The Monday Morning Cooking Club, authors of The Feast Goes On, answer Ten Terrifying Questions

Click here to grab a copyThe Booktopia Book Guru asks

The Monday Morning Cooking Club

authors of The Feast Goes On

Ten Terrifying Questions
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1.To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourselves – where were you born? Raised? Schooled?

We all live in Sydney, Australia but we have come from all over: Perth, Melbourne, Sydney, South Africa. And our family backgrounds are even more diverse, reflecting the Jewish community’s melting pot: Hungary, Poland, Russia via China, South Africa, England.

2. What did you want to be when you were twelve, eighteen and thirty? And why?

When we were twelve we were all consumed with what was in our lunch boxes and pantries. Some of us were getting schnitzel on rye and really wanted Vegemite on white bread.  Some of our pantries were stocked with kosher salami, dill pickles and poppyseed cake and all we really wanted were biscuits from a packet and bought jam swiss rolls. What did we want to be? Like everybody else!

When we were eighteen we were discovering our passion for food. Learning and loving to cook, throwing our first dinner parties and searching for good food. What did we want to be? Grown up and accomplished. mmcc_slider_girlswhite

When we were thirty we were all consumed with motherhood, trying to find the time for a cup of tea and a delicious piece of cake and striving to find the right life/work balance. What did we want to be? Less sleep deprived than we were!

3. What strongly held belief did you have at eighteen that you do not have now?

At eighteen, we were all so sure we knew more than our mothers. As we grow older and wiser, and have 18 year old daughters ourselves, we have learned the adage is true: ‘mother is always right.’

4. What were three big events – in the family circle or on the world stage or in your reading life, for example – you can now say, had a great effect on you and influenced you in your career path?

Growing up, more so than any one event, the continual celebrations that went on in all our homes each and every year for Jewish festivals (passover, Jewish New Year, Yom Kippur) and weekly Friday night feasts for Sabbath eve together with mothers who were committed and passionate about cooking and feeding their families.  2: On a larger scale, the immigration to Australia from countries as far and wide as Vietnam, Greece, Hungary, Russia and South Africa has given our lives in Australia a cultural and culinary diversity which has enriched our national makeup and palate. 3: The creation of our first book Monday Morning Cooking Club – the food the stories the sisterhood’. The years we spent collecting, testing and preserving family heirloom recipes filled us with a great joy, and taught us so much along the way.

5. Considering the innumerable electronic media avenues open to you – blogs, online newspapers, TV, radio, etc – why have you chosen to write a book? aren’t they obsolete?

Printed cookbooks will never be obsolete. Some of us think that there is nothing more enjoyable than taking your latest cookbook to bed and reading it cover to cover, ogling the beautiful photos and feeling the pages between your fingers.

6. Please tell us about your latest book…Click here to grab a copy

The Feast Goes On features the best loved and most delicious stories from the heart and soul of our community right across Australia. It is not a book of Jewish food per se, it’s a book of recipes from Jewish kitchens, collected from countries far and wide. The book speaks of a community drawn together by food, with intimate and moving stories of sharing and survival, love and hope, friendship and family. It is full of precious family recipes passed down from past generations through to recipes that will become instant family favourites.The book has recipes for every occasion – from every day eating to feasting, light lunches to fressing, comfort food to traditional dishes – which will nurture, nourish and inspire.

Grab a copy of The Feast Goes On here

7. If your work could change one thing in this world – what would it be?

To find, collect, recreate and publish all those wonderful heirloom recipes from the older generation before they are lost forever. We believe the old recipes still fit so well into our contemporary world.

8. Whom do you most admire and why?
Click here to grab a copy
As a group, without a doubt, we place our grandmothers on the highest pedestal. We look back with wonder on how they managed to nurture and feed their families the most exquisite dishes without any of today’s mod-cons; plucking chickens to produce golden roasts, pickling and preserving anything and everything to get though the winter, home baked bread made from scratch, the lightest of chiffon cakes, flaky pastries crammed with dried fruit and nuts.

