Get tips on how to create your better way. It's free!  

Given email address is already subscribed, thank you!
Oops. Something went wrong. Please try again later.
Please provide a valid email address.
Thank you, your sign-up request was successful! Please check your e-mail inbox.
Please complete the CAPTCHA.
Please fill in the required fields.

Susan Branch Interview (Page 3)

Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

…Of course they liked the pages, but I wasn’t sure they were really telling me the truth. Then I called up a publisher out of the yellow pages, and I asked, “If I were going to do this book, how many pages would you want to see?” He said 50. So that gave me a kind of goal. And I thought, “OK, I’m gonna do it.” So I did about 10 pages, and then I pretty much stopped for about a year.

Because of all that not believing in yourself and all that doubt was sinking in, “Who are you? Nobody cares, nobody is going to want it, and that’s all. I can’t write a cookbook and I just can’t do this.” So I quit.

Sarah: Wow, for a whole year? I would have never guessed that! What got you going again?

Susan: Well, my real inspiration was that I always made all my Christmas presents every year and I thought, “Why don’t I just do 50 pages and then if it doesn’t sell, I’ll just have 50 Christmas presents all done.” I was already painting for people for Christmas, so why not? And THAT is what got me to the 50 pages. It was a win-win situation. I was really doing it for myself to give as presents. And that’s what really made it happen.  And, I put in quotes because other people were smarter and better than I was. When I finally got to the Girlfriends book that’s when I finally started to believe that I actually could write.

You know it takes a long time before you call yourself a writer, before you call yourself an artist. I mean, writing that on your income tax returns is such a shock. But really there is no other choice, because that’s where your income comes from, but it still is really quite a surprise.

Sarah: Were you scared? When you would sit down in the morning to write, even though you were doing it for yourself, was there any fear? Or was it just fun for you?

Susan: It was the joy of giving the Christmas presents and I also really wrote the book for my mother and my sisters because my sisters were in their early 20’s at the time, and I had so much self-confidence because of my cooking. So I wanted to give that to other women. I knew what mothers were going through because I saw what my mother did.

Although she never complained, you couldn’t look at her and not know that she just gave up everything. I wanted to thank her. I wanted the cookbooks to reach her and all women who read it and think, “Hey, I can really do a great job at cooking and for people to get a little credit for a change.”

That is a theme that goes all through my books: “You are wonderful and what you do is wonderful” so this was a way for me to express that. The quotes that I picked for the book had that in mind, things like “You can do it” and “Believe in yourself.” And I was saying that as much for readers as I was for myself.

It’s only our own imagination that is the limitation in anything we do. And I wanted to provide a way for women to hear the words “Thank you” or “Wow, that food was good.” It was a way for them to hear compliments. I made sure the recipes were really good so they could hear those words. In the end, it really a was a gift to me.

By the way, that’s really what “gifted” means, that you’ve been given a gift. When I moved out to Martha’s Vineyard, I didn’t have a voice. I mean, I knew no one …(cont)

Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Comments are closed.