In 2009, Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan lost her job as a fashion writer at the Wall Street Journal. But a week later, she’d signed with Hyperion to write a food memoir.

Joe Grimm spoke to Tan about what’s happened between then and now.

Apparently, a lot. Not just the researching and writing of the book, but building her platform:

“‘I carried a notebook with me whenever I went into the kitchen or whenever my family was telling stories. Everyone has a different version of events.’ She used a camera and audio recorder to take notes.

“As she reported and wrote, Tan found material that she knew would not make the book. She poured that into her blog. The writing there already has helped her land a magazine piece with Food & Wine. She does a weekly piece now for The Wall Street Journal and will have a piece about her book this week in Newsweek.”

Another tidbit: She wrote the original proposal–all 11,000 words of it–in a month when she realized her job at the WSJ was in jeopardy. A month!

Now she’ll be doing travel, food, and fashion writing and seeing where her new status as author takes her.

The book is officially out today.