Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Girlfriends Cyber Circuit: Super Mom in Paperback!

I got copies of the Japanese edition of Enchanted, Inc. yesterday, and it's soooo cute. The book is teeny-tiny, smaller than our mass-market paperback size. I guess they take "pocket book" literally. You really could put this book in your pocket. Although it's a paperback, it has a wrap-around book cover like on a hardback book. I love the cover art. It looks like they're marketing it more as fantasy because there are cute little drawings of things from the book and it just looks fantasy to me. I could see similar drawings being used on a Harry Potter book. Sam finally makes his way onto a book cover! They also have a map of Manhattan inside, with some things marked. Since I don't read Japanese, I'll have to cross-reference with an English map of Manhattan and see if I can figure out what they have marked. If they're marking locations from the story, I'll have to see if they got them right. Maybe next week if I have time I'll have to scan the cover and post it (or maybe see if I can figure out a way to search for an electronic version -- but I'm not sure if a search for the English title would give me a Japanese site).

In other news, I've been interviewed by The Word Nerd.

Now, for the Girlfriends Cyber Circuit ... my guest this time is Melanie Lynn Hauser, whose book Confessions of Super Mom is now out in paperback.

About the book:
Birdie Lee is an average hard-working single mother of two teenagers, PTA lackey, and mild-mannered grocery clerk at the local Marvel Fine Foods and Beverages. One morning, while getting ready for work, Birdie is sidetracked by a stubborn Stain of Unusual Origin on her bathroom floor. Unable to let the stain get the best of her, she tries to annihilate it with every household product she can find –to no avail. Angry, hot, light-headed (and forgetting to turn on the exhaust fan), she makes one final desperate attempt to eradicate this vile, dastardly stain: she loads her Swiffer Wet Jet with every household cleanser she owns, aims, and fires….

And passes out, overcome by the fumes. After regaining consciousness (and reminding herself to scrub the bottom of the toilet since from her perspective — flat on her back — it was looking a little dingy), Birdie realizes something’s amiss. Her ears begin to buzz and her senses are aquiver. Eventually, aided by Martin, her geeky thirteen-year-old son and trusty sidekick, Birdie understands that she now possesses extraordinary powers — superpowers, to be exact. Birdie soon learns, however, that, to quote Spiderman, with great power comes great responsibility and she finds herself struggling to balance a new onslaught of challenges, both at home and in her community. While trying to keep her distant 15-year-old daughter’s heart from being broken (something not even a superhero can do), and dealing with her smug ex-husband and his over-achieving new wife, she must manage her job, PTA responsibilities and a budding romance– all the while trying to rescue her beloved town of Astro Park from an evil force that threatens its children.

Now, some interview questions:
What inspired you to write this book?
I realized, after two previously-submitted books that didn't sell, that I needed to break things open a bit, write larger, with more fearlessness. So I thought about how I could still write about the things that were important to me as a woman, a mother, yet write with that higher concept needed to break into publishing. So I thought, what's larger, more fearless, than a superhero? And that's how I began; the Super Mom concept then took on a life of its own and really shaped the book.

How much, if anything, do you have in common with your heroine?
Well, I tell people I'm not a superhero......but....

Seriously, we're both short. We both have teenagers, although she has a daughter and I don't. Beyond that, though, we're not that much alike except for one important fact. We've both been extremely happy being full-time mothers, and are a little puzzled when other people in our lives don't think that's much of an accomplishment. Also, we're both wondering what comes next in our lives, now that we can see the time when we won't be full-time mothers. In her case, she becomes a superhero. In mine, I became an author.

If you could have a mom superpower, what would you want it to be?
I love her superpower of being able to "hear" what's going on with her children on the Internet, on their cell phone other words, her ability to know what's going on in their lives despite their best efforts to shut her out.

What kind of adventures have you had since the publication of this book?
I've been yelled at on the radio for writing a book about a family that didn't include a strong father figure (my heroine's a divorced mom), which was interesting. I was totally ambushed by the host. I've signed several Swiffer dry cloths and posed with lots of women and their favorite Swiffer products. I was approached by the producers of Wife Swap to blog about their show, specifically asking my readers to apply to be contestants. (I declined.) And the coolest thing, though, was being invited to attend a Hollywood party, thrown by Swiffer. It was to launch the Swiffer CarpetFlick, and it was in honor of the new Fox TV season. (This was last October.) A PR firm that works for P&G invited me out so I could blog about it all. That was awesome; I have a stalker-like crush on Hugh Laurie, but when I actually saw him I was way too chicken to do anything but drool. I did, though, swap carpet-cleaning tips with Robert Sean Leonard. And I discovered that I am taller than Frankie Muniz.

(Pardon me while I swoon. But as some of you may recall from my own Hollywood party experience, I totally understand the not being able to talk to celebrities thing. But still! Swapping carpet cleaning tips with Robert Sean Leonard!!! EEEEEEEEE!)

What are you working on now?
The sequel, called SUPER MOM SAVES THE WORLD, will be out in March. I just completed another manuscript about a week ago; I'm on pins and needles, waiting to hear what my agent thinks of it. It's non-Super Mom-related; it's something new and magical and very different and I love it a lot.

For more info, visit Melanie's web site.

We've just added some new members to the GCC, so look forward to some fun new interviews. I also need to come up with some new interview questions, so if there's something you've always wanted to ask authors about themselves, their work, or anything like that, please let me know!

With all the woman vs. woman stuff in the whole "this is not chick lit" hype, the GCC is refreshing as the polar opposite. We're a bunch of women supporting each other. Some write literary fiction, some write non-fiction, some write mysteries or thrillers. There are Southern writers, comedy writers, romance authors, and yes, even some chick lit authors. It's a good group, and I've discovered a lot of great authors and books by being a part of it, and I hope you've also enjoyed hearing about these authors.

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