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Category: Author Interviews

“Diary of a Wimpy Kid- The Ugly Truth” Tour and I was cool enough (for one day) to hang on the tour bus. (Part One)

“Diary of a Wimpy Kid- The Ugly Truth” Tour and I was cool enough (for one day) to hang on the tour bus. (Part One)

Totally got to hang on the Wimpy Kid bus. And, yes, it rocked!
Totally got to hang on the Wimpy Kid bus. And, yes, it rocked!

My cool points totally went up this week when I was able to meet the author of the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” book series, Jeff Kinney and the two stars of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Movie, Zach Gordon (who plays the main character Greg Heffley) and Robert Capron (who plays his best friend Rowley).  To be perfectly honest, I am not sure what I expected but no matter how awesome I thought these guys would be, it didn’t come close to how amazing Jeff and these young men actually are in person.  Totally a ZOO-WEE-MAMA kind of day! (And? I really want that bus. It might be hard to maneuver in the carpool lane but I am guessing I would be taking half the school home if I did drive it. But it was suh-weet!)

It truly was a pleasure to be able to sit down and talk with Jeff, Zach and Robert.  I was joined by fellow bloggers Gretchen aka Texan Mama and Crystal of Crystal & Co. along with Matt Mungle of the Dallas Morning News and The Mungle Show.  We all jumped right into a conversation. I would call it an interview because we were of course asking questions but it honestly felt more like sitting down with good friends and friends of my kids.  For every question we asked, we were delighted to be entertained with a anecdotal stories from their every day lives. They drew us into their circle as if for that time, we were one of them. (Let me be the first to say, I would be honored to be a part of the Wimpy Kid Crew anytime, any day.) I guess that is one of those things I love about being honored to do these type of interviews: I am able to become a part of the lives of people I truly admire for even a little while. Sometimes, too drawn in as evidenced by my joking, laughing and not so reporter-like questions. But what I do and do well, is ask the questions the core audience want to know. At least, I think I do.

Me with the Wimpy Kid Crew along with bloggers Crystal and Gretchen
Me with the Wimpy Kid Crew along with bloggers Crystal and Gretchen

So are you going to share the interview, Jenn?

Of course I am. That is Part Two.  Part One (This, duh!) is the part where I tell you about the people and a bit about the experience.

1) Yes, Jeff is really as humble, kind, and awesome as you think he would be.

2) Both young stars are the type of young men you would want your own kids to be friends with. Polite, funny, kind, and normal! (That is a great thing.) And I have to add for Robert that in the movies they put him in really tight vests that were not the most flattering on him but he really is a fit, good looking kid without a bowl cut.  Oh, and that Zach’s hair really doesn’t have that part in his bangs and it doesn’t stand up in that back like it does in the movie. I just had to clear that up for them. Since we’re tight now. (Or so I tell my kids so they will keep thinking I am the coolest mom ever!)

3) You have to go get the new book Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth today. Seriously. If you have kids who have read the series, this is a must have. If you have kids between 8-15, you have to get the whole series. I promise it is worth it.

4) A little peek into something many people may not know about The Diary of  Wimpy Kid book (and I tell you this so that if you are sitting back thinking this is not for you because your kids are either non-existent, too young or too old) Jeff Kinney actually wrote this book for adults.  Sort of a nostalgic look back at the time we all went through and did our best to survive. Yes, this book was written for adults. Find out what Jeff had to say when I asked him how much of the book he had to change in order for him to adapt it to a younger audience…

So what have you been up to?

So what have you been up to?

Guess what has been brought back to life? Mommybloggers! We have a great interview with Marsha of Sweatpants Mom and her fabulous essay. Go check her out.

I have a new piece up on BlogHer. I would love your input there.

Here? On this site? I am working on a piece about people who have no people skills and how messing with my kid is not the best choice. That will go live later. For now, enjoy Marsha at Mommybloggers and my latest work on BlogHer.

The post where I sing the praises of another writer

The post where I sing the praises of another writer

Do you ever (if you are a blogger) read something, enjoy it and then move along the Internet mindlessly surfing or working or doing whatever it is you do (I am not here to judge you!) and then…THEN you realize how rude you were to not say howdy, give a little link love and send people towards the writers you enjoy?

*hanging my head in shame*

I have. I do. I am a bad reciprolinker! (And yes, it is a word if I make it a word!)

I have been reading Kris over at Help Yourself for ages and never once told you about her? Bad blogger! (Someone slap my blogging hand.) Kris writes great features on her blog for the Orlando Sentinel and here I go enjoying them and never sharing her with you. And in ORLANDO! The home of my brother and his wife, my cousin and her child, and even my aunt. But do I support the town writer? No.

But today is HELP YOURSELF And Go Give Kris Some Love Day! I am serious here. Go flood that gracious woman with adoration and kudos and “Hey, Jenn doesn’t really suck!” messages.

Seriously, I do adore her. We have talked for ages and I have been a bad friend by not reciprolinkifying her blog. Ever since I took my links down (and when I say “I took” of course I mean EE hijacked) I am lost. I forget my daily reads. I wander aimlessly about the Internet moaning and wailing about my loss. Bless Kris for calling me back home to one of my favs.

