Today, I’m pleased to participate in a blog tour and interview Stacey Gustafson, author of Are You Kidding Me? My Life with an Extremely Loud Family, Bathroom Calamities, and Crazy Relatives.
Julaina: Since you are a friend of mine, I know you, but for our readers, who is Stacey Gustafson?
Stacey: I’m a humor writer, wife, and mom. I grew up in St. Louis. My high school English teacher picked me to be Editor-in-Chief of the school newspaper. I think she wanted to keep me busy so I would quit talking in her class. As my kids grew up and out of the house, I filled the void with writing. I’m a fan of Janet Evanovich and Lisa Scottoline. Their writing inspired me.
Julaina: What’s your book about?
Stacey: Are You Kidding Me? My Life with an Extremely Loud Family, Bathroom Calamities, and Crazy Relatives is a brash, voyeuristic peek inside the topsy-turvy world of suburban motherhood, midlife madness, and all points in between. It’s my life in a minivan. I write about family and everyday things like the laundry, public restroom, carpool, and parent teacher conferences. As a humor columnist for the local online newspaper, I realized I had enough material to start a humor collection. That’s when the idea for Are You Kidding Me? was born.
Julaina: How did you choose the cover?
Stacey: I wanted the cover to portray a frustrated woman, not mad or sad but hilariously outnumbered and outconned by her friends and family. Again. I wanted her to vaguely resemble me, but with younger face and better hair. It’s the way I imagine myself.
Julaina: Where do you get your ideas?
Stacey: My humor is observational. I take notes when something’s funny. I notice the mundane, like self-checkout machines, roundabouts, DMV, Brussels sprouts and pet hamsters then hope it’s universally funny.
Julaina: Who are your favorite comedians?
Stacey: Hands down, my favorite comedian is Kathleen Madigan. She’s from St. Louis, Missouri, like me, and really captures the Midwest attitude in her stand-up routine. Other favorites include Jim Gaffigan, Brian Regan, and Chris Rock. They tell funny, relatable stories about their families and growing up in the 70s.
Julaina: What does your writing process look like?
Stacey: I wake up around 7:30 a.m. and watch 30 min of comedy like Modern Family, The Middle, The Goldbergs or my new favorite, Black-ish. Then I check social media for an hour and write new material for 3-4 hours. Right now, I’m on a Blog Tour for Are You Kidding Me? My Life with an Extremely Loud Family, Bathroom Calamities, and Crazy Relatives, but I hope to get back to my regular writing schedule soon.
Julaina: Are You Kidding Me is available on Amazon http://amzn.to/147guNj where I noticed other books that have your stories included.
Stacey: Yes, most editions of Not Your Mother’s Book have my stories as well as the California Writers Club, Tri-Valley Branch’s anthology, and your book, Written Across the Genres. Crystal Ponti’s new book called Clash of the Couples: A Humorous Collection of Completely Absurd Lovers’ Squabbles and Relationship Spats was published last month with one of my stories in it.
Julaina: Congratulations on your successes. What’s your next project?
Stacey: I’m collecting stories for my second book, Are You Kidding Me? Part Two. It will be geared toward moms with college-age kids, empty nesters, something I have first hand knowledge. Also, I’m writing a humorous murder mystery, fiction, of course. It will be a lighthearted chase through suburbia as the protagonist attempts to solve a local mystery set in my hometown of Pleasanton, CA.
Julaina: Thanks for stopping by my blog on your tour. As you know, I’m a big fan of yours and welcome your spontaneous humor whenever we’re in the same place.
You can find Are You Kidding Me? My Life with an Extremely Loud Family, Bathroom Calamities, and Crazy Relatives on Amazon and connect with Stacey on her blog, Facebook, or Twitter! And follow some of the other blog tour stops on the Blue Lobster Book Co website.