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

March 20, 2013

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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  • Reply nuttycow (@nuttycow) March 20, 2013 at 10:01 am

    Congratulations! I can’t wait to have a look. Will we get any sneak previews?

    • Reply Helen March 20, 2013 at 10:02 am

      Thank you! I’ll see what I can do *tee hee* (yes)

  • Reply Shaymabreakfast March 20, 2013 at 10:04 am

    Many, many congrats! You are amazing – so happy for you. Well done, you xo s

    • Reply Helen March 20, 2013 at 10:06 am

      Thank you Shayma! Very exciting.

  • Reply Helen March 20, 2013 at 10:06 am

    can I have a free signed copy? 😉

    • Reply Helen March 20, 2013 at 10:07 am

      Donald you need to sign out of my account before you comment, it looks like I’m talking to myself 😉

  • Reply Donald Edwards March 20, 2013 at 10:09 am

    can I have a free signed copy? 🙂

    • Reply Helen March 20, 2013 at 10:11 am

      I SUPPOSE so

  • Reply Asma March 20, 2013 at 10:17 am

    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!

    • Reply Helen March 20, 2013 at 10:19 am

      Ha ha ha ha, a fellow ‘sufferer’! Perhaps I can covert the non-sandwich lover?

  • Reply Food Urchin March 20, 2013 at 10:18 am

    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…

    • Reply Helen March 20, 2013 at 10:19 am

      I KNOW, RIGHT?! I’d barely eaten them before…(also thanks!)

  • Reply Helen March 20, 2013 at 10:21 am

    Ah massive congrats! Cannot wait for this!

    • Reply Helen March 20, 2013 at 10:22 am

      Thank you!

  • Reply Chloe March 20, 2013 at 10:54 am

    AMAZING. I can’t wait to see it. Huge congratulations!!

    • Reply Helen March 20, 2013 at 10:55 am

      Thanks Chloe!

  • Reply Meemalee March 20, 2013 at 11:02 am

    Brilliant news! I’m not keen on sarnies, but I’m happy to be converted!

    • Reply Helen March 20, 2013 at 11:04 am

      Ha ha, excellent. I shall spread the sandwich love!

  • Reply saskia March 20, 2013 at 11:23 am

    can’t wait to get this! already have the encyclopedia of sandwiches under my belt as a bible but this looks even better.

    • Reply Helen March 20, 2013 at 11:27 am

      Thank you! I hope you like it.

  • Reply Alicia (foodycat) March 20, 2013 at 11:26 am

    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!

    • Reply Helen March 20, 2013 at 11:27 am

      HA HA! Actual cash! Love it. I actually could do another 101…

  • Reply Su-Lin March 20, 2013 at 11:44 am

    Wooo! Congratulations, Helen!

    • Reply Helen March 20, 2013 at 11:45 am

      Thanks Su-Lin!

  • Reply aoife @ the gannet March 20, 2013 at 11:57 am

    i am very very excited about this.

  • Reply Victoria March 20, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    This is the best thing since sliced bread!

    • Reply Helen March 20, 2013 at 12:24 pm

      YES! Been waiting for a sandwich pun.

  • Reply Tori March 20, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    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.

  • Reply Paul March 20, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    Congratulations !
    Finishing is a bitch.
    Scrivener is the way to go best writing software I’ve ever used.

    • Reply Helen March 20, 2013 at 12:33 pm

      Thank you! I agree, finishing is, indeed, a bitch

  • Reply Gill Watson March 20, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    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.

    • Reply Helen March 20, 2013 at 12:35 pm

      Ha ha ha ha. Answer is it takes a looooong time. It also means a lot of weight gain.

  • Reply Gin and Crumpets March 20, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    Fantastic – look forward to reading it!

    • Reply Helen March 20, 2013 at 12:47 pm

      Cheers J!

  • Reply Becs @ Lay the table March 20, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    Congrats Helen, I can wait to drool all over it. Will you let us know when we can pre-order/post a link?

    • Reply Helen March 20, 2013 at 1:32 pm

      Will do! And thanks.

