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Nourishment by Daryl Wood Gerber

What do we need as people for nourishment? Food.

What do we need as authors for nourishment? Inspiration.

What do we need as fans for nourishment? Good stories.

Life is great; reading makes it better!

These are the three reasons I like writing the Cookbook Nook Mysteries.

The first: they’re about food, so I find myself writing about food, thinking about food, coveting food, and taste-testing recipes.

The latter happens to be the most fun. If my recipes don’t work for me, I won’t share them with my readers. As I pick a theme for my next book and pour over cookbooks searching for ideas for recipes, I find myself nourished at a whole other level.

The second: whenever I do research for my Cookbook Nook mysteries, I find so much inspiration.

Why? Because I gave Jenna’s father, Cary, a fun quirk. He loves memorizing quotes so he can turn to words of inspiration when in need.  He shares this love with Jenna and her pals. As I look for pithy quotes, I find I’m inspired. I’ve printed out many and have posted some around my workspace.

“The primary sign of a well-ordered mind is a man’s ability to remain in one place and linger in his own company.”
–Seneca

[This sign hangs in Cary’s hardware shop.]

“Courage is not the absence of despair; it is, rather, the capacity to move ahead in spite of despair.”
Rollo May

[Shared when Jenna had to move forward with her life.]

“Youth is a wonderful thing. What a crime to waste it on children.”
–George Bernard Shaw

[This one made me laugh!]

The third: Like you, I’m a reader, too. I love a good story. Because of that, I try my best as an author to give you, my fan, a good story!

This means that whenever I’m writing, I try to think like a fan. What would I like to read? Yes, I write about murder because I love a puzzle. But I also write about family. I think that’s why my readers like my books. I delve into these complex relationships. Family matters to my protagonists. Also I explore the depths of friendship because my protagonists have so many “extended” family members.

“People need dreams; there’s as much nourishment in them as food. ”
–Dorothy Gilman

“The nourishment of our souls comes from the smiles of others. ”
Steve Maraboli

“Food brings people together on many different levels. It’s nourishment of the soul and body; it’s truly love. ”
–Giada De Laurentiis

Nourishment. We need it. We crave it. We love it.

My dear readers, may reading good books fill your souls. May reading about food inspire you to cook and/or fill your tummies with tasty treats. Savor the mystery!

So…what nourishes you?

About the Author: Daryl Wood Gerber

DarylWoodGerberbioAgatha Award-winning and bestselling author DARYL WOOD GERBER ventures into the world of suspense with her debut novel, GIRL ON THE RUN.

Daryl also writes the Cookbook Nook Mysteries, and as Avery Aames, she pens the Cheese Shop Mysteries. Her latest Cookbook Nook Mystery: Grilling the Subject publishes August 2, 2016.

Fun tidbit: as an actress, Daryl appeared in “Murder, She Wrote”. She has also jumped out of a perfectly good airplane and hitchhiked around Ireland by herself. She loves to read and has a frisky Goldendoodle named Sparky. Visit Daryl at www.darylwoodgerber.com.

What’s Next? by Daryl Wood Gerber

Lake Tahoe - Setting of Daryl Wood Gerber's Book Girl on the Run

What’s next? What came first? Let’s see. I wrote as a girl. I wrote as a teen. I had teachers that told me not to and that I wasn’t any good, and sadly, I listened. I put aside my writing and became an actress. Luckily, I was pretty good and I worked a lot. I made a decent living. However, along the way, I realized in order to become a star, I needed projects, and the best way to do that was to write one for myself.

Typical me, I got right on it. I took classes. We read each other’s screenplays out loud. I learned. I studied. I wrote "Sparky"romantic comedies as well as thrillers. I was lucky enough to sell a show for which I created the format on television. But I couldn’t entice an agent to love my work and put me on the fast track.

Soon after, I moved out of state for my husband’s career. I couldn’t very well take a meeting (Hollywood speak for have lunch and chat about a project) from 3,000 miles away, so what did I do? I gave up screenwriting and decided I could still write…novels. But which genre? I loved mysteries. I loved thrillers. I wasn’t into rom-com. I decided upon suspense as well as mystery, and I started taking more classes. I joined Sisters in Crime and joined critique groups. I learned a ton!!! Then I submitted to agents. Over and over!! I was the rejection queen in my Sisters in Crime online group, the Guppies.

