NEW YORK — Tuesday marks the debut of the fourth novel in a series of books written by a mother to make other mothers laugh.
Regular viewers of “Live with Kelly and Ryan” have occasionally seen Laurie Gelman perform on the show produced by her husband, Michael Gelman. The title of her novel is a pun on a rock song of her generation.
“Smells Like Tween Spirit” is the fourth in a series of books featuring a fictional mother named Jen Dixon, who bears a striking resemblance to the woman who made her.
Gelman’s first act was on TV as an entertainment reporter. She even co-hosted a morning show on the FX Network opposite a young Tom Bergeron in the early years.
Her second act came home and raised two daughters. She has used that experience to write her third act as a bestselling author.
“Finding my voice writing was such a gift,” she said. “It wasn’t something I expected, but it just fit like a glove, and thank goodness it did.”
When asked about the key to writing a good third act, Gelman said, “Finding something I really wanted to do. Something that maybe gave me not joy, but passion. Sometimes I hate writing so much, but it puts me to work. my juices are flowing.”
She first found her voice while writing what are sometimes referred to as “mommy blogs.” She found that she got a lot of reactions, both positive and negative, that made her think she must be doing something right.
Gelman was inspired by her time as a mother of a volunteer class where her daughters were in grade school, but as they got older, so did Jen Dixon.
“She’s the epitome of the sandwich generation,” Gelman said. “She has a child that she takes care of and then she has parents who need her just as much as her child.”
The book may be called ‘Smells Like Tween Spirit’, but the latest in the Class Mom series allows Gelman to explore the problems faced by many women in their 50s.
“Women and sex, getting older, not being able to lose the last 10 pounds, not really being seen,” she explained.
The result is a real connection between author and audience.
“We’re a couple, we’re all going through it, we might as well talk about it,” she said.
Gelman tells other women that the key is not afraid to fail.
“It’s okay to fail because that just makes you stronger and smarter for the next thing you try,” she said.
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