You’re going on a journey to a strange new country where you will look different, act different, even feel different. It’s like you’re becoming a whole new person, and that person is your mother. Your new homeland is middle age, and you need a native guide to teach you how to survive here, or least to show you where the good bars are.
Written for every woman who knows that turning 40 is no reason to become respectable, Kissing the Crisis is the field guide you need to blaze your own unconventional trail through the jungle of middle age. Humorist Kara Martinez Bachman reports from the front lines of the battle to stay awake after 9 p.m., and her adventures will make you scream with laughter, cringe with embarrassment, and vow to tackle your own midlife crisis with a can-do attitude and a tasty cocktail.
Whether she’s searching for a child-friendly bar for a parents’ drinking session, starting the world’s best ukelele/harp gothic rock band, coping with a baby cursing like a sailor in the grocery store, or conquering her fear of a terrifying death during Hurricane Katrina, Bachman shows that life doesn’t end at 40 ... it just gets weirder.
About Kara Martinez Bachman
I’m Kara Martinez Bachman, author, freelance journalist and editor.
My first book, “Kissing the Crisis,” a collection of essays about the humorous side of parenting, marriage and grappling with the encroachment of midlife, is forthcoming by Quill Driver Books.
I’ve read my stuff for national broadcast on the NPR (National Public Radio) program, State of the Re:Union, and my creative nonfiction has appeared in The Writer and in Funny Times, where I’m still to this day obsessed with how my name immediately followed Dave Barry’s in the list of contributors.
Writing first person humor is what keeps me sane, but--since we can't write all day about gunshoot jamborees, orthopedic stripper heels, and glitter-tossing drag queens--I also produce freelance work for a variety of publications.
Over the years I’ve interviewed a spectrum of personalities from all walks of life, ranging from current A-list celebrities (Ian Somerhalder, Nikki Reed, Aziz Ansari) to Gen X favorites (Rick Springfield, John Schneider, Duran Duran bassist John Taylor) to convicted murderers and drug kingpin lifers in Angola prison.
I’m a former staff and current freelance entertainment reporter for the New Orleans Times-Picayune and NOLA.com, where I primarily cover entertainment and home and garden stories.
I’ve recently begun contributing to Dogster.com, the popular website for Dogster magazine (formerly Dog Fancy). I write celebrity dog owner profiles, interview people with cool relationships to dogs, and tell tales about my own nutty little canines, Leonidas and Baby (Leo is cool, Baby is a lunatic).
I currently serve as managing editor for Parents & Kids-Mississippi Gulf Coast and Parents & Kids-Pine Belt magazines and contribute regularly to the beautiful southern culture magazine on newsstands across the U.S., Legends: Culture & Arts from the Cradle of American Music.
Nonfiction articles, interviews, essays, poetry and photography have also appeared in American Fitness, the indie filmmaker’s publication The Independent, American Blues Scene, Mississippi Magazine, San Diego Family, Rock and Gem, Curvy, Whole Life Times, Literary Mama, Calgary’s Child, Deep South Magazine, and many other print and online consumer publications.
My writing has been included in the Ellipsis literary journal of University of New Orleans, the Magnolia Quarterly literary journal, and in several anthologies, including the Hurricane Katrina ten-year commemoration anthology, "Katrina Memories."
When not doing all the things listed above, I'm doing charming things such as yelling at my kids, eating, or complaining about how things have gone to hell in a handbasket.
Q. What inspires your writing?
A. For this book, it wasn't difficult to find inspiration. Friends, family and my kids can always be a source of material. Little kids can be a real hoot sometimes. Really, most everybody has this source of interesting material at their disposal, if only they tried to see the simple and everyday as having humor or meaning. Which it does.
Q. What is your favorite thing about being a writer?
A. I love the fact that I can work from home and wear the same pair of jeans for three days in a row. Surely by now, savings on laundry expenses have made up for being a "starving artist." There's balance in everything! But seriously...as a freelance reporter, editor and author, it is wonderful to be able to dictate my own schedule every day.
Q. What is the toughest part of being a writer?
A. The toughest part is putting so many hours into something--whether it's a book or an article--and not knowing whether it will ever find a home. In addition to the less-inspiring freelance work that helps pay the bills, I'm working now on two new books. I have not really talked much with my current publisher about these, so I have no idea yet whether they'd be interested. It's difficult to work on something not knowing whether the endless hours of work are worth it. But that's just part of being a writer and always has been.
Q. If you could not be writer, what would you do/be?
A. I think at this point in life, I'd maybe pursue teaching high school English, literature or creative writing. But not teaching little ones. It would have to be people who can at least blow their noses without assistance. I'm not fooling with snotty tissues, that's for sure.
Q. What would the story of your life be entitled?
A. I'm scared to death that "Kissing the Crisis" IS the story of my life.
Q. What is your favorite book of all time?
A. There are so many. If forced to choose, though, in the fiction category it would have to be "A Hundred Years of Solitude" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
Q. Which character from ANY book are you most like?
A. I have never seen myself in a book. I'm a little weird sometimes, and not at all like your average female character. I'll need to think harder on that one.
Q. What character from all of your book are you most like?
A. Ah, finally an easy question! Since my book is first person essays, I'd say that character would have to be me, myself and I. I'd pick somebody cool mentioned in my book if I could, like Pat Benatar, but that would be a lie.
Q. Which book would you love to take a weekend vacation inside of?
A. "Holidays on Ice" by David Sedaris. I'd come out laughing so hard my face would hurt.
Q. What is your favorite season?
A. It's so hot here in New Orleans all spring and summer. I think everyone's favorite holiday here is fall. It's when we come out of our cocoons! It's a special time of year when those temperatures finally start to drop.
Q. What inspired your book cover(s)? Or what is your favorite book cover and why?
A. The cover for "Kissing the Crisis," which I happen to think is particularly brilliant, was created by my publisher, Quill Driver Books. I had no hand in it aside from telling them the general vibe of how I envisioned it. They did a fantastic job.
Q. Tell me something funny that happened while on a book tour or while promoting your book.
A. The first signings and speaking engagements are just now being scheduled, so there's nothing to report yet. No doubt, there's tons of funny new material just waiting at these events!
Q. Are you working on something new?
A. Yes. A follow-up collection of essays about being a Gen X tween/teen growing up in the late 70s to the mid- 80s. I'm also working on my first attempt at a novel. It's historical fiction, set in New Orleans during the Victorian era.
Q. Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?
A. My message would primarily be for those in midlife, people in their late 30s, 40s and 50s. And the message would be that it's never too late to pursue new courses in life if the course you're on does not meet your needs. It's one of the subjects of "Kissing the Crisis," which you can order here: Amazon