Sometimes, dreams really do come true.
And, when those dreams involve a stalker like, fan girl obsession, it’s even sweeter when those dreams become realized.
Lemme tell you a little back story:
In December 2011, my BFF sent me a link with the words, “OMG. I’m crying I’m laughing soooooo hard…you have to read this…NOW”. Because I always do what my BFF says, I quickly clicked the link and was directed to a blog post entitled “Overachieving Elf on the Shelf Mommies” written by some chick with a blog called People I Want To Punch In The Throat. The blog bashed overachiever moms who spent more time than anyone should depicting Christmas scenes with the uber popular Elf On The Frigging Shelf.
This blog, on this day, is where my love affair with Jen Mann and her writing began.
Over the course of the next few years, I read pretty much every blog the woman wrote, often commenting my support and sometimes, cringing because the woman uses the F word like the Pope says “Bless You”. Her blogs are irreverent, she speaks her mind and man, oh, man, she does NOT like stupid celebrities. Or politicians. Or overachieving moms. Or anyone she wants to punch in the throat. And don’t get her started on douchebag teenagers.
I loved her.
Okay, not HER. Her WRITING….but also her. I totally wanted her to be my friend.
Flash forward to one cold January evening in 2014, about nine months into my illustrious, almost over before it started blogging career. I was nonchalantly checking my email (read: waiting for something new to pop up on Facebook) when I saw an unfamiliar email address in my inbox. When I clicked on the email, I realized it was from Jen Mann. THE Jen Mann. THE ACTUAL JEN MANN. And she was asking if I was interested in possibly submitting an essay for consideration for her upcoming anthology.
My head exploded.
In shock, I immediately called my BFF. One would think I would have alerted Hubby first but one would be wrong. While hubbies are supportive, BFFs get the need to scream into the phone at 7:19pm during baths and bedtime on a random evening about throat punching. After much discussion, a screen shot text for her to confirm I wasn’t seeing things, more discussion, screaming, a whole lot of “OMG HOW DID SHE FIND ME???” and at least six expletives, we decided it was probably for real. And then we screamed again.
When Jen selected my essay to be in I Just Want To Be Alone, I knew it was a big deal for my writing but in no way could I have imagined the doors that have been blown wide open for me since the publication. I got introduced to the cool kids of blogging. I got to go to BOOK SIGNINGS. I won an award for being The Most Likely To SQUEEEEEEE In Public. Life changing, I tell you….
And Jen Mann friended me on Facebook.
Even more mind blowing: when I met her in real life in June at The Blog University, she befriended me in real life. Yes, I just said real life twice in the same sentence. I’m flustered, okay?
A stalker, fan girl’s dream come true, I tell you. I try to be cool about it, but I’m not going to lie: we all know how stupidly I act around celebrities.
When Jen announced that she had her book, People I Want To Punch In The Throat: Competitive Crafters, Drop Off Despots and Other Suburban Scourges, coming out September 9, I wanted to, in a small way, do something to say thank you to her for believing in me as a new writer. And for continuing to answer my Facebook IMs.
So I did what every stalker, obsessed fan girl does: I asked her for an interview and for free books to giveaway. Duh.
Amazingly, she said yes. Probably because she’s afraid I’ll figure out where she lives. And then she’ll have real problems. Wait, I think she already does:
My Journalistic, Hard Hitting, Enquiring Minds Want To Know Interview With Jen Mann
1). So, you have a wildly popular blog, PIWTPITT, several anthologies, a massive social media following and one book out this fall. Plus, another one in 2015. How did you find my blog?
I found your blog through the Hubs. I was looking for new voices to feature in my anthology and the Hubs brought you to my attention. He liked your style. He has excellent taste.
2). This question is a two parter: You and I share a love for Jen Lancaster books, Les Mis, and 80s bubble gum pop. Do you know Jen Lancaster and can you invite her over so we can listen to Debbie Gibson and ask her about her husband Fletch and The Thundercats? Will you do a video with me singing “On My Own”? (This question makes more sense if you go check out Jen Lancaster’s awesomeness…just sayin’).