Finally I landed a contract to write the Cheese Shop Mysteries and that sealed my fate. I became known as a cozy mystery author. I followed that series with the Cookbook Nook Mysteries and narrowed my fate even more. I am currently known as a culinary cozy mystery author. I know cheese; I know cookbooks; I happen to be a cook. Presto!

Daryl Wood Gerber's BookshelvesNow don’t get me wrong, I love what I do. I love my fans. I have a great career.

So why self-publish a suspense novel like GIRL ON THE RUN? Because I want to see if I can.

You see, I still love writing suspense. Love it! And I wondered if my stories would resonate with my fans. I have a pretty darned good fan base! Not to mention, I still have eight suspense/thriller manuscripts on my shelves (or in my computer), and I’m wondering whether there is a future for them.

So far, thanks to my early-reader fans (beta readers) I’m finding that Girl on the Run is resonating. They are delighted with the story. The reviews they have posted on Goodreads (they can’t post on Amazon until the book releases) have been enthusiastic to the max and extremely heartwarming for me.

Does this mean I’ll throw over traditional publishing? No! I really like being published by a reputable publisher. I love working with Berkley Prime Crime. They have been very good to me.

However, when I asked my agent to market Girl on the Run, which had a different title at the time, my publisher and a few other publishers weren’t interested for a couple of reasons.

One: It wasn’t as tightly written as it is now. I rewrote it after the publishers rejected it. I took their notes to heart, and I was brutal to my baby. I cut out 40 pages and a few unnecessary points of view. The result is a tighter read with a faster pace.

Two: I wasn’t a known suspense author. Publishers really don’t like to switch an author’s brand midstream. They want to buy the known commodity. So do fans. I am a cozy mystery author. Period. There will be plenty of my fans that won’t want to read Girl on the Run based on that alone. Sigh.

Caveat to my devoted cozy mystery readers: Girl on the Run does not have any bad language, there is no explicit sex, and most of the crime happens off the page. The story is about Chessa, on the run, in search of the truth. It’s not a cozy but it’s not spooky, scary, or gross, and no children or animals were harmed during the making of this book! There are no recipes included.

So, therefore, as a suspense author, I am starting over.

Lake Tahoe - Setting of "Girl on the Run" by Daryl Wood Gerber

I’m looking for a new audience or trying to expand my current audience. What is my brand? I’m not sure. Maybe it’s: I’m a California girl! I will set all of my thrillers somewhere in California. And I’m a thrill-seeker. I have jumped out of a perfectly good airplane and hitchhiked around Ireland by myself. Definitely not cozy.

But let’s address the initial question: what’s next?

I have a few cozy mystery proposals with publishers right now. We’ll see if they want to sign new contracts. I have to admit I have enjoyed the process of self-publishing. It has been a blast!

And, as I mentioned, I do have more suspense novels written, but I will need to rewrite them, and I will have to be DWG girl on the run ebookeven more brutal than I was with GIRL ON THE RUN. So there is possibly another one to eight self-published suspense novels on the horizon. One a year? We’ll see.

FYI, my virtual assistant has been invaluable in this project! I could not have done it without her. I would have been pulling my hair out. She has taught me the ins and outs of social media and self-publishing. Everyone deserves her as a mentor!

Also coming up: GRILLING THE SUBJECT, the 5th in my Cookbook Nook Mystery series debuts August. I’m writing the 6th in the series, although I don’t have a contract for that yet. If I don’t get one, because who knows what will happen in this volatile publishing world, I’ll self-publish it.

My motto has become “One day at a time, one step at a time.”

Life has changed drastically for me over this past year. I intend to pay attention to what life has to offer, whether in my writing or in my personal life and family life, and I intend to to drink it in: One sip at a time.

Savor the mystery.

About the Author: Daryl Wood Gerber

DarylWoodGerberbioAgatha Award-winning and bestselling author DARYL WOOD GERBER ventures into the world of suspense with her debut novel, GIRL ON THE RUN. Daryl also writes the Cookbook Nook Mysteries, and as Avery Aames, she pens the Cheese Shop Mysteries.

Fun tidbit: as an actress, Daryl appeared in “Murder, She Wrote”. She has also jumped out of a perfectly good airplane and hitchhiked around Ireland by herself. She loves to read and has a frisky Goldendoodle named Sparky. Visit Daryl at www.darylwoodgerber.com.

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