“She called it ‘Mom in a Pocket,’” Atkinson said.
Pretty soon, friends who also had kids going off to college were asking her if they could have a copy of the guide, too.
“Food is completely intertwined with our social lives, and for young adults with gluten sensitivity, that can be awkward,” she said.
Atkinson’s updated version is more for a general population — for families with gluten-sensitive kids or people whose elderly parents have the condition. It tackles the do’s and don’ts of gluten-free living, everything from knowing what to look for on food labels at the local supermarket, to tips for dining out in restaurants and eating exotically while traveling, to successfully setting up a “Home Sweet Gluten-Free Home.” Atkinson’s daughter has her own cutting board, utensils, pots and toaster, as well as separate shelves in the kitchen to store her food.
“Gluten-Free in 60 Minutes” was published by Nevertheless Press, a local publishing collaborative for authors that Atkinson recently co-founded with friend and fellow writer Nancy Crochiere, a former Daily News columnist and author of “The Mother Load.”
The Amesbury collaborative offers independent writers a range of publishing services, including a unique imprint and logo, editorial and design services, and full-blown media campaigns. Atkinson sees the collaborative as a way for writers to access a substantial network of publishing professionals and to support each other in the ever-changing climate of the publishing industry.
A die-hard bibliophile, Atkinson admits that she was initially skeptical of the whole e-book phenomenon. But she has come to accept the new technology as a way to create more opportunities for writers. E-books are cheaper to produce and result in higher royalties for the author.
“I don’t think books will ever go away, but it really does open up the literary world,” she said.