Tag Archives: humor book

Interview with Annie Greer and Tim Vandehey, authors of ‘The Chimp Who Loved Me’

Annie Greer Tim Vandehey
Annie Greer is a certified veterinary chiropractioner, radio host, animal behaviorist, farmer’s wife and AKC Canine Good Citizen evaluator who, with her veterinarian husband, Kent, runs three animal clinics and a 40-acre farm in Apopka, Florida.

Tim Vandehey is a journalist, ghostwriter and book collaborator who has written more than 35 books since 2004 in the sports, self-help, memoir, spiritual, financial, business, and healthcare genres.  His recent published co-authored works include Blindsided (with Jim Cole, St. Martin’s Press, 2010), Running on Faith (with Jason Lester, HarperOne, 2010), Produced by Faith (with DeVon Franklin, Simon & Schuster, 2011), and I’m Here to Win! (with Chris McCormack, Center Street, 2011).  Tim lives on Bainbridge Island, Washington, with his wife and two daughters.

The Chimp Who Loved Me is Tim and Annie’s latest hilarious endeavor.

You can visit their website at www.thechimpwholovedme.com.

Q: Thank you for this interview, Tim and Annie. Can you tell us what your latest book, The Chimp Who Loved Me, is all about?

It’s a collection of 26 stories from Annie’s bizarre encounters with chimps, cougars, backwoods pig farmers and horny goats. Annie’s had a life of strangeness when it comes to animals, and in owning three veterinary clinics, a pet resort and a 40-acre farm (as well as owning a petting zoo at one point), she’s had plenty of chances to continue that tradition.

Q: How did you come up with the idea for your book?

Tim: We were at a writer’s conference in Orlando, and I met Annie while she was working as a volunteer dispensing misinformation.

Annie: It was misinformation because no one had told me anything. I apprehended Tim apparently trying to shoplift a book that it turned out he had ghostwritten. Our friendship bloomed from there.

Tim: We got to talking and Annie told me about the time she was sexually assaulted in the shower by a chimpanzee. When I got up off the floor, I said, “I’m writing your book.” It was just a matter of deciding which stories to include. The title is a play on the James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me.

Q: What kind of research did you do before and during the writing of your book?

Lots of interviews done over lots of wine. Thank God we recorded them because the handwriting would have gotten squirrely after bottle number 3.

Q: If a reader can come away from reading your book with one valuable message, what would that be?

That animals are amazing, unpredictable, precious creatures we should love and respect—and that no one should keep an exotic creature in a residential setting. It makes our blood boil when idiots confine bears, cougars and chimps in their backyards when they should be in zoos, preserves or the wild.

Q: Can you give us a short excerpt?

Sure. This is from the title story:

I started to undress by the shower door. Then I felt eyes on me. Sammy was watching me from the doorway. Hmm. Odd, but not threatening. I stepped into the shower and turned the hot water on. Chimps do not like water, so I figured I was safe, and I needed a little breather from carrying him all the time. Suddenly, I noticed my chimp child was gone, along with all the clothes and towels I had laid down on the floor. Suddenly, Sammy came full speed around the corner, hooting and grinning, and launched himself at me!

Fully Erect Sammy!

All I could think was, “Oh God! I’m going to be sexually assaulted by a chimp!” I pictured the 911 call. I saw the operator laughing so uncontrollably that she forgot to send help. I tried to peel Sammy’s pinching, prying hands off my naked, wet body and realized that I had to get some clothes on.

Q: In your own experience, is it hard to get a nonfiction book published today? How did you do it?

We cheated. We started our own publishing company. We actually got an agent named Kate Epstein back in 2008, and she gave it her all to sell the book, but editors didn’t want it. They wanted their animal books to be warm and fussy like Marley and Me or Dewey. Those have been bestsellers so who can blame them? But that’s not this book. Chimp is about sex, poop, pee and death—the real world of animals.

Q: What’s a typical day like for you?

Tim: I get up, get my daughter off to school, walk the five steps to the couch, fall onto the cushions with my MacBook Pro and start writing. Occasionally I shower. I’m a ghostwriter by profession, so I’m always working on two or three books.

Annie: I tend the cattle, pigs, special needs chickens and other beasties on our farm, and then my husband Kent, who is a veterinarian, and I head off to our main clinic to spend the day managing a three-ring circus of employees, pet owners and critters. It is never dull. Usually, I wind up the day by killing part of a bottle of excellent California zinfandel.

Q: What’s next for you?

Well, there are always more stories, so we hope to start collecting them in 2012 and producing a new book. The working title is Funny Farm, which says it all.

Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Tim and Annie. We wish you much success!

It was our pleasure. Thank you.

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Why I Love (and write) Humor Books

Rose A. Valenta is a nationally syndicated humor columnist. Her irreverent columns have been published in Senior Wire, Associated Content, Courier Post Online, NPR, Newsday, USA TODAY, the WSJ Online, and many other local news and radio websites.

She is the author of Rosie’s Renegade Humor Blog. This is the blog for people who would be knowledgeable about current events and politics if only politicians and news anchors didn’t stretch the truth. “What else is there to do, but share an honest laugh?” Rose said.

Rose regularly attends the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop at the University of Dayton, is a member of the Robert Benchley Society and the National Society of Newspaper Columnists (NSNC).

Rose lived in Philadelphia for over 40 years, where she honed her humor writing skills by being married to a Philadelphia Policeman and giving birth to three children. “Times have changed. Now that we have 10 grandchildren, I’m not sure how I feel about children being exposed to the evening news. Humorous things happen, like the time my grandson asked us to come outside to see his version of ‘Frosty the Inappropriate Snowman’ right after Snowmageddon.”

Rose worked for a subsidiary of McGraw-Hill, Datapro Information Services, for 12 years as a technical staff writer, and also wrote freelance articles for other computer industry publications.

She claims that her Italian heritage stunted her growth. She is English on her Father’s side and believes that in a past life, during medieval times, she was probably a trusted member of the Counsel of the Jesters.

Her latest book is Sitting on Cold Porcelain which you can find out more about at her website at www.rosevalenta.com.

Why I Love (and write) Humor Books

by Rose A. Valenta

As long as I can remember, I have enjoyed reading and writing humor. I think everyone enjoys a good laugh and deservedly so.

Almost on a daily basis, we face all sorts of events that nibble away at our initial good mood. You wake up in the morning feeling pretty, maybe sing in the shower, remember something funny the kids did to make you smile last night – then it starts: rush hour traffic, road rage, unpleasant news reports, crowded coffee shops, and your daily routine on the job. If that isn’t enough, the company café has a lousy selection for lunch; so, you resort to eating a mundane salad; you find that you are overdrawn in your checking account by $30.00; and at 5:00 PM, it’s rush hour again. When you get home, the evening news is filled with doom and gloom and the kids need to be motivated to complete homework assignments.

You, my friend, need a good chuckle. Why? The weekend looms ahead and you already know what to expect. The kids are home from school and a fist fight will break out, your DIY project is waiting, and Murphy’s Law is always alive and well at your house – breeding offspring. Sometimes I believe the more free time we have on our hands, the harder Murphy’s reproductive system works. You have to turn the tables, or else!

In my case, I wait until the crisis is over and write satire about it on my bog, Rosie’s Renegade Humor Bloghttp://www.rosevalenta.com. You can also read humor books and blogs that address the conflicts you face, but with a funny twist.  If you do that often enough, you will actually lighten up and see things in a better perspective.

While my humor book, Sitting on Cold Porcelain, is designed to address myriad topics with a funny twist to entertain you, humor blogs have been underrated. There are hundreds of them that you can sneak read with your iPad or Kindle at work. Trust me; it will lighten your load.

Because of my humor writing, I have been blessed with the opportunity to meet some of the folks, who write humor blogs on the Internet. I have made friends with them on Facebook and have linked the best ones at the bottom of my blog page, so you can enjoy them also.

Just to name a few, we have a school teacher from Texas, Jody Worsham, who is retired and has adopted two children in recent years. She writes a blog called The Medicare Mom. You will love her mature witty take on motherhood. Marti Lawrence, a caregiver from Missouri, usually has to miss our bi-annual get-togethers at the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop (EBWW) in Dayton, OH; but we fill her in via e-mail. She is very entertaining and writes Enter the Laughter. Wanda Argersinger is a Director of the Lupus Support Network, she loves to write humor books on motivation and authors a blog called Lost in the Land of Confusion.  The Director of EBWW, Matt DeWald, writes My Five-Minute Commute. Our baby boomer dad, Jerry Zezima, is a very funny guy. He just released a book called Leave it to Boomer and his blog is linked on my page. If you are really feeling down, Dawn Weber’s blog Lighten Up is for you. Please check them all out. You will get more than a few chuckles.▪



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Humorist Pat Snyder “The Dog Ate My Planner” Book Giveaway

Humorist Pat Snyder, author of The Dog Ate My Planner, will be at Pump Up Your Book on Friday, December 4, taking your questions and comments. Leave a question or a comment, along with your email address (very important), in the comment section anytime between now and 8 p.m. tomorrow night and you could win a free copy of her book!

