Celia Rivenbark, author of You Can't Drink All Day if You Don't Start in the Morning, launches her blog tour

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

& Book Giveaway Comments Contest!

Celia Rivenbark is an award-winning newspaper columnist and freelance journalist whose work has been compared to a cross between Erma Bombeck and Hunter S. Thompson.

Celia has won national and state press awards and is the author of four humor collections: Bless Your Heart, Tramp (2000, reprinted in 2006), We're Just Like You, Only Prettier (2004), Stop Dressing Your Six-Year-Old Like a Skank (2006) and Belle Weather: Mostly Sunny With a Chance of Scattered Hissy Fits.

Her latest collection, You Can't Drink All Day if You Don't Start in the Morning, was released in September 2009 (St. Martin's Press).

Celia lives in Wilmington, NC, with her husband and daughter.

Find out more about Celia by visiting her website: www.CeliaRivenbark.com.

You Can't Drink All Day If You Don't Start in the Morning
By Celia Rivenbark

So new it's got puppy breath, this fifth collection of funny stuff covers it all: From religion to recipes, from car-pooling to cat-whispering, Rivenbark dishes up hilarious new essays for anyone born south of somewhere. Whether she's trying to convince her mama to be her senior bingo "beard," flying on the fictional (or is it?) One Hot Mess Airlines, contemplating Action Figure Jesus or trying to convince Clay Aiken fans that he'll never marry their glandular daughters, Celia's having some fun now. Filled to the brim with belly laughs, Drink is topped off with a collection of genuine southern recipes to comfort your soul and cure your hangover. This one's for anyone who likes their humor shaken, stirred, or straight up!

Published by St. Martin's Press
Hardcover: 256 pages
ISBN# 031236301X

Book Giveaway Comments Contest!

If you received our Events Newsletter, remember, we are holding a contest to win a copy of Celia's book, You Can't Drink All Day if You Don't Start in the Morning, to those that comment. So, grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair, and enjoy the chat, and share your thoughts, and comments, at the end.

We will randomly choose a winner from those who comment. Enjoy!

Interview by Jodi Webb

WOW: Welcome to The Muffin, Celia. We're delighted to launch your blog tour for your book, You Can't Drink All Day if You Don't Start in the Morning. I have so many questions I don't know where to start. So let's start at the end. On the last page of your latest book you thank your agent and describe your meeting as, "Lana-Turner-discovered-at-the-soda-fountain lucky that she found me." So tell us how you became the Lana Turner of the literary world.

Celia: When I said that, I meant that it was incredibly lucky that Jenny discovered my work precisely because I'd never worked at finding an agent. No conferences, no queries, just a really great stroke of luck that Jenny happened to see my first book on the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance(SIBA) best-seller list and decided to give me a call. When she told me she was Jill Conner Browne's agent, I nearly fainted. She asked me if I had another humor collection in the works and I said, "I do now." That night, I started working on We're Just Like You, Only Prettier, which she sold in about a week as I recall.

WOW: A week? That's amazing! Have you and your agent Jenny Bent worked together for all five of your books?

Celia: Jenny is no longer with Trident Media Group but has gone out on her own to establish The Bent Agency. She has represented me on all five books. My first book, Bless Your Heart, Tramp was published by a small local press that went out of business. After the rights reverted to me, Jenny re-sold that book to St. Martin's Press.

WOW: Tell us from your experience, what characteristics should we be looking for in an agent?

Celia: I have no experience with any agent other than Jenny so all I can say is that it's important to have complete and utter trust in your agent. If you feel squirrely, move on. She has guided me through the process and I've never once doubted her decision-making. I trust her completely. She's also a lot of fun to talk to and if she thinks an idea is crap, she'll tell me.

WOW: She sounds great! I hear you're packing your bags for a September book tour. Any advice for other authors on how to make a book tour a success?

Celia: My wonderful publicist John Karle at St. Martin's Press understands that it's important to squeeze as much media as you can out of every stop on the tour. Doing just a bookstore isn't any good. You need to hit a morning TV show, get a print interview or two, do some drive-time radio stations AND read and sign at the store to make it worthwhile. Even if they don't come to the signing, you're in their heads.

WOW: Tell us what you look forward to about book tours. And horror stories? You can change names to protect the innocent, if you like.

Celia: The best and most supportive book audiences I've found are in the stores in and around Lexington/Louisville. They really support authors in that part of the world. Ohio can be good, too. Charleston is a horrible town for a signing which kills me because it's my favorite city.

