Updated: 4 days ago
Writer Name: Tara Theoharis
Location: Seattle, Washington
Years of Experience: 11
Available for writing projects: Yes!
Niche/Beat/Genre: Fandom-inspired recipes
Website: The Geeky Hostess
Favorite food: Pasta!
Writing tip for fellow writers: Just start writing! Don’t wait for the perfect bit of inspiration, don’t wait until you think you’re good enough. The more you write, the easier it will become and the better you’ll be.
Tara Theoharis runs the popular recipe and party blog, The Geeky Hostess, and is the author of two fandom recipe books: The Minecrafter's Cookbook and Break an Egg: The Broadway Cookbook.
She's a former columnist for Nerdist and Dungeons and Dragons, and loves creating approachable recipes inspired by her favorite fandoms.
How did you get started in writing?
After doing social media marketing, PR, and some writing for clients, I wanted to create my own blog where I could write about content that mattered to me.
I started The Geeky Hostess, a lifestyle blog covering geeky parties, recipes, fashion, and lifestyle.
Over the years I began focusing more on recipes, and have had the opportunity to write multiple columns and books on that topic.
What area do you specialize in?
I write approachable fandom-inspired recipes. I want my recipes to spark an interest in cooking in people who may have previously stayed out of the kitchen, and I make sure the ingredients and directions are approachable enough for the average American home cook.
What exactly are fandom cookbooks and how big is the niche?
Fandom cookbooks are cookbooks themed around your favorite fandom--there are ones for movies, TV shows, books, games, etc. If it's pop culture, there's probably a cookbook for it! Some of the most popular ones include The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook, The Bob's Burgers Burger Book, Binging with Babish, and Tequila Mockingbird.
There are probably a handful of cookbook authors that primarily write books of this genre, and then others who may come onboard for a specific project if they're passionate about it. Knowing the fandom is just as important as being able to create a good recipe!
What got you interested in fandom food writing?
When I started The Geeky Hostess, I wanted to create "adult" versions of the parties I had thrown as a kid. I wanted to throw an elegant dinner party while adding nods to a fun theme.
I wanted to throw a game night where my friends would be fully immersed in the world, thanks to the food.
This led me to create recipes in the world of my favorite genres, and that ultimately became the main theme of the blog.
Tell us about your books.
My first book, The Minecrafter’s Cookbook, is great for kids and families, and my second, Break an Egg: The Broadway Cookbook, was a passion project come to life. I’m currently working on my third, which will be out later this year.
What’s your advice for struggling new writers?
Find and read work similar to your own. Get to know the authors, publishers, and agents of your favorite books. Get inspiration from what you read—do you like the formatting? The voice they use? Take notes on what you’d like to do in your own books.
What has been your biggest professional struggle over the years?
Finding the time to write!
I have a day job and a baby in addition to my blog and books, so writing can often feel like an afterthought.
I know I work best on a deadline, so I make sure to give myself deadlines and ask my family/friends to hold me accountable.
Figure out what works best for you and stick to it!
How is your relationship with food affected by you being a writer?
I notice food a lot more than I used to!
I can’t watch something without noticing the food shown or mentioned, and tucking it away in the back of my mind for a future recipe idea.
Do you have any favorite cookbooks that you would recommend?
Trophy Cupcakes & Parties by Jennifer Shea is my go-to cookbook for cupcakes.
Cravings by Chrissy Teigen is my go-to for meals with the family (particularly her cacio e pepe, roasted potatoes, and banana bread.)
Heroes’ Feast is a beautiful example of a geeky cookbook!
Any favorite kitchen products?
A KitchenAid Mixer is my go-to appliance, but my all-time favorite tool is a good pair of tongs. I love the OXO Good Grips tongs and have a few in all the sizes.
Favorite food writers, chefs, or food-related TV shows/movies?
Samin Nosrat has an infectious joy that I can’t resist. She is inspirational, while making cooking feel very approachable and unstuffy. I’d highly recommend her book and show Salt Fat Acid Heat and her short-lived podcast Home Cooking.
What do you snack on when you’re on deadline?
Popcorn, tea, and candy. I have a half-eaten bag of Sour Patch Kids in front of me right now.
Anything else you’d like to add about being a writer?
I feel so lucky to write these niche cookbooks. Getting to immerse myself in a fandom and help bring it to life for others in such a delicious way is the best feeling.
Want to hear from more cookbook authors?