New Humor Book About Mid-Life Moms by Sharon O’Donnell


It’s been a long journey getting my second humor book published, but it was finally released this week. Please Don’t Let Me Be the Oldest Mom in the PTA is my take on the humorous and poignant moments of being a ‘later’ mom, complete with those times when I was called my son’s grandmother (thank, buddy!), when I realized I was the oldest mom at the PTA meeting, and when I discovered a new age spot had appeared overnight, prompting me to ask, “Where the hell did that come from?”  I was 38 when I had my youngest son after having two who were nine and six years older than my ‘baby’. I knew right away that being an ‘older’ mom was a bit different than motherhood had been the first two times around. My sons are now 27, 24, and almost 18–I’m the mom of men now rather than a mom of boys.

I started working on the ‘oldest mom’ book ten years ago– yes, as in a decade ago, right after my first humor book, House of Testosterone:  One Mom’s Survival in a Household of Males, was published by Houghton Mifflin in the spring of 2008.  That first book did okay, but could have done much better if the economy hadn’t have taken a nosedive in the fall of 2008, only several months after the book was released. The book had been doing well, receiving coverage in USA Today, a some TV and radio stations.  Houghton Mifflin  even did a second printing.  An editor at Better Homes and Garden contacted me to say that he had been one of several boys, loved the book, and wanted to know if I would consider being the first personal columnist for the magazine. Would I consider it?  Of course, I would! I remember getting this call when I was waiting for my youngest son in the carpool line at his school, and I was so surprised I almost hit the bumper of the car in front of me.

My caboose baby and me then



My caboose baby and me now



I had to do a trial column, which they liked, and paid me for, and then I signed contracts for future columns. The magazine had never had a columnist before, as it consisted mostly of articles and photos of beautiful homes  — and yes, gardens. They were also going to hire a personal finance columnist. I was over the moon because writing for the magazine with one of the largest circulations in the world would build my platform and enable me to successfully pitch books to publishers. Yet, when the economy crashed, developments with the column stalled. Then the next thing I knew, the magazine decided not to go ahead with my column or the personal finance column but to retain the status quo during the uncertain times. The editor who had originally contacted me was let go, as were others at the company.

Also during this time, I’d had a producer option my book and pitch it to several networks, but that, too, was in vain, when there was a Writers Strike and things slowed in Hollywood.

Add to that all of that agent issues and family health issues.  My second book that I wanted to write about being an older mom would have to wait. Too much going on.

As time went by, though, I got to be an even older ‘older’ mom, and I realized this enabled me to have an even better perspective about what it is like. So after taking a respite from humor writing due to what I mentioned above, I decided a few years ago to go back to the manuscript for the book and work on it again. This meant doing a lot of updating and additions, since I’d started it in 2008! I realized that I’d better hurry and get it published because this is the last year (2018-2019) I would even be in a PTA, and the whole theme of the book wouldn’t make much sense. I’d been going to PTA meetings since 1996! A fellow writer suggested that I contact a wonderful Durham publishing company, Light Messages (of which Torchflame Books is a division). The publishers there loved my book and wanted to publish it, and I’m hoping that it will resonate with other later moms.

The chapters are entitled: A Mom of a Certain Age, The Caboose Baby, How I Got My Wrinkles, A Woman of a Certain Age, and Forever Young. Please check it out on Amazon with excerpts in the Look Inside this Book feature and consider ordering it.  There are also excerpts available on my website. I’d appreciate it. 


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