Sitting on Cold Porcelain is a compilation of humorous essays. It spoofs family life, current events, politicians, the media, public figures, and sports.
I love to make people laugh and Lord knows we can all use a good one. If you watch the evening news for any length of time, it will put you in a maudlin mood. My objective with Sitting on Cold Porcelain is to lighten things up and let people see the humorous side of situations.
Tell us something about yourself.
I spent my childhood in Olean, NY; Burlington County, NJ; Bucks County, PA; and Philadelphia. Yes, they called me Gypsy Rose.
I began writing when I was a young mother raising my children in Philadelphia. I loved reading Erma Bombeck, Alan King, and Art Buchwald. I had enough funny material and I said to myself “You can do this.” So, I did some research and found that creative writing didn’t pay a good salary. This was especially true if you were unknown without a following. I say “was especially true” because now we have blogging and social networking to remedy that.
To pay the bills, I obtained an entry-level position as a technical writer for a McGraw-Hill company. In the beginning, I would save all the marked-up galleys of my work to improve my writing skills by not making the same mistakes. The process was you submitted an article or report; it went through a copyediting department; then, you got your manuscript back to approve the changes. It was better training than reading Eats, Shoots, and Leaves as an audio book in your car every day. Each of the copyeditors had a different color pen: red, green, blue, etc. One time, I got a galley back that closely resembled a Christmas Card. I wanted to shoot myself. I was there 12 years, so it was my training ground.
In between all the technical stuff, I also wrote satire about the job, our boss, and company policy. I sent memos around via Intra-office mail until we got e-mail and it became easier to clown around. Everyone liked my humor pieces and encouraged me to write more.
I started my blog, Rosie’s Renegade Humor Blog (www.rosevalenta.com) three years ago. It has become popular and is a Networked Blog on Facebook.
What inspired you to write this book?
Just turn on the TV and listen to all the doom and gloomers’ vying for a piece of your good mood. You can wake up in the morning feeling pretty and end the day wanting to deck Glenn Beck. What’s that all about, right? I thought it was supposed to be entertainment.
Then, we have political candidates getting themselves into sex scandals and feel the need not to spare us the details on prime-time news. When are the kids supposed to do homework? You can’t V-chip the x-rated news while they are trying to think.
You need a good laugh by the end of your day; hence, the reason for my book and blog.
Sitting on Cold Porcelain reminds me of a famous Erma Bombeck quote “If you can’t fix it, you can laugh at it.”
How did you choose the title?
I asked myself: What is the best example of Murphy’s Law in a woman’s life, a pithy phrase, and a situation that affects practically everyone? – “Aha! Sitting on Cold Porcelain!” You’ve done that at 3:00 am, right?
You have to read the introduction to my book; it explains that idea in detail.
If you were doing it all over again, what would you do differently?
I would have written the book 20 years ago.
Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?
I am currently working on Sitting on Cold Porcelain II. You won’t be disappointed.
What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?
In addition to enjoying your daily writing routine, pay attention to the important grunt work like editing and marketing. Here are a few things for your guerilla marketing arsenal: Purchase The Frugal Book Editor and Frugal Book Promoter by Carolyn Howard-Johnson; 1001 Ways to Market Your Books by John Kremer; read Nettie Hartsock’s PR Blog – www. nettiehartsock.com; and take a course called “Writing Is A Profession – Are you A Professional” by Gordon Kirkland at www.gordonkirkland.com.
Who is the perfect reader for your book?
If Murphy’s Law is always alive and well at your house – breeding offspring; then you need to read my book. Sometimes I believe the more free time we have on our hands, the harder Murphy’s reproductive system works. You have to turn the tables and have a good laugh.
If money were no object, how would you promote your book?
I’d invest in a 30-second spot during the Super Bowl and hire a scantily clad Gilles Marini to read one of my essays to Rachel Griffiths while munching on a Snickers bar.
Where can readers learn more about you and your book?
Sitting on Cold Porcelain is available at Amazon.com, The Kindle Store, Barnes and Noble online, Better World Books, Google Books, XLibris.com, and the order desk of your local bookstore.