  • Reply Jimlad March 20, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    Fantastic news, well done Helen! To be a not satisfied customer here though, what about all of your other superb recipes? Are we going to see any of them in print? I bought Lisa’s book based on her blog (http://homesicktexan.blogspot.co.uk/). Well worth a read!

    • Reply Helen March 20, 2013 at 1:32 pm

      Well, you never know Jimlad…watch this space 😉

  • Reply Bron March 20, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    Brilliant! Look forward to finding a new sandwich or two

    • Reply Helen March 20, 2013 at 1:40 pm

      I hope so!

  • Reply Jess March 20, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    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’.

    • Reply Helen March 20, 2013 at 1:46 pm

      Goddamit I wish I’d put that quote in the book!

  • Reply Yas March 20, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    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.

    • Reply Helen March 20, 2013 at 2:53 pm

      Ha ha! Thank you. Awesome comment.

  • Reply Suz March 20, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    Amazing, I can’t wait to get my hands on this. Congratulations!

    • Reply Helen March 20, 2013 at 2:53 pm

      Cheers Suz!

  • Reply James March 20, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    I look forward to this and being inspired for my 2014 lunches….

    • Reply Helen March 20, 2013 at 3:43 pm

      Cheers James!

  • Reply Eileen March 20, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    Congratulations on your book! So wait, if you’re doing a PhD while writing a cookbook, aren’t you writing two books at once? WOW. You win. 🙂

    • Reply Helen March 20, 2013 at 5:57 pm

      Ha ha! GOOD POINT.

  • Reply Ben March 20, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    Have pre-ordered on Amazon. Can. Not. Wait.

    • Reply Helen March 20, 2013 at 5:57 pm

      Aww cheers Ben! I didn’t even realize it was available for pre order until someone told me!

  • Reply Jacqueline March 20, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    Good for you Helen. I look forward to reading it. Hope there are some veggie ones in there.

    • Reply Helen March 21, 2013 at 9:38 am

      Thank you! And of course…

  • Reply Ino March 20, 2013 at 8:08 pm

    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!

    • Reply Helen March 21, 2013 at 9:38 am

      AND a nervous breakdown!

  • Reply Bistro Becs March 21, 2013 at 9:37 am

    Fantastic news – congratulations! Looking forward to seeing it in the flesh 🙂

  • Reply Mark M March 21, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    Great post – looking fwd to working on the book!

    • Reply Helen March 21, 2013 at 12:22 pm

      Thanks Mark!

  • Reply Russ March 21, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    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?

    • Reply Helen March 21, 2013 at 1:06 pm

      Thanks Russ! As for the launch, yes, probably. As for the publishing question, absolutely no idea whatsoever.

  • Reply msmarmitelover March 21, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    Looking forward to this. And thanks for the info about Scrivener, I didn’t know about that and am embarking upon two books as we speak…

    • Reply Helen March 21, 2013 at 4:18 pm

      Excellent, glad to be of assistance! It’s awesome.

  • Reply Amanda March 22, 2013 at 4:01 am

    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.

    • Reply Helen March 22, 2013 at 2:39 pm

      So do I! Ha ha.

  • Reply Y March 22, 2013 at 8:06 am

    AWESOME. Massive congrats. Ever thought about also writing a book about how to write a book?

    • Reply Helen March 22, 2013 at 2:40 pm

      Ooh now there’s an idea, although I think that’s about all the advice I have in me ha ha.

  • Reply Kavey March 22, 2013 at 9:23 am

    How lovely. I don’t do enough with sandwiches really. I ought to. I do love them.

    • Reply Helen March 22, 2013 at 2:40 pm

      Yes! Everyone should be eating more sandwiches.

  • Reply Biggest Jim March 22, 2013 at 11:38 am

    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.

    • Reply Helen March 22, 2013 at 2:40 pm

      Aww cheers Jim! Will do.

  • Reply Rosie March 22, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    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)

    • Reply Helen March 22, 2013 at 2:41 pm

      yay! A fellow fanatic. Hmmm 101 spicy dishes eh..I’ll get onto it.

  • Reply Russell Lewis March 22, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    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)

    • Reply Helen March 23, 2013 at 10:32 am

      Ha! Well sure ill put it in (possible fib)

  • Reply Jordi March 23, 2013 at 11:30 am

    How exciting! Congratulations

    • Reply Helen March 23, 2013 at 12:54 pm

      Cheers Jordi!

