How It Started
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.
From Baking to Writing…
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 to overseeing the website and social media. In 2019, Emily left the co-op to be full-time self-employed. While she does not have time to keep up with the latest trends in bread-making, she hopes to catch up someday. She continues to teach classes on the basics.
…To Memoir and Fiction
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, published by the Editorial Freelancers Association. In 2018, she began giving talks about “DIY self-publishing” (i.e., how to self-publish with minimal intermediaries and maximize your income).
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. During NaNoWriMo 2016, Emily wrote a fantasy romance novel (The Forest Bride), and in 2018, she wrote a light contemporary romance. In 2019, Emily decided to focus on the fantasy romance genre, using her middle name, Jane. She’s writing what she calls “cozy fantasy romance,” which is not actually a thing yet, but will be soon! The Forest Bride and its sequels are now available (links at janebuehler.com).
The Present Day
In 2013, Emily began freelance editing science papers. You can learn more about her editing business at www.emilyeditorial.com.
Emily lives in Hillsborough, North Carolina, with a demanding yet snuggly cat named Coco, as well as Outdoor Coco, the identical neighborhood cat who torments Coco through the window. She is car-free and is usually seen around town walking or on her trusty bicycle. Her favorite places include the Cup A Joe in downtown Hillsborough, the PTA Thrift stores in Chapel Hill, and the Eno River Farmers Market. Her favorite things include letters sent through the mail, Made-in-the-USA knee socks, and very dark Fair Trade chocolate. She loves composting and trying to live waste free, taking care of the birds in her backyard, and supporting locally owned businesses.