Now go. Show her my love (and yours) before I get voted off the blogosphere and fall out of the good graces I have with a fellow writer.

This beach picture is just for her. Since she wanted one! AND since she will be away on vacation. I, however, will still be here cleaning. And working. And generally NOT being on vacation.

Vacation for Kris

Confessions. Talking with Super Mom Herself!

Confessions. Talking with Super Mom Herself!

…so tell me,

just between us, are you the real live

Super Mom?

When I went in search of my new friend’s book, Confessions of Super Mom, I was completely surprised to find it in the nonfiction section. Nonfiction? I thought to myself.  After all this time getting to know Melanie and even sharing the beloved title of BFF, she never once told me that this was autobiographical.  How can that be?  I knew I had to get to the bottom of this and fast.

So, I did what anyone else would do.  I called her up and demanded–okay, asked nicely–if she had anything she wanted to tell me.

Jenn: “Melanie?  This is Jenn.  Do you have a few minutes?  I think you and I have a lot to talk about.”

Melanie *laughter* “Sure, Jenn.  I have a few minutes.  What’s on your mind?”

Jenn: “I’m not going to really beat around the bush here.  When I went in search of your book the first time, I found it in the NONfiction section.  Non. Fiction.  Come on!  You can tell me, just between us, are you the real live Super Mom?”

Thus began the interview I recently had with the amazing debut author, Melanie Lynne Hauser.

Jenn: “Melanie, it is no secret that you dressed up as SuperGirl for Halloween one year.  Was that an unconscious way of shouting out to the world that you are in fact a super hero?”

Melanie: After more laughter she replies “You just never know.”

Jenn: “Okay, I see you are not going to give me the scoop of a lifetime, so we’ll just continue under the assumption that this book is in fact a work of fiction.  Let’s talk about the characters.

You are the mother of two teenage boys.  So, how did you nail the mother/daughter tension so well?”

Melanie: “I have friends with daughters, so a lot of that was based on situations they shared with me.  That and I made a lot of it up.”

Jenn: “Do you ever worry about writing about something you don’t know personally?”

Melanie: “Honestly, I don’t really follow the famous “Write what you know” rule.  I think that too often writers allow the truth to get in the way of good fiction.”

Jenn: “Tell me about Carl.  He sounds like such a hottie!  Did you have someone particular in mind when you wrote about him?  Someone you know or a famous actor or anything?”

Melanie: “Carl is really just a creation of my imagination.  But I will admit to you that I have been known to have dreams about him.  In fact, the truth is, I think I just might have a small crush on Carl.  *laugh*”

Jenn: “And your husband is fine with that?”

Melanie “Sure, because I think he has a bit of a crush on Birdie.  Which is okay since she actually the only character I have written that is so similar to me.  At least physically.”

Jenn: “Because you are Birdie?”

Melanie: “I didn’t say that!”

Swiffer Power!

Jenn: “SO have you had your Swiffer bronzed yet?  I mean, after all that it has done for you.”

Melanie: “No, I haven’t but I do use it a lot.  I do actually use my Swiffer.”

Jenn: “Listen, between us, I am not the world’s best housekeeper.  Any suggestions for becoming a Super Mom cleaning pro?”

Melanie: “I can tell you for sure NOT to try it the way it happened to Birdie.  Seriously.  Not a good idea. At. All.”

Jenn: “Okay, I have to bring this up.  The PTA color coded phone tree.  Because, and I quote, ‘The PTA is the first line of defense in homeland security.’ I laughed out loud at this one!  In order to keep the PTA members and parents alert, the PTA president created this elaborate color coded phone tree.  Just please, please tell me that this is an example of your imagination and that you have not actually encountered this.”

Melanie: “No, no.  It is fiction.”

Jenn: “And the PTA?  No grief from them as you, how shall I say, poke fun of the intensity in which some members are portrayed?  Has anyone been upset by the portrayal?  I mean, I have *ahem* been known to be a PTA tormentor a time or two and am rarely let off the hook for it.  What about you?”

Melanie: “Oh, actually, I have had a lot of people compliment me and laugh about it.  At the risk of scaring you off, I will admit to you, I did serve as a PTA president for a year.”

At this point I hung up on her.  Okay, not really.

Jenn: “Okay, last comment on the PTA color coded chart.  Are you willing to take accept personal responsibility if my own PTA decides to incorporate this kind of chart to notify the members when I am on school grounds?  Seriously.  Will you?”

Melanie: “I think you may on your own there, Jenn.”

Jenn: “Last question and I will let you get back to your family.  Will we see more of Birdie, Carl and the PTA of Astro Park?”

Melanie: “Absolutely!  In fact, I am working on the sequel right now!”

Jenn: “Ohhhhh, tell me more!!”

Melanie: *laughing* “Not so much!  You’re going to have to wait with the rest of Super Mom’s fans.”

Super Mom

And with that, we started our 5 minute “gush-fest” of goodbyes.

There you have it!  Real life confessions of Super Mom.  I hope it made you want to rush out and get this truly fun and thoroughly enjoyable book.  I promise, you won’ regret it!  Oh, and here is an even more awesome bonus.  If you want an autographed copy of Melanie’s book, just go to Melanie’s Buy The Book page and follow the link to email her local bookseller.  They will send you an autographed copy of her book!

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