Lit It Girl: Debut Author Stephanie Stiles

We hope y'all had a great Fourth of July weekend! We did- although we had a good laugh at how much our Fourth of July's have changed now that were older not as young and have kids. But we still managed to squeeze in a cocktail (or more) and read a couple lines of our rag mags in between "mommy will you come in the pool?" (Liz) and "ba da ga ka baaaah" translation: "change my dirty diaper-stat!" (Lisa). And once the dads started a game of Marco Polo with the kids (thanks to the hubs for understanding that chlorine and blow outs don't mix!) we talked about how perfect it was that we were having Stephanie Stiles on the site today. Because her hilarious debut novel, TAKE IT LIKE A MOM (out today) hits on so many funny things about motherhood... One thing sets her apart from other modern-day superheroes: mom genes.

Annie Fingardt Forster used to be a lawyer who wore dry-clean only and shaved both legs. But things have changed. Now a stay-at-home mom, she wears cargo pants and ponytails and harbors a nearly pathological hatred towards hipster parents.

With a three-year-old and a baby on the way, Annie knows what to least, she thought she did. Faced with her husband's job loss, pre-school politics, and a playground throwdown with her arch nemesis, Annie realizes that even with her husband and friends by her side, what she really needs is to learn to suck it up-and take it like a mom.

This is a must-read for anyone- mom or not- who's looking for a fun read this summer. And if you leave a comment, you'll be entered to win one of five copies of TAKE IT LIKE A MOM! We'll randomly select the winners on Thursday, July 7th after 6pm EST.


1. How many agents did you query before you found “the one”? Is there a way I can answer without looking like a loser?  It’s like asking how many men you dated before finding Mr. Right, isn’t it?  If the number’s really low, I look a desperate cling-on; but if it’s too high, then I look like a dufus who keeps getting dumped.  So, given I can’t win, I suppose I should just be honest and say that it was a lot.  A.  Whole.  Lot.  And we’ve been together since, Greyhaus and I.  For better or for worse.  Til writer’s block do us part.

2. What was your rock bottom moment during the process? I started this story about ten years ago.  Then I had a kid.  Then another one six years later.  And the process just kind of stalled.  Finally, in 2009, when I was on Sabbatical, I resurrected the project, and it’s been a pretty great since.  So, as I think about it, I’d have to say the rock bottom moment during the process was having to deliver my daughter without the benefit of drugs.  ‘Cause, I gotta tell you – that hurt.

3. How long did it take to write your book? The writing part didn’t take too long.  It was all the laundry in between sentences that was the real time-drain.  If I’d been stranded on a deserted island – provided I didn’t have to compete against Ginger in any beauty contests or make a radio out of coconuts – I’d have been done in a couple of months.

4. What did you do to celebrate your book deal? Well, because life is always a party Chez Stiles, I’ll go out on a limb and say that we had frozen food for dinner and watched some reality television.  If it was a really great night, then the t.v. show featured the word “Housewives” somewhere in its name.  Sometime later, I remember a bottle of champagne, but I have a feeling my parents were responsible for that little number.

5. Knowing what you know now about publishing your first novel, what would you have done differently? If I possessed that kind of prescience and wisdom, believe you me: the first thing I’d do is avenge the middle-school years.  Next on the list’d be ex-boyfriends.  Then, I’d probably revisit a few of my old jobs.  After all that was taken care of, I’m thinking that the whole novel-writing thing would start looking pretty well-orchestrated, comparatively.  There are just so many things over the course of my life that I’d have done differently (Matt Shein, I’m looking at you), that the book publishing was a relative high point.

6. What’s your biggest distraction or vice while writing? The fact that no one in my family is addicted to Ambien.  Because I’m fairly certain that would help a lot.  Well, that and the fact that laundry is invisible to everyone in my house except me.

7. Who is your writer crush? I’ve been etching “S.S. + D.S” on my steamy bathroom mirror and shower doors for quite some time now.  What do you think – should I hyphenate when we get married?  Ms. Stephanie Stiles-Sedaris has a pretty nice ring to it.  Of course, the traditional Mrs. David Sedaris – or even just plain old Stephanie Sedaris – sounds alright, too, don’t you think?  In any case, when he knocks on my door (follow Main Street past two lights, turn third left, I’m the second driveway on the right – gray colonial, lovingly tended garden out back), I’ll be ready.

8. GNO drink of choice? On a GNO… seriously?  If I were served the grain-alcohol-Kool-Aid punch I drank from a skanky fraternity house bathtub when I was in college, I would happily sip away.  On a GNO, I ain’t picky.

9. Favorite trashy TV show? I prefer my television denuded of any and all educational value.  The less intellectual and the more times the word “Jersey” appears in the title, the better.

10. What celeb would you love to have a Twitter war with? This is a tough one for me – I really have to stop and give it pause.  Celebrities are so easy to hate, it’s hard to narrow it down.  Some of those Real Housewives would do nicely here though.

To learn more about the hilarious Stephanie Stiles, visit her website.

Thanks, Stephanie!


Liz & Lisa