I am so thrilled to have Lucy Adams as my guest today. She is the author of Tuck Your Skirt in Your Panties and Run. Get to know her a little better as she answers questions about being an author, her career path and her hidden talents.
How do your family and friends feel about their lives being published?
I have to admit, there’ve been a couple of pieces I published that sent my husband over the edge. He has actually given me a list of things I can’t print about him in the newspaper. For example, I can never write that he “squealed like a school girl.”
And every now and then my parents will question something I put in print. My parents are very thrifty and I once used a metaphor of gnomes burying their gold under toadstools to describe my mom and dad. There was no end to the grief they caught for that. I’m fortunate that they have a good sense of humor.
My friends laughingly say things like, “Uh oh, you’re not going to put that in the paper are you?”
But my children seem to go out of their way to supply me with topics. I even find myself lecturing them on not doing brainless things just to see if I’ll write about them.
Unfortunately, we usually don’t realize how entertaining the chaos is until the crisis du jour has passed. In the moment, I’m like every person – I’m surviving. I hope that in all the minutes that come between racing time to the grave, ha, ha, I’m teaching my children to laugh at themselves and take life’s ups and downs lightly.
What is your favorite thing about being an author?
Let’s see. Perhaps that total strangers write me and e-mail me to say they love Tuck Your Skirt in Your Panties and Run and that they’ve put it in the basket of reading materials in their bathrooms. On a home tour a couple of Decembers ago, one man actually walked me into his bathroom to point out my other book, If Mama Don’t Laugh, It Ain’t Funny, which he keeps on the back of his commode.
Making people laugh, making an emotional connection, is very rewarding.
I also enjoy the idea that something of my creation with my name on it is recorded in perpetuity in the Library of Congress. I’m a permanent, though tiny, piece of the fabric of America. It’s a record of my existence and my contribution. Hmmm. That sounds so silly and neurotic when I say it out loud.
What authors do you admire and why?
All the female southern authors who came before me. And Faulkner, of course. Why? Because their voice and tone and story-telling is part of my heritage. They influenced not just my writing, but how I view the world.
How did you get started writing?
My original plan, when I was 5, was to be an artist and live in my parents’ garage and take care of them in their old age. Despite my father nursing that ambition, I ended up being a writer and living down the road from my parents. An arrangement that pleases my mother very much, since she and my dad haven’t decided to get old yet.
My high school friends would tell you that they always knew I would be a writer. My college friends would tell you they were all surprised. My husband says I’m not the same woman he married; that it’s like my alien inside took over.
I always wanted to write. I sort of gave up on it, though, after high school, seeking to do more practical things with my education and my life. It wasn’t until I was 34, with four children ages 6 and under and a husband who said we needed extra income, that I got up the courage to act on it.
I typed up sample columns and went to my local newspaper and asked if I could write for them. Then I called the editor again, and again, and again, until he said, “Yes, if you’ll quit bothering me. I’ve got work to do.”
Now, in my 40’s, going a day without writing is like going a day without oxygen.
What do you hope readers will get from your books and other work?
My writing style tends toward the dissection of singular moments, unraveling them and uncovering their most basic but oft overlooked parts. If readers don’t get anything else from my writing, I want them to gain an appreciation for the miracle in the mundane. The majority of life takes place in the daily routine, not in big milestone moments. To really live and appreciate our existence and get the most out of it we have to find joy, inspiration, humor, meaning in the ordinary and arbitrary.
Besides writing, what other talents or hobbies do you have?
I can balance a spoon on the tip of my nose. I am a reluctant runner. I enjoy riding roller coasters. I’ve recently returned to the sport of fox-hunting, which I gave up in my early 20s. Thinking up remodeling ideas for my hundred year old house preoccupies me for long stretches. I take pictures, but these days who doesn’t?
Where can people purchase your books?
Tuck Your Skirt in Your Panties and Run and If Mama Don’t Laugh, It Ain’t Funny are both available through all major online bookstores, such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Signed copies are also available from my web site, www.ifmama.com. Also on my web site, readers can download a free e-book readers’ guide for Tuck Your Skirt.
To buy a copy of Tuck Your Skirt in Your Panties and Run from Amazon.com, click here.
The following is a book excerpt (98 Dog Years) from Tuck Your Skirt.
Just a reminder. In honor of Lucy Adams’s visit, I’m giving away a Tuck Your Skirt tote bag. Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM on Wednesday, Nov. 2. Winner will be notified on Thursday, Nov. 3.
To see my review of Tuck Your Skirt and other books, see My Book Reviews.