Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Mischevious Mom at the Art Gallery : A Review and an Interview with the Author

When I decided to switch direction on my blog, and focus more on what I'm interested in - namely reading, and learning more about authors, I knew exactly the person I wanted to ask.
The thing is, when you have a favourite author it's amazing. What's even more amazing is when you e-mail that author and ask if you can interview her, and she says yes.
Of course my favourite author is Rebecca Eckler. I've been reading her since she was a columnist. When I read her book Knocked Up, I pretty much decided she was the coolest person on the face of the earth. What I didn't know is that she's also probably one of the nicest people you can meet.
I've read all of her books: Knocked Up, Wiped, Toddlers Gone Wild and Rotten Apple. I enjoyed all of them, and when she teamed up with Erica Ehm to write a children's book I was excited.
I could finally introduce my kids to her work.
Guess what? They loved the book, like I knew they would.

You can purchase her book now on Amazon. I bought mine at Chapters. Go get it. It's amazing!

The Mischievous Mom at the Art Gallery

The book is about a mother, Mischevious Mom, who comes home from work, puts her blackberry away, and takes her kids on an adventure. In this case she brings them to an art gallery. The kids think it will be boring until their mom brings them into a room with a sign on the door that says "Do Not Enter - VIP's only!" And from there they have quite a night.
It's a fun book. It's quick to read, and the pictures are amazing.
What I loved about this book: I could relate. I felt like it was written for me, a mom who works all day and then comes home and tends to mix it up a bit.
My favourite part of the book: I loved the story of course, but I also loved the dedication.

"This book is dedicated to all the parents who worry that they never have enough time to have fun with their kids ... We believe the best gift you can give to your kids is a love of adventure and a belief that anything is possible - if you have the guts to go for it."

If that's not the message I want to send to my kids, I don't know what is.

Interview with Rebecca Eckler

I had the chance to ask Rebecca a few questions about the book, and about her writing career.

You've now written books from several genres: Young Adult Fiction, Memoir and now Children's literature. Which was your favourite to write, and will you continue to write all three kinds of books?

My favorite book to write was The Mischievous Mom At the Gallery, our children's picture book. Why? Because it was just plain fun, from beginning to end! Writing it with Erica was fun, showing it to my daughter in the early stages was fun, editing each word with Erica was fun, choosing the illustrator was fun. Non-Fiction, my mommy memoirs, was a little less fun, but still fun. Because it was about my life, and then about my daughter, so I liked writing them, because some moments were funny in the book. I also liked them because, in Wiped! Life with a Pint Size Dictator, I really think I helped a lot of people suffering from PPD, which is rarely talked about. Same with Knocked Up. People rarely complain about how shall-we-say? uncomfortable it is to be pregnant, and how terrifying it is? So, the mommy memoirs, I liked because I felt like I was writing to other mothers, who could relate and learn they are not alone. As for the teen fiction and the upcoming adult fiction, well, that was HARD WORK. No matter how light and breezy the book may comes across, writing fiction is hard! That's why I admire any other who publishes a book. It's hard work, even chick lit is hard. Way harder than you'd think.

You've written memoirs about your life as a mom - from learning about being a mom and pregnancy in Knocked Up, to parenting challenges in Toddlers Gone Wild. Now in The Mischievous Mom at the Art Gallery, even though the mom is a fictional character ... she seems a little like you. (and Erica Ehm, and me, and a lot of your readers who are mothers). When you look at back at the past six or seven years, do you think your books reflect how you've grown as person - and a mom?

Definitely. Because I am not the mother of a baby, or toddler anymore. I'm now the mother of a little girl who understands emotions and talks and reads. Both Erica and I are the Mischievous Moms. Our children (don't hate us) are really, really well behaved. So they only make us look mischievous in comparison. I've grown up, definitely, but I also like acting like a child sometimes, with my daughter, because it's a magical moment and, maybe she won't want to hang with me in a few years. I think that's probably I want to enjoy every minute of this time in her life, which includes writing this book for her and her peers.

For those of us who have followed you since you were a columnist - we know you and love you as a bit of a shit disturber - and I mean that in the nicest way. Is that changing ... or do you still have some stuff up your sleeve?

Shit Disturber? Really? Joking. I am so NOT a shit disturber. We're talking A student! I work really hard. I prefer to think of what I do as starting conversations! You may not like what I have to say, or maybe you do, but it's good to get any sort of conversation going, don't you think?

Working alone - or writing with someone else. Which do you prefer ... and why?

Well, for my books for adults and teens, I prefer to write alone. I have very distinct writing style.  But I would, and will, write more children's books with Erica. We have the same work ethic. She's amazing to work with. Never say never though. If I could find someone like Erica, who was so easy to work with, maybe.

What's next?

Fiction book out in fall, called Clover and The Lucky Sperm Club. Kind of chik-lit, but better. Next up, a non-fiction book, but I can't divulge that right now. We're in the middle of contracts. And I'll start writing that in April. But you'll be one of the first to know, that's for sure! Also, the second part of the teen series is coming out soon. Right now, it's all about getting the word out about The Mischievous Mom Goes to the Art Gallery! And, praying, that people will buy it!

And completely unrelated to your newest book, but questions people really want to know

    * What is your favourite book or who is your favourite author?
    * Buffy the Vampire Slayer - love it, hate it or never watched it?
    * Current favourite tv show

Favorite book?  Lord of the Flies and The Romantic by Barbara Gowdy. (Also, all Margaret Atwood books.)

Buffy? Never watched. However, I do LOVE Sarah Michelle Gellar.

Favorite TV show at present? American Idol, anything on Slice, and pretty much bad reality shows (and any shows that go into diseases/siamese twins/obesity/19 children. I also have a sick fascination watching 16 and pregnant! BUT I CANNOT WATCH TODDLERS AND TIARAS! And I cannot wait for Dexter to come back!

Thanks, Rebecca!
As I said ... Coolest person ever! Go get the book. You'll love it. And more importantly, your kids will too.

I'd love your thoughts and comments. This is new to me, but it was really fun! I want to do more reviews and interviews, so if you have any ideas or suggestions - let me know.


1StepCloser said...

Wow, a great start to the new Laural Dawn blog! Excellent interview, even if she's never actually watched Buffy (gasp of horror!!). Really, great job, can't wait for the next one.

Anonymous said...

I agree? never watched Buffster? but still she does sound like a funny sweet person (I saw her at China House and she is so tiny short and just little thing)

Did you ever read the lunch with Jan Wong columns? That's what this reminded me of but in a great can do Lattes with Laural and interview people from all walks of life.

He's one of my favourite authors but such an intense person - Ian McEwen? may be hard to get now after the Atonement movie came out

Would you only interview Canadians or any authors...

OH did you do this with Julie? That's a post I'd love to see laid out this way..

great work - gail

lettuce said...

I cannot wait to read Knocked Up (this weekend!). A really good friend gave it to me.