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5 on Friday with Author Monica Bhide


Earlier this week, I wrote about Monica Bhide‘s new eBook, In Conversation with Exceptional Women.  It’s a fantastic collection of interviews with more than 50 inspiration, accomplished women that really touched me. If you are a creative gal, you should definitely read it. This weekend.

Monica Bhide herself is an inspiring and exceptional woman. She’s author of three cookbooks including Modern Spice, as well as a food writer, blogger, writing teacher and so much more. After reading the book and learning more about Bhide, I really wanted to pick her brain a little. Thankfully, she generously agreed to answer a few questions.

First, thank you so much for agreeing to answer a few questions. Your book really touched me — and it’s one of those things that appeared in my life right when I needed it most. What inspired you to package your interviews (and the 35 new ones) into an eBook?

Monica Bhide: I wrote the book that I wanted to read! I was really down in the dumps last year and wanted to learn from successful women on how they were succeeding and how they were facing each day. The interviews on the website did so well and got such a great response, I decided to add 35 more and create a book that would inspire people.

Why did you choose to do an eBook instead of print?

MB: I think this book lent itself to being an ebook. It just seemed a natural fit to go from online interviews to online book.

How did the process of creating an eBook different from that of print books you’ve written like Modern Spice (beyond the obvious difference in genre)?

MB: The learning curve was huge. I had to hire my own copy editor, work on cover design etc and all this is new to me. I found a great company,, that helped me pull the code together for the ebook. That was helpful.

In the book, you mention how you’ve met many of these truly remarkable women and they’ve become people you turn to for professional advice. How do you suggest newer writers meet and assemble their own group of mentors?

MB: By reaching out! I think too often we become blocks in our own path. Reach out.. what is the worse that can happen? Someone will say no. Well, then, they were not meant to be. Move on. Keep reaching out until you find the right person to be your mentor.

One last question that I really wanted to ask. Was there anyone you wanted to include an interview with but couldn’t?

Sooo many.. but top of mind: Jhumpa Lahiri.

Special thanks to Monica Bhide for this interview. I really liked what she said about creating our own groups of mentors. It’s definitely time for me to get out of my own way and expand my circle of go-to women to learn from. But that first step — asking — is definitely the hardest. Any tips?

Do you have a group of mentors? How did you meet/get them?