FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
ALISO VIEJO, California – In her hilarious debut novel, “Adult Conversation: A Novel” (May 5, 2020, She Writes Press), podcast host and parenting expert Brandy Ferner takes readers on a wild journey toward self-rediscovery amidst the absurd expectations and double standards placed on women in motherhood and marriage. With a mix of Ali Wong-style edgy humor and therapeutic insight, Ferner says out loud what others will not as she delivers a fiercely relatable and empowering read that highlights the importance of reclaiming autonomy, the liberating power of female friendship, and the desire to bail on your family and high-tail it to Las Vegas. Growing up, many women are taught to be invested in a very specific version of the “American Dream”: a perfect marriage, a perfect family, a perfect house, with only organic produce. But what happens when mothers continually sacrifice their needs and sanity in pursuit of perfection?
April is a thoughtful yet sarcastic mother of two who tries her best to be a caring, connected mom in a middle-class culture where mothering has become relentless. April rages at modern motherhood’s impossible pressures, her husband’s “dad privilege,” and her kids’ incessant snack requests. She wants to enjoy motherhood, but her idealist vision and lived experience are in constant conflict with one another. Is she broken — or is motherhood?
Desperate for an answer, she seeks out a therapist, and unexpectedly lands with a woman whose validation and wisdom gives April the clarity to reclaim herself and even start designing clothes again—her pre-motherhood passion. But when the ever-elusive babysitter cancels last-minute, April finds herself back at square one. She seeks guidance from her therapist who is now dealing with her own crumbling marriage—and instead of counseling April, she convinces her to speed off to Las Vegas to help catch her husband cheating. With a little weed, alcohol, and topless pool hopping, plus a male stripper and some much-needed autonomy, the two find lost pieces of themselves that motherhood swallowed up. But neither is prepared for how tested—and tempted—they will be, or for the life-altering choices their journey will force them to make. Who is guiding whom anymore?
Praise for ADULT CONVERSATION: A NOVEL
“Ferner’s book is at times laugh-out-loud/ so-funny-you-have-to-repeat-aloud-to-the-person- nearest-you, and at times viscerally poignant in how accurately she portrays motherhood — as well as how tenuous working-outside-of-the-home can feel!”
Dr. Darria Long, ER doctor, bestselling author of ‘Mom Hacks’,
national TV regular contributor, and mom
“Ferner nailed it in this sharp-witted debut about the roller coaster ride that is motherhood. Her observations are not only relatable and authentic, but laugh-out-loud funny. You will not be able to put it down, just like your children.”
Emily Liebert, USA Today bestselling author of Pretty Revenge
More about ADULT CONVERSATION: A NOVEL
Adult Conversation: A Novel
Brandy Ferner | May 5, 2020 | She Writes Press
Paperback | 978-1631528422 | $16.95
Ebook | B07VMDKDN9 | $9.95
Fiction – General, Family Life, Humorous, Women
More about BRANDY FERNER
Brandy Ferner is a mother, wife, and the creator of the Adult Conversation podcast, social media pages, and blog. Her writing has been featured on Good Morning America, HuffPost, Romper, CafeMom, TODAY Parents, and more. In addition to writing and fulfilling her kids’ endless snack requests, she spent the past decade working as a doula, childbirth educator, and birth trauma mentor, ushering clients through the intense transition into motherhood. The insight gained from watching moms crack wide open—literally and figuratively—and her own experience as an independent woman who suddenly traded autonomy for snuggles, led her to say out loud the things that modern mothers are thinking. Sometimes it’s serious, sometimes it’s comedic, but it’s always honest. She currently lives in Southern California, and her love language is sleep.
