Get to know Amy Sprenger author of Baby Bumps!!

baby bumps

Winner of the Shirley You Jest Book Award for Fiction!

“It takes someone special to take a serious subject and make it laugh-out-loud funny. Amy Sprenger has done just that. After reading this I can’t hear the word ‘cervix’ without smiling!” —Jennifer Hartling, The Relentless Reader blogger and Shirley You Jest Book Awards judge

From the author of the award-winning blog Snarky Mommy comes a book that will make every woman who has ever been pregnant pee with laughter (not that that’s hard).

Wearing her highest heels and hottest pregnancy jeans, Amy Sprenger marched into her doctor’s office, latte in hand, ready to finally see whether her baby was a boy or a girl. Sure, sure, this appointment was supposed to be about checking the health of the baby, but everyone who’s ever been there knows it’s really about looking for what lays, or doesn’t lay, between the legs.

So when the doctor tells her she has an incompetent cervix, Amy does what any woman would do. She becomes immediately offended. Is that a politically correct way of saying her cervix sucks? Unfortunately, as she’s soon to learn, it’s a lot more than that. The only way to keep that baby from falling out on the sidewalk (probably in front of Starbucks) is for her doctor to stitch her cervix closed and for Amy to stay in bed for the next four months.

Four months that are carefully detailed in this “memoir.” A memoir that while basically true, has been embellished with Amy’s signature brand of humor and hilarity.

With more time off than a castoff contestant on The Bachelor, Amy took pen to paper and settled in for the ride. But instead of sitting around eating bon bons, she’s popping hypertension drugs to stave off preterm labor. And complications? Oh, she’s got your complications. She’s gut-rehabbing her house. Her mother moves in to care for her. Her husband takes a “mancation” while she’s stuck in the hospital. And every time she has a contraction, she’s convinced it’s The Big One.

Living by the adage that laughter is the best medicine, Amy fumbles her way through a series of sometimes serious and usually embarrassing situations. And just to be clear, using a bedpan qualifies as both serious and embarrassing.

“Amy Sprenger’s foray into factual fiction is a hilarious (and sometimes poignant) look at high-risk pregnancy from her view at the end of the bed. Sprenger offers a fresh and funny voice that readers will love!”
—New York Times bestselling author Jen Lancaster

“Hilarious and fast-paced, this debut novel will keep you laughing for at least nine months.”
—Maureen Lipinski, author of A Bump in the Road and Not Ready for Mom Jeans

1. Set the mood for us…when you’re writing, you have to…
I feel like Goldilocks when it comes to writing because everything has to be juuuuuuust right for me to actually put my butt in the chair and get it done. I used to write exclusively at Starbucks because I liked being out of the house around other people. I also like listening to other people’s conversations and the Starbucks near the DePaul University campus is rife with the most interesting gossip you will ever hear. It’s a mix of 20-something girls, stay-at-home moms, hipster dudes in skinny jeans and knit hats, people conducting job interviews and a bonus homeless man shilling for cash outside. All good things for the writing mojo. But then I figured out I could sit at a desk upstairs at my own house, drinking hot chocolate that is approximately 2,428 times cheaper than what I pay at Starbucks and I can play whatever music I like. Mostly, it’s a glamorous scene of me staring pensively at my MacBook in front of a window overlooking a Manhattan street with the window open and my hair blowing in the breeze while I sip a Cosmo and smooth my mini sequined dress. Oh wait. No. That’s Carrie from Sex and The City. I actually stare at my MacBook in front of a dirty window that overlooks the house next door, which is so close I could reach out and touch it, while still unshowered and in that morning’s yoga clothes, hair not blowing anywhere because it’s pulled back in a sweaty ponytail. Glamorama around these parts.

