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Newsletter Dated: 2/28/2011 11:59:33 PM
Subject: Andrea Campbell*s Soup*s On
Andrea Campbell’s Newsletter
*** Greetings! ***
This newsletter is being sent to you because you are a writer, professional friend of Andrea*s, or a fan and reader of her books. If you are new to the list, welcome. There are a ton of newsletters and e-zines out there to read, thanks for requesting and reading mine.
In this issue:
• From the Author*s Desk
• Alice’s Tea Cup interview
*** From The Author*s Desk ***
My friend and colleague Penny Warner has a new book out called How to Survive a Killer Séance. If you are looking for a fun mystery read with well-crafted characters, this is the ticket. If you remember, Penny used me as inspiration for a character in her How to Host a Killer Party and tried to kill me off! Love her.
I will be e-teaching another 4 week course at WOW! Women on Writing. THE GATEKEEPERS: All About Agents and Editors—Getting them, working with them, and growing as a career author starts April 25. This interactive nonfiction workshop has some new attention to branding and platform, and it has always had a serious marketing bent. Hope to see some of you on board. 10 student limit so enroll early.
*** Alice’s Tea Cup ***
This interview is with Haley and Lauren Fox, co-owners of Alice’s Tea Cup for the newly released cookbook of the same name. Alice’s Tea Cup is a wildly popular Manhattan restaurant that is frequented by everyone who still believes in fantasy. The testimonial I like best about Alice’s comes from Conan O’Brien who says, “One of the things I miss most about New York City is taking my daughter to Alice’s Tea Cup and watching her beaming face as the sprinkle pixie dust in her hair and give her fairy wings. The sad thing is, my daughter’s forty-two.” The recipe book has scones in it, my favorite bakery food.
Q.: Haley and Lauren Fox, thanks for visiting. What is Alice’s Tea Cup for Soup’s On Readers who don’t know?
H. & L.: Alice's tea cup is a restaurant and gift shop with three Manhattan locations that offers whimsical and delicious food centered around tea for people of all ages, all day long.
Q.: This is quite a departure for the Fox sisters, as far as what you did previously (or are you still working two jobs)? Can you elaborate?
H. & L.: [Film] Production is production and running a restaurant is not so dissimilar to producing movies, sometimes even similar to acting (Lauren is still a working actress and singer but Haley only dapples in or around the arts, now, coaching actors.) We use the creativity we put into our producing, developing and writing at Alice’s daily, in the promotions, the designs, even reflected in how we train our staff!
Q.: What is it about afternoon tea that inspires and how did you turn teatime “on its head”?
H. & L.: Afternoon tea is an event that needn't be saved for showers or any celebration past a catch-up session with a friend or a special moment with your child. We firmly believe that afternoon tea really only means, to us, that tea is served and the food is presented on a 3-tiered stand, but what comes on that stand and what time of day or for what reason is personal and unique to each individual. We turn it "on its head" by serving large portions, usually tea-infused and unique to what people are used to, with fun music playing and a down-to-earth atmosphere for people of any background and age.
Q.: We are here to talk about the new book, what was your impetus for doing a book?
H. & L.: Customers asking for certain recipes! It was a long time planning... Mostly, people asked for the pumpkin scone recipe, the chicken salad, our dressing, curry chicken sandwich, French toast bread pudding and our chocolate cake. Those requests we got a lot!
Q.: How is the book organized?
H. & L.: It isn't! There's a little bit of everything in it, every meal with dishes ranging from traditional (we make our own peanut butter) to non-traditional (tea-soaked eggs in our egg salad sandwich, etc.) It centers around amazing photographs by Ben fink of the food and the locations, really reflecting what we do in our restaurants and not just what comes out of the kitchen! (And it read just like we speak...lol)
Q.: Where did the recipes come from and how did you test them?
H. & L.: Some recipes come from our bakers over the years, some from our brainstorming and testing... All from the staff over the last 9 years, really, in one way or another. We test them at our meetings and give feedback, tweak...
Q.: What is the “Mad Hatter’s” look for table settings?
H. & L.: Anything goes! Lots of color, scarves as tablecloths or accents, flowers everywhere, candles, mixed matched cups and saucers and plates... Treats well displayed!
Q.: How are you able to juggle your time between the store, family, and writing?
H. & L.: We have an amazing staff, all led by Haley’s husband, Michael, who oversees everything and keeps up the consistency of each product and how each location runs... We can really rely on the staff to let us know when any little thing is out of whack, so we don't need to hover or, honestly, be in their way! And our customers provide a ton of feedback, which is essential to keeping things moving properly. So we spend our time concentrating on the business side of things—communication, promotions, ads, signs, new items, etc.—during our own personal time when we schedule it. If that means from 10pm-2am, so be it!
Q.: Do you have an agent and how did you meet them?
H. & L.: A book agent? Yes, Carla Glasser. She came to us! And we are so lucky because she's lovely and so supportive!
Q.: The book is stunning, beautiful photos, graphics, everything; how much input did you have with the publisher?
H. & L.: Our publisher, Cassie Jones, must be the nicest publisher in the biz. She was almost completely hands-off but available for any guidance we needed. Let us fly! She really got us and our business and didn't try to change it.
Q.: What are you going to do as far as marketing and promotion for the book?
H. & L.: Well, we are displaying it in each store, signing copies, doing book signings all over, sending out emails with news about or from the cookbook to all of our 5,000 newsletter followers... That kind of thing! We hired wonderful publicists at the narrative group that helped us with the launch of the cookbook. Harper Collins also has a wonderful pr person in Megan Schwartz who has scheduled a lot for us, so we're really fortunate!
Q.: Do you have a website? Is there also a blog?
H. & L.: http://www.alicesteacup.com. No for the blog, but it is in the works... Stay Tuned
Q.: Is there anything else you would like to tell Soup’s On Readers?
H. & L.: Alice's began franchising and hope to open up alllll over! So if anyone is interested in owning their own whimsical tea salon, let us know! It is a fun place to run! Also, if you don't love spiciness, cut some of the ginger and cinnamon out of the pumpkin scone recipe—though the quantities are not a misprint, people keep telling us that they think it must be wrong. This is a personal preference, we guess. Also, use Libby’s pumpkin puree!!! A waterier brand won't work as well, we learned after the fact, sadly...
Q.: Is there anything you care to share with writers who are considering a recipe book?
H. & L.: We know it is backwards but do the photos first and then write the book! It is more inspirational and makes the writing easier, we think!
*** Next Time ***
On the agenda for next issue of Soup’s On is an author who is an expert in communication, with tips on how to succeed in business.
*** Future Newsletters ***
In upcoming newsletters we will share a new interview or two, talk more about publishing, and provide additional writer’s tips. If there is any area you would like to discuss, just send me a note. Thanks for the read. :=)
Copyright©2011 Andrea Campbell If you wish to quote from here, fine, just attribute it to me and my web site.