‘Meet the Author’ with Diane Dean-Epps
KNOW & GO
WHAT: Book signing for local author Diane Dean-Epps’ new book, “Just Because I’m Not Effin’ Famous, Doesn’t Mean I’m Not Effin’ Funny”
WHEN: 3-4:30 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: The Open Book, 671 Maltman Drive, Grass Valley
INFO: Call 530-273-4002 for more information
The Union sat down with local author Diane Dean-Epps to talk about her book, “Just Because I’m Not Effin’ Famous, Doesn’t Mean I’m Not Effin’ Funny.” She is also having a book signing from 3-4:30 p.m. Saturday at the Open Book.
What follows is our Q&A with Dean-Epps about her life and her new book.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Just try and stop me. LOL! Let’s see. I’m a marginally humorous woman “of a certain age” who refuses to be limited or classified by, or as, any one thing, which means I’m always doing everything ALL the time!
I’m sassy, engaged, motivated, and this is beginning to sound like a job interview. Interestingly enough, my new book features job hunting as a topic to make fun of, but let’s face it, every topic is a topic of which to make fun.
I’m devoted to my family and I strive to express love and gratitude every ding-dong day.
What brought you to this area?
Our minivan … filled to the brim with the Macy’s 1994 women’s fall clothing collection, a barking dog, a loudly meowing cat, and two equally vocal children.
We didn’t land too far away from Sacramento where I got my teaching credential, fell in love, got married, and began accruing a substantial amount of debt. (Not necessarily in that order.)
What happened was early on when we were 20-something-year-old whippersnappers, my husband and I visited Nevada City because my husband played that crazy rock ‘n’ roll music (with a big side of funk) at what used to be Framylstanyl’s (am I dating myself sufficiently yet?).
We fell in love with the area, wondering if we might manage to move up here one day. Slow forward to the week just after I’d given birth to my second child when we decided if we were going to move we’d better get cracking. After all, I was almost 35?! Gasp!
How did you get into writing?
It chose me. It’s how I make sense of the world.
My first memory of writing a structured piece consists of vague recollections of sweetly crafted poetry in third grade.
High school found me in my lovelorn, poetry-writing phase, and I (un)naturally transitioned into short story writing in my 20s. It was when I became a mama for the first time that I got busy writing books.
My first novel might possibly have been before its time. It’s a humorous romance called “A Princess By Any Other Name” that chronicles my college years when I grew way the heck up.
Though I received a publishing offer from a Canadian publisher, I foolishly turned it down thinking I’d have loads of offers. My humor columns were selling pretty regularly when I decided to embrace humor writing in book form.
One of my friends told me, “Diane, you can’t get the funny out of your writing.”
That led to writing “Maternal Meanderings,” a book that enjoyed some pretty nice success. Even more than that it led to the development of my writing style which I call “sit-down stand-up.”
What is your favorite book or who is your favorite author?
I don’t think I’m going to win any originality awards with my choices. I was in love with “Are You My Mother?” when I was a wee one. “Green Eggs and Ham” and everything the good Dr. Seuss wrote remain my favorites, but as far as the first book that really blew my mind as an adult … Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged.”
What is your book about?
“Just Because I’m Not Effin’ Famous, Doesn’t Mean I’m Not Effin’ Famous” is a humor book calling out the irony that is not being famous for writing books because I’ve been told I’ve got to already be famous to be famous writing books.
The actual contents of the book reflect slice-of-life vignettes, specifically, vacations, and the reason why we need vacations: work.
What inspired you to write this book?
I’d say many things. I hail from an extremely funny family and storytelling is our high-value currency.
We sometimes spend minutes doing that silent laugh thing when you’re laughing so hard you can barely catch your breath, let alone talk. I’ve tried to capture these episodes from my life, the frequency and hilarity of which demand a public sharing outlet.
When I railed one day, “Just Because I’m Not Effin’ Famous, Doesn’t Mean I’m Not Effin’ Funny!” this bad boy pretty much began writing itself.
What do you find most challenging about writing a book?
I think early on it was finding my genre sweet spot. For several years I met with an amazing writing group, learning the craft of fiction writing. They were incredible, well-published mentors who taught me everything I know about fiction and they encouraged me always.
The funny thing is — pun intended — I ended up realizing that humor is my jam.
I don’t find writing a book challenging, but rather necessary. I’ll explode if I don’t get this stuff out of my brain, onto paper, and into the world.
Toiling in obscurity is not my jam.
What is your key takeaway or message you hope readers find in your book?
It won’t surprise you to learn I’ve got a multi-part answer.
First of all, famous schmamous. If we’re able to just do what we like, need, or want to do, then who needs someone camped out in front of Raley’s, waiting to snap a cellulite picture? (I mean, now that I’m not 22, it would be truly like shooting ducks in a gallery. I’ve made it easy. I’ve got an unPhotoshopped physique for pete’s sake.)
Secondly, let’s take Milton Berle’s advice that “Laughter is an instant vacation” and take more spontaneous chuckle junkets. Join me in not taking myself too seriously.
We need to laugh … hard. It’s a release.
While we don’t all find the same things funny — thank gawd — we do all have the capacity to emit a guffaw.
Do it now. Do it with me. You have a nice laugh!
Where can people find your book?
“Just Because I’m Not Effin’ Famous, Doesn’t Mean I’m Not Effin’ Funny” is available locally at both The Book Seller and The Open Book as well as on Amazon in a publishing small, medium, and large also known as black & white, color, and Kindle.
How would you describe your own perfect day?
That’s easy-peasy. Hands down it would be spending time in Santa Cruz with my family. Even when we’re on each other’s nerves screeching, “Don’t tell me what to do!” — that’s me saying it — we have sooooo much fun.
My family inspires me, motivates me, and fills me up. As I recently captioned a photo of our cute little quartet of my favorite people: “Meet my sun, moon, and stars.”
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