Tuesday, April 22, 2008

You're a Good Mom...and a Great Writer!

Today, I'm excited to have Jen Singer, author of "You're a Good Mom (and your kids aren't so bad either)." I'm thrilled Jen is the first author to be featured in the new book giveaway. Now, you, the readers, will get the last word by asking the author a question. Just click on "comments" and ask by 5 p.m. today. If I draw your question, you'll win a book and Jen will answer your question on Thursday. Jen is not only a very funny writer, she's an inspiration to many. Jen finished this last book while undergoing chemotherapy - and her humor is seamless throughout the book. In her interview, she talks about humor writing, how she built her platform and got a great paying blog gig, as well as her experience writing during one of the most difficult times of her life.

Tell us about yourself.
I’m the author of “You’re a Good Mom (and Your Kids Aren’t So Bad Either),” the creator of MommaSaid.net and the mother of two boys who talk to me through the bathroom door.

Tell us about your new book, "You're a Good Mom (and your kids aren't so bad either):
In You're a Good Mom (and Your Kids Aren't So Bad Either): The 14 Secrets to Finding Happiness Between Super Mom and Slacker Mom," I provide the tips to help raise perfectly good kids in that sweet spot between flash cards at breakfast and "donuts for dinner, kids!"

You've developed a niche in writing about parenting, tell us how that came about? The old adage “write what you know” came into play. I know all about trying to keep up with the uber moms and their jam-packed schedules, over-worked kids and oh-so-perfect figures. I also know about the moms who have given up on filtering out for their kids the rude and nasty stuff on TV and the Internet. They’re the ones who treat fine restaurants like a McDonald’s Playplace.

Your blog, www.Mommasaid.net has helped build your platform, was that the intent in the beginning?
MommaSaid was and is the foundation of my platform. Books lose their new-and-exciting status, but web sites grow stronger and stronger and more people log in. I can keep in touch with moms of kids of all ages through MommaSaid, thereby making me continuously valuable to reporters and producers.

How did you attract people to your blog?
In the beginning, it was all word of mouth. The viral nature of the Internet helped it grow. But dogged determination and relentless publicity made it what it is today.

How did you get the gig for Good Housekeeping http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/family/tweens/

My Good Grief: Tale of Two Tweens blog came from a tip from two fellow writers who knew what the editor was looking for in a parenting blog. I put together a detailed pitch, including samples from several years’ worth of blogs at MommaSaid. I needed to provide I could sustain an entertaining blog for a long period of time, and MommaSaid helped me achieve that.

As of a few weeks ago, Good Grief is now syndicated at Yahoo’s new portal for women, Shine:

How did you come up with the idea for this book and how did you sell it to your agent/publisher?
I had been blogging about the news as it relates to parents for some time, turning it into a regular weekly radio show segment. All those things that I wrote about, from the parents who were spending thousands of dollars on youth sports when the average college sports scholarship is just $2,000 to the moms who let their three-year-olds watch “Cops,” turned into the book.

You're a humorist, but you went through something not very funny while writing this book. How did your diagnosis of cancer affect your writing?
I had four chapters left to write when I found out I had non Hodgkin’s lymphoma. I found it therapeutic to hide in the humor, so I kept on writing. I wrote the chapters out of order, and even I can’t tell which I wrote before my diagnosis and which I wrote on the oncology floor at New York Hospital.

What's next for you, Jen?
Next spring, the first two of my three-book series, MommaSaid’s Back Fence Advice Guides to Parenting, will be published by HCI, the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” publishers. I finished writing the toddler book, and, as soon as I’m done with the Good Mom publicity madness, I’ll finish writing preschool book. I’ll keep blogging along the way. Meanwhile, I had my second clean PET scan since January. I’m hoping to rack up a lot more of those, of course.

Now, readers, it's your turn to ask Jen a question!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jen,
Do your boys ever read what you write? If so, what is their reaction when they read about themselves?
Thank you,

8:11 AM CDT  
Blogger Life's Beautiful Path said...

How do you keep writers from using your material on your blog?


8:25 AM CDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

Where were you and your book when my son, now 19, was at home? Any advice for parents trying to keep their really smart, straight-A in high school, from just enjoying college's freedoms too much?

9:30 AM CDT  
Blogger OnlyAng said...

Been a long-time reader Jen. I've always wondered how you seem to keep your humor when things go wacky. I mean - you have 2 boys, a husband and now you are a survivor, too. That's a lot on your plate... I would have lost it by now. How do you smile through it all?

10:19 AM CDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great interview, Kelly. My question is a little lugubrious but it's one I've been thinking about lately: Did you talk to your children about being ill and have you found ways to prepare your family in case you die? Since it's always a possibility that a parent could die, it seems like it's something that we should address with our children. But I don't think there is anything in our culture that helps us figure out how. Okay, I know this question won't get picked, but I'd love to read your answer. Congrats on the book.

11:42 AM CDT  
Blogger Jenn P said...

How do your sons like having thier lives "published" on the web and in books?

Love the book,

12:26 AM CDT  

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