Susan Reinhardt, author of “Not Tonight Honey, Wait ‘Til I’m a Size 6,” “Don’t Sleep With A Bubba Unless Your Eggs Are In Wheelchairs,” and “Dishing With the Kitchen Virgin.” She is also a syndicated columnist, an Erma Bombeck Writers Convention key-note speaker, a mother to two and accomplished unicyclist.
My first contact with Susan came after I read “Don’t Sleep With A Bubba.” I laughed until my sides hurt and cried until I blew snot bubbles. When I finished the book, I did something I had never, ever done before. I sent an author a fan e-mail. I told Susan how much I loved her sense of humor, and how much her sharing her struggles with depression and her rape in college had touched me, and that more than anything in this world I wanted to be a writer, just like her.
Susan emailed me back within the hour. I was beyond thrilled, I couldn’t BELIEVE that a real, live, published author would take the time to respond to little old me. But she did even more than that.
We began an email friendship, where she generously mentored me and expected nothing in return.
Susan read my query letters (for you un-writerly types, this is the letter you send to agents telling them who you are and pitching your book ideas, in hopes of finding representation,) she gave me a blurb to include in my letter, she patted me on the back when I made baby steps forward and consoled me with every rejection.
I consider her my mentor (in that cool big sister kind of way, you know the sister that is 16 when you are only 13 but will still take you places and not be embarrassed by you.)
It is truly an honor for me to introduce to you my friend, mentor and writer extraordinaire, Susan Reinhardt.
What made you want to be writer?
It was a relief, as if when I wrote something on paper or, later, a computer, I felt a wash of freedom and contentment. I love telling both true and fictional stories. Especially funny ones.
Where do you think you get your sense of humor?
My parents both have warped senses of humor. I got mine from my wonderful, colorful father, a preacher who likes his wine. (She writes about how her dad only drinks one glass of wine a day, he’s just real careful when he picks his glass!)
Which of your books was the easiest to write? Most difficult? Why?
The easiest to write was “Don’t Sleep with a Bubba,” because it was my second.
“Not Tonight Honey” was the first and I really didn’t know what I was doing. It worked because that one sold the most copies. The hardest for me to write was “Dishing with the Kitchen Virgin,” because I was in the middle of a nasty divorce and major depression.
Have your children read your books? Is there any subject you dread them
My books are rather PG or PG-13 so they haven’t read them yet. I dread them reading about the rape I endured in college and my bouts with serious depression.
Is there anything you’ve written about that you wished you had kept private?
Ha! I do wish I’d kept my stay in a Nut Hut silent. But if writing about mental illness helped someone – and it did – then I guess I have to say, “no regrets.”
What’s the angriest “fan letter” you ever received? Most touching or encouraging?
This one guy kept threatening to kill me because he hated my hair in my column picture. The most encouraging letters were in support of my bout with depression and divorce.
If you could be sure your children learned one lesson from you, what would it be?
That being kind to others and using excellent manners goes a long way, to always put others first and pray before bed at night.
In which forum do you feel you are your truest self? (Newspaper articles, books, journals?)
I need all of these venues in which to write. My columns are like appetizers. Books are the main course. Strangely, I don’t do any journaling, however, that is how I first got started as a writer.
When you need a good laugh what or who can you always count?
Either my parents or silly You Tube videos. I like Ms. Swan.
(“Don’t Sleep with a Bubba” is one of my go-tos for a laugh.)
If you weren’t a writer, what would you want to do for a living?
I’ve thought about this many times. I’d actually be a pediatric surgeon. Prior to
journalism, I was in the medical field.
Tell us a little about your most current writing project.
My current projects include two UNSOLD novels. The first is called “Chimes from a
Cracked Southern Belle.” The second, “Swimming in the Sky,” and both are
very quirky and extremely southern.
(Somebody BUY her books so I can buy them!!! PLEASE!)
What is your single most embarrassing parenting moment?
I was breastfeeding my then newborn at the doctor’s office and my then 5-year-old screamed, “Nobody look. My mama has her boob out.” He ran over and threw a blanket
over me. I thought I was being discreet.
You can check out Susan’s weekly columns, visit her website , watch her podcasts (including her routine on a flying trapeze.) Her books are available on amazon.com and book stores everywhere. I can’t recommend her highly enough! How can you not love someone who can ride a unicycle, fly on a trapeze, AND speak to thousands of humor writers without losing her cool?