Tag Archives: you can’t drink all day if you don’t start in the morning

Book Blog Tour & Giveaway: Celia Rivenbark

CeliaPhoto2Celia Rivenbark dishes essays about the old south, the new south, and everything in between in her fifth book You Can’t Drink All Day If you Don’t Start in the Mornin’. In addition to a collection of essays so funny you’ll shoot co’cola out of your nose, Celia gives readers a treasure trove of Southern recipes and the hilarious stories behind them.

For eight years Celia wrote for her hometown paper, the Wallace, NC Enterprise. She covered everything from weddings to funky fruit to dead bodies(sometimes all in the same day). But the big city beckoned so Celia packed her bags and headed to Wilmington, NC and the Morning Star. More weddings but eventually she achieved every Southern girl’s dream. She was paid to be a smart ass(a.k.a. write a humor column).

Along the way she found herself a husband(the sports writer, of course– they are the cutest guys at the paper!), a beautiful baby daughter, and a gig as a stay-at-home mom. After her 3,000th diaper change, Celia starting writing a humor column for the Sun News in Myrtle Beach, SC. After all, what’s funnier than 3000 dirty diapers? Laugh along with Celia on her WOW Blog Tour– dates are listed at www.wow-womenonwriting.com/blog.html

YouCantDrink_coverCelia will be popping in today (between Bloody Marys) to answer your questions and comments about her books or writing in general.  One lucky winner will be randomly selected to win a copy of You Can’t Drink All Day if You Don’t Start in the Mornin’. (Posts must be made before 12 midnight CST and winner must live in U.S.)

Interview by Mary Jo Campbell:

MJC: Your humor and “voice” are so distinct. Can you share why it is so important to have a distinct voice and how you have worked to develop your own?

Celia: Everybody has a distinct voice. The difference is that I’ve been lucky enough to be able to practice mine every single day for a living for a long time. I discovered after writing “Bless Your Heart, Tramp” that a surprising number of readers really enjoyed the Southernspeak. They didn’t always understand it but they didn’t seem to mind. More than a few have written over the years to ask what a particular phrase means. The copyeditors who review my manuscripts always have questions because they didn’t grow up talkin’ “Souther-ren.” So they stumble through life like a blind mule in a punkin’ patch without so much as an “I swanee” or “pea turkey squat” to comfort them. One of my favorite writing exercises is to write a few pages of dialogue with different voices. Then I read it out loud and, if it sounds, authentic, into the book it goes.

MJC: I love your raw and sarcastic comments and tone, but not everyone shares the same sense of humor.  Have you had much “mommie backlash” from things you’ve written?  If so, how did you handle it?

Celia: I haven’t had much mommie backlash at all. Most of my friends feel the exact same way I do about the Crazy Mommies. Then again, I might not recognize a good stink-eye aimed in my direction. By and large, I think most mommies understand I write humor and, yes, sometimes I exaggerate for effect. If I’ve gored your ox with something I’ve written, it’s important to remember that this is supposed be for laughs.

MJC: This is your fifth book of humorous essays, but the first to include recipes.  What made you decide to add recipes and how did you decide which ones to add?

Celia: Sooner or later, everybody starts putting recipes into their books.  (Well except for Paul Krugman or smart people like that but then you just know he just eats Kraft blue box mac and cheese over a hotplate every night don’t you?) Jill Conner Browne’s “Knock You Naked Margaritas” were stuck in my mind along with Mary Kay Andrews’ chicken salad recipe, which is good but a bit labor-intensive. I figured if they could do it, so could I. My mother-in-law, to whom the book is dedicated, is a phenomenal country cook so it seemed even more appropriate. I wrote the book first, then added the recipes, which I selected based on how well I could tie them to a particular essay and, more important, how good (or how mom-friendly) they were.

MJC: Like many of my readers, you began (or continued) to write through the throes of new mommy-hood. Can you offer any tips to those who are struggling to make time to write as a new mom?

Celia: I always used naptime for writing my column. Sophie napped for exactly 2.5 hours a day, and that’s about as long as I can sit still and write anyway.

MJC: Your essays are so very current. How do you use the “power of observation” to gather these ideas into essays with universal appeal?

Celia: I’m a huge pop culture and news junkie. If something strikes me as something I could riff on and customize (as in The Southern Mama’s take on Paris Hilton going to jail), then I let it marinate for a day or two and then start writing.

MJC: You’ve written about celebrities, mommies, the South. Will you write a collection of humorous essays on the life of a writer?

Celia: No, because others have done that and done it very well. For instance, right now I’m reading “And Here’s the Kicker.” It’s a new book of interviews with humor writers that I’m just slightly bitter about not being included in. What’s interesting is how many of the writers were misfits and sad sacks growing up. Hmmmmm.

Feel free to tell us about any of your upcoming appearances or events:

Celia: Thanks for letting me yak. Please drop by celiarivenbark.com for information on real and virtual book tours and more.

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Filed under Advice, Author Interviews, books, contests, Creative Essays, Give Aways, Non Fiction, Voice, writers

Fall & Winter Author Interview Schedule!

Because I LOVE to help promote fellow writers and LOVE to add value for my readers, I am continuing a series of Author Interviews and Book Giveaways for the fall and winter.

Can’t wait? Check ’em out:

YouCantDrink_coverSept. 22: You Can’t Drink All Day If You Don’t Start in the Morning by Celia Rivenbark (Exclusive interview with this hilarious author)

This is the fifth book of humorous essays by this Southern columnist. She is a blast. Her book is full of all those things we want to say but chicken out just before they leave our mouth! Her book also has some wonderful Southern recipes and amusing stories about where she got them–her Pecan Pie recipe comes from her stint as Pecan Queen!

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OriginalFaith_coverSept. 29: Original Faith by Paul Martin (Exclusive interview will discuss the topic of “What Your Life is Trying to Tell You”)

A book about the experiences that unite us as people–including love, belief, and nature.

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TheSkyBeginsAtYourFeet_CoverOct. 12: The Sky Begins at Your Feet by Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg (Book Giveaway & Guest Post)

An inspirational memoir about cancer, community, and connecting with nature. Caryn’s book about her battle with breast cancer is touring mainly during October which is also National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

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TheSecretoftheSacredScarab_coverNov. 3: The Secret of the Sacred Scarab by Fiona Ingram (Exclusive interview with tips for young writers and creative writing teachers)

A children’s book(ages 10-14)about two boys and how their visit to family in Eygpt becomes a wild adventure after they find a scarab. The book’s two main characters are boys and I feel The Secret of the Sacred Scarab could convince even the most reluctant of boys to enjoy reading. Fiona has an outstanding website that I think all writers could learn from.

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TheHungryMirror_coverDec. 1: The Hungry Mirror by Lisa de Nikolits (Book Giveaway and special Guest Post)

A novel about a woman’s struggle with eating disorders and the myth of beauty. Lisa has some interesting guest post topics about the difficulties of incorporating real people into fictional works.

If you are an author with a book coming out, please contact me to schedule a blog book tour stop and interview here at Writers Inspired.

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Filed under Advice, Author Interviews, books, Give Aways, teaching, writers