Interview with Author Samantha Wilde

Today, I interview author Samantha Wilde.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Samantha Wilde is the mother of two born in under two years. A graduate of Concord Academy, Smith College, Yale Divinity School and The New Seminary, she lives in Western Massachusetts with her husband and children. She is the daughter of novelist Nancy Thayer. When she’s not mothering her toddler and baby, she writes, teaches yoga, and moonlights as a minister. Although she never sleeps, she’s never once been tempted to give her children away to the highest bidder (well, almost never). She’s currently using nap times to write her second novel for Bantam Dell. You can visit her at wildemama.blogspot.com

About the Book

This summerCover of This Little Mommy Stayed Home by Samantha Wilde, Samantha Wilde makes her literary debut with THIS LITTLE MOMMY STAYED HOME, a fresh and funny novel about a new mother who discovers the wonders and terrors of motherhood–one hilarious crisis at a time. The book was published as a Bantam Trade Paperback Original on June 23, 2009.

The novel introduces Joy McGuire who has gone from being skinny and able to speak in complete sentences to someone who hasn’t changed her sweatpants in weeks. But now with a new baby to care for, she feels like a woman on the brink and as she scrambles to recapture the person she used to be she takes another look at the woman she is: a stay-at-home mom in love with her son, if a bit addled about everything else. As a new mom herself, Wilde, a graduate of Yale Divinity School, wrote THIS LITTLE MOMMY STAYED HOME after the birth of her son when she was experiencing the ups and downs of new motherhood. According to Wilde, "I wrote the book because I couldn’t not write it. I took my lap top to my bed during my son’s naps and wrote and wrote. I wrote the book I wanted to read. The book takes a hard look at the effects of new motherhood on a woman and on a marriage through the eyes of one stressed but insightful woman. It’s a story that will keep mothers going when they think they can’t go any further."

With THIS LITTLE MOMMY STAYED HOME, Samantha Wilde brings a candid and hilarious light to the universal story of new motherhood.

The Interview

Q: Are your children readers and have they become more so because you write? What do they think about what you do and the pursuit of your dream?
A: My babies, three and one, both love to read. My son, who can’t actually read, often "reads" to himself, making up stories. He treats books like special blankets. And the nice part is, even though he is so young, he can understand what it means that "mama wrote a book." Meanwhile my daughter, at one, loves the cover. She’s crazy for pictures of babies.

Q: When deadlines hit, what happens in your house?
A: I get more tired. The toilet bowl has to wait until late at night to be cleaned. I "stay-at-home" with my kids, so that’s my real job. If anything suffers during deadlines, it’s the house, which is not so tidy to begin with. No, that’s not true. It’s me who suffers. I won’t nap, and I’ll stay up later. I’ll forego a shower or a walk. So I guess I’m saying that I get stinky and fat. That doesn’t sound very good, does it?

Q: If you weren’t writing, what would you be doing instead?
A: I’d teach yoga, which I do once a week anyway. And be with my kids more, though it hardly seems possible. Or maybe I’d just be lying in bed reading and eating chocolate. That would be nice. But then you didn’t mean if I wasn’t writing AND was wealthy, did you?

Q: Have you given your favorite names to characters yet or are you waiting for that special character and book?
A: I’m saving my best names for my children.

Q: What’s your idea of the perfect travel destination and why?
A: My backyard, so to speak. I love to drive from home and wander to nearby towns that we’ve never been too. Really, what I like to do is pay attention to things near me. I don’t have much lust to wander. I long to pay attention to the things close that I may have never seen before. It’s amazing how much I haven’t seen before.

Q: Which scene (or scenes) in your novel did you love writing?
A: Why? I loved writing the fights between Joy and her husband. It was more fun than fighting and used up all my crankiness. Actually, I enjoyed writing most of it. Joy is so sassy and funny, I looked forward to what she might say or do.

