The following is a chat with author Genevieve Smith who has just launched her first eBook, The Recession Made Me Eat It on lulu.com which you can find here.
Divorce Saloon: So, Ms. Smith, good morning! Thank you for joining us today to talk about your new book.
Genevieve Smith: Thank you for having me.
Divorce Saloon: First things first. What does this book have to do with divorce?
Genevieve Smith: Not a damn thing. (Laughs). Well, actually…. I think it might. Many people are choosing to stick with their marriages these days even though a few years back they may have divorced based on the circumstances in their marriages at the moment. I think The Recession Made Me Eat It, is appropriate for these folks too. They are also struggling like the rest of the population, finanically. But the bad economy is definitely straining their wallets and thus their relationship. One of the number one problems people have in their marriages, and a leading cause of divorce, is money. So this book could actually help struggling couples avoid divorce because it gives you ideas of how to live with less. How to eat less and not feel deprived. How to eat less and spend less and still eat good, healthy, wholesome things.
Divorce Saloon: Great answer!
Genevieve Smith: (Laughs) Hey, I aim to please. What can I say?
Divorce Saloon: So tell us, what made you write this book? What was your inspiration?
Genevieve Smith: You know, well, you know me so let’s just put that out there as a disclaimer.
Divorce Saloon: Yes, I should have said that. We are friends. We know each other. That is pretty much the only reason you are getting this interview, Missy, since it’s not strictly speaking a divorce book.
Genevieve Smith: (Laughs) We gee, thanks. But yes, we have been friends for a long time. We are colleagues. You know the personal struggles I’ve had lately on account of the financial crisis on other things in my life. And one day I just sat down and found myself making up a food journal. Then I started to really be more conscious of what I was spending money on and also what I was eating. I don’t know how to explain the inspiration. I sat at the computer and wrote the book in two days.
Divorce Saloon: Two days?! That’s insane!
Genevieve Smith: Yes, two days. I mean, I had it all there in my food journal so it was a matter of just typing it up into a book and so that took only two days.
Divorce Saloon: Wow. That is very impressive. We don’t write that fast and we are pretty fast over here.
Genevieve Smith: Thanks. You know, I really feel that I am one of the lucky ones. Even though I found myself with only $20.00 for food per week, I did well. I ate well. I mean, when you read the book and you see the recipes, you would think “Oh, she did not struggle.” You would think I led a privileged life. And I did. I do. I feel privileged. Even with just $20.00 per week. Some people did not have that much. There are people in this country who do not have $20.00 per week for food. And I just get sick when I think about that. Because to a large extent I think that the government is not doing enough about this situation of joblessness and the economy. That is really the message of the book. That the government needs to do more.
Divorce Saloon: Seriously, you are right. I know we goof off a lot and we are friends, we know you. But the reason we wanted to do this interview with you is that we want to highlight this situation. People think it’s only the very destitute that are having trouble eating and paying their bills. But it’s the middle class. It’s the professional class as well.
Genevieve Smith: You are so right. There are so many folks like me who are embarrassed because the professional class feels that we should not have this problem. Nobody expects professional and educated people to have financial problems and to have trouble affording groceries. It’s almost like you feel you are beneath sympathy and compassion. And so people like us we suffer silently. They are hungry but they are too proud to ask for help.
Divorce Saloon : That is so true. That is so true. I know so many lawyers who are out of work right now it’s unbelievable. But if they are living on $20.00 per week I don’t know many who would admit that. You were very brave to write this and to bring this out in the open.
Genevieve Smith: Thank you. But I just want to stress that I am not indulging in any self-pity just because I happen to have only $20.00 for food per week. I feel blessed. I really do. As I said to you before we went on the record, I feel lucky. And I ate really well on such little money. I am not ashamed that that is and was my situation. I ate better than when I had all this disposable income to waste on junk. But the message is that there is a crisis in this country. People need jobs. They need money to pay their bills and to eat.
Divorce Saloon: We hear you. So tell us, how can people get a copy of the book?
Genevieve Smith: Oh, it’s only available as an eBook for now. They have to download it from lulu.com. The link is http://www.lulu.com/content/8378081
Divorce Saloon: Well, great. Thanks for chatting with us, Gen. We wish you luck with this project.
Genevieve Smith: Thank you for giving me this opportunity to get the word out there. I hope all your readers will buy a copy and spread the word to their friends.
Divorce Saloon: Yes, we hope so. We will keep our fingers crossed for you.
Genevieve Smith: Thank you. Thank you so much!
Divorce Saloon: Don’t mention it.
Get your copy of Genevieve’s eBook at lulu.com http://www.lulu.com/content/8378081
Title & Publisher: The Recession Made Me Eat It: How the bad economy forced me to live on $20.00 per week from Waterfall Press, Inc., edited by Brenda Monteau and M. Lewis, 2010.
First Impressions: The book which is now available exclusively as an eBook is short, snappy, funny and wise. It would make a lovely little hard cover. The recipes are artful, delicious and fun.
Author’s perspective: This book is really a social commentary that uses food as the entry point to discussion about the economy, joblessness, etc. It is not, strictly speaking, a cookbook. That is what attracted me to the concept. It is intended to call attention to the plight of people around the country who are neither rich nor destitute but who are having a tough time with everything, including basic things such as affording food.
The Recipes: The recipes are very simple and vegetarian oriented. I did not sense that the author is vegetarian but except for the salmon dish, there were no meat dishes. Still, there is a balance here of all the food groups. The recipes are fun, cute, delicious and easy and quick to make. Lots of organic apples, pears, beans, oats, tomatoes, cheese, etc.
Other selling points: In addition to the recipes, the book really shed light on how the recession is ravaging the average person’s life in this country. But it has a positive tone and attitude. People don’t expect educated and professional people to live on $20.00 per week. The candid way in which Genevieve reveals her hardships and her positive attitude is a huge selling point. And it should be a wake up call to politicians in Washington whom she discusses and compares to children in the playground. There is a great chapter, Water, where Genevieve turns on the tap and is so thankful for something we all take for granted. How many people stop to think that it is a blessing and a privilege that when they turn on their taps, water that is drinkable will come out? It is the simplicity of things that she eats and appreciates that makes this book a gem.
Strengths and Weaknesses: I loved that the book is so accessible and Genevieve is likewise accessible. I think the book ended a bit abruptly. It is only 77 pages and just as I was starting to really get into it, it was done.
Should you buy it? Absolutely. Get your copy Today!
Buy the Book: The Recession Made Me Eat It: How the bad economy forced me to live on $20.00 per week $5.00 on www. http://www.lulu.com/content/8378081
Interview and Review by Jeannie Goldstein