Saturday, March 17, 2007
Welcome to “Up Close & Personal.” For every interview I will be introducing a literary personality discussing her views and insights, as well as upcoming literary events around the world.
Today's interview is with Melanie Hauser, the author of ‘Confessions of Super Mom’ and ‘Super Mom Saves the World’.
In literature and in life, she is known for her great sense of humor and quirky wit. Her chick-lit novel is full of super hero powers and villains. It's a fun book for every woman who can relate to Ms. Hauser’s character ‘Birdie Lee’, a down-to-earth, loveable superhero mom who is grounded by willingness to accept her circumstance with grace and humor and using her desirable endearing practical powers.
Ms. Hauser's book is the perfect escape using the tongue-in-cheek super power that every housewife would secretly admit to wanting and needing to get through the average day with superpowers, if only for the short time it takes to turn the pages of a good book. Ms. Hauser's book has been optioned for film.
E. I. I personally find it more difficult to make people laugh than to make them cry. Can you share the readers how you inject humor into your stories?
M. Hauser: I think writing humor is something you can't teach; either you are able to find humor in the most unusual situations, or you aren't; it's all part of the author's outlook on life. And not everybody looks at life that way. So I really think I couldn't write a book - even dealing with the darkest of subjects - without finding some humor in the situation. The trick, though, is deciding how you write this humor - satirically? Is the protagonist prone to bad puns? In that way, you have to be true to your protagonist's voice. But the ability to find this humor - that's the author's.
E. I. Your first book was a success --- what do you think most appeals to people about your work? And how difficult was it to muster up the courage to write another?
M. Hauser: Well, people do mention that it makes them laugh and that they need a laugh - they tire of reading some of the darker, more somber book club books. So choosing mine seems to be a nice little remedy for that. But then, it also strikes a chord with women - and it has its poignant moments about motherhood. So it's something they can relate to, maybe even shed a quiet tear over, but then they get to turn the page and laugh. Writing the 2nd book wasn't something that I had time to think about - it was contracted. So even though I hadn't plan on there being a sequel, all of a sudden I was told that there would be. But this was my first publishing contract, and do you think I was going to say no? This was actually the 4th novel I'd written, so I was really ready to be published. So I just powered through the sequel, and found that inspiration can come in many forms - including a contract with a deadline! But in the end I loved writing it, and feel profoundly grateful to have spent this extra time with my characters.
E. I. The first time you saw your book in a bookstore, what did you think?
M. Hauser: It was sitting on a table at a Barnes and Noble, next to Pamela Anderson's "novel." I just remember thinking - wow. My book is next to Pamela Anderson's! And wondering, then, if anyone was going to look at our author pictures and compare them.
E. I. Do you write books with having them adapted to the movies in mind?
M. Hauser: No, I don't. I am a visual person - I learn things visually, for example, rather than aurally - so maybe that manifests itself in my writing. But writing novels is a different art form from making movies, and I don't try to confuse the two. When the first book was optioned for film, I was happy, of course, but I did not write it with that goal in mind.
E. I. If you were allowed total control of a Hollywood version of 'Super Mom Saves The World', who would be in it? And who would direct?
M. Hauser: Well, since it has been optioned (which is a far cry from development, but still, it's the first step) I'm pleading the fifth on this one! I do not want to alienate or anger whoever eventually does get to play Super Mom, or direct it, by being on record as having preferred someone else! I'm chicken that way.
To learn more about Melanie Hauser, visit her at:
Posted by E. I. Johnson at 2:31 PM