SHERYL KIRBY launch for Kitchen Party at The Rhino (1249 Queen W.), 7 pm. See listing.
Long before there were food bloggers, there was Sheryl Kirby and TasteTO.com. Chances are, if there was something new and exciting happening on the local culinary scene, Kirby knew about it first. (NOW excepted, of course.)
But when her hobby became a relentless full-time - and unpaid - job, Kirby and partner-slash-sudsmeister Greg Clow pulled the plug.
"We just weren't making any money," sighs Kirby. "No one wanted to pay to advertise on the Internet. I'm a writer. I don't want to have to go out and try to sell ads. It got to the point where it just wasn't fun anymore."
And so, she wrote Kitchen Party: Food Stories from Nova Scotia and Beyond, a collection of short stories with a common denominator - food. You can read a chapter and order the e-book here.
To celebrate its launch, Kirby hosts a kitchen party for Kitchen Party tonight at the Rhino from 7 to 9 pm. Copies of the paperback version ($16.95) will be available for sale and snacks will be served.
Why a book?
I started writing these stories about 10 years ago to entertain friends back when everybody had a live journal and they started to amass," laughs Kirby. "Some of it is stuff we ran on TasteTO and about a third is all new.
As everyone's well aware, the traditional publishing industry is falling apart. There's no money in books - and I knew that - but I wanted control over the process. And I wanted it available beyond that three-month window before everything gets remaindered.
Do you miss attending all of those glamourous galas in honour of the wines of Bulgaria every night of the week?
Not at all. People think it must be wonderful to get all that free food and drinks, but it gets repetitive very quickly. When we first started, we'd be the only online outlet there. But then, within a year or two, every person in the room had a crappy little blog with bad pictures and horrible writing. And besides, I gained 15 pounds!