So your book's doing well?
Well, you know, it's hard to say, yet.
You made number six on the L.A. Times list.
We fell off this week.
There haven't been a lot of critical reviews, yet.
We've got a very nice review coming up in Publisher's Weekly which is
important. Supposedly there's going to a feature between now and the beginning of June
in Entertainment Weekly. That'll be good. I'm holding to see what the food
periodicals do to me: Bon
Appétit, Food and Wine. I'm not very popular in the
food community because I thumb my nose at a lot of traditional things and
don't pay proper respect to certain things. That's okay. So I don't know
what they'll do to me. I'd like them to like it. I'd like that acceptance.
You know, you work on a book... Books are so different from television.
Television, half an hour it's gone. That book sits there and people can look
at that one sentence six times if they want to. In television they can't.
It's scary. Books are frightening things. The whole time I was working on it,
I called it The Monster In The Box. I kept it in this big cardboard box and I
was often afraid of it, very often.
Is it doing well? Well, advanced sales have
been really good and I'm real thankful for that. I've got a 15 city tour
coming up with maybe some more cities to be added. We'll be out at the LA Book
Fair at the end of this month. We'll be doing a big demo out there. We'll
see. It hasn't gotten in the hands of enough people that matter to me, yet.
The fans, ultimately, that's who I wrote it for. I don't know if you saw the
article in the Atlanta Journal & Constitution this week where I said it's
written by and large for Good Eats fans who I'm hoping will take the trip with
me. So if they like it, I'll be pleased even if the critics don't.
You called it The Monster In The Box.
Did you enjoy it
at all? What was the biggest difficulty?
It was cathartic. The thing that was most enjoyable
about it was doing the illustrations. It's packed full of illustrations which
it really helped me to tell the story. You know, I'm a visual communicator so
that helped a lot.
It was called The Monster In The Box because it got bigger
and bigger and deserved constant attention. It never went away. And you can go
back and look over something you wrote yesterday and say, "Oh, that's …
I've got to redo that." And then you come back the next day and think, "Oh, I've got to redo that." You have to let it go. You have to be done
with it. You have to eventually know when to say, "Don't touch that
anymore." And I have a really good editor in New York who's like, "I'm
taking that away from you now." It's like, "Don't touch that."
Are you looking forward to your book tour?
Yeah, because I like being out with the fans. The thing
I miss most about the fact that Food Network Live—the live shows that we used to do
was stopped—was being able to actually be out and talk to fans, listen to what
they had to say, what they were thinking. So, yeah. I'll like it from that
Like any author, I'm scared to death of showing up at
some bookstore with a box full of pens to sign things and sit there alone. I worry about that because I'm doing a book signing here in town in just a
few weeks. It's like, I'm scared to death that I'm just going to be
sitting there twiddling my thumbs looking at my watch saying, "Oh my dear God, let
me out of here."
I know at least some people are making the trip from
South Carolina and Florida.
God bless them. Tell them to come pull up a
chair and stay awhile because... You know, if a hundred people show up
that'll be a success. And maybe a hundred will. I don't know. I have no
idea. I don't really have a grasp on what the fan base is. I just don't
know. I don't know. I just hope somebody will show up. Even if they don't
buy a book, just show up.
Well, a lot of people have questioned will these places
that you go and sign a book require that they be purchased at the store? Do you
I don't know that. That's a real interesting
question that never crossed my mind. I would suggest to those people, call the
bookstores. I'm going to call the bookstores and list that information on my
website because I don't know. All I know is, if a fan puts something in front
of me and ask me to sign it, I'm going to sign it.
Within reason, I hope.
Yeah. I'm not signing any frozen turkeys or anything.
Well, I guess I'd sign that. If I had a pen that'll work on that. Sharpies
are alcohol soluble … that should probably be able to write on that. I've
never been asked to sign anything unreasonable before.