On the horizon is our very first book called The Crochet Crowd: Inspire, Create & Celebrate. Expected in late September 2021, from us, Michael Sellick and Daniel Zondervan with guest designers Jeanne Steinhilber, Anita Grover, Megan McHugh and Kathleen Nolen.
I will share a backstory below but for those that what the juice immediately. I felt I couldn’t do the book alone as our company, The Crochet Crowd, was not formed or created alone in the journey. It took a community of people to assist and trust in our platform. So it’s been a journey for everyone behind the scenes, including the digital and testing team.
The book is like our communities, diverse in interests and projects. Our first book has an eclectic collection that is stand-alone projects. The only theme of the book is “The Journey”.
The summation of the bio for the book is being revised to better reflect the storyline. While it’s true I was bullied in school for being unique, the actual story is the realization of being unique and motivated created something extraordinary.
Over the years, as early as 2011, I have been approached by several publishers to write a book. I took a workshop in 2011 about writing a book and low and behold, it’s an eye-opening experience. I left the conference at the end of the day and immediately told Daniel, we have to be crazy to write a book.
It’s a minimum of a year process and the hours of dedication to planning and writing it are astounding. So over the years, when a publisher reaches out. I decline without much thought. I have a unique situation on my shoulders. I have to run a significant digital footprint in crochet in between doing the book work. Content always has to flow, so my time cannot stand still on anything for long without being noticed.
The writer for Jonah’s Book contacted me for quotes for Jonah’s Book and to secure male hand photos for her. This is about 5 months before it’s ready to go. She suggested that we write a book. However, it planted a seed. If Jonah could find a writer for his book, maybe we can get help to write our book too?
Interestingly enough, another publisher happened to contact me while this was going on. John MacIntyre from MacIntyre Purcell Publishing Inc. here in Nova Scotia. He just wants to talk to me on the phone and because Jonah’s writer had been talking to me, I was open to a discussion with John.
Long story short, we have an opportunity to write a book about any topic we wish. An associate of John had been watching us since our move to Nova Scotia.
So I figured, I’ll try to write our story. But there is a problem.
- I am too detailed.
- I get into the minor details that have little significance in the grand scheme of the story.
- The book has a negative perspective as I am writing about things that upset me. Not about the focus of the joys as well to keep a good story balance.
My story isn’t a straight line. While I may be having success in the public eye, my life behind the scenes can be falling apart. How do you write a story with multiple sub-plots at the same time? It’s confusing and is it necessary?
I gave it a couple of months. I contacted John to tell him I cannot do a book. I cannot balance my time and I am not a great writer. So that’s that. Done. Opportunity on the table then slid off the table and I am back to that opinion of a book is too hard to do.
A year goes by and I still on John’s contact list. He’s persistent. He wants to meet with us for the first time and present his idea and get a sense of where we are.
We meet in person and I share with him that I cannot write a book. I can do great status updates but to formulate a story and stick to a narrative, I’m lost. So John, found Rick Conrad, here from Nova Scotia. His partner is actually a crocheter and knew of us from our online community. So that greased the wheels for an easy working relationship. Rick helped me formulate the story and stick to a sequential balance. He’s essentially a ghostwriter but truth is, I couldn’t have done it without him. So he’s really not a ghost in my own perspective and I ensured attention is called to him in the acknowledgements of the book. This journey has never been about me, but about us which means the community of those who participate to make it all work.
We decided that if we are going to have a factual storybook, we need to pair it with patterns. Why would you buy the book of a crochet host without patterns? I know I wouldn’t. So that kick-started the journey for coming up with patterns.
The first pattern right out of the gate would be another signature textured afghan. I sat for a weekend at the dining room table trying to get the first 2 feet of it done. One section of just 5 rounds took me honest to gawd 8 hours to figure out the math so it would sit flat. Four months on and off designing. How many roadblocks I don’t really know. Three blankets later, the testing team with another 4 blankets. It was completed in a 4-month time frame. Picking it up, putting it down. Doing the Summer SAL for JOANN and other content to keep the ball rolling. It was never a straight shot at trying to get this done.
In one of the projects I did, the yarn got discontinued and so it had to be redone but I had the original already written but tweaked it going through it again a second time.