  • Reply niamh March 23, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    Such awesome news. Sounds like a great book. Can’t wait to see it. Your advice is spot on.


    • Reply Helen March 25, 2013 at 2:27 am

      The advice is spot on …. and you know it…. x

  • Reply Luis March 23, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    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.

  • Reply MattB March 23, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    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.

    • Reply Helen March 25, 2013 at 2:29 am

      Awesome, I’ve never heard of the bake and shark. However I will look it up. Stat. Also, what was your PhD in?

  • Reply Ashley Bee (Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine) March 25, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    Ohhh congrats on the book! I want to read it and make all the yummy sandwiches 🙂

    • Reply Helen March 26, 2013 at 9:32 am

      Thank you! Hope you enjoy it.

  • Reply Jesse Brown March 26, 2013 at 2:20 am

    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!

    • Reply Helen March 26, 2013 at 9:32 am

      Ha! Another convert. Result!

  • Reply Gabriel March 26, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    This book seems to be interesting, looking forward to take a look at it it so much!

  • Reply Rachel McGrath March 27, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    Oooh I like the look of this!

    • Reply Helen March 28, 2013 at 10:16 am

      I hope you like it!

  • Reply MattB March 28, 2013 at 3:29 am

    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!

    • Reply Helen March 28, 2013 at 10:16 am

      Yes I got it and now I can’t find it! I’m just moving house so when I sort my books out…

  • Reply Abigail Scheuer March 28, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    I love sandwiches and I love books. I think that the combination must be splendid. Will definitely check it out!

  • Reply rej March 31, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    oh my good god this sounds amazing. Consider it bought!

    • Reply Helen April 1, 2013 at 12:53 pm

      Thanks Rej!

  • Reply Jonathan April 3, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    Amazing. This is wonderful news. It looks amazing and I can’t wait to get my mits on a copy. Mah-usive congratulations.

    • Reply Helen April 3, 2013 at 2:57 pm

      Awww my fellow sandwich fan originale! Cheers dude.

  • Reply Tony April 3, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    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

    • Reply Helen April 3, 2013 at 3:15 pm

      I shall check it out! Never found a good one. Thanks!

  • Reply Jackie April 3, 2013 at 11:11 pm

    Massive congratulations to you! Great work :))

    • Reply Helen April 4, 2013 at 8:11 am

      Thanks Jackie!

  • Reply Tony April 4, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    Just had a Croque at Connaught – they changed it to a toasty lol don’t dont do it!!

    • Reply Helen April 4, 2013 at 3:28 pm

      Whaaaaaa?! Not good though?

  • Reply Tony April 4, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    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!

    • Reply Helen April 4, 2013 at 9:40 pm

      Well, I agree, quite frankly. It should.

  • Reply leigh April 9, 2013 at 7:59 am

    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….!

    • Reply Helen April 9, 2013 at 9:16 am

      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?

  • Reply FeedTheTang April 9, 2013 at 10:54 am

    Sorry I am so late to this amazing news! Congrats Helen!

    • Reply Helen April 9, 2013 at 10:55 am

      Aww thank you!

  • Reply Chris April 9, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    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 🙂

    • Reply Helen April 10, 2013 at 1:57 pm

      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 🙂

  • Reply Cinabar April 12, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    Congrats on the book – loved your advice to, made me lol 🙂

  • Reply lars samuelson October 3, 2013 at 6:53 am

    I’ve just orderd your book on on amazon- I just love sandwiches or smorgasar as they are known in sweden. love your site good luck

    • Reply Helen October 3, 2013 at 8:28 am

      There’s a smorrebrod inside! You must forgive the misprint on the pronunciation however!

  • Reply lars samuelson October 22, 2013 at 6:21 am

    I’v gotten your book fantastic! I will start baking this weekend. My wife loves it too!!
    Oh! happy day :o)

    • Reply Helen October 22, 2013 at 9:32 am

      Fab! So pleased you like it. And thank you for letting me know!

  • Reply Lars Samueslon January 15, 2014 at 6:54 am

    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

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