The worst place I ever signed books was following a speech I made for a rural electrical cooperative. I set up my little table and everyone came by and picked up a book and walked away! They thought it was just another giveaway along with the calendars and free pens. I had to chase 'em down and tell them the book was $15 or so. Every one of them dropped it like it was a snake. A bad, bad experience.

WOW: Oh my gosh! That's awful! But it makes for a great story. Real life seems to do that. Your humor columns and books include a lot about your family and neighbors--sometimes complimentary, sometimes not so much. Do you change names, details so people don't recognize themselves?

Celia: Yes, I change names, time frames and events as needed to prevent hurt feelings. A Southern lady never intentionally hurts someone else. Unless it's a Hollywood skank or creepy politician. Then, all bets are off.

WOW: (Laughs) What happens when the PTA moms recognize a unflattering portrait of themselves?

Celia: I've had a few run-ins with folks who thought I was talking about them when I wrote about hating those perfect attendance awards. I just said, "Oh! That! Yep, that was you!" I think if you're going to do it, you gotta own it. When all the kids get swine flu this year because Junior hasn't missed a day in eight years, I'm calling you out. Truly, most people are incredibly supportive and they do get the joke.

WOW: Your daughter is getting older now. Have you gotten to the point where she's started saying, "No mom, do not write about this!"

Celia: Not yet. There's a funny story in Drink about how she threw up during sex ed class in fifth grade. I asked her if I could write about it and she was fine with it. Sophie's pragmatic. She understands that the funnier Mommie is, the more books she sells and that just translates into more Twilight merchandise for her. Smart cookie, that one.

WOW: Tell us a little about what's coming up next for you.

Celia: I have a two-book contract (humor collections 6 and 7) with St. Martin's Press and, after that, who knows? I have a wonderful idea for a children's book in my head and I might try that just for a change of pace.

Want to join Celia on her blog tour? Check out these dates and mark your calendar! You can also snag a copy of WOW's Events Calendar HERE.

Blog Tour Dates: Come and join the fun!

September 8, 2009 Tuesday
Celia will be chatting with WOW! Women On Writing at The Muffin. Stop by and share your comments! One lucky commenter will win copy of Celia's book!

September 9, 2009 Wednesday
Celia stops by A Good Blog is Hard to Find to discuss: What's Easier--Making Your Reader Laugh or Cry? Stop by to share your opinion!

September 10, 2009 Thursday
Stop by Mom-e-Centric and have a blast with Celia, the Queen of Tell It Like It Is--with a dash of Southern charm tossed in. Today she shares what happens when your well of inspiration becomes a teenager.

September 14, 2009 Monday
Celia stops by Anne-Marie Nichols' blog, A Mama's Rant, for a great chat about the craziness we all call our lives. Stop by and join in on the lively conversation!

September 15, 2009 Tuesday
David Letterman isn't the only one with a Top Ten List. Today, Celia stops by Beth Morrissey's blog, Hell Or High Water, to share her list of the Top Ten Things You Need to Be A Humor Writer.

September 17, 2009 Thursday
Stop by Donna's Book Pub and enjoy some Southern hospitality with Celia Rivenbark. And don't forget to enter for a free copy of her latest laugh-out-loud book: You Can't Drink All Day If You Don't Start in the Morning.

September 18, 2009 Friday
Stop by WordHustler today for a great interview with humor writer Celia Rivenbark. Find out more about humor writing and anything else fabulous interviewer Anne Walls can dish up!

September 22, 2009 Tuesday
Need a good laugh today? First read the interview with humor writer Celia Rivenbark and then enter to win a copy of her book You Can't Drink All Day If You Don't Start in the Morning.

October 1, 2009 Thursday
Stop by Blonde Mom Blog today for an interview with the irrepressible Celia Rivenbark. Also enter to win a copy of her book You Can't Drink All Day If You Don't Start in the Morning.

October 7, 2009 Wednesday
Read a review of You Can't Drink All Day If You Don't Start in the Mornin' today. Then come back tomorrow for a guest post by Celia and chance to win a copy!

October 8, 2009 Thursday
Celia tells readers about the joyful (and not so joyful) days of being a mom! And gives everyone a chance to win a copy of her hilarious record of her parenting. You Can't Drink All Day If You Don't Start in the Morning book giveaway!

We may have several more dates to come, so be sure to check out our Events Calendar HERE.

Get involved!

We hope you are as excited about the tour as we are! Mark your calendar, save these dates, and join us for this truly unique and fascinating author blog tour.

If you have a blog or website and would like to participate in Celia Rivenbark's blog tour, or schedule a tour of your own, please email Angela and Jodi at: blogtour@wow-womenonwriting.com

** Please feel free to copy any portion of this post.

Oh, be sure to comment on this post to enter in a drawing for a copy of Celia's laugh-out-loud book You Can't Drink All Day if You Don't Start in the Morning.


