Anita Hinkeldey-McVey, an author from Boone, held a signing at the Stepping Stones Christian Book Store in Marshalltown on Friday to promote her first book “Because He First Fed Us: Ordinary Meals — Extraordinary Messages.”
This book contains 30 devotions paired with personal anecdotes from Hinkeldey-McVey, and she explores the concept of how God uses food to communicate with his followers. It’s one Hinkeldey-McVey had been contemplating for about five years before publishing her book de ella, and it all began when she started her recipe blog, Picnic Life Foodie.
“The idea of writing a book was too intimidating,” she said. “I wanted to preserve a lot of the stories behind the recipes that I made for my family because I would always end up saying like ‘Oh, Grandma Dorothy used to make this for this time,’ or stuff like that. I thought it would be a good thing to actually get that written down and share those recipes.”
In the process of writing for the blog, she began to make connections between her faith and food, and every time another one of those ideas would arise, Hinkeldey-McVey would make a note of it on her phone.
“Pretty soon that list was big enough that I thought ‘I think I’m supposed to write a book,’ so that was a process,” she said.
It took five years to make her dream of writing a book a reality, and she said she spent three of those years realizing they could even become a book. Then, she got to work developing her original ideas, deciding on structure, and then finally writing it.
“Because He First Fed Us” was published through Redemption Press and has been available for purchase since early December. Hinkeldey-McVey hopes to make enough to recoup her original investment from her, so she can possibly write another book.
Ironically, she says she avoided English classes “like the plague” in college and self-identified as a math nerd. Prior to starting her blog, she wrote very little.
“I was actually in statistics in college,” she said. “I think the thing you find often is you can write about the things that you’re passionate about much easier than something that is assigned to you, and so between faith and food and family, it was an easy connection.”
Passion aside, Hinkeldey-McVey said she was grateful to have an editor who was able to improve the flow of the book without changing her unique voice. In her view of her, the personal roots of “Because He First Fed Us” sets it apart from other devotion books.
“It’s truly stories from growing up and with my family and just how food played a big role, not only in our life and our days, but in our faith and how that was used as an expression of love,” she said.
Hinkeldey-McVey also hosted another book signing at Stepping Stones Christian Book Store in Grinnell on Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm “Because He First Fed Us” is available online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Hinkeldey-McVey’s website at https:// picniclifefoodie.com/product/because-he-first-fed-us/. It can also be found at the Stepping Stones locations in Marshalltown and Grinnell.