CARLSBAD — Kitty Morse makes being a bestselling author look easy.In 1989, she published her first book, “Come With Me to the Kasbah: A Cook’s Tour of Morocco.”She followed that with another book about her homeland, “Cooking at the Kasbah: Recipes from My Moroccan Kitchen.”
In 1998, The San Francisco Chronicle placed the book on the list of bestselling cookbooks, the same year she won first place (cookbook category) in the San Diego Book Awards. Soon after that, London’s Daily Telegraph named it Cookbook of the Week.
It also became a finalist in the World Food Media Awards, Michelin, Australia Best Food Book.
To date Morse has eight cookbooks to her name published by HarperCollins, Pelican Publishing, 10 Speed Press and Chronicle Books.
Her latest effort, a memoir and cookbook titled “Mint Tea and Minarets: A Banquet of Moroccan Memories,” is self-published and was a finalist in the 2012 San Diego Book Awards.
After achieving success as an author, Morse thought the least she could do was to go back and thank her former instructors at MiraCosta College where she had taken a creative writing class.
“I said to them, ‘I did what you told me to do and look what happened!’” she recalled.
On June 29, Morse and fellow authors from San Diego Writing Women will share their experiences in a panel titled, “Reading is So Delicious” in the Ruby G. Schulman Auditorium.
Participants also include Laurel Corona, “The Four Seasons: A Novel of Vivaldi’s Venice” (2009 San Diego Book Award); Kathi Diamant, “Kafka’s Last Love: The Mystery of Dora Diamant”; Zohreh “Zoe” Ghahremani, “Sky of Red Poppies” (official selection for KPBS’s One Book One San Diego in 2012) and “The Moon Daughter”; Judith Liu, “Foreign Exchange”; and Caitlin Rotes, “Lost Girls” (Pulitzer nominee and New York Times bestseller).
Ghahremani, who is of Persian descent, left her career as a pediatric dentist to pursue her love of writing. Like Morse, she became successful even though English was her second tongue.
“Writing has always been my passion,” she said. “I continued to write while I was practicing dentistry, teaching at Northwestern University, and raising my three children.
“So when I stopped my other jobs, and my own children no longer needed mom’s full attention, I found myself in writers’ heaven! I write an average of six to 10 hours a day.”
Her advice to struggling writers is to be committed, work hard and create your best product.
“A writer’s job is to write, write, and then rewrite!” she said.
“I feel fortunate that readers seem to like my stories and am thrilled with the way San Diego has embraced me and my work.
“I write from the heart and only present to my readers what I would be willing to read.
“My main advice to aspiring writers is that they should believe in themselves and never change their style to fit the market.”
Moderator for the panel will be Susan McBeth, founder of Adventures by the Books.
McBeth began presenting author workshops because of her connection to the publishing industry as an events coordinator for more than 20 years, including more than four years as director of marketing and events at Warwick’s Bookstore in La Jolla.
In addition to panel discussions, she hosts trips for writers including one last year to Alaska where her group stayed in the home of award-winning author and wilderness photographer Lynn Schooler.
Currently, she is developing an Author Academy to respond to the need of authors, many of whom are self-published, who need assistance with marketing.
“I love books, I love people who love books and it’s a great way to connect people with communities,” she said.
Authors, would-be authors and readers are invited to “Reading is So Delicious,” which begins at 4 p.m. June 29 at the Ruby G. Schulman Auditorium, Carlsbad City Library located at 1775 Dove Lane, Carlsbad.
Books will be available for sale and signing.
For more information, visit carlsbadlibrary.org or call (760) 602-2012.
The event is part of the library’s Summer Reading Program.
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