Today I have the amazing privilege of sharing my interview of Norine Dworkin-McDaniel and Jessica Ziegler. These two are the brains and brawn behind The Science of Parenthood. Their newest book is available for purchase here!
I had the honor of meeting both Norine and Jessica at BlogU! Norine and Jessica are two of the funniest and real bloggers I’ve met. I hope you enjoy the interview! Check out all of their books but especially this latest one!
- Hi ladies!!!!! Tell me a little about yourselves! Tell me about your upcoming book!
Norine: We love to make parents laugh! Which is great because that’s exactly what our book, Science of Parenthood: Thoroughly Unscientific Explanations for Utterly Baffling Parenting Situations is meant to do. A natural extension of our illustrated humor blog, Science of Parenthood, our book uses real concepts from biology, chemistry, physics and math to “explain” all those bizarre parenting conundrums that seem to defy explanation: How come your kid only pukes when you’re the only one around to clean up? Why can’t your kid hear you tell her to pick up her toys but is able to hear the tinkle of the ice cream truck five miles away? How do adults get through an episode of Caillou or Pepa Pig? We’ve got the answers! (Of course, we could be wrong.)
Jessica: Norine strong-armed me into becoming a cartoonist, I had no plans to do that! I’ve been a web designer for the past 16 years and have a BFA in Painting. My father is a cartoonist, so that really seemed like his territory; I hadn’t ever really considered it. And yet, here I am. I guess you can’t deny your nature. Now there will be three books out there with my cartoons in them. I’m still not quite sure how that happened.
- If you could tweet your favorite part of being Science of Parenthood what would we read on Twitter?
Norine: “Laughing … so we’re not sobbing.”
- On your blog page www.ScienceofParenthood.com you have both The Big Book of Parenting Tweets and The Bigger Book of Parenting Tweets. How did you transition into the newest book Science of Parenthood and will you sell them as a set anytime?!?!
Jessica: Oh, I think we could sell them as a set! The Science of Parenthood book was in the works from day one, but the Tweets books were a sudden middle of the night inspiration last October, that I HAD to act on.
- What is the comment you hear most frequently? Compliment?
Norine: “Do you have a spy camera set up in my house?” We’re all about finding the funny in the universal parenting angst, so the best compliment we can hear is, “That’s SO true!” or “My kid just did THAT!”
- On your website www.ScienceofParenthood.com you mention being one of Parenting.com‘s “blog every parents should read.” What is the one piece of advice you’d give a parent teetering on the edge of smashing that last goldfish or giving into a stubborn child?
Norine: Parenting is difficult and stressful and frustrating. That’s why we’re in the humor business, to help alleviate some of that stress. We’ve all had those “wanna scream” moments. Maybe some of your readers are having them now! But if you can take a breath, step back and find the ridiculous in the situation, the horrible and humiliating becomes easier to roll with. (Though sometimes, you need a few deep breaths!) I’ll never forget this one time when my son was 2. I was about to take him for a walk in his stroller. I’d stopped to use the bathroom before we headed out, and he’d climbed onto my lap and put his head on my chest. As I was basking in the sweetness of the moment, he vomited all over me. Absolutely disgusting at the time. But I love telling the story now.
Jessica: Back away and find a distraction for yourself, preferably with laughter. For some parents that’s Twitter or Facebook, for others it’s a good book (hint hint) or a favorite show. Try to get OUT of the moment. In all likelihood whatever is setting your hair on fire RIGHT NOW won’t seem like such a big deal with a little time and space.
- Star Wars or Minecraft? Good, bad, savior, evil? GO!
Norine: As much fun as we make of Minecraft, I do like the building and creating aspect of it. And some days my work days definitely feel like they’re “made possible” by Minecraft — especially teacher workdays. I do wish there was an “undo” button though. We’ve experienced many tears when things have disappeared, gotten stolen or destroyed. Last summer, my son lost a house he’d spent a lot of time on when another player accidentally set it on fire. The damage was virtual but the loss was real. I could have used an “undo” button that day.
