The Book

How The Book Came To Be…

It was a typically Marchiagani winter day of thick fog when an e-mail untypically announced its presence in my inbox. (At the time our daily rate of e-mail arrival was about two, squeezed through in pitifully few shMisty Morningort belches of connectivity). It was from a lady called Clare Christian, whose name we recognised from our so-short-it-was-first-name-based list of customers who had adopted olive trees. She ran a publishing company, she said, the Friday Project it was called, and it specialised in publishing books that had some connection with the online world. We might have heard of a recent book of theirs, she said, called ‘Blood Sweat and Tea’ which was based on the blog of a London ambulance driver? We hadn’t. She liked our website and she liked the Nudo style of writing and she wondered whether we might perhaps be interested in writing ‘our story’?

Gosh.

Our story. Until now we had just been people who lived lives, but now we had a story. A tangible thing that other people could see. And ask us about. This was a strange thought. A thought which evoked memories of our previous TV lives and the humming and hawing we’d done about keeping a video record of our move; when we’d left on our adventure, TV friends had suggested we make a documentary about it and of course it was tempting . But in the end we decided against it on the basis that we knew too much. We knew the pain and tears that make that sort of documentary sing and we didn’t want to be in that choir. And during the first few months of uncertainty and fog and melancholy and using all our bodily resources to fight off real tears, the last thing we felt like doing was outing them on camera.

But a book?

Maybe that would be different. We would be more in control (was this naivety about the publishing process?) We would be able to write about the bits we wanted to and leave out the rest. We love to try new things and add strings to bows. And, bluntly, in today’s ego-thick age, who doesn’t want to have a book published? We seemed to be being given it on a plate.

The next time we were in London we had a meeting with Clare, and lots of other very nice ladies all of whom seemed to be called Heather. They all seemed to be very enthusiastic, an observation we found rather surprising. There are so many bloomin books in the world, do we really need another one? Written by rank amateurs? The answer, once the discussion reached a conclusion with the virtual creation of a ‘travelogue illustrated with beautiful colour photos and recipes’, seemed to be yes.

Soon after, Jason bought a camera.

And so it was that we had a new distraction in our life full of new distractions. The book took about nine months of writing, of taking photographs, of grilling our friends about their recipes and of testing them out in our kitcThe Bookhen. We almost preferred the process of creating a book to our previous favourite task of liberating olive trees from brambles. But we wouldn’t want that to get out, would we?

We handed in the book and all the other bits and pieces and then about a year went by. Yes a real earth year, not a short amount of time that felt like a long one. The Friday Project were in a period of profound change. After much speculation, mostly gleaned from friends who brushed legs with the publishing world, about bankruptcy / takeovers / collapse, it was announced that they were being bought by Harper Collins. Luckily for us, we were one of the books that Harper Collins wanted to keep.

And now it’s out.

24 Responses to The Book

  1. teresa mahadeo :

    Hi. I’ve been on an intense study course since Feb 2009, and it’s just finished. Bought the book last week as a treat for the end of study. Seriously enjoyed the read. Laughed out loud lots of times. Love the oils and my mum is crazy about her mothers day pressie from NUDO.

    Teresa

  2. I am really struck by the way that you write – really easy to read and funny.

  3. Augustus Church :

    Love your site! I added it to my blog. =)

  4. Just finished your excellent story 2AM this morning. A great tale and I can visualise the packaging problems written about having spent 16 years growing elephant garlic in New Zealand! Also loved the font you chose, so easy to read. Thank you!

  5. Really enjoyed this post!

  6. I really like your blog. Well done!

  7. Casey Carosiello :

    Thank you lots, fun read!

  8. Dan Bentzinger :

    Wow! Thank you!

  9. Brilliant blog about The Dolce Vita Diaries. I read it twice!

  10. Denny Haselden :

    As a practising catholic, and a lover of Italy, this book and its references to the culture was just great!

  11. Thanks for the great blog! You have a new fan.

  12. Thanks for sharing your amazing story. Have finished the book and keep returning to it to re-immerse. Warm, very authentic writing style.
    Amy (NZ)

  13. I must have been a very early adoptive olive parent and my husband and daughters re-adopted a tree for three years for my birthday until last year when I got a handbag!
    This week I read the Dolce Vita Diaries for the first time and realised how much I missed my slice of Le Marche life (and the packages, even though I have continued to buy the delicious oil). So I have adopted for myself this year as a nod to your enterprise and obvious skill. Great idea, great product – I hope you all continue to thrive in Italy.

  14. Started the book this afternoon, sitting in the unseasonal Suffolk sun…almost half way through already and I already love the book. The pace, style, and content are spot on. A wonderful read and one I’ll recommend.

    And now I’ve found your blog I’ve a lot more to read, follow…and cook!

    many thanks for sharing your adventure

    Andy

  15. Bought your book while on holiday in Rome, I LIVE IN MALTA, I’ve read half of it,and I don’t want it to finish, really enjoying it, it feels like I know you.
    Thank you.
    Mitzi

  16. I just read your book today–straight through! It was fun and interesting and didn’t candy coat the ‘romantic’ life of packing up and moving on to new adventures. I loved it!

    Can’t wait to start reading the blog and order some olive oil!

    Cheers from Canada!

  17. Pingback: Allison and Busby

  18. Oh My Goodness not only are my Olive Oil Shipments Delish, but I’ve recommended dozens of friends to read the book to get to the surprise at the end (10% discount!) Yeah!
    Seriously I LOVED the book and don’t see how I’ll be able to use ANY OTHER Olive Oil after I’m finished with my shipment this Fall? Guess I’ll have to renew my adoption papers!
    Thank you both for the greatest story ever written and for having the guts to do what you did! How do you spell J.E.A.L.O.U.S!

  19. WOL (Graham Wallhead) :

    WOL here Hi.
    was gifted a tree adoption 2 years ago by my daughter & son – in – law.
    It was a play on words, as I favour a little sun on my body on the rare occasions that I get the chance. “Here comes Nudo” I did it first, but no hard feelings.
    Anyway love the oils, had great tastings with the grandchildren but didn’t get round to filling in the tasting card. Just found your lovely blog, can’t wait to order the book & will re adopt my tree if I can afford to. Mean while I can but dream of sitting in the shade of the olive tree. Nudo, of course!

  20. I can’t wait to order the book for my husband for Father’s Day. Then I will read it myself!!

  21. Edward Caraciollo Donahue :

    With Easter nearing, I’m sure many of us would love to read about a typical Easter Day meal and festivities in the region

  22. Vivian Bonomi Cariello :

    I am a chef chocolatier and just found out about your website, I just love your olive oiol and chocolate combinations

  23. Vivian Bonomi Cariello :

    Just love your chocolate and olive oil combinations. I am a chef chocolatier with an italian venezuelan background, I love fusion cuisine and love to experiment with the savory and sweet side of chocolate

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