Disclaimer: I was sent this beautifully hilarious book to conduct an interview on the author.
Mommys: Have you ever gone through the day completely exhausted, with a million things to do and then sometimes the tasks you have to do get stopped because life happens. Everyday right. And then as parents what do we do once we finally get our little ones to bed. Yes everyone say it in unison: We drink a glass of wine!!
Renee Charytan has written a hilarious book about us parents doing this exact same thing. It goes through a typical day in the life of a mom that has so much to do. The characters errands do get done with some obstacles getting in the way.
What led you to write such a humorous book?
My friend was over on a Saturday afternoon with her three kids. It was getting late- around the time of day when you’ve reached your absolute limit and are counting down the seconds until the bed time.
As my friend wrangled her resistant kids out the door she said, “I’m so drained – I need to get home and have a glass of wine!”
I said, “If you give a mommy a glass of wine, who knows what will happen next?” She burst out laughing and told me I need to write that book. So I did.
I wanted to write a book that was both funny and relatable to moms. We all struggle with keeping it all together. Often one thing leads to another and produces unexpected comical results. We love our kids more than anything, but being a mom can be stressful. And sometimes life gets so crazy that it begins to get funny.
2. As I read this I felt like you were aware of my daily life because I go through the exact same scenarios. Tell us about your family life?
It’s so funny you say that! I’m frequently asked whether this book is autobiography. Or moms will ask, “Did you write this book about me?” The more I talk to moms, the more I realize our similarities. While we each have different circumstances, we are united in our shared experiences.
My life is crazy! I’m married with 3 kids, who are 9 and 6 (twins). We have a rambunctious poodle named Petunia. I am living moment to moment and trying to get stuff done: mountains of laundry, driving carpool, and running errands. It’s endless.
My husband works longs hours, so it’s often just me and the kids. We argue, yell, laugh, cry and occasionally have dance parties. My house is often filled with kids from the neighborhood. Sometimes I feel like I live in a zoo filled with tiny humans. When I was a child, I wanted to be a zoo keeper. I guess I got my wish.
Its funny looking from the outside it looks perfect, but on the inside I am sure its super crazy. I totally get it.
3. How long have you been an author and can we find your writings elsewhere?
I have been writing short stories and poems since I was a child. If You Give a Mommy a Glass of Wine is my first book. I also document my daily life on Instagram @Reneecharytanauthor. Soon I’ll have a blog where I collect my short stories.
4. I think my favorite part is where the blue tooth in the car calls her Aunt Claire and then she is directed to a health food store when she really just wanted to go to an urgent care. Did this actually happen?
That’s one of my favorite parts too! The book has gone through so many revisions, but that detail was included from the start. Technology is such a universal frustration. Trying to get your car to understand voice commands is about as easy as getting your child to understand, “Go to bed!”
The scenario described in the book is fictional; it’s an exaggeration of a normal occurrence, like when I urgently need to call the kids’ school, and voice recognition hears, “Direct me to ShopRite”. In that scenario, I’ll repeatedly shout, “Call school!” Eventually I just give up, pull over, and look up the number with my phone.
I have a love/hate relationship with blue tooth also!
5. You can definitely get a sense of this mom’s frustration throughout the day. Tons of caffeine then she needs the wine to relax. What is your favorite part of the book?
I think my favorite part is when the husband comes home from work as soon as the kids fall asleep. Without noticing her sprained ankle, he asks about his dinner, and she glares at him. My point is not that he doesn’t care; he just doesn’t get it. He’s probably thinking about work or sports? I’m not really sure. This is why moms need to unite, share, be honest, and support one another.
Ha yes. Seems like real world situations.
6. Where can we find this book to purchase? Is it only available to buy as a traditional book or do you have an online format?
You can find my book on Amazon, but it will soon be available soon in wine, novelty and book shops. It will also be sold in Kindle and audiobook formats.
7. Tell us about the illustrator. I feel like he either knows you or you just wrote this so well that it was easy for him to come up with the pictures.
Very insightful! Yes, you’re right. This book would not have been possible without my illustrator Rick, who I met through a mutual friend.
The first draft of this book was much longer, but I soon realized that much of this story needed to be told through pictures. So I removed any text that would be better described as an illustration. He let me know when scene didn’t work visually, and we made necessary changes.
Rick was amazing to work with, and he transformed my ideas into beautiful images. He brought the characters to life, chose the color scheme, and designed the book cover. The attached photo is an example of what I gave Rick.
8. What is your favorite children’s book? And what do you love to read to your children? Wow that’s a hard question! I have so many favorites. As a child my favorite book was E.B White’s Charlotte’s Web. I loved Wilbur the pig and named the dog we had before Petunia after him.
I love to read Bad Kitty School Daze, by Nick Bruel because it’s so clever and witty. I literally laugh out loud while reading it. In that story Kitty meets a dog named Petunia. I bet you can guess how our dog Petunia got her name. You may be sensing a theme: I’ve had five dogs, and four were named after book characters. One was named after a musician. Books, music, and dogs are three of my favorite things.
I’ll have to check out Bad Kitty School Daze. My children have not read that one yet.
9. Are you currently working on anything else?
Yes! I’m always writing short stories, and I’m also working on a children’s book about a girl with a mystery to solve. Overnight all her clothes turn green! It’s about how she deals with the craziness of family life. The main themes are about embracing individuality, resolving conflict, forgiving others, and believing in yourself. No wine or coffee are involved.
That sounds like a great read. I can’t wait until you get that published!
10. When do you find the time to write while raising your family?
I think Dr. Seuss said it best, “Life’s a great balancing act.” Time is something that everyone seems to run out of. I, like all moms, can’t do it all. There are days (okay, most days) when dishes are left in the sink, piles of laundry remain unfolded, and thousands of e-mail stay unread in my inbox.
I love to write, so I make the time for it: sometimes while the kids are in school, sometimes in the middle of the night, or all night. I take notes on my phone when I have an idea, and I write down all the hilarious things my kids say. They give me the best content.
It was such a pleasure to talk with Renee about her book. Hopefully she has so many more books that come out in the future. Please check her book out. I have a link up under the picture that goes directly to it. I seriously laughed and nodded my head so hard while reading it that my husband had to read it next.
Thanks for reading!