Emily Buehler grew up on the coast in Connecticut. When asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, she always promptly answered, an Artist.
A good high school chemistry teacher, however, led Emily to major in chemistry in college. (She has a minor in Fine Arts.) Not knowing what else to do next, Emily continued on to graduate school at UNC-Chapel Hill, where she studied reactions of hydrogen on silicon surfaces using a scanning tunneling microscope. Towards the end of her studies, she interned at the National Academies in Washington DC, which helped her realize she did not want to pursue a career in the lab. While in DC, she signed up for the Raleigh-to-DC AIDSRide. After successfully defending her dissertation, Emily spent every day riding her bike.
A friend’s job in the bread bakery at the local co-op inspired Emily to try something different. Expecting to return to science in a year or so, she became a bread baker. She quickly became fascinated with understanding the science, and when asked to teach a baking class at the Carrboro Artscenter, she prepared a manual for the students that included the basic science as well as how-to instructions. She was unable, however, to find details about the science. And she noticed that most bread-making books included only basic instructions. Her students received the manual enthusiastically and encouraged her to turn it into a book.
After unsuccessfully pitching her idea to several publishers, Emily decided to publish the book herself. She spent long hours in the library at NC State, reading articles with titles like “Free surface energy in the elasticity of wheat flour dough.” Friends helped her with editing, posing for photos, and building her first website. She founded Two Blue Books and published Bread Science in 2006. Her parents volunteered to serve as the distribution office, little suspecting how often they’d be walking to the post office.
After years of writing articles about bread for the co-op’s newsletter, Emily moved from the bakery into the marketing office, where she did everything from make signs to run events to manage the owner database. She is now the Website and Social Media Coordinator. While she does not have time to keep up with the latest trends in bread-making, she participates in the monthly #BreadChat on Twitter and occasionally researches a topic for her food chemistry blog. She continues to teach classes on the basics.
In 2008, Emily began writing about a cross-country bicycle trip she had made with a friend. She completed a 1100-page draft (the “journal” version) and promptly began cutting it down into a book suitable for others. A theme emerged (“it is better to live in the present moment”) and reassured Emily that publishing the memoir was worthwhile. She finished writing and published the book in 2017. The same year, she wrote a guidebook to self-publishing, to be published by the Editorial Freelancers Association.
In 2013, Emily began freelance editing science papers. You can learn more about her editing business at www.emilyeditorial.com.
In 2014, Emily finally started writing a fiction story that did not die after one chapter. She worked on it all year with a final sprint during National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in November. She hopes to find an agent and publish it in the traditional way, but for now it needs a lot of work.
Emily lives in Hillsborough, North Carolina with a cat named Scruffy, as well as several feral cats who learned to use the cat door and now come inside and glare at her. She has been car-free since 2002, although many kind friends lend her cars when it’s time for everyone to get their rabies booster shots. Her favorite places include downtown Hillsborough, the PTA Thrift, and The Lumina. Her favorite things include letters sent through the mail, Made-in-the-USA knee socks, and very dark Fair Trade chocolate. She loves recycling, composting, and supporting locally-owned businesses.