Announcing My First Cookbook! To Be Published by Appetite by Random House, Fall 2016!

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I’ve never considered myself adept at keeping a secret. Sure, I can remember not to let slip what your Christmas present is or pretend that I don’t know anything about what’s happening for your 35th birthday party. However, a ten month secret? Man, I would have told you that all bets were off with that one yet here I am, writing about the biggest darn secret I’ve ever kept to myself. So here goes.

 I am currently writing my first cookbook, to be published by appetite by Random House  and it will be out in Fall 2016.

Phew. Not as scary as I thought.

I have already announced it on my Facebook page and almost everyone who attended the Food Bloggers of Canada conference in Vancouver knows as well. However, telling you all here by writing it on my website smacks of permanence; there’s really no going back now. When I push the publish button on my WordPress dashboard as I finish writing this there may be some tears.

Who am I trying to kid, I cry over everything, so of course there are going to be tears, I’m shocked that my laptop hasn’t electrocuted me by this point in my career.

Let’s have a story now, shall we? The day that I met my publisher – no, I didn’t cry although I might have considered it at one point – and how my book was officially announced.

The date was October 16th, the weather was rainy and the location was Vancouver, British Columbia. After accepting the offer from Random House I realized that I was heading right near their office in Gastown for the Food Bloggers of Canada conference. Plans were made to meet in person.

I stopped in at the Appetite offices to meet Robert McCullough, (shown in the photo below) Publisher of Appetite and Vice-President, Random House of Canada and the gentleman that I somehow convinced to take a chance on me and my vision for my first book.

Really, that last sentence in itself is another thing that makes me tear up; to have someone put that faith in you, to basically say yes, we believe in you thisdarnmuch is humbling beyond words. The same thing happened when my agent Beth from the Bent Agency approached me, wanting to represent me.

I am seriously just going to spend the next two years crying happy tears, I think.

lady in black coat and man in polo in front of cookbooks shelves

This wall of books in the Appetite office is inspiring, amazing and made my knees go rubbery. For the first time I understand the word “swoon”, used in the context of how ladies used to swoon from sheer happiness when their suitors proposed and were in need of a fainting couch.

Look at those books, folks. In two short years my cookbook will be among them. I am going to run out of adjectives here to describe the feelings that this evokes. (Said the woman who is writing a book. Apparently I’d better buy a thesaurus, and soon.)

Smitten Kitchen?

Butter Baked Goods?

Oh my word, and Yotam Ottolenghi? 

Star-struck doesn’t even make the cut to describe how I feel about those people.

shelves full of cookbooks

Luckily, my swoon was postponed by the offer of lunch and a darn good thing, the Appetite office doesn’t have a fainting couch. (Yet.) You know me, offer me a new restaurant experience and I basically forget everything else and zero in on thinking of what’s for lunch. Robert took me to an amazing Japanese restaurant called Shirakowa.

the inside of a Japanese restaurant Shirakowa

There I had one of the best soups I’ve eaten in years, a gorgeous Kamo Soba which is duck with soba noodles, in essence. What a perfect dish to combat the rainy chill of Vancouver that day.

Kamo Soba - duck with soba noodles, in essence

After a lovely lunch and visit with Robert, I still hadn’t made the announcement. Why, you might ask?

Well my darlings, because I am seriously superstitious and those of you who read this website on a regular basis might know that. I rarely announce anything until it’s beyond a done deal. I don’t know what it is, but I feel like I might jinx things. I can’t be the only one who gets like this, can I?

Much to my excitement, Robert had told me that I had a slide in his presentation for the Food Bloggers Conference, which was the absolute best way that I could ever think to announce our partnership!

Except I didn’t factor in the nerves.

Oh, Holy Dinah you guys, waiting that 48 hours for his presentation had me as nervous and jumpy as a brand new chef in a room full of food critics. I was vibrating with excitement.

And then it was time. Ethan introduced Robert and Tara O’Brady, who is an incredibly talented food writer/photographer that you can find at Seven Spoons, with her own book out this spring.

the book announcement in a big screen

Then as sudden as a match being struck, it was done.

The slide came up. I could hear some indrawn breaths of surprise (since I had told only a few people who are the closest to me) then an explosion of cheers and applause from some members of the audience that made Robert laugh. This shot of him laughing at the audience’s reaction makes this one of my favorite photos ever. Thank you, whomever it was, for those cheers and applause. I don’t think you can ever understand how much that meant to me.

I didn’t stop to think about it, as I was using the camera as a distraction to keep myself from bursting into tears when he made the announcement, but writing this post made me realize now that  I captured on film the exact moment my first book was announced.

Oh lawd, where’s my hanky?

book announcement in big screen

So now you know.

You know why I’m going to be crazy busy the next year or so, getting everything ready. I’m shooting the photos myself, which while giving me incredible artistic control over the book also means I am doing double duty. Let’s face it, my type A wouldn’t have it any other way haha!

Now you know why there is a small site revamp coming up, to streamline my posts a bit more with less for me to keep up with lookswise. Oh don’t you worry, there’s no way this website will ever fall to the wayside, there won’t be crickets chirping on any blog o’ mine, rest assured.

Now you know why I might be a bit slower returning emails, or approving comments and why when you see me on Facebook with you, you should lecture me about my book. Just kidding, I love chatting with you all, you keep me sane.

Now you know how much I really love you guys, because without you, there would be no book. Without your support, your comments, your readership, none of this would have been possible. I’m going to make sure I try my hardest to do you proud, because this book is going to be all for all of you.



** I only cried three times during the writing of this post. A new record.**


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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

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Reader Interactions

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  1. Sian Vadnais says

    Way to go KM can’t wait to see all your delish recipes ideas and …I’m sure…funny comments in one book\U0001f478

  2. Joycelyn says

    Congratulations Karlynn! How exciting  to know you’ll soon see your cookbook & the fruits of your many days of hard work finally in print! Being a cookbook addict, ( I have most of the books shown behind you if you can believe it ) I’ll be looking forward to ordering yours for my collection as well.

    Way to go girl!


  3. Barb Overton says

    How exciting! Looking forward to seeing the book in print.
    *** Congratulations! ***

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