“Connecticut Beer” book update

Photo by Stacey Blanchard

Photo by Stacey Blanchard

It’s been more than one year that I received the offer from The History Press to write a book. The editor found me on Twitter, and I couldn’t have been happier she did. This came days after hearing that a pitch I’d made to another publisher had been rejected, reversing a publishing karma I was afraid might go in the wrong direction.

The History Press tends to work with historians, and while my experience as a journalist has given me opportunities to rifle through dusty books and search through moldy archives, I’d never considered myself that kind of scholar. I understood the value of primary sources, and interviewing has always been a rewarding experience. I knew that this book would test my abilities as a researcher and writer.

It has, in so many thrilling ways. Along with a brief history of brewing in Connecticut, the book is a look at each of its existing breweries, as well as profiles of certain beer bars. I started planning right away, penning a chapter here and there. As a teacher, I was given the luxury of a summer off, and saved up a lot of my research for July and August. I visited breweries and interviewed as many people connected to them as I could. September came and the book was still not finished; also, new breweries were on the horizon.

Throughout the process I was taking most of the photographs as well. The book is slated to carry more than 100 black and white and color shots. What’s great about a publisher that allows you to do that is you have more control. There were plenty of shots I can’t use, but I’ve learned what makes for fine ones along the way.

The latest is that I’m assembling the photos and sending them off to the publisher next week.

I also have a special guest writing the forward… to be revealed later.

As for the writing, everything’s due in by early January. I still have a few beer bars to profile, but otherwise it’s almost all together in that section. My history chapter will need trimming; it’s topping off at about 4,500 words (out of a book that needs to be about 34,000). There will be plenty of trimming going on over Christmas break. The book is due out in May 2015.

Next step will be marketing the book. Stay tuned for that and more. If you’re interested in learning more about the book or about hosting a signing or anything like that, please get in contact: beer.snob@yahoo.com.

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