Jeanne originally had 2 patterns in the book but she did this incredible version called Into the Light Afghan that was extremely personal. The attention to detail and texture are second to none. Soon as Daniel saw it, get that ready for the book. I think you are going to love this afghan, truly.
Kathleen has an amazing hat pattern and she specializes in craft show. Anita worked out two unique patterns with so much yarn play, I think her hands may have been raw with so much play! haha. Megan worked with Daniel on a combination series together. Daniel has a beautiful scarf he actually crocheted all by himself. haha.
A week before the deadline, Daniel booked us a resort for a few days here locally. Have you been to a resort where there is no one there? Creepy! The Quarterdeck allowed us to use their conference space at no charge. Honestly, we all by ourselves in the complex building where our room was. We sprawled out over 3 days and went through all of the content, yet again.
In the end, we had a working dinner with our publisher to discuss the name of the book.
I was set on the idea of the book being called The Journey. However, John thought that our company name is highly searched that the book should be called exactly what it’s meant to be, The Crochet Crowd. However, we needed a second byline. Daniel created the name of The Crochet Crowd back in 2010, two years after I had started this journey but it was me that did the byline. Inspire, Create & Celebrate. It’s the crocheter’s journey from the inspirational process of online and friend recommendations to creating the idea and then taking a few moments in time to celebrate it. I shared with John our slogan and he was immediately said, “That’s it… that’s the right addition”. He was pretty excited by it. We had been racking our brain for weeks trying to think of the byline and yet it’s been our slogan all along! Who knew!?
Since December 2020
The first manuscript was completed and then scrapped. It was too safe. Meaning, my voice in narrating isn’t real. Where’s the sarcasm and the nuggets of innuendo I am known for? I was too scared to write as myself for fear of offending people for what makes me laugh or how I tell a story.
The second manuscript was completed and the humour and sly witty comments and inner voice narrative is being shared. Even reading it, I laughed out loud! I felt the pain of the hurt but smiled with the joys of sharing what I was truly thinking. It was a narrative of both Daniel and I sharing between each other stories. It was also not approved. It’s hard to know when I am talking and when Daniel is.
The third manuscript is now in the works with removing out a second voice and just myself sharing the stories. The second manuscript is authentically us. The martini sipper at the bar sharing stories but it gets confusing in the dialogue. So the manuscript is pulling this back to my own voice, so the reader can best follow along with the yarn-play sort of speak.
What You Can Expect
The book is written in a way that you are standing in the room as a fly on the wall. You should expect a bit of language to be dropped in the storytelling and raw sarcasm that is my natural self. Most of you know that as when I start to roll on a live video, it comes out in the humour or slip of the tongue. In videotaping tutorials, if I drop it, which is rare, I can edit it out. To some that’s offensive, to others it’s normal everyday dialogue.
You will see real-life situations play themselves out. I think people want to see what the seat looks like from my perspective. The book isn’t a coming-out story, though it’s part of it, you will learn how naive I really can be. It’s a story of finding myself through a community connection of the yarn arts. Flailing in the wind trying to find life’s balance. Realizing, nothing in life is ever perfect, nor is perfection should ever be the goal.
Being in an industry where I didn’t initially fit in and cried in a restaurant over a beer after a trade show that I was completely rejected. I still don’t fit in today but I have come to embrace that. What makes me unique is what works but you couldn’t have told me that in the beginning.
The book is now in the design process itself. Book layout, colouring, visual feel and all these big fancy words that I don’t know about. Honestly, I had no idea it was already listed on Amazon as a pre-order.
The patterns are going through a run-through yet again. Just to ensure it is paired down as much as possible.
The entire book has to stay within a price point that keeps it affordable. So we are given only so many pages. The less wording, the more pictures and photography of the journey can be shared in this book.
At this time, we still don’t know what the front cover looks like. There is talk about a third photoshoot to try it again. I don’t feel attention needy for the camera, so I prefer to be behind the scenes as much as possible. So we both feel a bit awkward in doing the photos. However, we have to suck it up buttercups.
Pre-order Book Now
You can order the book now if you wish. It’s on Amazon already with no book cover.
As we get closer to the launch on Amazon, details will be updated and even some preview pictures.
By purchasing a book, you are investing in us. Thank you in advance for considering this as an option.
We look forward to completing this book. The publisher is now doing all the fancy stuff as the content is pretty much determined. We are super excited to see a finished copy when the publisher is through.