As an aspiring writer, I am utterly intrigued by anyone who writes a book. I post, I contribute, I write, I tweet, but as yet I am light years away from actually writing a book. So, I set out to find out how one writer does it. Her name is Beth Feldman and she is well-known online as RoleMommy. Beth is the lead author and editor of a book of essays about being a harried mom.
I had a chance to chat with Beth while she was in the middle of her cross country book tour for See Mom Run: Side-Splitting Essays from the World’s Most Harried Moms. I wanted to know how she does “it” — that is be a mom and have a successful business as a writer. I caught up with Beth on a rare day home from the See Mom Run book tour.
Musings: So, how is the tour going?
Beth: The tour is fantastic. Great turnouts in each city.
Musings: How did you come up with the idea for See Mom Run book?
Beth: I was working with a publisher at Lane White Press on an anthology for moms. Lane White wanted to reach out to some fave blogging moms. As we connected and talked about book, I realized I would love to share stories of all the moms…have voices of “every mom.”
Musings: How did you start See Mom Run?
Beth: I put out a call for new moms, for moms of tweens, for empty nesters, for grandmothers. I asked each mom to share their harried moments. The book became not just a book for news moms, but a book for moms of all ages — from moms of newborns to moms of college students and beyond.
Musings: Was there one article that you wrote that made you think “I need to write a book of articles on being a harried blogging mom”?
Beth: After leaving corporate life, I entered the crazy world of constantly running and working as a writing mom. I would share stories with someone. Writing friends would share stories with me. Contributors took the idea for See Mom Run and ran with it.
Musings: How did you come up with the title for See Mom Run?
Beth: While on vacation in Florida at Nick Studios, I batted title ideas around with my parents. “See Mom Run” was one of the titles we came up with.
Musings: How did the See Mom Run contributors come on board?
Beth: I reached out to my fave blogging moms + authors I loved. A producer told me…you need to get Sherry Shealy Martschink, a retired senator from South Carolina, to contribute a story. I wanted to have a book with moms from all different stages of motherhood so that all moms stages are included. I even had my mom (Lenore Stoller) write and share her stories!
Musings: How do you know your contributors? From NYCMoms?
Beth: Some of the contributors are NYC Moms, but others are from all over the U.S.
Musings: How did you find your nonblogging contributors?
Beth: After I found blogging moms who wanted to contibute to the book, I reached out to some nonbloggers. The subtitle changed from “world’s most harried blogging moms” to “world’s most harried moms.” I found when I went to cities and did events with nonbloggers that these moms were dying to tell their stories.
Musings: How did you come up with the cover design? Who decided on the robot?
Beth: Plain White Press is an independent imprint. It is run by a mom formally from Wiley. Plain White Press reached out to a graphic designer who worked with me on a design. The designer found a photo. The star was added to show that mom is a star. It is time for mom to be a celebrity.
Musings: How do you balance your work life with your personal life?
Beth: At an event lately, I did not invite my friends as I do not want them to feel obligated to come to all my events. I only invited blogging friends and friends who I knew would be interested.
Musings: How do you balance your work life and home life?
Beth: I feel as though I have fleeting time with my kids. I want to travel with my kids as much as I can. Whatever my kids want to do I will support them.
Musings: Do you have a pet peeve?
Beth: Yes! I hate when moms overbook and don’t show up. I wrote about it on RoleMommy.
Musings: You are a busy PR professional. How do you find the time to write and blog at so many sites?
Beth: I have a strategy…during the week I will blog at night and in the early a.m. During the day I will focus on PR projects then write at night. Since I am focusing on the book launch right now, I did not take on many projects.
Musings: Do you have a mentor you look up to?
Beth: Yes, Lee Woodruff. She was in PR, before catastrophic events happened to her husband, Bob Woodruff. Insane schedule. She finally had the chance to walk away from things that were not working for her.
Musings: Do you have any upcoming projects?
Beth: I’m working on turning See Mom Run: Side-Splitting Essays from the World’s Most Harried Moms in to a stage show. At an event in May, some of the See Mom Run contributors read from the book. A producer was there. I have written a bunch of song parodies. Another venture…readings from men. Dad’s point of view. My goal is to have a workshop in May to come up with topics.
Musings: Do you blog about your children?
Beth: I don’t blog about my kids on www.rolemommy.com. I don’t feel as though my personal site is the place for writing about my kids. I would never make fun of my kids as I don’t want to embarass them! On RoleMommy, I did have a section called Rolemommy Confessions where in the past I shared about my kids, but now I only share my innermost thoughts about myself, not the kids.
On sites like NYCMoms, I will shares stories about my family, but I keep it general. I believe that the freedom of writing is writing about what you are passionate about.
Musings: Do you keep your blogging life separate from your personal life?
Beth: I have learned to be careful when writing stories, like the ones in See Mom Run. It is a good idea to keep your blogging life separate from your personal life. Don’t want to lose friends.
Musings: Who is the sponsor of the See Mom Run book tour?
Beth: I’m thankful to Swiffer Wet Jet for letting me share the book at events throughout the U.S. Women are the ultimate storytellers who need to tell their stories. Women like to commiserate with each other and then laugh about it.
A little more about the author… Beth Feldman is President of Beyond PR, an entertainment public relations agency specializing in television, innovative websites, parenting and book projects. Clients have included the CBS Marketing Group, Lifetime Television, Embassy Row Productions (“The 9” on Yahoo), the fashion website, Top Button, the online stationery site Design-her Gals, Chez Baby LLC., as well as New York Times best-selling author Daniel Solin (The Smartest Investment Book You’ll Ever Read) and authors Matt Titus & Tamsen Fadal (Why Hasn’t He Called/McGraw Hill, Feb. 2008). She is co-author of Peeing in Peace: Tales & Tips for Type A Moms(Sourcebooks, April 2008) and a freelance writer who contributes regularly toMomLogic(produced by Telepcitures), Newsday, and Westchester Parent. Beth blogs at NYC Moms Blog, Working Mother, New York Metroparents and theHuffington Post, LifeTimeMoms, among others. She also hosts a podcast for Blog Talk Radio.
I conducted a social media campaign for SeeMomRun.