In an interview, Brandy can discuss:
- Parenting, childbirth, and birth trauma
- Women in media
- Feminism and domestic gender politics
- The unequal gender roles in parenting
- The problem with the self-care trend
- The shock of losing your identity when becoming a mother and the work of finding it again
- The trickiness of marriage post-kids
- “Dad privilege” – a term that refers to the built-in free pass Dads get
- How moms have to learn to speak up for what they need
- What no one tells you about motherhood
- Why modern motherhood is relentless, different from past generations
An Interview with BRANDY FERNER
1. Adult Conversation contains a lot of hilarious and unflattering observations about motherhood and marriage — why was it important to you to include these anecdotes?
Mothers need to know that they aren’t broken, and if we keep up the facade that we’re all loving it and doing just fine, then we go back to our isolated homes and wonder what’s wrong with us when it’s not actually as enjoyable as we’ve been lead to believe (and no one’s mentioning that part). Despite having small people on you or around you 24-7, the job of a mother is quite lonely, her work goes widely unseen and she isn’t valued for her huge sacrifices. I needed for mothers to feel wholeheartedly seen and appreciated – especially around the emotions and situations that are too personal to talk about openly – and laughing about it all was a must. My hope is that after reading my book, moms will feel validated, empowered, and motivated to ask for what they need and to set much-needed boundaries.
2. What were the false expectations or social standards surrounding motherhood and marriage you most wanted to explore?
The biggest one for me was this idea of gender inequality. Even if you have a loving, woke husband and you call yourself a feminist, after you have kids, it’s as if a giant curtain drops and you see that all this “women can do anything” stuff was a total farse. You can’t do anything when there are children to feed, bathe, and keep alive. You quickly realize that there is a built-in “Dad privilege,” which is an unspoken expectation that you, as the mother, will do nearly all of the domestic and child labor even if you also work. Our culture has supported this notion since before we were born.
3. Do you think that female friendship and solidarity serves as a potential corrective?
The only thing I think serves as a true corrective is systemic change which includes a shift in gender expectations, sexism, and outdated policies around family leave, subsidized childcare, etc. But, I do think that authentic female friendship is a vital piece to our coping with this broken framework. And I say “authentic” meaning someone you can share the hard moments and frustration with, not just the happy times. You have to be able to be real with someone who gets your struggle or you will stuff it all down inside of you and basically bathe in anger and resentment.
4. What role does humor play in confronting the challenges imposed by modern motherhood?
Humor is absolutely medicinal! I don’t know of a better way to cope with sustained hardship and the ridiculousness of parenthood. There is something so validating about laughing with a fellow mother about being brought to your knees by kids. And for me, nothing is off limits (clearly, if you’ve read the book).
5. How do you think our culture’s gender standards are being sold to us now, in the 21st-century?
I think we all feel like it’s getting better, like we’re moving closer to equal, but surprisingly, recent studies have shown that we are actually moving backwards. The good news is that many changemakers in this motherhood arena are writing books, producing podcasts, and talking about ways moms can demand better, and how to set boundaries in their own marriages and families – and people finally seem to be listening! I think the change is coming – and I’m hoping that my book is part of that change – but we weary mothers are definitely the ones at the front of the revolution. “No one is coming to save us,” is one of the themes of my book, and it’s definitely applicable here too.
6. What do you think about this trend of “self-care” for mothers?
I loathe the idea of self-care in this context, which I know is controversial. I get the idea of it, and under better conditions, sure, we can all benefit from being kind to and looking out for ourselves. But, the idea of “self-care” is being sold to us by people and systems that refuse to help us. They’re basically saying, “Yes, you take care of everyone in your family, but now add yourself to that list because we’re not going to do it.” And it’s to the point that moms themselves believe and regurgitate this sentiment, so the whole thing feels like a complete gaslighting and elicits immediate rage from me.
A former award-winning journalist with national exposure, Marissa now oversees the day-to-day operation of the Books Forward author branding and book marketing firm, along with our indie publishing support sister company Books Fluent.
Born and bred in Louisiana, currently living in New Orleans, she has lived and developed a strong base for our company and authors in Chicago and Nashville. Her journalism work has appeared in USA Today, National Geographic and other major publications. She is now interviewed by media on best practices for book marketing.