Reviews and Interviews is a host to the winners of Shirley You Jest! Book Awards. SYJ! honors books by self-published and traditionally published indie authors who "deliver the funny" in the categories of fiction and non-fiction.
Today’s guest, Amy Sprenger, is the winner of the fiction competition with her book, Baby Bumps: The Almost, Barely, Not-Quite-True Story of Pregnancy, Bed Rest and One Batshit Crazy Family.
Amy Sprenger is the author of the award-winning blog, SnarkyMommy.com, 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 eight years old 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 where she silently judges all the other parents.
Welcome, Amy, and congratulations! Please tell us about your current release.
When I was twenty weeks pregnant with my first child eight years ago, a doctor told me I had an incompetent cervix, scheduled emergency surgery to stitch it shut the next day, and strapped me to a bed for the next four months. While we were worrying about getting through the next twenty weeks of the pregnancy in this state, we were also gut-rehabbing our house (we had no walls, no stove, and no fridge), my husband traveled for work and my mother had to move in with us. Along the way we found laughter really is the best medicine, especially when it comes to using bedpans. I guess I would call this your typical “humorous high-risk pregnancy book” – that’s a genre, right?
What inspired you to write this book?
When I was living this nightmare, it was a scary time in my life. Every book I read about pregnancy complications scared the beejesus out of me. I wished I would have had this book to read when I was stuck in bed for months on end so I would know that not everything has to be doom and gloom all the time. Although, peeing yourself when pregnant is a very real possibility with this book, so buyer beware.
What exciting story are you working on next?
I recently published a short collection of humorous essays on potty training, called Over My Dead Potty, and I’m currently finishing up a memoir tentatively titled, Yes Mommy, about the month I spent saying nothing but yes to my children. It was as crazy as it sounds. However, spoiler alert, I’m still alive so they obviously didn’t kill me.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I was actually a journalism major in college and worked as a news and sports reporter for most of my adult life before becoming a mom. Seeing my byline on the front page of the paper or the main story of a website was always a thrill, but seeing my name on the front of my first book was incredible.
Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
If you ask my husband, he would tell you I procrastinate full-time, but that’s because he doesn’t understand the life of a stay-at-home mom/author. Yoga is as important as writing, yo. I have roughly six child-free hours per day while my kids are in school and I try to write for at least two of those hours. Although “try” doesn’t always mean “do” as I have the attention span of a gnat and am easily distracted – oooh look, a quarter! Shiny! Besides, there’s laundry to be done, dinners to be cooked, groceries to be bought, lunches to be made, children to be bathed, homework to be helped with, fights to be refereed, time-outs to be given, dishwashers to be unloaded, skinned knees to be kissed, and bedtime stories to be read. My writing still takes a backseat to my mom duties most days, and that’s OK with me.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I laugh at my own jokes. I’ve never been one of those tortured writers who sit and stare at the screen, agonizing over every single word choice. I sit down, bang out whatever comes to mind and then re-read it, convinced it’s the funniest thing ever. Narcissistic much?
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I just wanted to be a grown-up, period, so I could make all my own rules and do whatever I wanted. However, I don’t eat cake for dinner or stay up all night watching TV, so my childhood self would probably be very disappointed in my adult choices.
Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Here are some ways to connect with me: