Remember that book I raved about last week, The Honest Toddler: A Child's Guide to Parenting?
Today I have a real treat for you. Bunmi Laditan is the comedic genius behind The Honest Toddler. She has graciously agreed to play along for an interview.
And stay tuned - The Honest Toddler stops by in person on Friday for a rare Q & A...
Is your name pronounced "Bunmi" or "Bunmi"? I'm never sure...
Hee hee :) It sounds like "Boo-mee"
The realities and ridiculous struggles that come out of everyday life with my then 2-year old. She was at her peak defiance and I was, frankly, emotionally exhausted by the battle of the wills over socks, pants, and the proper way to cut toast.
What prompted you to start tweeting as the Honest Toddler?
Two or three weeks into tweeting when I saw the response from parents. I couldn't believe how many people were consistently following. It made me feel normal to know that others were in similar situations with their little...blessings.
When did you realize the idea was a hit?
I received an email from a literary agent about 5-6 months into tweeting and jumped at the chance. Being a published author has been a dream of mine for a very long time. Words can't describe how I felt reading the words, "We think this could be a book."
When did you decide to extend the idea into a book?
I felt like interjecting myself would take away from the fun. It wasn't about it, it was about the character and the fun. I feel like there's enough "Hey look what I'm doing!" in the world and just wanted to keep this pure if that makes any sense.
Why did you keep your identity a secret for so long?
That's always the struggle for writers, especially when it isn't your full-time gig. I once lamented to a mentor of mine Chellie Campbell about parenting making it impossible to write and she told me what Toni Morrison said when posed with the same question. She said she wrote in "the edges of the day." At the time Morrison was a single mom living near the poverty line so I knew I was out of excuses. I write when I find the time. Tweeting only takes literally a minute. A mental commitment has to be made on some level. I often feel as if the struggle to find "time to write" is just a veil covering a greater fear of not being able to write or not knowing what to write. Inspiration is fleeting and inconsistent. At some point we all have to just sit down and put pen to paper...or fingers to keyboard.
I'm a dad of one, and I can't even find time to find my car keys (Note to self: Check refrigerator.). As a mom of two, where do you find time to write?
My 7 year-old's birthday party!
What's your next project?
They provide material. Ha! People always say "write what you know" and what I know is family life so I tend to stay in that area.
How has your family supported you in your writing?
While I rarely @reply, I like to favorite and DM because I really want people to know how much I appreciate them. I wouldn't have a book without all of my awesome followers. The responses to the tweets keep me in stitches.
You always take time to respond to tweets and such. Why?
I'm not sure. I love great writing. Growing up, we didn't have much money so while my friend were watching Nick at Night at Clarissa Explains it All, I was watching MASH, Perry Mason, and Dick Tracy...in black and white on a very small television with a wire hanger on the back. The dialogue on these shows, it was like watching people dance with words. I still remember just being in awe, especially with MASH and how these characters delivered incredibly well-written, intelligent jokes.
What do you attribute your sense of humor to?
It was born out of a love of reading. Once my parents introduced me to the public library- FREE BOOKS- I was lost to a world of fantasy. Babysitter's Club Books, Judy Blume, R.L Stine. My dad is a Shakespeare freak so I was also familiar with Othello and Macbeth early on.
Where did you pick up your love of writing?
I dream of owning some kind of publishing company wherein I can help launch unknown authors. Not necessarily a traditional publishing house but some kind of media platform that allows me to help writers craft and bring attention to their books.
What other things do you dream of doing?
I particularly love the "Car" and "Tips for Effective Communication With Your Toddler" sections.
What's your favorite part of your own book?