Looks like a job for SUPER MOM!
Unfortunately, I am not her.
Our library sends out these little emails when your books are late. Now that my kids have library cards, and signed on with my email address, I am getting these memoes from the library EVERY DAY about overdue books. We have NO FREAKIN' IDEA where these books are, or who wrote them, or if they even exist.
Lately I have an impending sense of doom when I receive a bulletin titled "Library Circulation Notice." I am afraid to even open them. I suppose the time will soon come to turn the house upside down, find the errant books, then crack into the piggy bank to pay off the fines. ARGH. You would think if I can organize the plot of a book, I could at least keep track of a physical book. NOPE.
Anyway, let's rewelcome the Super Mom who began it all... Melanie Lynne Hauser. Do Super Mom's powers include finding lost library books? Melanie, I sense another sequel...
I hosted Melanie recently when she sent me her delicious ARC, along with some Swiffer stuff. (The Swiffer mop makes a cameo in the book.) Now it is Girlfriends Cyber Circuit time, and that means book image, interview, etcetera!
Hailing from the Hoosier state (where she grew up in the shadow of the Indianapolis 500 racetrack), Melanie Lynne Hauser is a late bloomer who is just now figuring out what she wants to be when she grows up. Having tried her hand at telemarketing, candy striping for a nursing home (where it was suggested she not return, after she mistook the men's plastic urinals for water bottles and put ice in them) and acting under her maiden name, Melanie Miller (Most Academy Award-Worthy Performance: The title role, complete with bear costume, in the gut-wrenching exploration of good touch/bad touch entitled "What's the Matter, Little Bear?"), she put everything on hold in order to marry, have two children, and spend her time making sure they didn't stick their fingers in electrical sockets. (Both the husband, and the children.)
However, the children grew up. (Although occasionally she still has to make sure they don't stick their fingers in electrical sockets. They are, after all, boys.) After moving to the Chicago area, Melanie put in a brave couple of years with the PTA. She drove her sons to soccer practices, track meets, music lessons and orthodontist appointments. In short, she was in training to become Super Mom.
At an age when many women throw themselves back into their careers after raising their children, Melanie looked around and realized she never had one in the first place. After deciding she wasn't creative enough to start her own business (like all those women on Oprah), she turned to the one thing she did know: Books. A bookworm from the time she was able to form words, Melanie realized that what she really wanted to do was write books. So she wrote one. It stank. She buried it out in her backyard, next to the compost heap. She wrote another book. It didn't stink quite so much; in fact it got her not one, but two literary agents. Still, nobody wanted to publish it. She wrote another book. It stank the least of all, and led her to her current, wonderful literary agent, but still it went unpublished. Then she wrote CONFESSIONS OF SUPER MOM. So far, nobody has said that it stinks. In fact, so many people like it that the sequel, SUPER MOM SAVES THE WORLD will published by NAL in early 2007. And finally, at long last, Melanie has a career. (And old men in nursing homes everywhere breathe a huge sigh of relief.)
At the end of a long day at work, saving the world, you'd think Super Mom would get a break. But no. She still has to do battle with a foe more terrifying than the most dastardly of super villains - teenagers.
It's six months after the Horrible Swiffer Accident that left her a superhero, and Birdie Lee is still adjusting. For starters, she's hearing voices and having lustful thoughts about Mr. Clean. Then there's the fact that her daughter is suddenly sporting a bright pink streak in her hair, courtesy of her new friend Vienna (and if recent history has taught us anything, we all know that a girl named after a foreign city is going to be trouble). Birdie's son is experiencing his first case of puppy love, her nerdy scientist love interest has just proposed marriage, and her annoying ex-husband is suddenly less annoying. Which can only mean he's up to no good.
But things get even more sinister when her hometown of Astro Park gets Little League fever in a big way. Rabid parents, performance-enhancing Gatorade and a domed stadium on shaky - potentially explosive - ground are just the beginning of Super Mom's problems; throw in a ticked off school janitor and a corrupt mayor, and Super Mom has her hands full.
Read SUPER MOM SAVES THE WORLD to find out how one woman - one mother - struggles to keep her teenagers in tow with one hand while saving her hometown from disaster with the other. While trying to find time for herself amidst the very real, very messy job of blending families as she plans her marriage to her very own Super Man.
"CONFESSIONS OF SUPER MOM is a delightful read. Smart, zany, and touching, it is the perfect remedy for overwhelmed mothers everywhere."
--Karen Quinn, author of THE IVY CHRONICLES
"Like its title character, this debut novel has a secret identity...it's unexpectedly poignant and packs an emotional punch..."
