Maureen Lipinski is the author of A Bump in the Road who coincidentally discovered she was pregnant after she finished writing it! Maureen is a graduate of Miami University in Ohio. She currently lives in Chicago with her husband and their son, Ryan. Her second novel, a sequel, Not Ready for Mom Jeans, was published this May. A Bump in the Road surrounds an event planner and famous blogger, Clare Finnegan, as she navigates marriage and an unexpected pregnancy after a wild night in Law Vegas. Not Ready for Mom Jeans follows Clare as she juggles returning to work, family, and being a new mommy. Each novel brings laughter to life’s funny and unexpected events! To find out more information, check out Maureen’s Blog.
1) How long have you been a writer?
Growing up, I was a voracious reader. I spent many nights huddled under the covers with a flashlight, devouring the latest Baby-Sitter Club or Sweet Valley High book. Sometime around junior high, that love of reading began to translate into a love of writing–of telling my own stories. My goal to be a writer stayed with me, although I didn’t actually start to pursue publication until after college.
2) How did you get started in publishing?
I, like many writers, thought that if I wrote a book, the deal would come. Shortly after finishing A Bump in the Road, I began to learn about the publishing world and quickly realized that a book deal can be a very elusive goal. Thankfully, I found my wonderful agent, Holly Root, who tenaciously subbed my book to publishers and connected me with my equally wonderful editor, Katie Gilligan at St. Martin’s.
3) How long did it take you to publish your 1st book?
I signed the deal with St. Martin’s in December of 2007 and A Bump came out June 9, 2009. Thus, the publication process is a long one! I think that was one of the most surprising aspects about publishing for me—and for others! About month after I signed the deal, relatives asked me where they could purchase the book.
4) Who is your favorite author?
This is a tough one. I have so many favorites: Pat Conroy, Jen Lancaster, Bill Bryson, Patti Callahan Henry are just a few. If forced to choose, I’d pick Marian Keyes. Her book, Watermelon, reminded me that writing should be fun and that it is perfectly acceptable to douse a book with a heavy dose of humor.
5) What is the best author experience so far?
Walking into Border’s on the release day for A Bump in the Road and seeing a huge wall of pink books with my picture at the top. I ran right out of the store and had to collect myself for a moment before returning to take pictures.
6) What do you when you’re not writing?
When not writing, I’m usually wrangling my two year old and spending inordinate amounts of time in Target.
7) Have you ever had writer’s block? What to you do?
I don’t think I’ve had what people would call classic writer’s block. My biggest challenge is usually finding a free moment to write a few pages. But there have definitely been times when I wasn’t sure how to approach a scene or what plot point should happen next. Then, I usually find that a long shower or leisurely drive knocks loose a few gems!
8) Do you have any book promotion tips?
Publishing is so different now than it was years ago. Now, authors are expected to heavily self-promote, which can be both challenging and intimidating. I think that authors should spend time on whatever promotions they enjoy—facebook, twitter, signings, writing conferences. I think there’s a fine line between earnestly promoting a book and trying to do everything at once.
9) Tips for other aspiring writers:
Revise, revise, revise! Make sure your work is as perfect as possible before querying, as agents really are looking for something that needs very little work.
10) Tell me about any current or upcoming books:
My second book, Not Ready for Mom Jeans, comes out on May 25th. A sequel to A Bump in the Road, it follows Clare through her first year of being a working mom. It’s a laugh out loud novel about life, motherhood and the quest for eight hours of sleep.
11) Where can I purchase a copy?
Not Ready for Mom Jeans is available for pre-order at all online book retail outlets. Readers can visit my website at www.maureenlipinski.com for links to purchase or to learn more about the book.