Meryl K. Evans said...

How do you come up with the funny to last a whole book?

Madeline said...

The interview itself made me chuckle, so I can only imagine how funny the book is! :)

Unknown said...

It's great to hear about a writer having success with collections. So often, we're told to stick to novels because they are all publishers will accept. Nice to know that trend can be bucked!

Gayle said...

Great interview! Thanks for sharing.

Karrie said...

I have been reading and re-reading Celia's books since the get-go. Thank God she's got another one, now I've got a reason to stay up late and not watch gossip tv. Write on, Southern Mama!

Mayra Calvani said...

Great interview! I love humor columns so I'm definitely interested in her book. I hope I'll win a copy!

Michelle Mach said...

Why are women from the south so much funnier than the rest of us out west? Is there something in that all-day drink that I should know about? I'm ready to run out to the grocery store . . .

Looking forward to the rest of the tour!

Lisa Tedder said...

The gift of laughter is priceless. I can't wait to get my hands on Celia's books. I particularly like Southern authors.

Kerrie said...

Congratulations on your latest book and I wish you the best. I loved what you said about your daughter and that she understands the more books you sell, the more Twilight merchandise she gets-very funny. I live with a teenage Twilight fanatic too.

Amy Mullis said...

I'm in upsate South Carolina just across the holler and just under the state line from Celia. It's a wonderful red clay world rich with the salt substitute of the earth and loaded with fertilizer to grow funny stories. We're proud of her!

Cat Wagman said...

Celia, you are a writer after my own heart! Your P.O.V. humor and book titles are tickle-you-silly and help me to appreciate the situations that surround me everyday and make me crack a grin so wide it wraps around my ears.

Thanks for starting out my week's Tuesday/Monday state of mind ... I love work days off, but they just throw my bio-week cycle out of sync :)

Have an EXCELLENT Book tour!

And I know I don't have to tell you to have FUN!!

All the Best from another Silly Woman and Author
~ Cat Wagman

CKHB said...

I love your practical daughter! Plus, if you grow up with the funny, you probably recognize the value of the funny, even if it's at your own expense...

ECK said...

Would love to have Celia come to Dallas for a reading from her new book! I guarantee she would have a full house!

Unknown said...

Thanks for the fun interview. I was laughing all the way through. My daughter is just starting to figure out the economic benefits of not bugging me when I'm working!

Krysten Lindsay Hager said...

I was in a quiet library when I saw the "Stop Dressing You 6-yr old Like a Skank" book and I laughed out loud to the point a little kid actually shushed me. Funny stuff!

Celia Rivenbark said...

Hi y'all,
Thanks for all the wonderful comments!Check out tomorrow's blog stop for lots more on Southern voices and humor.

Linda Hoff said...

Reading a laugh-out-loud interview is a great way to start the workweek. Thanks so much. I look forward to reading your new book.

Elizabeth King Humphrey said...

I am sooooo fortunate to live in the same town as Celia and have gotten to hear her speak several times (no, I was not at the engagement where everyone thought her book was a freebie...!).
I always hope that whenever I see her, I can rub elbows with her so that some of her humor and talent will rub off on me.
All the best, Celia, have a great tour!


Pamela Hammonds said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pamela Hammonds said...

Celia is not only hilarious (I read her online column in addition to owning her books), but she's also a lovely woman who is never too busy to answer a question. I can't wait to read the new one. And buy one for my sister--she's one of the sweet people in Ohio who attends book signings and doesn't wait until five o'clock for a glass of wine. :)

PeacheReader said...

Great Job! We all could use more writers like yourself. Who couldn't use a good laugh throughout the day.
Thank you for giving me a couple of them.
Good Luck!

beth said...

I'm a displaced Southern girl and every time I get homesick, I pull out some of your books or read your online column. I feel MUCH better!

LuAnn Schindler said...

To me, it takes a special talent to write humor. A situation may be funny, but to get just the right spin on it and portray it in a humorous light can be difficult because everyone has such unique senses of humor.

Your books sound like they will appeal to me. I'll be sure to check them out.


Unknown said...

Celia~You are hilarious! You are new to me but I will have all your books read before long. I incorporate a little humor in my Planet Habit blog, but would also love to include humor in nearly all writing that I do. But it's hard to do, even if you're a natural wiseacre (so they tell me). How do you transfer a quick wit (spoken) to the page? I have a very difficult time doing it. Do you have a recommendation for a humor writing book or website? Thanks for helping us laugh! All the best to you.

Unknown said...