2. What has been the most surprising and upsetting part of your literary journey?
The most surprising part of my literary journey is that I am actually calling it a literary journey right now. When you write humorous non-fiction (or factual fiction, as we like to call Baby Bumps) it’s not exactly high-brow literary prose. But I like to think my kind of writing has an important place in readers’ lives: you can’t read serious fiction all the time or you’ll end up in the fetal position contemplating your own self-worth and your insignificance in the universe. I like to think I make people laugh, give them a few hours to forget about their own problems and not make them overthink everything. I think the most upsetting thing about the path I have taken is hearing from publishers that moms (my target audience) don’t have time to read. Everyone has time to read. Seriously, you’re nursing a baby? Keep a book near the rocking chair. The baby is napping? Pick up a book instead of the remote. Waiting in the carpool line? Bust out your reading app on your phone, you know the one you are using right that second to text a friend and check your Facebook stream. I know plenty of moms who have plenty of time to read. And my book sales back that up!

3. When you’re not writing, what authors do you enjoy reading? What are you currently reading?
I have very eclectic taste that leans slightly more toward fiction, but just slightly. But I love reading anything by Jen Lancaster, Stacey Ballis, Sarah Pekkanen, Jennifer Weiner, Allison Winn Scotch, Joyce Carole Oates and Wally Lamb. I just finished Jennifer Scott’s The Sister Season (loved) and am about to start Me Before You by JoJo Moyes. Oh, and my book club (10 years and going strong!) is reading Full Body Burden: Growing Up in the Nuclear Shadow of Rocky Flats by Kristen Iversen this month, but the first rule of Book Club is you don’t talk about Book Club, so I can’t tell you what I thought of it. Friend me on Goodreads if you really want to know!

4. If you had to write your life story, what would the title be? How does that title portray your story?
My first book, Baby Bumps: The Almost, Barely, Not-Quite-True Story of Pregnancy, Bed Rest and One Batshit Crazy Family, is actually the story of my life, so that’s a pretty easy one. However, if I had to write about my life now, with three kids under the age of eight, it would be called, Serenity Now.

5. What are three things readers might be surprised to learn about you?
First, I hate clowns. Like, I’m not scared of them, but they creep me out. I refuse to take my children to the circus and if there’s a clown at a birthday party, mommy is dropping off and will be back for cake. Second, I had a scholarship to play college softball, although I was injured and never played. The kids get their athleticism from me, that’s for sure. If my girls ever threw like girls, I would be horribly embarrassed. For both of us. Third, after a three-times-a-day habit for most of my adult life, I haven’t had a Diet Coke in nine years. But every. single. time. I see someone drinking one, I think, Damn, do I want a Diet Coke. It’s Pavlovian.

6. Why do you think your writing matters?
I think there are so many moms out there who don’t realize that it’s not a competition, that every other mom isn’t trying to outdo them with their organic-locally-sourced-watered-with-tears-of-saints-homemade baby butt paste and their fluent-in-Mandarin-potty-trained-and-speaking-in-sentences 9-month-old baby. There are plenty of moms who accidentally let their babies chew on laptop cords, who let their kids play with iPads when they’re less than 2 years old and who sleep with their kids, not because they’re believers in Attachment Parenting, but because they’re too exhausted to put the babies back in their cribs in the middle of the night. It’s OK to follow your gut, to not listen to what “they” say and to have a glass of wine with another mom at a playdate. I blog and write books for these women, to show them that you have to laugh sometimes so you don’t end up crying.

7. What can your fans look forward to next?
I’m close to finishing the first draft of my third book, Yes Mommy, a harrowing account of the month I stopped saying no to my kids. Mommy-horror, it’s a new non-fiction genre that will be bigger than zombies and vampires put together!

8. Thank you again for allowing me to interview you on Tiffany Talks Books. Are there any last words for those who are reading this interview?
Thanks for having me! My final words are to buy my books, Baby Bumps: The Almost, Barely, Not-Quite-True Story of Pregnancy, Bed Rest and One Batshit Crazy Family and Over My Dead Potty, and then tell all your friends to buy my books and then tell everyone you know on social media to buy my books. You can tell them that for every book I sell, a unicorn poops a rainbow. You can’t prove that doesn’t actually happen, so it could totally be true!

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