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Get a Taste of Joy with Author Emily A. Francis

After moving to Malta with her family during the 2020 pandemic, Emily A. Francis learned insider secrets to one of the healthiest lifestyles in the world. Now she shares these insights so that you too can improve your wellness and invigorate your spirit.

The Taste of Joy shows you the importance of living simply, mindfully, and naturally while nourishing your body and soul. Discover your own path to happiness as Emily recounts eye-opening experiences with a country and culture that made her come alive. Using food as a metaphor for life, this book highlights local methods for harvesting and cooking while exploring Mediterranean values. With Emily's pearls of wisdom and a handful of recipes, you can get a taste of bliss and create a life you can relish instead of simply endure.

We caught up with Author Emily A. Francis, who has a new book, The Taste of Joy.

Here's what she had to say about her life and her new book!

Why did you write this book?

During the worldwide pandemic and lockdown smack in the middle of 2020, I was given the opportunity to move out of the US to the island of Malta in the Mediterranean. There, I became a local food writer for the tourism magazine, Oh My Malta. I interview local farmers, fisherman and chefs on the way that single ingredients are grown, harvested and prepared. We have followed the seasons and what foods are growing during each part of the year. The farming community now has my heart and I wanted to share them with the world. I have learned so much from their wisdom and their history. They have been so generous with their information and their time. They have all become dear friends to me and I have learned to look at foods in a much more elevated and mindful way. Knowing what foods have passed through which hands makes each season of foods all the more special. I wanted to introduce food in a way that speaks to our souls. The lessons that I have learned along the way were never meant for me alone. They were always meant to be shared; just the way that the Mediterraneans do it. Everyone is invited to these long and lovely tables here in this culture.

What is your favorite part of the book?

My favorite part of the book is the chapter on "You Deserve to be the Breakout Star of Your Life". This chapter introduces trees that bear fruit as a metaphor for life. It also introduces olive oil in a way that I had no idea it could be shared. Olives carry so much history and information. From the ways the trees themselves grow and bear fruit to the leaves themselves and the years of history that the sacred olive trees have served to bless the homes and families of the island.

Tell us about yourself.

I am a formally trained clinical massage therapist who has specialized training working with chronic swelling conditions called Lymphedema. This occurs most notably following cancer treatments; specifically radiation treatments. For twenty years I have studied the body in a way to help it maintain a balance and a level of health and healing. Moving to Malta, I do not have a work visa and so my years of clinical bodywork came to an abrupt end. It was a trade I was willing to make in order to gain this new life and new opportunity with my family. I still write books and I continue to host my radio show All About Healing on Healthy Life Radio. Finding out what other interests I had and figuring a way to go do them was tricky and took some persistence. Oh My Malta gave me a whole new life here in Malta and a pathway to meet the most glorious people. Not only do I write for the magazine, but I go to the farms with a camera operator and we do live in person interviews that have garnered incredible amounts of viewers and supporters from the whole country. I was even featured on a German Food Television show when they came to Malta to learn about the local cuisine, all because they saw one of my interviews about the traditional and very special local specialty Gbajnet! It was a true delight to hear the words "our producer was so excited to feature a local food writer on our show!" I couldn't believe they were talking about me! I guess I have traded in my massage table for a much longer dining table in my new life!

What is the most fun part of being an author?

The most fun part about being an author is the research that is required to create something of value. The people that I have spent the last years with to learn from and to be able to authentically share some of the most private parts of a farmer's life. Behind-the-scenes footage of a life I knew nothing about and bringing it out to the public and turning it into pages. That is a gift. I felt that way with my former books on body healing as well. I always went to extraordinary lengths to find and interview the best of the best all over the world on various approaches to body healing.

What is the most challenging part about being an author?

The most challenging part of being an author is the stress and pressure of sales and marketing. I love every part of writing and creating. I have a very difficult time selling the book and marketing the book. It feels like a full-time job and I was never into sales. I can't even keep copies of my books at my house because I always end up giving them away. Social media is a balance of fun and also daunting. I don't like having any numbers to negotiate any part of my value and when it comes to sales and social media, it's the only thing that matters. That is very difficult for me even when the numbers are high. I think that is why I have been so much more successful living in Malta and not being allowed to earn a paycheck. Everything that I am doing over here, all of these interviews and articles that I write, I am doing it because I love it. It feels pure to me and takes the pressure away. I think that is why the views of each video exceed fifty thousand views (and usually much more than that) because I'm not counting on them. It's released without an attachment to the outcome. It's a true joy to be a part of. For me, that part is magical.

Tell us about your life as a mom.

Nothing is more important to me than my family. Bringing children to a new country, one that is marked as one of the safest countries in the world has been the biggest blessing by far. The schools here are wonderful and the one we have attended for the past three years has been extraordinarily good to us. It is safe here and gun violence is not a thing over here. Guns are not allowed here. My children have flourished being around so many other children who hail from all around the world. They are learning other languages and are introduced more deeply into the arts here. What my children have gained from growing up here is beyond what I can describe adequately here. My husband often says "it would be amazing to be a kid here." This is an extremely family-friendly country. Everyone loves the children here. There is a great deal of love and support over here, even without my extended family getting to be here.

Why did you become an author?

I don't think there was any path that did not lead me to become a writer of some sort. Writing is something I love and feel called to do. The number of studies that I have put forth to write about body healing was hard-earned and run deep. I knew I had things to share that were necessary and important. I am not much of a creative writer as much as I am an educational writer. There is always a lesson or information shared throughout my writing style. I am not one to create a fictional fantasy, though I greatly admire those that can. Writing books (The Taste of Joy is my sixth professionally published book) is what I am passionate about. It is my avenue of expression that balances out the rest of me. Without it, I think I'd still be suffering from deep levels of anxiety and panic. It had to have a place to go. I always say that anxiety is creativity with no place to go. Once I finally figured out where to direct all that extra energy, it became solid in the form of books. I'm one of the extremely lucky ones who get to do this for a living. That alone took so many years to make happen. I built my writing career from the ground up with no contacts or connections of any kind. I am not at all an overnight success at anything. I worked and I hustled and I showed up at book trade shows and venues from coast to coast on my own dime with my old self-published works trying to get noticed. Having the support of my publishers and editors now, it is a gift beyond words. It truly is a dream come true. And now, in a whole new world with a very different way of life, having the magazine helped me create a whole new way of writing and expressing myself...well that really is a taste of joy! I feel like the luckiest girl in the world and I'm not about to waste any of it looking away and missing all the incredible blessings that have come to me. How much better can it get? Well, that is exactly what I aim to find out!

About Emily A. Francis

Emily A. Francis has a BS in exercise science and wellness with a minor in nutrition and a Master's degree in human performance. She is the author of Stretch Therapy, The Body Heals Itself, Whole Body Healing, and Healing Ourselves Whole. Now living in the Mediterranean, she has become fascinated with local food production, writing a regular column in the local tourism magazine Oh My Malta, titled "Emily in Malta," where she interviews local farmers, fishermen, and chefs on single ingredient farming. She has also teamed up with a world-renowned chef for a weekly column titled "A Chef and a Foodie on Tour" where they review restaurants from both a chef and a food lover's point of view. She is also a contributing writer for Malta's Gourmet Today magazine. You can find Emily at


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