Monday, March 25, 2013

Author Series - Epic Mom by Marianne Walsh and Julie Harrison

This week I have the extreme pleasure of talking to Marianne Walsh - co author of Epic Mom....
I'm not even sure who referred me to her (I think it was Betty!) and after waiting a while I got the book.  Now, I don't normally review a book prior to introducing the person but I have to say this..... The synopsis for Epic Mom is: 

Epic Mom is the preeminent book on flawed motherhood. Award-winning humorists Julie R. Harrison and Marianne Walsh offer an honest glimpse into life behind the minivan doors. In a series of anecdotes about the colossal blunders of parenting, this book celebrates those who choose laughter first. And liquor second. And third.

I really had no idea what to expect...but I could not put this book down once I picked it up! I found myself nodding my head, laughing out loud, wondering how I missed some of this important information and coming up with a list in my head of all the people this book needs to be shared with.

These authors take such an honest and humorous approach to motherhood, parenting, sex, alcohol.... (well pretty much everything!) and the truth of the matter is that everything they are writing is true!!

I cannot express enough how much you need to get this book if you are a mother, know a mother, want to be a mother, or just want to get a good laugh.

After reading the book I asked Marianne a few you can see by her answers she is humorous even in an interview!

Thanks Marianne!

How long have you been writing?

In high school, I wrote awesomely bad teen-angst poetry. It was quite possibly the worst stuff ever put to paper. In college, I was a MACHINE: papers on symbolism, feminism, alcoholism, realism, deism, etc. Isms are a lot of fun if you just give them a chance. After landing a job in insurance, I spent 10 years writing mission statements, press releases, D&O brochures, and super-cool memosGood times, good times. But now? I write about trying to steal my neighbor’s sprinkler or forgetting to pick up the really quiet kid in carpool. I’ve never stopped writing, but the topics have definitely changed over the years.

WHY do you write?

It keeps me from watching too much reality television.  
What do you find to be the most challenging part of writing?  Turning off the reality television shows.

What do you find to be the most rewarding part of writing?  I cannot believe all the fantastic people I have met through writing and the new experiences afforded to me.  As part of the 2013 Chicago cast of "Listen to Your Mother" (link to:, I will actually be getting on a stage this May 5th.  A stage!!  The key is going to be not to trip.  Or burp into the microphone.  Maybe I ought to have given this a little more thought....

Do you edit as you write?
I spell check, does that count?  I also read things to friends and family on occasion.  Hearing your writing spoken aloud is perhaps the most helpful way to edit your work.  You actually notice any repetitive words and awkward phrases.   

Do you ever get writer’s block?
Yes.  And this is where liquor helps.

If so, what do you do about it?
See above. 
Who are your favorite authors? Why? 
There are so many favorites!  Graham Greene, George Eliot, Toni Morison, both of the Bronte sisters, John Milton, and Ernest Hemingway to name a few.  I like writers who can keep my attention for longer than 45 seconds - a virtual miracle for someone with adult ADHD.      

What’s the one thing you’ve learned about yourself since you’ve been writing?
I never knew I was funny.  Everything I had written up until the last few years was either academic or business-related.  I am a total riot.  Who knew? 

What advice would you give to someone who wants to be a writer?

First, writers have to write.  A lot.  They don’t need to share every last word, but the only way to improve on one’s craft is to practice.  There are many phenomenal writers out there (far superior to me) who hold desperately to the notion that the universe will somehow discover their enormous talent.  It is the biggest mistake a writer can make.  Networking, talking to other writers, and submitting articles are the building blocks to publishing.  School newsletters, local newspapers, etc. - they all count!     
Anything you’d like to add?
Thank you so much for this opportunity, Brenda.  I apologize for getting my answers back to you at the 11th hour.  Did I mention the adult ADHD?  Those damn Girl Scout cookies also distracted me quite a bit this week.  I think they're running a cult over there at Girl Scout Headquarters, and luring everyone in via Thin Mints.   


  1. Julie's book sounds fantastic, and I love her blog! Thanks for this hilarious post. ☺

    Happy Wednesday.

  2. I love the book and all the ladies that put out in the book 3 favorite laugh out loud gals that I am thankful for to have on my blog lists for the last year.


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