OK, let’s break this down: I don’t know Jen Lancaster, but I would like to be pals. Let’s make a pact right now that when Jen calls one of us (and we know she will) whoever gets the call to hang out will invite the other to the meeting, OK? The world is already such a scary place, I can’t add to it by filming a video of me singing “On My Own.”
3). I guess we should actually talk about YOUR book, (insert stupidly long title link here). Are you worried that 5 year Agnes is going to kick your ass when she reads the chapter about her? More specifically, are you excited about the gift basket her mother will send you after Agnes double downs on you? (Inteviewer’s note: Agnes is a 5 year old terror featured in the chapter entitled, “Oooh, Sorry To Hear You Got Agnes In Your Class, But I Hear Her Mother Is Lovely”. I assure you, we all know an Agnes….)
I’m not too concerned about Agnes. She’s missing teeth now, so she’s lost her number one weapon. I could use a fruit basket though, so maybe I’ll pick a fight with her just so I can get a treat.
4). Now that you are a big time blogger with a real book deal, do you feel as though you’ve arrived? And I don’t mean late to school pick up….
Sorry, I don’t have time to answer this one, I’m late for school pick up! Thanks for the reminder!
5). What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given aside from “Go read The Keeper of The Fruit Loops blog”?
Tell a funny story. There is humor in just about anything. Find the humor and make ’em laugh.
6). What would you say if you saw someone actually punch another person in the throat? Are you thug enough to throat punch someone?
Can I swear on your blog? Because if I actually saw someone punch another person in the throat I’d scream, “Holy shit!” I’m not thug enough to step on someone’s foot, so of course I’m not going to punch anyone. Also, I’m five feet tall, I couldn’t reach anyone’s throat if I wanted to.
7). What blogs do you read religiously? Why? And, have you told them about my blog?
I read a lot of HuffPost and The Onion. I love Moms Who Drink and Swear. She makes me look like I have the vocabulary of a preschool teacher. I don’t want to tell anyone about your blog. I want to keep you all to myself.
8). Will The Hubs buy me a minivan? I have sold A LOT of IJWTBA books, just sayin..
You don’t want to know what I had to do to get that minivan! Hubs says, “Second prize is a set of steak knives, third prize is you’re fired — get selling! Just sayin’.” Actually, let’s think about this one for a minute. The Hubs brought you to my attention, that’s better than a minivan!
9). Are you mostly out of the closet with your blog to the Dropoff Despots around you? As in, will you have to move shortly after (insert stupidly long title link here) is released? Will Agnes be torching your new badass minivan?
I have no idea who knows what I do. I think I flatter myself to think that anyone around here cares about what I do or say.
10). The Hubs has a blog, too. Are you ever going to let him have a chapter in one of your anthologies? He did buy you a minivan, after all, no?
Unless the next anthology is about couponing or meat sweats, I don’t think he’d have anything of value to add.
Isn’t she just awesome??? Now you totally want to be Facebook friends with her, don’t you? Well, too bad, she’s already my friend. But, as a consolation prize, FIVE lucky Fruit Loop Groupies will WIN her book. Yep. Just for being you, my adoring stalker, fruit loop girl obsessed fans. Just leave me a comment below and I’ll throw all the names in a hat and pick five lucky recipients. No, I’m not doing Rafflecopter. No, I’m not hiring a giveaway company. No, there is no randomization beyond my popcorn bowl and names on paper. Suck it. This is my giveaway, not yours.
1). Leave a comment. You MUST comment to play.
2). Five winners will be chosen on September 9th, 2014. Don’t ask me what time. I don’t know yet.
3). Random House will be sending the books DIRECTLY TO YOU so I don’t have to deal with shipping. Or mailing labels. Or getting your address correctly spelled. So, you will be required to give me your address to forward onto the lovely lady at Random House. If you are hiding from the law and can’t give out your address, too bad, too sad. No book for you.
4). No fighting. There are plenty of books for ALL OF YOU. On Amazon. So go buy them, dammit. No sore losers. Because sore losers SUCK.
As Jen would say: Namaste and may the best despot win!!!!
PLEASE NOTE: The contest is OVER. Finished. No book for you. You are late to the game. Better luck next time. Sorry, Charlie. Sucks to be you. Go buy it on Amazon, loser.
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