Jessica: Oh, Minecraft is great! Relatively guilt-free parental time buyer. My son isn’t really into Star Wars, but when we were kids, my brothers were all about it. It will be interesting to see if that changes when the new movies come out. Now, if there was a Minecraft movie…
- Sick of my questions yet? Too BAD! Favorite kid music? Favorite non-kid music?
Jessica: When Holden was small we both loved Dan Zanes. Luckily he never got into any music that was too terribly annoying, other than the Caillou or Mickey Mouse Clubhouse theme song *stabs self in ear.* Of course, he didn’t control the radio. I don’t have a true favorite, but I do like me some funk.
Norine: With a great arrangement, even kid music is fabulous. When my son was a baby, my mother-in-law bought him the Baby Loves Jazz CD, featuring really swinging versions of kid classics like Farmer in the Dell and Three Blind Mice. Throw in some phat horns and just about anything will sound awesome. Nowadays, I rely on my kid to keep me current with pop music. One night, Jessica and her son were at my sister’s house for dinner, and of the nine people around the table, the only ones who knew what Gangam Style was were her son, 9, and mine, 7. Without my kid, I wouldn’t know how to Whip or Nae Nae.
- What is your preferred method of writing? Do you sit and pound out a book in a month on the computer or do you take paper notes?
Norine: I WISH I wrote that fast. I am the world’s slowest writer. Our Science of Parenthood book took about a year to write and rewrite and rewrite some more. I’d probably still be rewriting, but Jessica cut me off … and our publisher demanded the manuscript! Much of our book started on legal pads or blank pieces of paper, as we sketched out diagrams and graphs and charts. Jessica and I often post drafts of written pieces in Google docs and then edit together.
Jessica: I have a very short attention span. After about an hour and half of doing any one thing, I’m done. As long as I mix up my task list, I’m okay. A little drawing, a little writing, a little web design, just keep the cycle spinning, and I can go for hours. I’m amazed by writers who can chain themselves to a desk for eight hours a day. The Tweets books came together very quickly because WE didn’t have to do very much writing, the tweeps did all of that for the most part, and it was already completed. So I would cycle through tweet voting, layout design, cartooning, some intro writing, there were enough different tasks that I could crank through a day without going nuts.
- Tell us where we can get your book and where we can leave an amazing review after reading it!! (there will be links at the beginning and end too!)
Norine: Science of Parenthood is available in bookstores and on Amazon as a print and ebook. (http://amzn.to/1DcVllh). It’s also available on our own site, www.scienceofparenthood.com. And thank you for asking about reviews. Leaving even a brief review on Amazon and Goodreads is incredibly helpful to independent authors.
From the peanut gallery that inspires my blog…
Mom – why are you talking to your internet people again? – Wait – that one’s for me. (But do you get that question?)
Norine: Ha! I love my Internet people!
Jessica: I hear “get off your phone!” way more than I’d care to.
Do you have a dog or pet? What are their names and why do they have those names?
Norine: In our house, we have three cats. There’s Squeak (a long-haired part-Maine Coon), who squeaked as a kitten and thus got her name. There’s Piewacket (a tuxedo cat) who was named for the cat in Bell, Book and Candle. And Cinder (a gray and black striped kitty) named by my sone for one of the characters in the Warriors series he’s reading.
Jessica: We have a border collie named Simba. He was a rescue and came with his name, I think he must have looked a bit like a little lion as a puppy. We also have my brother’s cat temporarily, named Omee, which came from “Oh me, oh my.”
Fuzzy socks or slippers?
Norine: Fuzzy socks all the way!
Jessica: I have slippers that are fuzzy on the inside…
What is your favorite place to go shopping (from the 13 year old girl!)?
Norine: Banana Republic for clothes. Target for everyday items. Godiva for chocolate.
Jessica: You’d THINK it was Costco or Target, I’m there often enough. I’m a total bargain hunter, so probably TJ Maxx My13-year-old self is dying a little on the inside for admitting that. TJ Maxx was NOT COOL when I was young.
Thanks for your time ladies! One more link to your newest book!