Southern Humor, Frou Frou Drinks? I’m There!

The winner of You Can’t Drink All Day If You Don’t Start In The Morning is Cheryl F. (The Lucky Ladybug) who commented October 6, “She mostly just sits around watching old Gilmore Girls episodes and eating too much Taco Bell.” I’d love to read this—thanks for the giveaway!

I’m excited to be participating in my first ever WOW (Women on Writing) book tour. I’ve reviewed very few books on my blog, but You Can’t Drink All Day If You Don’t Start In The Morning, a collection of humorous essays with a Southern twist, not to mention the author’s guaranteed delicious slacker mom recipes sprinkled throughout, sounded like my kind of book.

Scroll down after my interview with Celia Rivenbark, bestselling author of Bless Your Heart, Tramp and We’re Just Like You Only Prettier, to see how you can win a copy of her latest book, which is equally good with either a tall cold glass of sweet tea or a margarita on the rocks. Seriously, you can’t go wrong with a book that includes a chapter on ‘My Manservant Can Kick Your Ass.”

Celia Rivenbark New Pic

Author Celia Rivenbark

Celia, may I call you Celia, it’s occurred to me that women who grew up in the country (ahem) are just plain funny. Do you think it’s because as children we had to entertain ourselves between feeding chickens and chasing after toads or be bored sh*tless?

Yes, I absolutely think that growing up in the country can help fine-tune a sense of humor. It helps to grow up in the rural South because we love to tell long, looping, colorful stories to keep ourselves amused. My daughter’s 12 and still requests a new story every single night before she goes to sleep. Sometimes she gets a tall tale, sometimes it’s just a recollection from my own growing-up. I’m always careful to include a lot of Southern expressions in these nightly stories because the language is dying off fast and I want her to at least be familiar with “a half bubble off plumb” (crazy behavior) or “in the short rows” (almost done with at task) and “chewing high” (no longer hungry).

I literally listened to old men tell tales around the cracker barrel at the country store when I was growing up. Their language was colorful – not profane, I mean, really vivid. This was the best kind of entertainment going back in the ‘60s and ‘70s in the rural South. Those old men had no idea that I was soaking up their stories like a piece of pone in pot likker. Sometimes I’d go home and scribble down what they’d said. I think that’s where I got the idea to be a newspaper reporter.

You’re an accomplished humor writer with several books under your belt. Which is your favorite and why?

Can’t choose that any more than I could pick a favorite young’un. I will tell you that the one that has sold the best so far was “We’re Just Like You Only Prettier.” That title came to me during a dream and it just always felt kinda lucky.

Your latest book, You Can’t Drink All Day If You Don’t Start in the Morning, includes several fine Southern recipes. Do you consider yourself a good cook and just how many iron skillets do you own?

I’m a pretty good cook but I don’t think I’m especially creative. In other words, my food tastes good but I don’t experiment with ingredients or cook intuitively like the great cooks. I enjoy cooking and baking but I despise the kitchen cleanup. I really need to recruit the princess to help me with that part more often. I only have one perfectly seasoned cast iron skillet. One is really all you need. It’s suitable for buckles, bumps and cobblers as well as frying up a mess of country ham or cornbread or okra or buttermilk-battered chicken. Yum!

What do you think sets apart Southern humor from other genres besides an extra helping of ya’ll and a mess of mullets?

I think Southerners have an extraordinary sense of place and it helps us write true to ourselves no matter what the genre. I prefer writing humor. It’s comfortable to me and, for whatever wonderful reason, Southern humor finds an easy audience outside the South. We’re a bit quirky and people seem to like that, embrace it and want to try it on for size. I love the quote that “Southerners are like people, only more so.” Ain’t that the truth.

What’s your next book project? Can you talk about it?
I have a contract for two more humor collections with St. Martin’s Press. That will be books 6 and 7. The sixth one is well under way and should be out next September. In “You Can’t Drink All Day…” I discovered that a lot of readers related to the two more serious essays and so I intend to expand on that a little in these two collections. It will still be humor but it will be more autobiographical and less pop-culture driven.

You Can't Drink All Day Book

Would you like to win a copy of Celia’s latest book, “You Can’t Drink All Day…” Let me know which of her past books is a favorite or if you’re new to her, visit her website and then come back and comment with a fact about the author. I’ll choose a random winner from all comments left by midnight Thursday, October 8. You can also purchase her book on Amazon.

p.s. I received a review copy of the book, but no other form of compensation to participate in this book tour. It just sounded like a fun read to me!


  1. Flossip says:

    Her home county in NC– Duplin, is only about 2.5 hours from Florence, SC (the town I blog about). My MIL gave me “Bless your heart, tramp” for Christmas one year.

    Yes, that does make you pause, doesn’t it?
    .-= Flossip´s last blog ..First Weekend in October! =-.

  2. The Parsonage Family says:

    I see Celia got her start at a small town southern newspaper, the Wallace Enterprise. People who like Celia’s nonfiction might enjoy the novel Gone to Green, by Judy Christie. It’s about a Yankee forced to relocate to the Deep South and run a small town southern newspaper.