9. Many people set themselves very ambitious goals. What are yours?

Our goal is to create a contemporary face for Australian Jewish cuisine. One important part of this is to preserve those treasured recipes from the older generation for our generation, and from our generation for the future. The other important aspect is that we are a not-for-profit company and will continue to raise substantial funds for charity.

10.      What advice do you give aspiring writers?

Always follow your dream, don’t be afraid to ask for help and don’t be dissuaded by the ’NO’s’. Doors open at the most unexpected times!

Monday Morning Cooking Club, thank you for playing!

Grab a copy of The Feast Goes On here

Emma Sutherland & Michelle Thrift, authors of 50 Foods That Will Change Your Life, answers Ten Terrifying Questions

50-foods-that-will-change-your-lifeThe Booktopia Book Guru asks

Emma Sutherland & Michelle Thrift

Co-authors of 50 Foods That Will Change Your Life

Ten Terrifying Questions

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1. To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled?

EMMA: I was born and raised in Melbourne. After finishing high school in Melbourne I completed my naturopathy and science degrees in Sydney.

MICHELLE:
-I was born in Sydney Australia.

-Raised in South West Suburbs of Sydney.

-Schooled in Catholic schools in South West suburbs of Sydney.

-Trained in commercial cookery and home economics in some of Sydney’s Top Culinary Colleges.

2. What did you want to be when you were 12, 18 and 30? And why?

Continue reading

Welcome to the world baby Kimye! A gift from your fans at Booktopia

KIM-KARDASHIAN-BARE-BABY-BUMP-570Like the little drummer boy, one can often feel at a loss as to what to buy the offspring of the world’s hottest couple. Fear not – Haylee Nash shares her recommendations on the best buys for baby (and entourage).

Oh joyous day! After six months of anxious waiting, the happy day is here at last!

That’s right, glamazon, enterpreneur and true north on our moral compass Kim Kardashian and rapper/lover of women/ultimate man-bag Kanye West have finally welcomed their little bundle of joy into the world and I could not be happier.

But what to give the couple and their precious package to celebrate this most blessed occasion? Books of course! We here at Booktopia have compiled a list especially for the new family, one that is sure to see them through any crisis, whether fashion-related or otherwise.

Continue reading

Lorraine Elliott, author of Not Quite Nigella, answers Ten Terrifying Questions

not-quite-nigellaThe Booktopia Book Guru asks

Lorraine Elliott

author of Not Quite Nigella

Ten Terrifying Questions

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1.To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled?

I was born in Darlinghurst, Sydney, and raised in Maroubra and then Kensington. I went to school at Sydney Girls’ High School where I was an average student at best!

2.What did you want to be when you were 12, 18 and 30? And why?

At 12, I wanted to be a beautician because I loved the idea of beautifying people or making them feel better. At 18, I knew that I didn’t want to become a psychologist despite the fact that I was studying it at university (alarm, yes!) and at 30, I thought I wanted to be an Advertising Media Director until I was told that I just really wasn’t ready to be that for another ten years or so.

Continue reading

Hannah Kent, author of Burial Rites, answers Ten Terrifying Questions

 burial-ritesThe Booktopia Book Guru asks

Hannah Kent

author of Burial Rites

Ten Terrifying Questions

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1. To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled?

I was the first baby born in Adelaide on the Easter Sunday of 1985. My parents raised me and my little sister amid the gums and oak trees of the Adelaide Hills, where I spent a lot of my time running around in paddocks, building cubbies, and attending the local schools. I had an idyllic childhood.

2. What did you want to be when you were twelve, eighteen and thirty? And why?

Continue reading

Kelly Doust, author of The Crafty Minx at Home, answers Ten Terrifying Questions

the-crafty-minx-at-homeThe Booktopia Book Guru asks

Kelly Doust

author of The Crafty Minx at Home
and more

Ten Terrifying Questions

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1. To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled?

I was born in Perth but raised mostly in Sydney’s Inner West. Our family moved around a lot when we were children so I attended something like seven or eight different schools. This made me adaptable, but also gave me quite a restless, wandering spirit.

