Thank you for Visiting

This book club provided an opportunity to discuss books with authors from 2009 - 2013. I like to think we were a group of daughters, sisters, wives, mothers, well... women finding time to meet while juggling daily life.

I hope you enjoy exploring The Manic Mommies Book Club Archives. We read 46 books over the years, with audio or written author discussions for each book read documented on this blog.

~ with kindness & gratitude, Mari

February 2010 Selection: The Wife's Tale

Manic Mommies Book Club Selection: February 2010

I'm pleased to announce that we will be discussing this book with the author on Feb 17th at 7PM central. Watch for details as we get closer to the date.

If you would like to enter the book drawing for one of 24 copies, watch for details on the Manic Mommies website (details should be up in the next week).

Update Jan 11: Winners of the book giveaway have been notified.  Congratulations: Angie S, Osheta, Lacy J, Amy, Carissa, Janet, Shelle, Randy Teri, Jennifer C, Andrea T, Kim, Julie C, Christy L, Dale, Emily, Rose, Kim I, Jill W, Sarah C, Sharon, Vicki, Amy H, Heather and Adriene

Author Q&A
Tell us a little about yourself:  I grew up in Ontario, Canada in a rural farming community not far from the Detroit border. All three of my novels are set in full or part in the landscape of my youth. The population of the town where I was born is considerably less than the number of Manic Mommies listeners - a thought that humbles me. I'm a 47 year old mother of two - Max is 9 and Natasha, 7. My husband and I have been together for twenty-six years and lived in downtown Toronto until three years ago when we moved to Southern California where he works as producer/director on the television show "24".

Do you write daily?  I struggle, like any working mom, to balance the duelling demands of motherhood and career. I take my children to school in the morning then return to my computer for a solid six hours of work before I have to leave to pick them up. I write 5 days a week when I'm working on a novel. When I'm not writing I am full-on Mommy, taking my kids to soccer practice, supervising homework, playing catch in the backyard. The time in between the final editing of a book and the launch of it has thus far been taken up with the job of promoting the book (in some cases touring with it) and perculating the next. This is the time when I can take a few walks and read novels and allow the next set of characters to emerge from behind the curtain. It's also a time for me to reconnect with non-fictional characters since I badly neglect my friends when I'm writing.

What was it like getting your first book published?  I started writing short stories when I was 20 years old and went on to write some terrible plays and then screenplays, a few of which were produced. I had a brief career as an actor - my biggest claim to fame being that I was cut out of the Al Pacino movie Sea of Love. My husband and I lived in an apartment over a grocery store in downtown Toronto, struggling artists (he was an actor turned filmmaker) trying to pay the rent. We were filmmakers together for a short time and had both invested years trying to produce a screenplay I'd written and wanted to direct. When the financing for it fell through for the third time my husband shook me out of my disappointment by suggesting I take some time away from the film business to write the novel I'd been talking about writing for fifteen years. We also decided it was time to have a family. I was several chapters in to Rush Home Road when I discovered I was expecting. Writing Rush Home Road was an emotional journey - maybe it was the pregnancy hormones - but I felt I'd found my place as an artist. I finished the first draft of the novel in the days before my son was born and my husband read it for the first time and we discussed the characters and plot during the hours that I was in labor. After my son was born, I revised the work on the few occasions that he napped outside of the stroller. I had no connections in the book business and sent the manuscript to a literary agent whose address I got from a directory. Some time later I received a call from her saying she'd found Rush Home Road in the slush pile, and read it, and wanted to represent me. The book was sold at auction in US, Canada and the UK. A fairytale - too ridiculous for fiction.

Can you share some tips for aspiring writers?  I often hear writers talk about the difficulty of confronting the blank page, or dealing with writer's block. The tip I might offer to combat both is just keep writing. I spend each morning editing the previous days work which gives me a running start and creates a flow for the work to come. I'm not always certain about the path that I'm taking but I keep writing. The truth reveals itself to the writer when her or she hits a wall and must go back, like travelling a maze, and start again at another point.

We often hear the refrain "write what you know" which is a phrase that shouldn't be taken too literally. Perhaps "write what you love" would be more accurate. 

What am I reading?  Joeseph O'Neill's Netherland. Fantastic!

Kindles and Sony Readers: I like to hold a book in my hand. I like to turn the pages and refer to the cover art and to gaze at the author's image. I understand and appreciate the attraction people have to the digital readers but they're not for me.

Just for Fun:
Favorite ice cream? Pralines and cream

Morning or night?  I rise early, 5:30 am, and have a quiet dark hour to myself before I wake my children.

Favorite season?  The spring has always been my favorite season. When I lived in Canada I was moved by the brilliant yellow Forsythia that blossomed after the last snow. Now I live in southern California and love the way the winter rains make green our parched landscape.

Where would I visit? My husband and I made several trips to Europe before children and we both fell in love with Italy. We've promised our young ones that we'll take them to Venice one day.


  1. The winners were notified today (Jan 11).

    If you didn’t win a copy of this book, please try again next month. We will be reading a very funning book (which is available today, if you want to read it early).

    Congratulations to: Angie S, Osheta, Lacy J, Amy, Carissa, Janet, Shelle, Randy Teri, Jennifer C, Andrea T, Kim, Julie C, Christy L, Dale, Emily, Rose, Kim I, Jill W, Sarah C, Sharon, Vicki, Amy H, and Adriene

  2. Am I mistaken or does this book not come out until February 10th? I was looking for it at Borders and the library with no luck so far...