Sunday, May 31, 2015

#MMBBR Showcase: Mom On The Road – February 13, 2015 by Allyson Ochs Primack


Shortly after she turned forty, Maggie Stevens took an unexpected journey that changed the course of her life. She didn't decide to visit all of the Earth's rain forests or spend months roaming through the African desert. It was not for scientific research nor was it for purposes of investigative journalism. Maggie’s journey took place in the most unlikely of places: on a bus with a bunch of actors. Think "Almost Famous," except instead of a teenage boy, it was a pre-pre-menopausal mom of three. Forced to face all of her fears on the road, Maggie must figure out how to get back the one thing she lost many years ago: herself. Inspired by the author’s own journey on the road while accompanying her son as his guardian on a Broadway tour and documented in the popular blog, www.momontour.com. Get to know Maggie Stevens: "She’s neurotic, insecure, energetic, and entertaining. As she tells her story, she doesn’t hold back. The reader is told everything that Maggie thinks and feels. Luckily Maggie is an original character. She’ll make you laugh, cry, wince, and shake your head. At times one may wonder if she has no shame, but that’s a good thing. Maggie does not self-censure and lets it all hang out.

Allyson Ochs Primack

Allyson Ochs Primack was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. She graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in English Education and received her law degree from Wayne State University. She practiced law in Detroit before moving to Phoenix, Arizona in 1997. She practiced law for 15 years as a criminal defense attorney. 
From January of 2013-July of 2014, she accompanied her oldest son on a Broadway tour and documented her journey in the popular blog www.momontour.com. 
In August of 2014, she launched a non-profit foundation which provides children in Arizona the opportunity to see and be a part of live theatre. In October of 2014, she wrote "You'll Be Swell: What To Expect When You Expect Your Child Will Be A Star", a humorous look at the realities of show business for children today. 
She is married and has three children.




Q.  What inspires your writing?

A.  My writing is inspired by the people around me.  I have always been fascinated by people and whether or not they are feeling the same way that I do.  It wasn't until I started blogging that I realized that there were so many people out there that were going through the exact same experiences and emotions that I was.  Women go through life having to be very politically correct if they want to fit in.  I was like that too until I became a mom.  Once you have given birth and have been literally naked in front of dozens of people, you realize that there's not a lot left to hide.  

Q.  What is your favorite thing about being an writer?

A. I am 100% honest in what I write.  I never write anything unless I am revealing exactly what I am thinking or feeling.  I am brutally honest.  I find that I often hold all of my feelings aside in real life conversations, because I am sometimes afraid of people's reactions.  The best thing about writing is being able to be completely free and true to myself.  (I always have to apologize to people that I meet that I am not that funny in real life.)  Also, I love the quiet time that I have to go off and write for months at a time at my cabin in Vermont.  (Oh, wait. That's not me.  Sorry, I'm totally copying from an article about Stephen King that was in "People.")  

Q.  What is the toughest part of being an writer?

A. With three children under the age of 13, the toughest part is finding the time to write.  If I could, I would write all day long.  My kids have very busy lives, and I have to carve out time for myself to be able to do what I love.  I think that all parents have the same daily struggle with finding the time to do the things that they love to do.  (Like sleep or eat or take a shower, to name a few.)  Thank goodness for my cabin in Vermont.

Q.  If you could not be writer, what would you do/be?

A. I would love to be a Kardashian.  I would love a career where I sit around and chat with people about the most intimate details of my life and then complain about my lack of privacy while being filmed.  

Q.  What would the story of your life be entitled?

A. "Figuring It Out As I Go" 

Q.  What is your favorite book of all time?

A.  Anything by Judy Blume, but specifically "Are You There God? It's Me Margaret"  That was the very first time that I realized that I found a character inside a book who was just like me.  Also, I loved "What To Expect When You're Expecting" because it was like a friend I could yell at all day long.  "UM, no, chapter 3, you are wrong.  I have not only gained 5 pounds at this point in my pregnancy.  It's more like 25.  So, don't tell me what I should be doing at this point.  You have NO IDEA.  You are an outdated book.  The pregnant lady on your cover is smiling and wearing a jumper.  I mean, come on."  

Q.  Which character from ANY book are you most like?

A.  I know she's a real life person, but I read Amy Poehler's autobiography "Yes, Please" and have never identified more with a main character/narrator in my life.  We have so much in common, and I'm sure if she met me, we would be best friends (although she can still be best friends with Tina Fey too.  We would all be best friends with each other.)

Q.  What character from all of your book are you most like?

A.  I cannot lie.  Maggie Stevens from "Mom On The Road" is the fictionalized version of myself.  Everything she says and does and feels comes from within me.  She is a little crazier than I am, but I get to live vicariously through her wild side.  

Q.  Which book would you love to take a weekend vacation inside of?

A. Any book by Elin Hildebrand. They are all set in Nantucket during the summer.  So, maybe I just need to take a weekend vacation in Nantucket one summer.  

Q.  What do you want to be remembered for 100 years from now?

A.  For creating "The Act Two Movement": where all women over forty get to re-invent their lives.  They can start over and this time they can do whatever they want.  No more pleasing anyone other than themselves.  Also, I'd like to be the person who made it fashionable for women to have cellulite, wrinkles and messy hair.  

Q.  What is your favorite season?

A.  I love fall.  I love the excitement that comes with start of the holiday season and the cooler temperatures and changing leaves.  Of course, I live in Arizona now, so a lot of that doesn't happen here.  It's still 100 degrees in October and the leaves never change colors because we don't really have trees.  But we do still celebrate holidays here, along with dozens of tourists who come here over Christmas and steal our parking spots at the mall.  

Q.  What inspired your book cover(s)?  Or what is your favorite book cover and why?

A.  My book cover is inspired by the journey that I took that led to the creation of this book.  I spent 6 months on a tour bus looking out at the open road.  The emptiness that I saw out the window helped me clear my mind.  Most moms never get even a moment to stare at nothing.  We are always so busy looking at something or someone.  Now, anytime I need clarity, I will drive or walk around areas that are empty and quiet.  

Q.  Tell me something funny that happened while on a book tour or while promoting your book.

A.  My book is edgy and honest and also contains a lot of inappropriate language and scenarios.  I don't think I realized that my parent's friends and people I grew up with would be reading it.  Shortly after the book was released, I got a call from a 70 year old neighbor that I hadn't heard from in years.  She called to tell me how much she loved my book, and then she offered to send me some small grammatical edits.  I couldn't stop laughing when I saw the email with suggestions like "We really enjoyed the marijuana, my friends and I.  Change 'I' to 'me.'   Also, Allyson, when you discuss the sexting and the vibrator, you may want to add a few more details here.... "  I am still recovering from that email (and yet, I totally used her suggestions and made the edits).

Q.  Are you working on something new?

A.  I'm working on the sequel to "Mom On The Road" called "Mother Blogger."  Maggie Stevens has returned home from the tour and tries to readjust to her new life at home.  She also realizes that there is a very thin line between parenting and "mommy blogging" and the negative consequences that can occur by being a little too honest on the internet.   

Q.  Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?

A.   Contrary to rumors, I am not dating Bradley Cooper.  Also, I have really great metabolism and that's why I can wear a string bikini at 43.  It was all from nursing because, as we all know, it totally burns calories.  

Thanks so much.  Allyson Primack (www.momontour.com

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