Saturday, September 1, 2012

Showcase: Baby Bumps by Amy Sprenger

BIO: Amy Sprenger is the author of the award-winning blog, where she tells it like it is and isn't afraid to make fun of herself or her questionable parenting prowess. She has three kids under 6 and a penchant for getting herself into ridiculous situations. A former news and sports reporter, Amy lives with her husband and children in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood. She often wonders why she doesn’t have a live-in nanny, a closet full of Lululemon workout clothes and perfectly behaved children dressed head-to-toe in Ralph Lauren like all the other mommies in her 'hood. Then she remembers she hates those mommies.

Book Description

August 6, 2012
From the author of the award-winning blog Snarky Mommy comes a book that will make every woman who has ever been pregnant pee with laughter (not that that’s hard). Wearing her highest heels and hottest pregnancy jeans, Amy Sprenger marched into her doctor’s office, latte in hand, ready to finally see whether her baby was a boy or a girl. Sure, sure, this appointment was supposed to be about checking the health of the baby, but everyone who’s ever been there knows it’s really about looking for what lays, or doesn’t lay, between the legs. So when the doctor tells her she has an incompetent cervix, Amy does what any woman would do. She becomes immediately offended. Is that a politically correct way of saying her cervix sucks? Unfortunately, as she’s soon to learn, it’s a lot more than that. The only way to keep that baby from falling out on the sidewalk (probably in front of Starbucks) is for her doctor to stitch her cervix closed and for Amy to stay in bed for the next four months. Four months that are carefully detailed in this “memoir.” A memoir that, while basically true, has been embellished with Amy’s signature brand of humor and hilarity. With more time off than a castoff contestant on "The Bachelor," Amy took pen to paper and settled in for the ride. But instead of sitting around eating bonbons, she’s popping hypertension drugs to stave off preterm labor. And complications? Oh, she’s got your complications. She’s gut-rehabbing her house. Her mother moves in to care for her. Her husband takes a “mancation” while she’s stuck in the hospital. And every time she has a contraction, she’s convinced it’s The Big One. Living by the adage that laughter is the best medicine, Amy fumbles her way through a series of sometimes serious and usually embarrassing situations. And just to be clear, using a bedpan qualifies as both serious and embarrassing. "Amy Sprenger's foray into factual fiction is a hilarious (and sometimes poignant) look at high-risk pregnancy from her view at the end of the bed. Sprenger offers a fresh and funny voice that readers will love!" --New York Times bestselling author Jen Lancaster


Q.  What inspires your writing?

A.  The absurdity of my everyday life provides more than enough fodder for my blog and my books. Recently, my normally potty-trained 2-year-old pooped on my leg in the bathroom. I have no idea how on earth it was even possible or how the angle of that trajectory worked, but I guarantee you it will make up a scene in a future novel. It’s too good to pass up. I also take bits and pieces – OK, entire chunks – of people I know in real life and use them for characters. That’s the great part about writing “factual fiction” -- I can always pretend I made it up if the person is offended.

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

A.  I like the flexibility of my schedule. I try to write three mornings a week when my big kids are in school and my little one is with a sitter. But inevitably, someone gets sick or someone needs a field-trip chaperone or someone needs me to meet with a heating and cooling repairman and suddenly, my writing time is gone faster than the ring on the current Bachelorette’s finger. I can usually sneak in some extra writing during naptime, but let’s be honest, that’s when I would rather eat lunch, peruse the US Weekly website and read my friends’ riveting Facebook posts about their lunch, their dog and what their dog had for lunch.

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

A.  The hardest thing is balancing all the different aspects. After BABY BUMPS came out, I kicked myself for not having done more work on my next project. There’s not enough time in the day to promote my current book, harass my friends to help promote my current book, interact with my fans on Facebook and Twitter, find 27 million pictures of school lunches I will never successfully create on Pinterest and actually write my next book. Throw in extracurricular activities for three kids and a husband who travels for work four days a week and you have a recipe for mediocrity on all counts. That should be my band name: Mediocrity on All Counts. Find us at Lollapalooza next year!

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

A. In all seriousness, I would love to be a lactation consultant. I love boobs. No, not like that, but in the “I loved breastfeeding my kids and want everyone to have a successful relationship” kind of way. I have fond memories of those early baby days cocooned in our own little world. A world filled with blood blisters and thrush, but let’s not focus on that. But becoming a lactation consultant would require me to attend nursing school and for those who don’t know it, journalism majors didn’t go into the sciences for a reason. Let’s just say math and I are fighting forever.

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

A.  “No, Really, It Happened to Me.” I swear weird things just happen to me. My husband says I court the crazy. I can’t explain it. Well, maybe I can. That’s why I write.

Q.  What is your favorite book of all time?

A.  If I say The Bible will make me seem mysterious and scholarly? It’s not true, so it doesn’t matter. It’s actually “The Poisonwood Bible” by Barbara Kingsolver. Big difference with that one additional word, isn’t it?

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

A.  Probably Sofia Semyonovna Marmeladova. I mean people always describe me as self-sacrificial, shy, and even innocent, despite the fact that I am compelled into prostitution to help my family. Wait, people never say any of those things about me. (Bonus points to anyone outside of current high-school AP English students who get that reference. Double bonus if you graduated AP English 20 years ago and still remember reading this for your senior paper.)

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

A. Well, since the main character in BABY BUMPS, Annie, is actually based on me, I will go with that. It would be weird if I said the Jake character, right?

Q.  What is your favorite season?

A. This is a tough one. I live in Chicago, so any season that involves going outside without snowboots, coats, scarves and gloves is a good one in my book. But my favorite would be fall because I like to buy new sweaters and sit pensively staring out the window at the falling leaves while cupping a steaming mug of hot apple cider. In reality, I wear my new sweaters while burning my mouth on too-hot cider and complaining I have to go use the leaf-blower to get rid of the wet, decomposing leaves on our patio.

Q.  What inspired your book cover?  Why?

A. My book cover, which kicks all kinds of ass, was designed by Dar Albert of Wicked Smart Designs. I love that she “got” my book and came up with something whimsical. A bib-and-martini-glass crib mobile? Genius!

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

A. My first three book events are coming up in September, and I imagine I will make an idiot out of myself by oversharing and embarrassing my husband. But seriously, has the man never met me? Oversharing is my thing! I built a conglomerate on writing about our life, including his vasectomy for all the world to see. Oh, yes, I did. (View post HERE)

Q.  Are you working on something new?

A.  I’m currently halfway through the first draft of the sequel to BABY BUMPS. Without  giving too much away, it’s the story of Annie navigating her way through new mom friendships while trying to get fired from her job so she can be a stay-at-home-mom. You know, your typical vampire/zombie/mom porn/ YA romance.

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

A.  Thanks for taking the time to read this interview. I promise the book is equally, if not more, entertaining!


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Emily, AKA Mrs. Mommy Booknerd

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