2. What did you want to be when you were twelve, eighteen and thirty? And why?

From the age of about six or seven I wanted to write and starting making up short stories and prose for my family (most memorably, a poem imaginatively titled ‘My dog’ when our beloved childhood pet died). My dream of being a writer never really changed, but I’ve certainly had a few failed careers in the interim. I’ve finished exactly one year of a hairdresser’s apprenticeship, and I never quite cut it in the corporate world. I also thought that if I couldn’t write, I’d study to be a fashion designer. I might still do that one day.

3. What strongly held belief did you have at eighteen that you do not have now?

The better question would be what strongly-held belief didn’t I have… the older I get, the more I realise that life is less black & white than I thought it was then, and people are much more complex and fascinating than I ever gave them credit for. I’m friends with people who vote differently, follow religion, and even listen to different music than me these days.

I did think I’d never marry or have children, though. I was wrong.

4. What were three big events – in the family circle or on the world stage or in your reading life, for example – you can now say, had a great effect on you and influenced you in your career path?Kelly-Doust-2-web

Apart from my dog dying?

- My father taught me to read before school, and fed me novels from an early age. I remember reading John Irving’s A Prayer for Owen Meany when I was about twelve, and it was like the world of adult motivations and weirdness suddenly opened up for me. I realised how randomly strange, violent and beautiful they could be, and wanted to grow up and be one, like, immediately.

- I had a couple of seriously inspiring English teachers at the various schools I attended. They seemed to disagree with other members of the faculty who thought I was a hopeless case who’d never amount to anything (I had a maths teacher once who actually said this to me – in his defence, I was playing the class clown by pretending to chop off my tongue with a pair of scissors at the time, so he may have had a point). These two brave, wonderful women encouraged me to pursue writing.

- Several years ago I had a good job in an industry I loved, but wasn’t doing anything creative to speak of and I certainly wasn’t writing. Two things happened: a dear friend encouraged me to put a book proposal together, and I fell pregnant. Both gave me the courage to quit my job and start writing The Crafty Minx. I never thought I’d see a good side to the rubbish maternity leave provisions in Australia (which did improve somewhat after I left full-time employment) but if they had been better, I might not be writing now.

5. Considering the innumerable electronic media avenues open to you – blogs, online newspapers, TV, radio, etc – why have you chosen to write a book? aren’t they obsolete?

You’re trying to rile me, I can tell.

Other forms of entertainment are important (and distracting), but surely there will always be people who want to sink their teeth into something as meaty as a full-length book? I don’t think anything can replace the beauty of books as objects to covet, touch and possess. Especially illustrated titles, which only grow more tailored and exceptional as time wears on.

This is probably a good time to point out my books are also sold as e-books, and look lovely on e-readers.

the-crafty-minx-at-home6. Please tell us about your latest book…

The Crafty Minx at Home: 50+ handmade and recycled objects for beautiful living is about the things closest to my heart: living the handmade life and appreciating the beauty of vintage objects. It also shares the joy in making things yourself and sharing them with loved ones.

From the Publisher:

A gorgeous guide to creating an original, appealing and handmade home, The Crafty Minx at Home is all about the joy of making things by hand so as to create a uniquely personal home around your favourite people.

Sharing her passion for making and collecting special items for decoration and use within the home, Kelly Doust shows readers how to make and collect for a lifetime and longer, creating the treasured family heirlooms of tomorrow. Featuring 50+ immediately do-able craft projects and a wealth of advice on how to source beautiful vintage items and materials in flea markets, charity shops and auction houses, plus tips on how to display and use them in your home, The Crafty Minx at Home is a pretty, inspiring and practical guide to making, collecting and transforming handmade and vintage objects for the home.

Revel in the joys of a home-made life, times shared with family and friends, and the joy of making and feathering your nest with exquisite handmade or vintage items to feed both heart and soul, with The Crafty Minx at Home.

7. If your work could change one thing in this world – what would it be?

To make people more mindful of how unsustainable our culture of waste and want is, both spiritually and for the environment.

8. Whom do you most admire and why?

Anyone who stays true to themselves but manages to do so with respect for other people. In terms of famous identities, I really admire Jamie Oliver for his passion, ambition and success. He seems like a good person to me. And writers such as Jeannette Winterson, Lena Dunham, Jonathan Tropper and Annie Proulx blow me away with their insight and talent.fun-family-crafts

9. Many people set themselves very ambitious goals. What are yours?

My goals are no less ambitious. I’d like to make a living as a writer for the rest of my days, and see my books translated into different languages all over the world. I also wish I could live between Europe and Australia in future, and be an exceptional mother. Is that too much to ask?

