Guys, today is the 1-year anniversary of the publication of my cookbook The Supersize Family’s Guide to the Kitchen. Let me tell ya, it’s been a ride. It’s only been a year since the book came out, but I spent three years writing it, so it’s been a four-year journey so far. Plus this fall, my second cookbook Potluck Perfect will be published.
In honor of the one-year anniversary, I thought it would be fun to rewrite my “About Me” page. I haven’t updated it since I originally posted it a year ago. It was a Q & A session, so I left the old questions and added a few new ones.
As the title of this post said…. Welcome to the circus.
ABOUT COURTNEY LYNN
I tried writing several versions of a biography to post on here… but I hated them. One had too many jokes, one seemed too braggy, and one seemed like the life story of a nun. So instead of an “about me,” I wrote a bare-bones bio, and then had a few people come up with questions for a question-and-answer page. This was way more fun, and you can see a little of my real personality.
THE BARE-BONES BIO
My name is Courtney Lynn. I’m 27 years old, but feel like an old soul. I’m part Paula Deen, part Scarlett O’Hara, and part Joey Gladstone.
Cooking and writing are my main hobbies, which turned into a job. I also love reading, fishing, and antique-hunting.
I wrote a cookbook called The Supersize Family’s Guide to the Kitchen because I felt that the world and the families in it needed recipes that serve more people than the average recipe. The book is available at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and most of the major online bookstores. My second cookbook, Potluck Perfect, will be published September 2018. I also wrote a free e-cookbook called The Frugal Family’s Guide to the Kitchen, and my second free e-book will also be available this fall.
I also write this blog, Supersize Family Kitchens. It’s mostly a food blog with recipes from my books and also never-before-seen recipes. I also write posts on crafts, decorating, and family life.
I sell books and other merchandise at author events, book signings, and craft shows throughout the year. I typically post on this blog when I know I’ll have a booth somewhere.
I live in southern Missouri, where we have four seasons: winter, winter, still winter, and holy-cow-I’m-dying-lets-fry-an-egg-on-the-sidewalk.
I’m glad you stopped by. Thanks for reading and happy cooking!
THE BIG Q & A
- Why did you write a cookbook?
I guess here is where I start at the beginning. For the first 20-ish years of life, I could not cook. Not grilled cheese. Not toast. Not Jello, or hot dogs, or nachos. Somewhere in my early twenties, I picked up a magazine and saw a recipe for Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars. No eggs, no raw meat, and only had to bake for 12 minutes. I could do that, and I did. Those bars made me feel like a rockstar. I found my brother Judson frantically scraping the crumbs off of the table like a madman. From there, I made Oatmeal cookies, and then peanut butter cookies. At that point, I realized I Can Do This. I then discovered casseroles, and I really took off.
The only problem was, I usually cooked for 8-10 people, and most of the recipes I found in magazines and cookbooks made about 4-6 servings. #failure. With this in mind, I started collecting big-batch recipes for my own personal use. And I went through my mom’s recipe box and found quite a few forgotten recipes that I could double. I hunted for big potluck-style cookbooks, but I found the well to be practically dry. After I had 30 or so recipes, I had a crazy thought… “Maybe someday when I have a few hundred recipes I’ll write my own cookbook.” And eventually I did. I did hours and hours and oodles and oodles of research about writing, formatting, publishing vs self-publishing, and on and on and on. I considered the traditional route, but I ultimately decided that since I was doing this project for fun, I wanted to handle every aspect myself, even though I knew it would take a ton of work. I chose CreateSpace as my self-publishing platform and I let my control-freak brain go wild. I enlisted my sister Chelsea—a photographer—to take the food pictures for the cover. Chelsea and my sister Halle provided tons of props for the photos as well.
A rare photo of me cooking in the 90’s. I was trying to help my grandma can beets, but I dropped 85% of them in the floor and they stained her white linoleum. And that, my friends, is why I didn’t cook until I was in my twenties.
- Before you were a cookbook author, what did you do?
This may take a while. I’ve reinvented myself more times than Taylor Swift. Let me see… Throughout the years I’ve set myself on the career path of being an accountant, a hairstylist, a wedding planner, a florist, a novelist, a barrel-racer, a songwriter, an Olympic track star, and a model. And these are just the ones I can think of at the moment. In that same order, these were my reasons for stopping: I don’t want to be cooped up in a desk, I don’t like making small talk, I don’t like dealing with cranky families, I don’t really know anything about flowers, I ran out of steam halfway through every novel, I lost interest in horses, I wrote 250+ songs before I got burned out, I had a serious foot injury, and I was in one fashion show and hated it.
(Side note: The only thing I’ve done consistently since I was a kid was write. I’ve constantly been writing poetry, songs, short stories, novels, and a short film. I didn’t have the patience and dedication when I was a teen to finish those novels, but I do now. Someday I’m going to write that novel that’s playing in my head, maybe several. I love all aspects of writing. More than anything else in my life, I’ve been a writer.)
