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.”
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.
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!