10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?

Read, especially in the genre you’d like to write in. And as the Nike tagline goes, just do it. Unfortunately, talking about writing doesn’t help put those words on the page. You have to actually sit down and put yourself through what can, at times, feel like an excruciating ordeal. Then you’ll have something to play with. Be prepared for it to be rubbish to begin with – it’s not possible to edit an empty page, and you will improve.

Also, don’t do it for any other reason than that you love it and feel like some part of you isn’t complete unless you’re able to write. Relatively speaking, there are very few massively successful authors in the world. If you’re in it for the money or status, you might find yourself brutally disillusioned. That said, failure’s the best instigator there is, so throw yourself into it with everything you’ve got.

Kelly, thank you for playing.

Annabelle Brayley, editor of Bush Nurses, answers Ten Terrifying Questions

The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Annabelle Brayley

editor of Bush Nurses

Ten Terrifying Questions

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1. To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled?

I was born and raised with four brothers on the western Darling Downs in Queensland; and schooled at the local state primary school then as a boarder at St Margaret’s Girls School, Brisbane.

2. What did you want to be when you were 12, 18 and 30? And why?

12: Not sure

18: Hair dresser- it appealed to my creative, chatty side I think. I liked the idea of hearing people’s stories and doesn’t everyone tell their hairdresser everything?

By 50: I wanted to be a published storyteller.

3. What strongly held belief did you have at 18 that you do not have now?

I believed people were lucky when I was young. Now I know you make your own luck by recognising opportunities and making the most of them.

4. What were three big events – in the family circle or on the world stage or in your reading life, for example – you can now say, had a great effect on you and influenced you in your career path?

1. My mother reading us The Hobbit and all the Australian children’s classics…Seven Little Australians, the Billabong books etc. when we were kids.

2. Reading Pieces of Blue by Kerry McGuiness. It was/is a really beautiful piece of writing about life in outback Australia. It inspired me to keep writing and pitching.

3 Mark Muller, Editor of RM William’s OUTBACK Magazine giving me a break and publishing my first story in the magazine in 2006.

5. Considering the innumerable electronic media avenues open to you – blogs, online newspapers, TV, radio, etc – why have you chosen to write a book? Aren’t they obsolete?

Absolutely not! Nothing beats the feel of a real book, actually physically turning the pages to journey through the story. It’s a partnership with the author that just doesn’t work electronically.

6. Please tell us about your latest book…

It’s a collection of stories about nurses who work/have worked in rural and remote areas of Australia. Their amazing stories, some of which are hair-raising, some funny, some sad, reflect the enormous contribution nurses have made to the medical, social and economic wellbeing and sustainability of the outback.

From The Publisher:

It takes something special to be a bush nurse working in rural and remote Australia. These remarkable women patch people up and keep them alive while waiting for the doctor to arrive. They drive the ambulances, operate the clinics and deliver the babies. They are on call around the clock and there are no days off. They often make do with whatever is at hand while working in some of the most isolated places on the planet.

Be they devastating family tragedies, close scrapes with bushfires or encounters with true larrikins of the outback, some stories will make your hair stand on end, others will make you laugh and some will make your cry. With tales from Birdsville to Bedourie, Oodnadatta to Uluru, you’ll be amazed at the courage and resourcefulness of these nurses who have been the backbone of medical practice in remote Australia for more than a hundred years.

Click here to buy Bush Nurses from Booktopia,
Australia’s Local Bookstore

7. If Bush Nurses could change one thing in this world – what would it be?

People’s understanding and appreciation of rural and remote nurses and the work they do in the outback. They are usually multi skilled and extraordinarily well qualified because of the broad range of their experience. Often they are the only immediate medical help available.

8. Whom do you most admire and why?

• Peter Ford (CEO Control Bionics)… brilliant, focused, compassionate, imaginative and courageous.