Q: What would you change about your life if you became the next Sophie Kinsella?
A: Oooh, good one. That’s such a good one. I’d do what I’m doing on a bigger scale. I’d have more children. I’ve always wanted more children. I’d adopt some children. I’d have more friends for dinner, and more dates with my husband, and spend more time with family. I’d use the money for our children’s education and I’d buy as many books as I wanted. And it wouldn’t be bad to have a kitchen from this century. Or a house with a entry way for dirty shoes!

Q: Any tried and true tricks for beating procrastination?
A: Who has time to procrastinate? Have some young kids. You will not have the privilege of indulging it.

Q: What was your inspiration behind your latest novel?
A: Life with babies. The incredible transformation into motherhood. A growing fascination with mothering, what it means to mother, what becomes of a woman who becomes a mother. And what becomes of a marriage when a baby is born. I wrote the story I wanted to read, essentially.

Q: Since becoming a writer, what’s the most glamorous thing you’ve ever done?
A: I bought new bras! Of course that’s not so glamorous but I went to the expensive bra store and had a proper fitting and paid a LOT for them and wore them for my book signings. That IS glamour when you live in the country.

Q: Is writing your main job? If not, what do you do for your real source of income and how does it impact your writing?
A: The "real source" of my income is my husband. What do I do with him? Send him to work! He’s a professor of chemical engineering. I "stay home" with the kids, which includes a great deal of being elsewhere. I adore being with my children—even if it is honestly the most challenging thing I’ve ever done. By training I’m a yoga teacher and an ordained minister. I do keep up with both of those occupations, teaching a weekly yoga class, and "free lancing" by officaitng at weddings and blessing babies. My real job is mothering.

Q: If you could get a rave review in People magazine, what would you want it to say about your new book?
A: "Powerfully honest, roaringly funny, compelling and true. THIS LITTLE MOMMY STAYED HOME is the mother of all motherhood novels." That was fun!

Q: Do you have show and tell with your first draft? Who do you trust for honest reaction, or is so fragile you show it to one you love who you know will be kind?
A: My mother, Nancy Thayer, is almost always my first reader. She’s just published her 19th novel and as a bestselling writer who’s been in the industry for thirty years I trust her opinion. She’s a good critic for me, not too soft or too hard, and I always know she has my best interests in mind.

Q: What has brought you the greatest joy since you were published, and what has caused you the greatest angst?
A: Publicity has been difficult. I find self-promotion challenging on many levels. I don’t know what I’m doing, but I know I need to do something. My greatest joy? Probably realizing that my happiness has nothing to do with my book. I know that’s counterintuitive, but here’s the thing. When you long to be a published writer your whole life, you imagine when it happens, something will change—fireworks, lottery-style money, fame, etc. Getting the book published has put my dreams into perspective. I feel so blessed to have the book out there, but I am also relieved to find that my life is rich enough to sustain the possibility that it is—simply—a book. My treasure is in my children and my family. Strange kind of joy, isn’t it?

Praise for Samantha Wilde:

"Here’s a talent: when a narrator’s doldrums make a reader laugh out loud. Samantha Wilde’s inkwell must be filled with truth-serum because this brave and funny book gets the postpartum peaks and valleys so very, winningly right."
–Elinor Lipman, author of Then She Found Me

"Think of the funniest person you know, give her a baby and a month without sleep, multiply by ten and you’ve got the incomparable Samantha Wilde rocking the hilariously appalling realities of motherhood and the modern marriage. This book belongs on the bedside table of everyone who’s ever been a mother, or had one."
–Karen Karbo, author of The Stuff of Life and How to Hepburn

"[This] is the funniest novel I’ve read in a long, long time. What a treat! Mothers everywhere deserve this book."
–Ellen Meister, author of The Smart One

"Samantha Wilde is the irreverent, knowing, laugh-out-loud, brutally honest but most treasured best friend that every new mommy craves and every reader relishes. They should issue this smart, hilarious novel along with newborn onesies and nursing pads."
–Pamela Redmond Satran, author of Babes in Captivity

"Riotously hilarious, unabashedly honest and positively impossible to put down. Samantha Wilde’s debut is a must read for all moms and non-moms alike."
–Jessica Brody, author of The Fidelity Files

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