When you are living your life, you do not have the time to stop and write about it. Such has been the case for the last two weeks of my life, on our non-stop, all out, everywhere- at -once book tour, inaugurating our paperback edition of “Secrets of a Jewish Mother” (Penguin/New American Library).
“Secrets” was a labor of love, written by my mother, Gloria Kamen, my sister, Jill Zarin, and me. The idea was born in the winter of 2009, the proposal was completed by the spring, and the writing began on June 25, 2009. Most of the book was finished before we even signed our book contract. The manuscript was submitted on October 13, 2009, an auspicious birthday. Rewriting, with the input of our wonderful editor, Carrie Thornton, took a couple of months. The book was ready to print by Christmas, and released last April.
Since then, the book has been purchased for translation into Chinese, Russian and Japanese. Recently, the book was awarded a Connecticut Press Club prize. We added a bullying chapter for the addendum because we thought it was timely and important.
Sometimes you achieve a dream you never even knew you had. Such is the case with calling myself an “author”. The book is personal, the pictures are real, and of my childhood. Jill wanted us to write a book to create a reason to be together as a family, and she was right. On the tour, Mom and the two of us have appeared on television, in radio and in newspapers. We are having a ball. Mom is a born comedienne; if you are lucky enough to meet her in person, you will see that she is truly larger than life. As she says when we are acting out, “Just remember, girls. You’re the copies. I’m the Original.” Indeed she is.
Jill slept in my bed for two nights last week. Ginger, too. Poor Sugar felt left out; she ran to sleep with Bill in the basement. Sister time- when do we ever have that? Precious, rare time together. Would Mom and Dad have otherwise traveled in March to see us for two weeks? No way, Jose. I’m even seeing a Broadway show with Dad on Saturday afternoon. Thank you , “Secrets.” You are the gift that keeps giving.
By the way, if you want to hear us live in my studio for the Lisa Wexler show, last Friday, March 4th, here is the link http://livewithlisaradio.com/index.php?option=com_mtree&task=listcats&cat_id=152&Itemid=351