I love the title to Rachel McClellan’s upcoming memoir. It’s self explanatory — Confessions of a Cereal Mother: True Stories to Let Every Mother Know She’s Not Alone in the Craziness. In it, she promises to relay stories from raising four kids in Rhode Island, including tales of “chunky chunder,” and band-aids being chewed as gum. The book will be released in March 2013 and is available for pre-order on Amazon. In the meantime, McClellan was kind enough to answer a few questions about her book.
After penning your wonderful supernatural novels, why write about your life?
I had just had my fourth child. He was a terrible baby, the kind that cried ALL of the time. It was a good thing I loved him. For some reason adding him to our family increased my stress ten-fold. I couldn’t go anywhere without some catastrophe happening.
On one particular trip with my children to the community swimming pool, I came back so frazzled by the event that the only way I knew to de-stress was to write it down. Turns out that short story earned me the Vardis Fisher award in 2011. It was then that my husband said to stop writing my “supernatural girlie book” and write about my real life. That’s exactly what I did and turns out the editor at the publisher I work with “peed her pants” while reading it. Her words not mine.
That sounds like the one time peeing in your pants would be awesome. Do you journal? How did you decide what anecdotes to include?
I have had the same journal since 1991, so, no, I don’t journal much. Maybe a couple of times a year. As for choosing which adventures to include, I had several but chose to keep the ones mothers could relate to the most. I want them to know they’re not alone in the madness and there’s no such thing as a perfect mom.
So of the stories that made it into your memoir, was there one that you considered at first “too personal” to include?
For sure. I really debated on whether or not to include the last chapter in the book about my daughter. We discovered she had a tumor at the base of her spine. This chapter is very personal to me, but I felt I had to share it because even though life can be crazy, stressful as a mom, when one of our children gets seriously sick, everything changes. We no longer care about the spilled milk on our carpet, the mounds of laundry, the dishes in the sink…life slows down and all we want is to find a way to take away our child’s suffering, even if that meant we suffer for them.
Which story would embarrass one of your children the most?
Each chapter has embarrassing moments for all of them, but I think they embarrass me the most. I feel like I’m always apologizing for my kids, especially at the grocery store. “Oops! Sorry my child just smacked you with those spaghetti sticks.” Or “Put that lobster back! Sorry, grocery man.” Things like that.
Which is easier, writing fiction or non-fiction? Why?
Fiction. Hands down. I can create my own setting, my own characters, say what I want, kill who I want, resurrect the hottie, whatever. Writing this memoir was difficult because it was reliving the horror all over again. Although it’s funny now, I wasn’t laughing then.
Well, I look forward to the laughing. Thank you so much for stopping by the blog!
About Rachel: Rachel McClellan was born and raised in Idaho, a place secretly known for its supernatural creatures. When she’s not in her writing lair, she’s partying with her husband and four crazy, yet lovable, children. Rachel’s love for storytelling began as a child when the moon first possessed the night. For when the lights went out, her imagination painted a whole new world. And what a scary world it was…
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