- Publishers Weekly
"Forget the laundry, forget the dishes. Escape into the world of Super Mom for a few hours…you'll be glad you did. Melanie Lynne Hauser's quirky characters sparkle brightly as a newly Swiffered floor, and her writing shines like freshly polished glass."
--Meg Cabot, author of THE PRINCESS DIARIES and QUEEN OF BABBLE
"Hauser sparkles in her debut...Birdie juggles her home life with her two children, fights crime with Swiffer-like speed and embarks on a new romance."
-- Romantic Times (Four Stars)
"Looking for something TOTALLY different than all the rest of the books on the shelves? This is the perfect escape using romance, laugh out loud moments...!"
-- Madison McGraw, ChicksDigBooks.com
"Who needs the speeding bullets, locomotives, and tall buildings - with wit, humor and some sage motherly advice, Melanie Lynne Hauser finally gives readers a true hero for our time - Super Mom."
--Jennifer O'Connell, author of OFF THE RECORD
"From the book's very first page you find yourself grinning...never has there been a more loveable, down-to-earth superhero...with wit, humor and some age-old motherly advice, this book gives the reader a true-to-life hero, helping every mom find the Super Mom inside!"
"What a delightful debut! Super Mom is funny, sexy, heroic, and touching. Melanie Lynne Hauser has penned a chic, witty celebration of motherhood, and it moves faster than a speeding bullet. I can't wait for the next adventure..."
-- JA Konrath, author of BLOODY MARY, a Lt. Jack Daniels Thriller
"Never has there been a more appealingly down-to-earth heroine or a superhero with more enviable powers. Moms everywhere will wish they could be like the Super Mom of Melanie Lynne Hauser's charming, funny, and heartfelt novel…and will ultimately realize they already are."
--Pamela Redmond Satran, author of BABES IN CAPTIVITY
"…fun twist on the superhero tale comes packaged with a socially responsible message…"
"Melanie Lynne Hauser is funny. "Confessions of Super Mom" overflows with laugh-out-loud and read-out-loud moments. Hauser also is an astute critic of our overly high expectations of moms and our abysmally low standards for our culture and its leaders."
-- Knight Ridder
1. How did you get this idea for this book? Please describe how the book grew from a glimmer of an idea into a whole novel.
This was different for me, in that the sequel was part of the original two-book deal for CONFESSIONS OF SUPER MOM. So I had to write a book, before I had that moment of inspiration for it. It took some false starts, to tell the truth. But in remembering to keep Super Mom's real issues close to home, close to the heart of working women and mothers everywhere, I finally found the inspiration I needed to write this. It's just a continuation of the first book - the next step in her life as a superhero and as a mother. The villains are more trouble - as are the teenagers. And the relationships. And underneath it all is the realization that she's being taken for granted by her family and her town, despite all she does for them. Yet in the end, she learns to rise above it all - metaphorically and maybe literally.
2. Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Just love the writing, but learn to let go of it when it's finished so you can love the next one, too. The ability to constantly reinvent yourself, continue to think up new stories and write them, is the one thing you really need in this business. You can't get too attached or bogged down in the failure - or success - of any one project.
3. What's your writing day like? Any tips or tricks for getting organized?
When I first started writing I felt it was important to always write at the same place, same time, every day. It helped me develop good, strong habits. Now, though, I can write in bits and pieces, anywhere, anytime. And that's important, I think, when you're still raising children or working at a day job. So first - keep to a regular schedule. THEN, you can mix it up.
4. What's been the most exciting thing about publishing? The most frustrating?
Definitely, the first time you hold the finished copy of your book, fresh from the publisher. It's a magical moment, and it should be. The most frustrating? Everything else about publishing! So much of it is out of the author's hands. And there's always rejection, no matter where you are in your career. You have to learn to love it for the writing, and not for the need for validation by an industry that is, I'm afraid, currently very flawed.
5. Do you think you might write a follow-up to this book? If not, what else is in the works?
Probably not another Super Mom book; I love where this book ends, where Birdie and Carl end up. Currently I'm working on something completely different; a World War II spy caper, probably for the young adult audience. I'm loving the espionage angle, but also, I'm so interested in exploring what life was like for the class of '42; one moment planning pep rallies and dances, the next, wondering if they'll join the Marines or Navy. I think roles had to have shifted, dramatically, between girls and boys - because normally in the high school years, it seems that the girls mature faster, have the upper hand socially. Yet how did all that change when it was the boys who were suddenly faced with going off to war? I'm so interesting in exploring all that - and yet, having fun with Nazi spies!
Thank you so much, Melanie! Melanie's book is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble,
or your local indy bookseller.