Hope you all enjoyed the Author Interview of Ms. Amy Peterson here. This post is a continuation of the same.
What was the difficult part of writing this “the stepmother” book?
I was concerned about the kids’ feelings, so gave them time to review the book and bribe me not to publish it. When I didn’t receive any bribes or “please don’t“ comments, I felt comfortable moving forward. (And they’re all still speaking to me, so that’s probably a good sign, too). I did change their names to maintain their privacy and because of things like Tip # 44: You cannot trade a bad child for a good head of lettuce. I was also a bit concerned about the ex-wife in the story. By using Ex (without any name), I made the Ex typical of an Ex in any stepmother’s story—someone not to like or dislike, but to perhaps avoid as long as possible and eventually deal with, “with humor, and, perhaps, a few twisted thoughts.”
Tell us a little about the book cover.
The cover is based on my wedding cake, which I designed. While my cake had clear fish and bubbles, the graphic designer included some great color for the cover. And while our cake didn’t have kids in the boat with the bride and groom, I insisted on that for the cover. I love pointing out to women that the bride’s fishing pole is connected to a larger fish than the groom’s. Not that I’m competitive or anything.
Is this your first book? Future plans about writing? Any projects in the pipeline now?
This is my first book and I intend to heavily market it for the next few months before I dive into finishing up my next book. It’s the humorous story of how I found myself caring for and spoiling a bunch of pets my husband “always wanted,” including frogs, iguanas, hedgehogs, ferrets, mice, gerbils, dogs, a cat, a rabbit and a domestic duck. It will be similar to the stepmother book in that it will be a humorous book with tips. I share some fun wildlife encounters as well.
A few tips / suggestions to young writers about writing in particular?
When most people finish writing a book, there’s usually no party thrown like when we have birthdays or babies. (In fact, there are no parties when women take on four stepkids, either.) So realize that you’re writing for yourself and be prepared for the hard work that begins when the book is done. It’s all about marketing. Keep looking for opportunities like this one—the exposure is priceless, and for that, Abhishek, I thank you.
A few tips / suggestions to writers on being funny and painting a humorous picture?
I think to write humor you almost have to step away from the situation and try to re-live it as if you were watching someone else. At the time I was groping my way along becoming a stepmother, it wasn’t always funny, but as an outsider looking back at my fumbling my way through, I could find a lot of humor in it. I am also fortunate to be able to find humor in every-day things. I mean, how many women get fishing lures for Valentine’s Day? How many people drive an hour to see their stepkid play a lacrosse game and take numerous great photos of the wrong kid? And how many women have two fun female pals willing to pose with a chip clip on their nose while searching for snowy owls at a wastewater treatment plant? Those are all things I’ve blogged about.
Final note: It’s Read an E-book Week March 4-9. Check out From Zero to Four Kids in Thirty Seconds on Amazon.com.
Hoping Ms. Would become highly successful.