Friday, 27 April 2012

Doing it right

It's great to read a story where fan-sourced content is appreciated by the original work's author instead of stomped on. I'd seen the blog for the "Game of Thrones" cookbook after one of its bloggers visited here after I'd posted on food stores in Westeros. But I hadn't read the backstory of how they moved from blog to publication. The Wall Street Journal gives the story.
The book began as the brainchild of Chelsea Monroe-Cassel and Sariann Lehrer, two Boston twenty-something housemates who are “pretty obsessed” with the Martin books and the HBO series, Ms. Monroe-Cassel said.  Last March, the friends decided to blog about making food inspired by Mr. Martin’s books.  In May, they emailed Mr. Martin to let him know about their blog, and were stunned when he wrote back, saying he would mention the project to his publishers.

For his part, Mr. Martin was interested, because though readers over the years had suggested he write a companion cookbook to his series—detailed food descriptions run throughout the books—“I can’t cook,” Mr. Martin admitted in his forward to the cookbook.

With a penchant for taking creative projects to the extreme, Ms. Cassel-Monroe said she “organized a conspiracy” for Mr. Martin’s “A Dance with Dragons” book tour last summer, delivering baskets of pork pies, and oat and lemon cakes and organizing fellow fans to deliver similar baskets to Mr. Martin as he traveled the country.
And so they went from blogging to writing the official Game of Thrones cookbook.

There's also an unofficial Game of Thrones cookbook.

If you read TechDirt too much*, it's easy to get a bit depressed about rights-holders who seem more interested in stomping on their fans than in encouraging projects that are complementary to their product. It's great that George R.R. Martin gets it.

I'm looking forward to feasting when the book ships end-May. I wonder if David Friedman will review it.

* Today's edition of how-not-to-do-it: Hasbro, whose toys are now less likely to wind up in my shopping basket.


  1. Today's world with all of the possibilities offered by Internet and blogging, as well as gaining audience all over the globe, can definitely give you the instant fame, with no problems. Thanks for delivering this really nice story, as really did not know what was the story behind "A Feast of Ice and Fire: The Official Game of Thrones Companion Cookbook " and am also waiting to get it when it is being published!

  2. See also Terry Pratchett. Fan written companion works have reached the Times best seller lists, with Terry editing and sometimes co-writing things like Fan drawn maps.