Save the Date for November 22!

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CL_logo_book_lrgThe book release party for Milked is set for Saturday, November 22 at 5 PM at the fabulous City Lit Books! I’m so excited to have this opportunity to launch my book at an amazing community bookstore. In the heart of Logan Square, the store is really an oasis created by readers and for readers. I also have a special place in my heart for small businesses, and love that this event can & will help support a great one. It’s the perfect fit for the book, and just the kind of place that my protagonist Amanda would frequent.

Please join me to help celebrate! I’ll be reading a segment from the book, signing copies, and there will be cookies. Maybe even cake. Oh, who am I kidding, of course there will be cake. What the hell kind of party doesn’t have cake? Come for the cake. And the book!

Milked – What’s It All About?

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MILKED_Cover_borderBy and large, Amanda Keane makes pretty good decisions. Okay, she might not have thebest taste in men, but she’s got great friends, a good job, and an independent spirit. That is, until her 30th birthday ushers in a whirlwind romance with a sexy Irish musician who leaves her, not at the altar as she imagined, but accidentally pregnant. And when he disappears, she’s downsized out of a job, her apartment is robbed, and lapsed health insurance coverage leaves her with a C-section to pay for, Amanda is launched headfirst into the life of a broke single mom. But her friend and uber successful ob-gyn, Joy, clues her in to an unlikely temp position with one of Chicago’s celebrity elite that just may be the answer to all her woes. Or could it be just the beginning?

It’s with serious trepidation that Amanda embarks on her surprisingly lucrative new career: underground wet nurse to the offspring of Chi-town’s rich and famous. Amanda must quickly understand how to live at the whims and mercy of the one percent as she deals with the irony of nursing – and loving – someone else’s child, while still making ends meet for her own daughter. And then there’s Cute Daycare Dad (aka Dan), who’s obviously interested in her. But can she afford to tell him what she really does for a living? Is her new job (something she thought went out with the 19th century) a shameful thing? Just another way of selling her body? Or does it have something to teach her after all?

A novel of motherhood, its many demands, and all the little triumphs along the way, MILKED is a warm and witty debut about making tough choices and traveling the roundabout road to happiness.

Thank you, NaNoWriMo

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crest-bda7b7a6e1b57bb9fb8ce9772b8faafbWhat’s NaNoWriMo, you ask? This is the abbreviated name for National Novel Writing Month, an annual challenge posed by the fine folks at the Office of Letters and Light (OLL), to write a 50,000-word novel in 30 days. Daunting, difficult, daring? Yes, yes, and yes. I’ve tried twice and accomplished twice, in 2008 and 2012. In fact, Milked was born out of the rough draft I wrote in 2012, and I absolutely have the OLL to thank for the panic-inducing deadlines and the thrill of victory.

I was very honored that the NaNoWriMo folks invited me to write for their blog series about preparing for November and how to find inspiration when battling writer’s block. I challenged writers to make a list of reasons of why one would want to spend time with the story’s protagonist. After all, if you expect a reader to devote a book’s worth of time to your characters, you should certainly be able to provide fantastic reasons for doing so! You can find my blog post here.

Happy writing!

It’s Official

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rl_logoI popped onto the Regal Literary website today, and lo and behold, my author profile is up! You can read it here. Not gonna lie, seeing my profile made me a little bit emotional (thank goodness for a tucked away office and readily available tissues). I’ve always loved writing and considered myself a writer in my heart of hearts. I’ve made my living writing one thing or another for more than 11 years. However, when my novel Milked and I were accepted for representation by Regal, it was one of the most validating, gratifying and just plain best days of my life. This was such a crucial step toward my novel becoming a reality and getting it that much closer to an audience, and it had actually happened. Every aspiring author dreams about obtaining representation by a dream agency like this, and Regal has been even better than I imagined.

And, finding myself in the company of truly great writers makes me more honored and humbled than words can say. Audrey Niffenegger (The Time Traveler’s Wife), Isaac Marion (Warm Bodies), Daniel Wallace (Big Fish) and dozens of other outstanding novelists are represented by Regal. Every Regal author has contributed significantly to their genres and fields of study. It’s a little mind-boggling to see a picture of myself on the client list, and I’m truly grateful.

My weekend is officially off to a great start. Hope yours is fantastic as well!

Yes, My Book is About Breastfeeding Other People’s Children

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Yes, my book is about breastfeeding other people’s children. And no, before you ask, it’s not an autobiography. So how did I come up with the idea?

It all comes down to Colin.

Colin is my son, now four years old. In 2012, he was two, and still breastfeeding. I’ll go into more details about that journey in a future post, but one night before putting him to bed, latching him for the eleventy billionth time and absently humming “Yellow Submarine,” I began thinking about just how many times I’d breastfed my child. For close to a thousand days, multiple times per day, we’d had those tender moments of quiet, rest and fulfillment. Thousands of moments filled with snuggles, sleepy smiles and the ever-growing bond between my little guy and me.

Then, I started to think about how much that could be worth. And I realized that if I had a dollar for every one of those feeding sessions, I’d be swimming in a pool of money like my name was Scrooge McDuck.

(Sure, I can be sentimental but damn if I’m not a pragmatist.)

I then started to think about what it would be like to make money by breastfeeding the babies of other people (ok, rich people), and what the implications would be. What kind of issues one could run into, and what kind of emotional rewards and challenges could exist. What kind of person one would have to be in order to work in this profession–in this day and age–and do it well.

I unhooked Colin, who was on his way to dreamland, placed him bed, and kissed him goodnight.

That very night, I started my outline.

More on the next steps I took, coming soon!