Apr 10 2012

Writing and publishing a book in 24 weeks from start to print

Posted by     37 Comments    Posted under: The Snug

The title says it all, doesn’t it?

I started writing my first book (The Chef & I … a nourishing narrative) on Monday September 5th 2011.

I also started writing a daily rhyme on my Facebook page so I could not use writers block as an excuse. To date, because I have not missed a day, I have written 213 rhymes and have gathered almost 4,000 fans in six months.

I took a week off during halloween break because the kids were home from school and they would not stay quiet enough for me to write.

I finished the narrative part of the story on December 10th, 2011.

A larder of love



I did ‘nothing’ for half of December and half of January.

I procrastinated ALOT about typing up and editing all the Chef’s recipes.

Where it's at …

In February, Annie Atkins came to visit (one Valentines weekend) and we made some amazing progress with the food shots.

I was mentally ready to finish the book.

I found the dream design duo – who were right under my nose the whole time.

In March they got their hooks stuck in and encouraged me to let go. This was not easy.

They knew what they were doing. I did not.

I had to trust them. I wanted to trust them. So I let go.

Making room on the book shelf for a few copies


Today – 48 hours before my university deadline, I picked up a ‘mock’ copy of my first book. It, being a mock-up, is gorgeous in itself so I can only imagine how pretty the finished book will be. On Friday I will be going to the printshop to see the book on ‘plates’ and watch the first lithograph print run come spilling out ‘hot off the press’.

They are letting me take photos so I can blog all about it.

I have not slept for days or even weeks – worried that my final grade for Creative Writing was in jeopardy.


It is exactly what I wanted only nicer …

I will sleep tonight.

The next few posts will be all about the print, publishing and pricing end of my book journey.

I have learned SO MUCH over the last few months and can’t wait to share it with you!

Sleep tight,

WiseMóna – author (finally) emerged

PS – for those of you that are new to WiseWords blog (hello!) heres the deal in a nutshell. 

I am a mature student at NUIG. I have one year left of a 4-yr undergrad (English Literature and German Language studies with Creative Writing as my specialism).

This book was my 3rd year project and there are 12 weeks before Christmas and 12 weeks after Christmas to get your course work done.

I hope I get an ‘A’.

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37 Comments + Add Comment

  • Woohoo. Huge congratulations once again. It has been a privilege to follow you on this journey. I can only imagine the excitement in your house at the moment. X

    • Thanks Caitriona! There is relief for sure and I think once I drop it off on Thursday I
      will be more excited. Thank you so much for the lovely comment!

  • Mona,
    The book looks fab! I’m delighted for you that all your hard work is paying off. Can’t wait to see it for myself!

    • Thanks Caroline,
      It is very slick. A real ‘grown up’ book ;0)
      I hope the hard work does pay off. Printing and publishing it is all well and good.
      Now I have to sell it!

  • You should be so very proud of everything you’ve achieved and it couldn’t be anything other than wonderful and beautiful after all your hard work. Congratulations Móna xx

    • Thank you Kren. It does look rather slick so I hope that the hard work will be
      acknowledged at school. Hope all is well with you and you are getting a bit of rest xx

  • Hi followed you from face book and just read that you are studying german. It may be too late for you at this stage but my son has recently discovered a fantastic and easy way of remembering to gender of languages. Honestly \i am no linguist but The first time he tested me showing me each word for only seconds I managed to recall over 75 out of 90. He is hoping to bring his concept to market in the next few months so if you’re intersted then message me on face book and I’ll let you know asap when it’s available. Cheers Diana Smith

    • Hi Diane,
      Welcome to the blog. That sunds very interesting. I will have to look in to it!
      Thanks for stopping by for a read.

  • Congratulations Mona… Your book looks amazing… I have been following your blog the last few months, and ur progress… Now I cant wait to buy my own copy!! (we moved to London though so i will have to wait for our next trip to Galway;-))You achieved an amazing project… Fair play to you, I really don’t know how you do it all!!! You are an amazing woman, so inspiring! Take care Mona, x

    • Hey Aurelia…..London!
      Wow for you guys. That is a great city and I am sure you will both thrive over there!
      Thank you so so so much for this lovely comment. It is always nice to know there are a few quiet readers out there
      keeping an eye on me and my ramblings. I will let you k ow as soon as it is launched and ready.
      If you are planning a trip back ‘home’ let me know and we will hook up for wine somewhere nice x

  • Congrats Mona what an achievement you should be hugely proud of yourself :). Sign me up for a copy one signed by the author :).

    • Thank you Elaine,
      Of course I will sign you up…and signed for sure!
      Hope all is well with you and your farmer boys and ye are
      enjoying the holidays x

  • Wowee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Congratulations, been a pleasure keeping up with your progress step by step DYING TO GET MY COPY!! It will be as brilliant as you are and I’ve no doubt it will ooze you’re wonderful personality on every page! Ps I don’t even need to see the book to say I know it’s going to be brilliant x

    • Thanks Fiona…it has been a fun year for me too working on the book
      and writing about the writing of the book! Thanks for your support sweetie.
      Can’t wait to see you for coffee and a catch up chat x

  • I love it and I want 10 copies for gifts! Will bring an extra suitcase. This is so fabulous and we are so proud of you! Can’t wait to celebrate with you in person!!!