Finally at 19 I enrolled in college to have something to do while I figured out what my next step was. Ha ha ha. I lasted for 3 years before I finally quietly dropped out in the middle of the summer semester. My parents didn’t find out until November. That was a fun conversation. I said then (and I was right) “Whatever I’m supposed to do with my life, I don’t need to go to college to do it.” I’m not against college, but I was going for the wrong reasons. I had no particular aspirations, no major. After that, I bummed around for about a year before I took up cooking, and the rest is history.
- Why did you start a blog?
This blog is a companion to my books, but it also stands alone as a food blog. I post recipes here from my cookbooks, and also unpublished recipes, excerpts from upcoming cookbooks, and other fun stuff like DIY projects. And also I like to make web friends. At some point or another I’ll probably have PMS and post a long tearful review of a Nicholas Sparks movie, or a random commercial.
- More cookbooks in the future?
Yes. Potluck Perfect will be released September 2018, and I have half a dozen more cookbooks thought out.
- What are your big dreams?
I’d like to own a restaurant and mercantile, supplied by a farm, ranch, and garden. I think I’d also like to host my own cooking webseries. I also do a pretty good stand-up comedy routine, and I want to do something big with that. And also I’d like to be time-warped into the 1950’s.
- Married with children?
No and no. I’m 27, and where I come from, I’m considered a terminal old maid. Like, an actual spinster. I can’t say that I agree. I’m pretty sure I won’t get married till I’m at least 35, though. I actually like being an independent woman. I have family and friends that keep me busy, and I don’t mind being the third wheel as long as food is involved.
- Favorite movies and TV shows?
This is hard to answer because I love TV. My three favorite shows are Heartland, Baa Baa Black Sheep, and 7th Heaven. My other favorites are Coach, Magnum PI, Rawhide, Gunsmoke, Maverick, The Big Valley, The Wild Wild West (Robert Conrad! Oh my word!), and M*A*S*H (the first three seasons only-when Trapper left he took my heart).
About movies, my first thoughts go to The Maze Runner series because I recently watched them for the first time. If you so much as mention The Death Cure, Newt, the Flare, Immunes, or the thing that happened that we don’t talk about, I will burst into uncontrollable tears and sob into your shoulder.
Okay, enough fangirling. I really do watch a lot of movies because I’m a little bit of a movie buff. I love old movies (The Sound of Music, Gone With The Wind, It’s A Wonderful Life, How to Marry A Millionaire), romance (Sweet Home Alabama, The Longest Ride, Runaway Bride, Safe Haven, Fireproof), action/military (Battleship, Red Dawn, The Guardian, The Bourne Series, The Expendables), superhero (Spiderman [the Tobey Macguire versions] all of the Avengers movies [is it bad that Loki and Bucky are my favorite superheros?] and westerns (Silverado, Rio Bravo, The Sons of Katie Elder.)
- Favorite Supersize Family recipe?
Chicken Stuffing Casserole. I need to get the recipe on here.
- What would you pick for your last meal?
Cheesecake, with a side of cheesecake, served on a bed of cheesecake, with cheesecake for dessert. Hey, if I’m going to die, I’m not counting calories.
- Dream home?
A beach house on a private island, a cabin on a lonely mountain, a farmhouse in the middle of a thousand acres, or a houseboat on a private lake. I’m not picky.
- Who is your celebrity crush?
My celebrity crushes are mostly TV cowboys from the 1950’s and 60’s. Which means now they’re all either getting up in years or have already passed away. Bummer for me. Robert Conrad is my absolute favorite (there are no words!!!!!!). I also like Jack Kelly, James Garner, and Clint Walker. (I have a thing for broad-shouldered manly men with hairy chests.) As far as modern men my own age, it’s Scott Eastwood. Or Tom Hiddleston. Or Sebastian Stan. (I had the great idea that Scott, Tom, and Sebastian should make a movie together just so I can admire all of those cheekbones at once. Movie companies, are you listening?)
- What do you do when you’re not cooking?
Thinking about cooking or looking for new recipes. Reading, fishing, and antique-hunting are my favorite non-food related activities. I also do a pretty good stand-up comedy act, and maybe someday I’ll do something big with that.
This is an actual photo of me in my native habitat.
- What is something that you would like to see happen in your lifetime?
Me: Do I have to be serious, or can I be funny?
Me: okay, then. *thinking hard* In my lifetime, I would… like to see a film made… which accurately depicts… Tom Hiddleston in really tight jeans.
*laughter* Me: I tried to be serious, I really did! But actually, I AM serious!
So there you have it. That’s me. Of course as with every person, there’s far more to me than meets the eye. In person I’m painfully shy and quiet if I don’t know you well, so if we ever meet and I sort of whisper “Hi” and don’t make immediate eye contact, please don’t be offended. In a few minutes I’ll be making jokes, talking too loud, and asking you what you ate for lunch. You’ll be lucky if I don’t ask for the recipe.
Nice to meet you. Keep calm and fry something.