Another Rave Review — And a Contest Update!!!

Me at BookExpo America 2014

Me at BookExpo America, May 29, 2014

Nobody tells you this about your book’s release, but much like growing up gay, it gets better.

Much.

Sure, it was fun when that box of books arrived in the mail and when people started sending me selfies*, but now that the book has been out for 3 weeks, the good times have really begun.

Promoting a book is awesome!

It helps that my publisher has been setting up some great events for me. Earlier this week, I got to go to SiriusXM headquarters and chat with Larry Flick of OutQ. (I’ll post the audio here soon.) Then, yesterday, I attended Book Expo America as an author. I sat at a table in the same (giant convention) room as bajillions of big-name celebrities like Anjelica Huston, Neil Patrick Harris and my buddy Tim Carvell. (I even scored an advance copy of Tim’s upcoming book, Return to Planet Tad.)

I signed copies of “Mommy Man” for conventioneers and met some really wonderful and enthusiastic people. And I felt like a big shot, which was the best part.

The other thing I wasn’t expecting to enjoy so much about having a book in print? The reviews. You know how when you’re writing something, you’re constantly imagining the reviews you’ll someday get? (What? Just me?) And they’re all crazy, over-the-top glowing? (Again, maybe that’s just me.) Well, the actual reviews I’ve read are almost as good as anything my bloated ego could conjure up. I expected raves from my friends and family, but people I don’t even know have been saying the nicest things.

If you want a good sense of what “Mommy Man” is about and why you’ll enjoy it, read this review which was just posted at the Good Men Project. Tom Burns, a straight dad and a fellow dad blogger (Did I mention my book makes a great Father’s Day gift?) said a lot of nice things, but I want to highlight this part:

“Mommy Man is a spectacularly well-told story. More than once, Jerry’s handling of his both hilarious and occasionally sobering subject matter reminded me of the deft storytelling chops that you can find in comedic one-man shows like Mike Birbiglia’s My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend or Sleepwalk with Me. It’s just an epic birth story, the kind that, if encountered at a dinner party, would make you cancel your plans for later and open another bottle of wine. Even if you know nothing about surrogacy, being a mild-mannered geek, or being a gay superdad, Mommy Man is a book that anyone can enjoy. It’s well worth your time.” – Tom Burns, Good Men Project

If that doesn’t convince you to read my book, I don’t know what will. (That doesn’t mean I’m not going to keep trying, though.)

Given what a blast this has all been so far, I’m really looking forward to my upcoming in-store events, so if you’re anywhere near Los Angeles, New York or Rochester, I hope you’ll come to one.

* I haven’t been great about promoting my selfie contest, so I’m going to extend the deadline a week, until Friday, June 6 at 9pm EST. You have until then to buy my book, snap a selfie (technically, it can also be a picture someone else takes of you) and upload it to my Facebook page with yourself tagged in it. By doing so, you grant me the right to repost it, but I’ll probably only do that 0-1 times. Whoever posts the best, most creative selfie will win a copy of Mommy Man autographed by me and creatively decorated by my kids somehow.

* * * * *

Need just a tiny bit more convincing that “Mommy Man” is the “uproarious”, “touching”, “fascinating” read the reviews are saying it is? You’re in luck! Download the sample chapter from your favorite ebook retailer (i.e., Amazon Kindle or iBooks) and see if it doesn’t leave you hungry for more. Or crack a copy open in Barnes & Noble or your other favorite bookstore, open to a random page and see how long it takes you to find something funny. Trust me, this works much better with my book than it does with “I Am Malala.”

A Big Bunch of Pink Princessy Stuff

  • Wiimote-picProbably the highlight of my week was this wonderful review of my book by superblogger/supermom Mombian over at Bay Windows. She says, among other nice things, “Jerry Mahoney’s Mommy Man: How I Went from Mild-Mannered Geek to Gay Superdad, is a wonderful addition to the growing genre of LGBT parenting memoirs, not only because of its sharp writing and smart humor, but because it shows us an aspect of LGBT parenting we haven’t seen in a book-length memoir before—two men pursuing parenthood through gestational surrogacy.” and The blend of engagingly told common experiences with the particulars of this family make Mommy Man a compelling read for parents and prospective parents of all types (and a great Father’s Day present).”
  • Speaking of Father’s Day presents… at this moment, my book is a mere $8.69 on Kindle! If that’s your preferred platform and you’ve been waiting for a good time to buy it, wait no more!
  • Here’s a great post from A Little Bit Brave about how my blog (!) on Disney World led to an uncomfortable interaction with a family friend, and her wonderful response.
  • My piece How to Talk to Your Kids About Gay People, By a Gay Person was reblogged a bunch of places, including the Good Men Project, the Daily Dot and xoJane. That last one especially really impressed Drew.
  • Are you going to be at Book Expo America this week? I’ll be at Booth 1124 on Thursday, May 29 from 10:00-10:30 signing books and snapping selfies. Come say hi!
  • Best laugh of the week: this video, “If Gay Guys Said the Shit Straight People Say…”
  • Thanks again for the birthday wishes last week. The picture above shows one of my favorite gifts, a pink-colored Princess Peach remote for Wii. I’ll let you guess which one of my kids picked that out for me. I’m just grateful she let me hold it for this picture, because she sure doesn’t let me hold it when we’re playing Wii.