    • Sheesh! Thank goodness the book is not that heavy!
      I will have to give you a discount on such a huge purchase xx
      Thanks Mary Sue xx
      And I can’t wait to see you guys !

  • That sneak preview already looks amazing Mona! And if you think about it; you wrote your book pretty quickly too comparing it to what I hear from other authors. It must be so exciting to have it in your hands!!

    • Thanks Simone!
      Well, I think that the book has been brewing for a long time in my head
      so even though it took seemingly a short amount of time to get it out of my head
      and on to the page it has been swirling around and around for three years at least.
      Every writer is different…you can’t guage how long it will take to write a book until it is written
      and I have discovered that if I did not have to submit this for school it would never be finished!

  • Mona, it looks wonderful! Can’t wait to hold a copy.i love your strategy for keeping writers block at bay. Congratulations on such a delicious project!

    • Thanks Hester!
      Well the rhyming was more to keep me from using the ‘writers block’ excuse I think.
      There were plenty of days when I did not think I could keep writing but the fact that I had
      already written a little morning rhyme that someone else liked….well, that is motivation of the sweetest kind.
      Thank you Hester for all the support. I so appreciate all your visits and comments x

  • Mona it looks amazing – can’t wait to see the finished product!
    You must be so proud!

    Congrats x

    • Thank you Yvonne. I am, yes, bursting with pride on this one.
      I think seeing it almost finished and looking so pretty I feel like
      the hard work is paying off. Now, just to sell it!

  • Pass with Distinction comin’ right up. You want (twice cooked) fries with that? OF COURSE you’ll get an A !!!!!! Well done, petal. See you later to look at the ‘new baby’.
    K 🙂

    • Thanks karen – I suppose I would love a pass with distinction!
      See you soon xx


    Book looks beautiful. Can’t wait to get my hands on a copy…whether you know it or not, you have taught me so many food combinations…even tried a few foods that I normally don’t cook. So the book will not be just for my self. I will USE it.

    So glad you got this blog back. I may have never meet you, but when I realized the seriousness of the attack the site took…my heart was just heavy for you. All that’s in the past. Waiting to hear all about the printing…launching…ect.

    • Thanks Robert – still a bit shaky looking on the blog – but should be back to looking ‘normal’ tomorrow!

  • Well done mama,

    So glad to have wise words back in my life again. I missed visiting here. Big love and congratulations to you. You get an A in my book ! I cannot wait to have it here. A piece of Galway for my coffee table and my dinner table. So glad that you retrieved all these beautiful posts x

    • It is FINALLY back to ‘looking’ normal too Brenda. Had me so worried – but we were able to get it back online and clean and sony new.
      I am relieved – would have been devastated had I lost everything. Thank goodness for backups!

  • I have no doubt that you will get an “A”. So excited for you and your book and I know it will be a hot item. Very happy for you too that your blog is back up. All the best Mona.

    • Paula,
      I know, that you know, how worried I was that this might all be ‘gone’.
      I am so thankful that all is well and I can get back to my ‘space’ to tell stories. Thank you for the virtual hugs – I feel every one of them. xxx

  • Congratulations Mona. Your book looks great 🙂 And I’m glad you will finally get some sleep.

    • Hello Magda,
      I am so glad the book is finished and I can get back to normal ‘work’
      around here. Hope you are well. I plan to get back to reading all the
      blog posts I have missed and will pop over to yours for a visit soon x

  • This is so exciting Móna! Wow, your very own (first of many, I am sure) book. It’s such a wonderful accomplishment and fantastic project to be sharing with The Chef. 🙂

    I hope you do a giveaway eligible only to Canadian food bloggers with Irish grandparents who live in Quito, Ecuador and whose names rhyme with “ale”. …I just believe in narrowing the field, is all. 😉

    • Kale –
      This is such an excellent idea. I believe narrowing it down will make things MUCH easier!
      I am excited kale. Very very excited. New blog post coming soon on ‘writing and publishing’ … hope it does
      not bore you to tears xx

  • Looking forward to hearing all about the process and of course, seeing the book. Glad to see the blog is fixed and you’ll be back to normal 🙂

    • Thanks Lorna – I am fierce distracted today with the baby ducks. Just had their first swim – so now I can get back to work!
      I am ever so glad the blog is back to normal too.

  • […] has gone from strength to strength this year, not only writing and self-publishing her book in record time but also starting a gig as a weekly food columnist with the Sunday Times and […]

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About Móna
I am a native Galway girl that seems to be drawn to professions that rhyme with 'err'. Writer, Mother, Restauranteur, Wedding Planner, Dishwasher, Grass cutter, Cocktail maker. I suppose you could say I am a well rounded entrepreneur.
You can find me here
  • Contact Mona
Ron Wise About the Chef
You can't find the Chef here.
You might as well just come visit.
He prefers face to face communication.

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