Monday, October 22, 2012

Second Time Around: Jen Tucker


I read Jen Tucker's first memoir, The Day I Wore My Panties Inside Out before ever knowing her. I was blown away by her honesty, humor and ability to make the most hectic day one in which I wanted to be a part of. Through the incredible online community of authors, we connected, and I fell in love with her kindness, intelligence and passion for life. Reading her second memoir, The Day I Lost My Shaker of Salt, brought me tears and laughter and made me long for a third child. I've since gotten over that, but my love for Jen and her writing remains. I am so happy to have her here today. Welcome, Jen!
My Second Rodeo

Samantha, thank you so much for asking me to spend time at your blog today. For those of you who don’t know, Samantha and I met each other through the fabulousness that we call the internet. She has quickly become so dear to me, that I would wash her socks if she asked me to. That’s love people… She is a gem among authors and editors. A sounding board for me personally and professionally. I’m lucky to call her friend.

I love the fall series Samantha is featuring on authors and their second time around publishing. It’s funny because there are some firsts, seconds, thirds and fourths (ugh…sounds like a math fractions class; sorry about that) for me and my new memoir, The Day I Lost My Shaker of Salt. They are all important milestones representing where I’m at today in the world of publishing. So grab a Kit Kat, a glass of wine, and let’s hang out for a bit.

My Firsts

This is my first step into self-publishing. I felt like the time was right for me to make this move creatively. I will forever be grateful for the opportunities my previous publisher gave me. They believed in a girl with inside out panty problems before she even believed in herself. I learned quickly you wear many hats when going Indie; creative director, human resources, outsourcing of necessary projects (translation: editing, cover design, formatting, PDF), marketing guru, public relations, and snack break engineer. All positions overlap, work closely together, and require a stocked pantry of Mike & Ikes and Cheetos. Board meetings can get hairy too.

The Seconds

My second memoir meant no sophomore slump. I took to heart every constructive criticism of my first memoir, and let that positively fuel my new book to be better. I wanted to evolve as a story teller too, so I attended workshops, read a lot more, and looked to trusted people to red-pen edit my tale until it bled. I needed to know what worked, and what didn’t for readers. That is critical! I’m a total extrovert, cheerleader type that needs to be reeled in sometimes when getting to the heart of a story. That held true for my writing. I worked to keep digressions pertinent, and tangents creatively sound; keeping what only enhanced my story. In other words, I embraced the delete button on my computer and did not fear it taking away from my adventures.

I knew I wanted my second book cover to be smashing. I wanted readers to know when looking at the cover that it complimented my first memoir. Continuity was major for me in the design, and Laura Morrigan nailed it! No tricks. No dicky-dash. Just a clean cover that instantly tells you Jen Tucker reflected upon another terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day when you see it.

Authors, bloggers and readers as a whole are some of the most supportive, genuine, loving cheerleaders on the planet when it comes to lifting other authors and their work up. I was so thrilled to have so many that wanted to have me stop by and chat about my new book. I also have no shame (again: extrovert and I’m an only child; I know that’s telling), and reached out to many bloggers and authors to guest post for them. I felt confident asking, and also was thrilled to reciprocate. That is important!

Some Thirds

I’m not sure I have any thirds. I just liked saying it.

The Final Fourths

Although this is my second memoir, it is my fourth published book. In 2001, my first children’s picture book called, Little Pumpkin was released. It had been out of print for years, and recently has made its way onto Kindle. I have had tears and smiles knowing a new generation of readers will spend time with this little orange gourd. It feels like holding your first baby in your arms again, so-to-speak.

It humbles me to no end that readers choose to spend time with me, and one of my books, when they have so many wonderful authors and works to choose from. This second time around the memoir rodeo has taught me a lot. Never be afraid to evolve, change, and step out in this world to try something new. You’ll only be disappointed if you don’t. Don’t live your life with any what-if’s!

Bless and be blessed,

Yes, this time she checked to make sure her panties were not inside out when her day began to head south. Jen Tucker returns with her latest memoir, The Day I Lost My Shaker of Salt. Her dogs sample ant trap delicacies, a dentist appointment goes strangely awry, and she battles potential road kill daredevils on one thorny day. Tender at times, funny as always, one of your favorite girlfriends returns to show you there are silver linings in the midst of bad days.
It's fall in the pumpkin patch, and Little Pumpkin desperately wants to join a family for Halloween. He discovers that he is not the biggest, tallest, or roundest of pumpkins and frets over the thought of not being chosen because he is too small. Join Little Pumpkin as he learns the valuable lesson that when you give of yourself to others, you'll discover deep inside of you what matters most.

Also included in this book are fun pumpkin facts, recipes, and activities to extend the pumpkin fun at home or in a classroom.
Jen Tucker has never met a gluten free cupcake that she didn’t like. A former teacher and educator, she has worked with children in school, hospital, and enrichment settings. In her years at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, it was Jen’s job to bring the “hands on fun” into the visiting exhibitions in the galleries. Jen broke away from writing children’s books and thematic units in 2011 with her memoir, The Day I Wore my Panties Inside Out which was a semifinalist in the humor category in the 2011 Goodreads Book Awards. She is a monthly guest blogger at the website, Survival for Blondes where she marries humor with preparedness. Jen lives in West Lafayette, Indiana with her husband, Mike, and their three children.
Buy The Day I Lost My Shaker of Salt!
Connect with Jen!
Twitter: @authorjentucker


  1. I love the fact that you would wash Samantha's socks! Second time around is SO different and it was interesting to see what you found different 2nd time around, as I am just about to launch my 2nd novel and many things have been done differently. Also interesting to note you have gone from being trad published to indie, and that you have a kids' book under your belt, too. Well done and keep on learning! That's what makes good authors great! Sooz

    1. Sooz, I would totally wash your socks too! We girls have to stick together :) Thank you so much for stopping by. I'm so excited for your second book! XOXO

  2. What a great post. I agree that you learn so much from writing a first novel both in terms of marketing and in becoming an even better writer. I look forward to reading both of your memoirs as I have heard such amazing things!

    1. Thank you Meredith! I appreciate you so very much. I'm even more excited that Mike left the house for a few hours to work. That means I get to stop by and hang out with you all for a little while! YIPPEE!!! XOXO

  3. A very entertaining and informative read as always, Jen! I love how you describe yourself and other authors as "cheerleaders," because that's definitely what we all are and you are top of the pyramid, baby! I love your eternally positive attitude; it's infectious (in a good way!)

    Really enjoying this series, Sam! What a great idea!

    1. Hi Georgia Peach! Thank you for stopping by! I'm really trying to stay positive amongst my nursing duties for LMT's ACL surgery. I love him. I will care for him until the day I croak. I wanted to get those statements out of the way first. I am no nurse and am going bonkers! XOXO

  4. Great post. Learning to "embrace the delete button" is such important advice! Your books sound great. I'm off to add them to my TBR list!

    1. Hi Jackie! Thank you so much for stopping by! I have totally made friends with the delete button, and isn't it freeing in some ways? I'm always humbled that anyone would want to spend time with me and my whacko life, so from the bottom of my heart THANK YOU for adding the Tucker's to the list. XOXO

  5. Love this post! It's not only entertaining, it's informative and I found it to be especially topical (for me, anyway) as I'm getting ready to launch my second book, which is going to be my first self-pubbed one. :-) Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Libby! So excited for you and your new book! You go girl... Thank you so much for stopping by to spend time with me at Sam's blog! XOXO

  6. So glad you two are friends because you're both wonderful!

  7. So glad all three of us are friends, Melissa, because you're pretty amazing yourself!