Jessica Watson…young Australian yachtsman…focused, resilient, determined to follow her dream.

• The young Royals…displaying grace under the most extreme pressure.

9. Many people set themselves very ambitious goals. What are yours?

To make a living out of writing.

10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?

Don’t give up on your dream and write about what you know (unless you’re into fantasy). Keep pitching and recognise the potential of any opportunity presented to you.

Annabelle, thank you for playing.

Click here to buy Bush Nurses from Booktopia,
Australia’s Local Bookstore

OUT NOW: Career Mums by Kate Sykes and Allison Tait

‘I want to go back to work.’

No matter what your story, your reasons, your philosophy, chances are that if you’re a mum, one day you’ll find yourself saying a version of those words.

And then wondering how you’ll make it happen.

This is a practical game plan, designed to get you back into work and help you stay there.

WITH EXCELLENT TIPS AND ADVICE ON HOW TO:

* MAKE YOUR JOB WORK FOR YOU
* NEGOTIATE FLEXIBLE HOURS
* START A WHOLE NEW CAREER

CAREER MUMS WILL SHOW YOU HOW TO GET THE BEST OUT OF BOTH WORLDS

Click here to order your copy of Career Mums from Booktopia,
Australia’s No. 1 Online Book Shop

About the Authors:

Allison Tait is an experienced journalist who has been writing for books, magazines and newspapers for more than twenty years. Her list of writing credits includes magazines such as Marie Claire, Madison, Vogue Australia, CLEO, Cosmopolitan and Sunday Life, as well as newspapers including The Sydney Morning Herald and The Sunday Telegraph, and ninemsn’s Finance and Careers websites, kidspot.com.au and other sites. She is the author of Credit Card Stressbusters: Slash your credit card debt in 90 days (Wrightbooks), and documents her life as a writer and mother of two on her blog, lifeinapinkfibro.blogspot.com.

Kate Sykes is the founder of careermums.com.au, Australia’s first dedicated careers centre and jobs board for working parents and parents returning to work. She also runs a recruitment business called Lift – liftrecruitment.com.au – and is a workforce planning specialist, working with businesses to implement flexible workplace policies and strategies for retaining parents after parental leave. She is a member of AHRI (Australian Human Resources Institute), the chair of the Canberra Business Council’s Workstyles Committee, and 2010/11 Telstra ACT Business Woman of the Year.

Extract

Introduction

I want to go back to work. I need to go back to work. I have to go back to work.

No matter what your story, your reasons, your philosophy, chances are that if you’re a mum, one day you’ll find yourself saying a version of those words. And then wondering how you’ll make it happen.

In January 2010, the government introduced the right to request flexibility in the workplace. But introducing the right doesn’t necessarily make it easy to approach the boss. What you need is someone to talk you through it, show you how it’s done, explain your rights and responsibilities – and help you get the desired results.

This book is not an overview or a review of how someone else did it, though there’s lots of shared experience here. This is a practical game plan, designed to get you back into work and help you stay there.

It won’t tell you how to make your toddler sleep at night so you can get to work. But it will give you practical advice on negotiating a flexible work arrangement, so that your toddler sees enough of you and doesn’t feel the need to stay awake all night to ‘catch up’. It won’t teach you how to fix a relationship that’s buckling under dual workloads. It will give you the tips and tricks you need to organise parental and household duties so that resentment doesn’t become an extra member of your family. Continue reading

Kaz Cooke, author of Up the Duff and now Women’s Stuff, answers Ten Terrifying Questions

The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Kaz Cooke

author of Up the Duff, Kidwrangling, Girl Stuff and now Women’s Stuff

Ten Terrifying Questions

———————————

1. To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled?

I am a Melbourne girl in my late 40s who spent primary school in the suburbs and high school by the bay, and formative years in the inner city being a “baby” journalist for The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald. I started my working life when I’d just turned 18 and left school. The other places I’ve loved living for a while are Sydney and Darwin. I’d say I was professionally schooled by the sub editor’s desk at The Age. They were so loomy and terrifying, you made sure you didn’t make a mistake or use an unchecked source. They taught me the fear of inaccuracy, the fear of missing a deadline. I already had the terror of being Continue reading

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