    I always thought “you can’t drink all day if you don’t start in the morning” was a frat boy mantra–at least that’s how my husband picked up the phrase and why it is a common mantra around our house!
    .-= The Parsonage Family´s last blog ..Wordless Wednesday — Way Back When =-.

  3. Blonde Mom says:

    I’m an old “print” journalism grad myself so I like to see columnists move on to successful book careers!

    Thanks for the book suggestion.

  4. Sincerely, Jenni says:

    I have read one of her books, “Stop Dressing Your 6-Year Old like a Skank” and its hilarious!

    Plus, I should totally win this contest. Celia and I both grew up in pink bedrooms next to a soybean field. Of course, I was in Iowa, but what does that matter?


  5. EG says:

    How have I never heard of this woman?! Every title of her book is absolutely hilarious! Especially “Bless Your Heart, Tramp” and “We’re Just Like You, Only Prettier” (I feel like an SEC girl might have titled that one!

    On her website I learned that David Sedaris wins everything. He’s very funny, too.
    .-= EG´s last blog ..Hellcation =-.

  6. Jennifer says:

    I haven’t read any of her books, but she sounds totally awesome. I love Southern women. Being one myself helps with that I guess. I can’t believe she pooted out loud in her kitchen in front of people. That reminds me of when I was pregnant with Bud and I would get that horrible pregnancy gas and always in Walmart. So I would wait until I was standing next to a man, let one slide out and then walk away. You know that no one would ever blame a woman for that, but that you wouldn’t really wonder about it coming from a man.
    .-= Jennifer´s last blog ..Let’s be fair =-.

  7. Angela says:

    I can’t believe she grew up without a washer and dryer! I love to read and she sounds very interesting.

  8. Kel says:

    Ok, so I haven’t read any of her books, but I have to admit the title of “You can’t drink all day if you don’t start in the morning” looks interesting annnnnnnnndddd being from the south, I LOVE some southern humor.

    What I don’t get however is if she grew up without a washer and drier (OMG – poor thing) why didn’t she just wash the clothes and hang them up in the barn?! I mean we sure had strings of our drawers hanging around our yard ‘air-ratin’ hahaha


  9. WorkingMom says:

    I haven’t read any of her books… YET (but they are now on my request list at the library!). I want a tshirt with that title for next year’s camping trip!

  10. Kerrie Mayans says:

    I loved reading We are just like you only prettier and am happy to see she has a new book coming out b/c she is so funny.

  11. Linda Kish says:

    Just reading the title makes me laugh. Can’t wait to read the book.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  12. Jill L says:

    Love the idea that her grandparents had the first indoor plumbing. I can actually see people coming to see it.

  13. Amy says:

    Celia grew up without a washer or dryer.
    Thanks! I’ll have to check out her books! I come from a long line of sassy Southern women. (Well, does Texas count as Southern?)

  14. Carol Lawrence says:

    Celia’s grandparents house had the first indoor plumbing in the town and people came from miles around to watch it flush.

  15. DeeAnn S says:

    I’m not familiar with Celia’s works but this book look hysterical. I find it funny that the proudest day of her life is when she got her washer and dryer and it didn’t have to sit on the front porch! lol

  16. mickeyfan says:

    When I was reading the interview, I thought “oh man, she sounds like a female Dave Barry” (one of my fave authors) and now I see that the USA Today agrees with me. Maybe a little Lewis Grizzard thrown in too? I MUST get some of her books.

  17. Sherri B. says:

    Celia is a new author to me. I can’t believe she was born and raised in Duplin County. That is only a couple of counties over from me! Nice to see an eastern NC gal doing good! Thanks!

    sherri419 at gmail dot com

  18. Benita G. says:

    I have read, Bless Your Heart, Tramp, and it is as funny as funny can be. I’d love to read this book, as well.


  19. mindy says:

    it is hard to believe she grew up in this day and age without modern amenities like a washer and dryer

  20. Kristyn Martin says:

    I read her book Bless Your Heart, Tramp… which is the funniest book I have ever read! I would love to win a copy of her new book! I am sure it is just as good (or even better?) than her first! Thanks for the chance!

  21. lori hendrix says:

    She grew up without a washer or dryer. I have too much laundry as is with 2 kids but imagine washing by hand and hanging each piece.

  22. Bev says:

    I thought We’re Just Like You, Only Prettier: Confessions of a Tarnished Southern Belle was hilarious.

  23. Susan C says:

    Oh, wow – the title of the book sounds like something my friend has said!!!

    After living in the south for over 12 years I can appreciate the wisdom a true southern woman has to offer.

    Loved her column on Fishing.

  24. Angie P says:

    I would love to read this one!
    Celia’s book, ‘Stop Dressing Your Six-Year-Old Like a Skank’ was named best title of 2006 by EW magazine. As it should. 🙂

  25. David Richardson says:

    I am new to this author, but the title of this book really jumps out at you. I am from the South and I love to cook too.

  26. Diane Baum says:

    Haven’t had a chance to read her books yet, but can’t wait to do so. Especially, since we both grew up in “prettypink” bedrooms.

  27. dawn says:

    Every title of her book is absolutely hilarious! OMG I would love to read her stuff. Thanks for the chance.

  28. Faith says:

    I just love your books, and particularly your love of the South. If you would take the time to look at my Southern humor blog, I’d really appreciate it.

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