We loved your latest book, POSTED! Pets, Parenting and Menopause, One Status Update at a Time. What made you decide to write it?
I actually decided to write POSTED because I realized that I had about three years’ worth of some of my best writing and observations on my Facebook page, never to be read again after the first posting. I thought, “Who knows how much more of this I have left in me? I might run out of things to say tomorrow – I’d better get this stuff all collected.”
Even though the book is a compilation of FB status updates, how would you describe the writing process for the book?
Even as a compilation of FB posts, this venture was extraordinarily time-consuming, in terms of going back through the years of posts, collecting them into a Word document, editing for clarity and errors, putting them in reverse chronological order, vetting entries for consistency with the theme I was attempting to achieve (i.e. the parenting, pets and menopause updates), and laying it all out in a coherent, readable format. I think it should be noted that I failed miserably at some of that.
What was the response to the book?
The response was positive, mainly because it was marketed to people who had already “fanned” my Facebook page and liked my writing going in. In fact the only negative comment I received alluded to some typos, which I cried over for a few days. But hey, supposedly there are typos in every single book ever written – which essentially puts me in company with Anne Lamott and Ernest Hemingway. And I’m good with that.
What do you want the reader takeaway to be?
I would want the takeaway to be the same as I would like it to be with my monthly columns, “Kids These Days” and “Mom’s the Word”– that nobody is perfect, and trying to hide our imperfections is just too hard. Between aging, kids, self-esteem issues, marriage, menopause, pets – there’s a lot going on there already. Trying to hide some of it takes too much energy. If a couple of people can admit they make mistakes or don’t understand something or are struggling with something, maybe a few others can say, “Hey, she went through this, and she actually posted about it. Maybe I’m not alone after all. Maybe I don’t need to be ashamed.”
What are your plans for the future?
My latest *real* book (read: one you can hold in your hands) is at my agent’s as we speak. It’s called “Body Punishment,” and it’s a memoir around self-esteem issues, eating disorders, self-injuring, and other fun stuff through the lens of my experience with the martial arts. Not necessarily as witty as some of my other writings … but, I think, necessary. At least, it was necessary for me to write it.
Otherwise, I’m teaching journalism and public speaking at a local college, and both of my children are now teenagers. We recently lost a beloved 4-year-old Maine Coon which we felt the need to replace with TWO kittens, to add to the cat and golden retriever we already have. I figure the next few years will sort of make my future plans for me.