You can still sign up to win a copy of My Life Among the Aliens. Remember, it has a Christmas chapter. Nothing says Christmas like aliens.
Sam Riddleburger was surprised to learn that my first book was based on my experiences as a suburban mom. So were my second and third books. Also my sixth book. To a much lesser extent my fifth book dealt with suburban mom Gail, though college Gail plays a big part in it, too. Only The Hero of Ticonderoga can be said to draw upon what my kids would describe as my very lame childhood.
I began working on My Life Among the Aliens after an editor showed some interest in what I thought was a picture book manuscript that I had sent her. She felt the humor was better suited to the middle grades and said that if I would revise the book for that age group, she would look at it again. The book went back and forth between us for a year before I received a contract for it.
As I mentioned earlier, My Life Among the Aliens was my first book. Even though I was quite ignorant of the publishing world while I was working on it, I knew enough to know that even if that book was published, that could be it for me. All the years I'd been writing, all the effort I'd made, could end with that one book. Those are the breaks. Some writers never get any further than that "first book."
During that year while I was working on My Life Among the Aliens, I decided to make it a gift to my children. It would be an ode to them. If I never got another book published, I would, at least, have done that for them. We would have something very few families have.
You can learn a great deal about my children's lives from reading My Life Among the Aliens. The food, the friends, the games, the birthday party, the neighbor's dog--it's all real. There really was a No Mom's Land between our house and the O.'s. There really was an O. family.
Okay, the Christmas chapter never happened. And no one crashed the birthday party. And the neighbor's dog never talked.
But except for that, it could be some kind of suburban memoir! Really!