Remember my friend Liz of Mabels House?
Remember my little giveaway for her new book – My (not so) Storybook Life?
Well I am happy to announce that the winner was chosen by random generator and the winner is:
Hmm…now that I’ve lived in Germany and have learned a bit of the historical background behind many of our modern fairytales, I am not sure I have a favorite one. I do, however, have a new found respect and interest in Jane Austen and what made her tick. After having visited Bath, England, where many of her stories are based, and visiting her museum there in Bath, I find her and her stories so much more intriguing
Penny – send me your address so I can get your book!
To celebrate the end of the giveaway I have asked Liz to share a few thoughts on New motherhood, writing and what is next for her, grab a cup of joe and have a seat on Liz’s couch with Mabel and join us for a blogside chat.
JG: I know you have written fiction before, how did you find writing a memoir to be different? Easier? Harder?
EO: It was easier in some ways, harder in others. It was easier b/c I was simply relaying something that had already happened as opposed to trying to brainstorm plots, characters, etc. It was hard because editing unnecessary stuff was really important. I had to remember that just because my family might want to read about something didn’t mean perfect strangers would find it interesting.
JG: Yes, I feel your pain on that one. Streamlining is hard with memoir. OK, I have some technical writer questions: How long was the process? Did you send a query and get a contract first or did you write the book and then get a contract? What about your agent – how did you find her and has she been a valuable asset?
EO: Well, if you’re thinking about writing a book, put your seatbelt on. It doesn’t happen fast. But with that said, go for it. It’s the best thing you’l ever do. I found my agent (Laurie Abkemeier… Agent Awesome) online. There are great resources, such as agentquery.com, where you can search for agents by genre. I wrote the book first, but Laurie had ideas for a rewrite, so I did it. She was instrumental in making the book what it is today. I cannot say enough good things about her. So yes, agents can be fantastic.
JG: I noticed that the book is bound in a wonderful aqua blue that looks just like you – did you have any influence on the art direction of how your book was produced?
EO: I can’t speak for other publishing houses, but skirt! and my editor Mary were really sweet and involved me as much as possible in what I liked, didn’t like. But publishing houses have in-house designers and make the final call on things like that.
JG: The story about the cookies is one of my favorite. Do you think we could trade out? You come clean for me and I will bake for you? I have never scrubbed a floor on my hands and knees in moments of stress, but I have baked amazing cookies.
EO: Yes! But be warned, teaching me to bake might end up making you drink. I kid. 🙂
JG: Well, if you had to clean my house you might do more than drink…lol. I know you had a bout of Postpartum Depression after you had your daughter Jane. How are you feeling now? Any tips for new moms out there or moms-to-be about how to identify PPD? Just for the record, I had PPD with my first son, and I am on a regular anti-depressant myself, so when I read about your struggles on your blog, I could really relate.
EO: I’m feeling great now, thanks to antidepressants. A lot of moms tough it out, but my case was so severe I couldn’t get out of bed. So medication was necessary. I would just advise other new moms to keep a close eye on themselves and don’t be embarrassed. So many mothers go through this but never talk about it. It’s easy to be so caught up in caring for a new baby that you don’t notice until it’s really bad. I started to cry uncontrollably, feel incredibly fatigued (like mono) and “not like myself.” I was better within a few days of medicine, and can’t say enough good things about it.
JG: So what is next? Another book? Book tours? Book Festivals?
EO: I have a book signing at Books-A-Million in North Little Rock on November 12 at 1:00. And I’m kicking around ideas for a second book, but mostly I’m focusing on recovering from some health problems and enjoying my family these days. Life is good!