Can't wait to read the book. I've been working on a book that combines essays with recipes -- such a fabulous idea! Laughter and southern food, it doesn't get much better than that.

-- Jill

Meryl K. Evans said...

OK, I must've misread something thinking we could ask questions. I agree with everyone's sentiments -- the interview was a fabulous way to start my hectic week ahead. Thank you!

Pat Wahler said...

I just love southern humor. It's sharp, hot, sassy, and fun.

Looking forward to checking out your new book!

Jan Beaver Coad said...

Celia, you are a writer after my own heart! I use humor in my essays about raising children with Asperger's. OCD and Tourette's.

Thanks for starting my week out great. It was my autistic son's first day of middle school, so it was touch and go this morning :)

Have an EXCELLENT Book tour!

All the Best from another Mommy-author, Jan Beaver Coad

Anonymous said...

I nearly peed my pants when I read the title of your book, then again when I saw the 'Stop Dressing Your Six year old...' Very Funny! I lived in the south for three years and got the Bless Your Heart line many times (hopefully in a good way,) but got the feeling that when some of the women said it to others there was a completely different meaning behind it.
I'll be looking out for your books.
soliwins at yahoo dot com

siennasmamma said...

I moved to Wilmington 10 years ago, and every time I read one of
Celia's books, I have an "ah ha" moment and everything makes more scene.

Lynn said...

I love the line "If you feel squirrely, move on." That should be on a coffee cup. I can tell you have a wonderful voice without even opening the book.

So sorry about the people in the rural electric company. I've encountered some strange ideas at book signings in Barnes & Noble and Borders.

Best of luck with your Virtual Book Tour. It looks like you have a great lineup of sites to visit.

B. Lynn Goodwin
Author of You Want Me to Do What?
Journaling for Caregivers

Carol Burge said...

Wow, sounds like a great read! In fact, all your books sound wonderful! I'll have to check them out. I could use a little humor these days. :)

Congrats on your success, and best of luck with the blog tour!

Kim said...

The titles alone made me laugh. I'm looking forward to reading the books!

Skipperhammond@gmail.com said...

Police arrest reports in Southern country newspapers make great humor material too.

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to read your latest...once I get a new case of Depends.

Lisa Haselton said...

It's so great to be able to find humor in every day life. So important to our health to laugh. This is my first introduction to you and it's nice to 'meet' you. I look forward to looking at your books.

Unknown said...

From your catchy book title, "You Can't Drink All Day if You Don't Start in the Morning," I was hooked. I'm interested in writing humor as well. Talk about delectable creativity springing off your fingers to those computer keys!! I'd love to win your book (my husband is unemployed so this would be a true gift!!)

Brenda Skinner said...

I think I could just about get to like this lady! Anyone who can express pleasure that the new washer and dryer didn't have to go on the porch is all right with me.

Brenda in the backwoods of northern Ontario

Deborah aka Miss Bee said...

So far, I've only read your N&O column. I've got to get with it and pick up one of your books...and I think it will be your latest - that is if I don't win it. The title sounds just like something my youngest daughter would say...don't worry - she's 38!

LuAnn said...

I really enjoy these types of books. It drives my husband nuts, though. I'll be reading and laughing and he will be wondering what's so funny. But I refuse to tell him! It's more fun watching his expressions of curiosity.

Kim Smith said...

Great interview. Love the humor. Keep it coming!

WOW! said...

Hi Ladies!

Thank you for your comments. :) We held a random drawing by writing all of your names on a slip of paper and mixing them up a bag. I had my hubby pick a name from the bag and congratulations goes to Michelle from Colorado!

Michelle won a copy of Celia's book, You Can't Drink All Day If You Don't Start in the Mornin'

Please e-mail Angela & Jodi at blogtours@wow-womenonwriting.com with your mailing/snail mail address and we will contact Celia for you. ;)

Thanks again ladies for commenting! Keep an eye out for the other stops on Celia's tour for more book giveaways.


Angela & WOW!

Donna Volkenannt said...

Great interview, Jodi, and the comments from everyone are great. I'm thrilled that Celia will be visiting Donna's Book Pub Sep 17, where oe lucky visitor will win an ARC of her latest book.

Unknown said...

Oh a new author discovered, today is a GOOD day! I can't wait to get started reading her books, she sounds great!

Ruth (Book Focus) said...

Any chance international readers could enter this contest? This book sounds perfect for my mother-in-law! :D If not, I understand - just thought I'd ask.


Laura DeVault said...

Good to hear about what makes a great as well as an awful book tour, as I'm working on opening a bookstore and would love to have Celia visit! We'll do our best to actually *sell* the books and have lots of great press...plus we'll feed you well!

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