, the bake and shark is amazing! It’s in the Naparima book; have you got it yet?

    Did my PhD in Caribbean politics/development… that’s how I ended up out here!

  7. God bless you Helen. Your site has turned me into a sandwich fiend and now you have given me the pefect thing to fulfill my fiendish desires. Sandwiches rock!

  8. Massive congratulations! And props, too: most people struggle to write a PhD while having absolutely nothing else to do other than write a PhD. I know I did!

    More importantly, though, has the Trinidadian ‘bake and shark’ made it into 101 sandwiches? If not, you have to try it and it has to be in Vol. 2! Just watch Andrew Zimmern on Youtube trying to keep it in his shorts while eating two of the buggers.

  9. Looks great! I’d love a sneaky preview. In particular I love visual design, and I’d like to see how this was done in the book.

  10. A lifetime of sandwiches:

    Childhood: Jam or Tomato Sauce (Did I have them together once)
    Teens: Chip Butties
    Inter Years: Anything so I can get back to work early (wasted food experiences)
    Twilight Years: At last perfection with thick slices of wholemeal bread, four pieces of back bacon grilled so the fat is crispy, add lashings of Worcester Sauce. Now you are talking!!! (Will that make your book, call it number 102)

  11. Go Go gadget….Helen! ?
    I could happily live on sandwiches alone so will definitely be buying your book and I have no doubt you’ll have found the very best sarnies to put in there.
    So when’s the 101 spicy dishes edition happening? (no pressure ;D)

  12. Nice work, helen! Let me know when you’re doing the book signing and I’ll come along to buy a signed copy. Failing that, add my email to your mailing list when the book comes out and I’ll buy a copy on Amazon.

  13. Gorgeous post – made me giggle.
    Nice tip about the software – I had no idea either.
    I can’t wait to see the book – hope it makes it to the antipodes.

  14. Very VERY well done Helen. Looking forward to getting a copy. Hope you’ll be doing a launch event of some kind so we can buy direct from you or the publisher rather than through Amazon etc. Or do online pre-order numbers help the publisher decide on how many will be in the first print run?

  15. Job, phd AND book? Are you superwoman or something? I am seriously impressed.

    The book looks great, can’t wait to read it and get making some sandwiches!

  16. Yup, this makes sense. Not many people SHOULD be doing it, but you’re certainly one of them. You dish it out lady, and i’ll pay hard cash.

  17. One word: AMAZING. In the words of Liz Lemon – ‘I believe that all anyone really wants in life, is to sit in peace and eat a sandwich’.

  18. Congratulations! The awful thing is that one feels obliged to start cleaning the effing house again once the book is put to bed. Today I loathe sandwiches after doing a ‘simple’ sandwich lunch for 25 (charity do). How can it take so bloody long to make 5×25 sandwiches? Promise to buy your book to read what I’m doing wrong.

  19. Congratulations! It looks amazing. Nb, the software tip actually is gold. I wish someone had said that to me before I got 7/8 of the way through mine.

  20. I will pay actual cash money for this! There are many sandwiches that intrigue me but I’ve never made them because I want a definitive recipe (medianoche, monte cristo, kentucky hot brown) and I look to you to provide!

  21. A book about sandwiches???? But Helen, what do you know about sandwiches? I don’t think I have ever heard you even mention them before, let alone write about them…….

    Seriously, congratulations, looking forward to see it in the flesh, or pulped wood form, or whatevs…

  22. Sandwiches are not my thing usually….you make it sound so exciting! I look forward to buying your book….your comments about writing at home made me laugh…I just finished my PhD and could totally relate to that!


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