Welcome to another of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, biographers, agents, publishers and more. Today’s is with writer and blogger Amy Sprenger. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further.
Morgen: Hello, Amy. Please tell us something about yourself, where you’re based, and how you came to be a writer.
Amy: Hi, Morgen, thanks for having me! I’m Amy Sprenger, mother of three, wife of one (so far, although we could always up and go polygamist some day), house frau, and when I actually stop procrastinating, author. I live in Chicago, where I used to be a sports writer and editor, then horrified Sheryl Sandberg by leaning waaaaaay out to stay home with my kids. While full-time mothering was rewarding (and also unpaid) and we made special, special memories (like my daughter pooping on my leg when she was potty training and my son coloring on the hardwood floors with a Sharpie), I needed something more before my brain turned into a soggy Cheerio. I had hilarious material in our everyday life, so I started blogging about my family as a creative outlet. Eight years later, I’ve published two books based on my mothering life and I’m still blogging irregularly about the crazy stuff my kids do.
Morgen: I love the image of a soggy Cheerio’d brain. What have you had published to-date? Do you write under a pseudonym?
Amy: My first book, Baby Bumps: The Almost, Barely, Not-Quite-True Story of Pregnancy, Bed Rest and One Batshit Crazy Family, was published in July 2012. My second book, Over My Dead Potty, a short collection of humorous essays about potty training, was published in October 2013. Considering the embarrassing things I write about my children, I probably should use a pseudonym, but I don’t. Someday they’ll probably pay me back by changing their names to avoid association with me and my slanderous musings.
Morgen: Or, hopefully, be very proud. Which authors did you read when you were younger and did they shape you as a writer?
Amy: Believe it or not, I started reading Erma Bombeck when I was in seventh grade. I would take her books out of the library and devour them, finding the stories she told about her family hilarious and touching. Really, she was the first “mommy blogger” out there – not afraid to tell everyone that parenting isn’t all hot chocolate with marshmallows on snowy days and unicorns pooping rainbows in the backyard. It’s hard and real and funny and tragic and confusing and mind-boggling, usually all on the same day.
Morgen: Definitely an influence then. What are you working on at the moment / next?
Amy: I am just finishing up my third book, a memoir tentatively called, Yes Mommy. I didn’t say “no”, “don’t”, or “stop” to my kids for thirty days. Spoiler alert: I’m still alive, so they didn’t actually kill me; it just felt like it most days. It was an interesting experiment that I would recommend to every parent. Well, every parent who enjoys giving in to each and every deranged demand of a five-year-old mind.
Morgen: I’m only a parent to a 13-year-old Jack Russell / Cairn-cross but he has his moments of derangedness. Do you manage to write every day, or ever suffer from writer’s block?