Past Posts Revisited: How to Talk to Your Children About Gay Parents, by a Gay Parent

therealthingnews-com-au

I’m always happy when someone reposts my piece How to Talk to Your Children About Gay Parents, by a Gay Parent. It’s one of my favorite things I’ve posted here, and I tend to hear back some really amazing things as well as gain some super cool new followers every time it gets spread to some other corner of the internet.

Previously, the piece was featured on sites like the Today Show, Lifetime Moms and the Good Men Project. Just this week, two more very popular sites reblogged it, garnering it a bunch of fresh traffic. First, it ran on one of my favorite parenting blogs, Scary Mommy. If you don’t already know Scary Mommy, you should go there right now. It’s full of hilarity, top-notch writing and all kinds of wonderful things.

Scary Mommy has amazing readers, who’ve so far shared my post almost 10,000 times on Facebook(!) One person who read it over there works for the popular Australian news site News.com.au, and she asked if she could rerun it on that site as well.

They apparently put it on the front page, which brought it a lot of attention. If you read the comments on that site, you’ll see the response was not quite as positive as it’s been on other sites. I have no idea if News.com.au’s readership leans conservative or if this is representative of how most people Down Under view families like mine. Either way, I’m really grateful they ran my post because I’d rather this topic be discussed than ignored, and at least I put the subject in a few people’s minds.

My original piece wasn’t intended to defend my family or to convert homophobes. (For that, try this post instead.) It was aimed at sympathetic straight parents. However, to the detractors on news.com.au and elsewhere, I’ll say this:

Families with gay parents aren’t going away. You can say “Every child needs a mother and a father” all you want, but at some point, you’ll need to accept that you live in a world where not every child is going to have one. They might have none — or two. The only family you get to assemble is your own. Do with it what you will. You can either try to live peacefully with those who make different choices or remain cranky and increasingly isolated. You can tsk, tsk and say “Those poor kids,” but your pity and bigotry does more to harm my children than having two dads who think they’re the greatest kids in the world ever could.

I’ve read plenty of comments, on the other hand, that made valid criticisms. In the hopes that my piece will continue to be shared, I’ve decided to do a few minor revisions to take those into account.

The first is my mockery of the word “queer” in this line from the original piece:

You could also use the word “queer”, I guess, but then your kids and I will just think you’re a pretentious dweeb.

Most people, even those who self-identify as “queer” seem to have taken it as the harmless joke it was meant to be. Others took serious offense, and that’s something I never intended. The theme of the piece is tolerance and inclusiveness, and if anyone felt slighted by that line, I apologize. I admit my impression of the word “queer” as being pretentious dweebery is probably 20 years out of date. People self-identify as “queer” for a variety of very valid personal reasons, and I don’t want to make light of that.

I’ve removed that joke from the post. The Brainy Smurf joke is a better closer anyway.

Second, a few people have taken issue with me saying, “Every child ends up with the right parents for them” when we know how many kids in this world are abused, neglected or otherwise mistreated by their parents. It’s a fair point, so I’ve changed that statement to “It’s love that makes a family”. That way you can help explain nontraditional families without also validating abusive ones.

Lastly, I made a few minor tweaks just to make the piece more evergreen and universal. I never expected people on other continents would read my blog, and not all of them know what Grand Central Station is.

If you want to reblog the post from this point on, I ask that you use the newer version. Just to restate my reblogging policy:

Anyone is welcome to repost anything on this site anywhere, provided they credit me and link back to the original post on my domain. (Something along the lines of this would be great: “This piece, by Jerry Mahoney, originally appeared on his blog “Mommy Man: Adventures of a Gay Superdad“. I request that you use the “Contact Me” page to let me know when you’re going to reblog something. I love to check out my work on other people’s sites, however big or small their audience, and I may even be able to send some traffic your way by sharing your link.

To share any of my posts on your social networks, just click the corresponding button (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) at the bottom of the post and it does everything necessary for you.

If you quote excerpts, please link back to the full piece.

If you link me without reposting the entire piece and say, “Hey, go read this guy’s site! It’s great!”, then you’re awesome and I like you.

Aw, shucks. I like all of you! And I still can’t wait to visit Australia someday.