It was such a pleasure to learn that my publisher in the UK, Jacqui Small, signed new author Caroline Rowland because it's always nice to have talented new authors in your circle. Caroline's first book just launched called The Shopkeeper's Home and so I had to offer to help spread the word to support her new book writing career. I had a virtual coffee and chat with her this morning and she gave me a few insights into her book and tips for those of you who may be interested in getting a book deal of your own. I thought I'd share our chat with you now along with some beautiful photos from her book that will definitely have you running out to buy The Shopkeeper's Home. Ready?
decor8: Caroline, can you please tell us about your background?
CR: I studied photography at university, then worked on picture desks mainly at the Financial Times. I set up my blog, Patchwork Harmony, in 2008 and 91 Magazine in 2011 while still working full time but finally went freelance in 2013.
decor8: How did you get a book deal, what are some tips for those who want to get into books?
CR: Jacqui Small was aware of my work with 91 Magazine, and we had a meeting way back when I still worked for the Financial Times, but it was only after I went freelance that I approached them with my book idea and things went from there. I think it's good to build a brand/aesthetic first so publishers can see what you are about. Think about unique ideas that might work as a book. It needs to be something you're really passionate about too as you'll be working on it for quite a while!
decor8: What is this book about?
CR: It features beautiful shop interiors from30 independent stores from around the world and the shopowner's homes. I wanted to explore whether there was any relationship between their professional & personal spaces, and also gather inspiration from these highly creative people. I wanted to compare their work & home spaces to see if they influenced each other, as well as the fact I imagined these people who have created stunning retail spaces would probably have done the same at home. And they did!!
decor8: Tell us about the book sections and why did you choose them?
CR: The first half is decorating ideas, from walls & floors to display and storage. These all were obvious areas that both shop & home interiors had lots of ideas to steal. The second half profiles the shops, split into lifestyle, vintage, homewares, crafts, cafe/shops. These are the types of shops I personally love discovering when I travel so these seemed the obvious ones for me to feature.
decor8: Did you get to style the spaces photographed for this book and how did you find them?
CR: Unfortunately I missed the majority of the shoots as my daughter was due the week we started shooting! I managed to make it to a few which I loved working on so it was a shame I missed the rest. I found the shops as a result of a LOT of online research! Although some I knew of before. As above, I didn't get to travel to many sadly.
decor8: Congrats on your new baby and on your new book! What inspired you to do a book like this and which shop featured is the closest to your personal style?
CR: My combined love of interiors & shopping was my greatest inspiration. As far as the shop that is closest to my style, that's a tricky one! Perhaps The Hambledon which features on the book cover as I love their mix of vintage and contemporary.
decor8: Would you ever want your own shop and if so, how to you envision it?
CR: I used to have an online shop but after a few years I realised retail isn't really my thing, my passion is publishing.
decor8: What is the practical takeaway people will get from reading this book?
CR: There are loads of decorating ideas for the own home and it is also partly a shopping directory, so the next time that you are visiting London or New York (for example), you can check out the featured shops in person.
Thank you Caroline for sharing your beautiful book with us today, we are so happy to have you join us on decor8 and to kick off your online book tour. All the best to you!
(images: Jacqui Small LLP)