“I went to Les Roches hospitality management school in Switzerland for my postgraduate studies and loved being in the kitchen, as well as behind the bar. It was here that I started dreaming up crazy recipes for my favourite Swedish chokladbollar (chocolate balls), which I was already making every week for my friends! It took me a few years to perfect the right proportion of ingredients to get a consistent and good chokladboll.”
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Making Here Home talks to Cath Brew, author of Living Elsewhere.
How did you find the ‘writing’ process? And how long did it take you to write the book?
It took a little over a year from the idea to publication. Initially I created a long list of typical expat scenarios and a guide of principles that set up an ethos for the book. From here I worked out how to depict each of those scenarios. Some were quite difficult and it took a few attempts to find the right way of expressing the situation or getting the right expression. My sketchbook came with me everywhere – I never left it in my car or anywhere that it could be stolen. In all honesty, it felt irreplaceable and became more important to me than my wallet or passport in my ways. I sketched out each drawing in pencil, before going over it in black pen. When all 100 were roughed out, I redrew them all again to a higher standard, scanned them and emailed them off to the publisher.
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“You need to read and write a lot,” she advises. “And to pitch and pitch. I have about three successes for every ten I send out and I try to pitch most days. Oh, and you need to think of yourself as a writer too.”
Now that is dedication, motivation and being serious about what she wants.
“It’s not just about pitching, though,” she continues. “You have to follow up once or twice too. I follow up first after a week. Many pieces were only picked up after my second follow-up call.”
We both agree that it’s vital a writer can ‘see where the stories are’. I believe that a writer can spot a paying market too. This is why Olga spends so much time online.
Chris O’Shaughnessy, author of ‘Arrivals, Departures and the Adventures in Between‘ talks to Displaced Nation about his #TCK upbringing, his book and his plans for the future.
The Interview | The Book