The winner will be selected at the end of tomorrow night and announced on Monday, Dec. 7.

Find out all about writing humor from one of the most talented humorists!

Click here to enter now!

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Interview with Kandy Siahaya, Author of Making Light of Being Heavy

Making Light of Being Heavy

Today starts my 3-day virtual promotional extravaganza with Kandy Kiahaya, author of the humorous book, Making Light of Being Heavy!

After reading her book a few weeks ago, I asked her tour coordinator at Pump Up Your Book Promotion, Tracee Gleichner, if I could host her on my blog but do it up right.

First, let me begin by saying although I do call it a humor book, it actually takes a very serious look at what over half (I’m sure the statistics are much higher) of today’s men and women are facing – the fact that we just might be born this way and once we tell the world how it is from our point of view, maybe they’ll understand and not ostracize us for being that way.

I was a skinny person for years and years. I was made fun of for being skinny. If they only could see me now. Two kids and menopause sure did change things.

Making Light of Being HeavyMaking Light of Being Heavy is for all you gals and guys out there who aren’t model thin and would like to find out how they, too, can make light of being heavy.

Today I introduce to you Kandy Siahaya who can change your world. Tomorrow, Kandy will be back with “10 Tips on How to Make Light on Being Heavy” and we’ll wrap it up on Friday with a review!

Q: What made you decide to write a book making fun of being fat?

About five years ago a friend and I were walking with our kids along the sidewalks of Old Orchard Beach in the summer when a cute guy driving a pedicab stopped beside us waiting for the light. Joking around with him I asked him if there was a weight limit on that ride. My friend and I both were over 300 pounds and he was looking at us I think trying to come up with a “safe” number and he said “500 pounds” smiling. My friend and I started laughing and I jokingly said that we would have to have individual rides. While walking away we started talking about all kinds of instances like that one that we could laugh off and my friend said we should write a book.

Q: Since this book is based on life experiences, can you tell us what it was like when others made fun of your weight and how did you handle it?

Growing up my mother always had a saying, “Pretty is as pretty does” and I can remember consciously deciding that I was not going to let what other people say affect me and I never have.

Q: What do people love most about you?

My personality and sense of humor.

Kandy Siahaya 2Q: Of all the diet programs you have been on, which one would you recommend for others still fighting the battle of the bulge?

That is a hard one because everybody is different but I have always had good luck with the Scarsdale diet.

Q: Do you think that society can be partially blamed for people not loving the weight they are?

Yes, to some degree. I am just thankful that I have the perspective that I have because I know so many don’t and it is not something you can just take a pill for and change.

Q: What about genes? Do you believe genetics has a lot to do with people being overweight?

Absolutely. Like I said in my book, if everybody in the world fit into the proposed weight parameters based on height, age, and body structure we would all be the same size. Is that even possible with genetics? People don’t find it odd that a child has blonde hair if there mother has blonde hair or that little Joey grew to be 6 feet tall when his father is that height. Weight is not any different.

Q: Healthy foods cost more as stated in your book and is very true. Does that make sense to you?

Yes, even as unfortunate as it is because of the process necessary for fresh produce, whole grains, etc. But I truly do not believe that if you eat canned vegetables you are destined to be unhealthy.

Q: How can family and friends be supportive?

Just by being our friends and family. My mother is funny though because if she knows I am on my “diet” and she cooks something she knows I love she will not call to let me know because she doesn’t want to tempt me. Most times that backfires because I may go over later in the week and check out what is in her fridge and find the leftovers and eat them anyway :)

Q: Can you give us an example of your typical day’s intake of calories?

Well I don’t know about caloric intake but I will tell you what I had today – After dropping my son off at school I went through Tim Hortons and got a large coffee with extra cream and seven Equal, came home and had a bowel of Honey Nut Cheerios, mid morning had one piece of 12-grain bread with peanut butter, around 3 or so had a bologna sandwich with Miracle Whip, drank about three glasses of sugar-free grape drink throughout the day, and then for dinner around 7:00 with my son had chicken breast with noodles with some Alfredo sauce, whole kernel corn, and two pieces of garlic bread and a Diet Pepsi.

Q: Thank you for this interview, Kandy. Can you tell us where we can find out more about you and your wonderful new book?


Thank you!!

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mailbagI’ve had this book for a few days now and I just now picked it up and started reading. This is hilarious stuff!

It starts out like this:

“Are you overweight? I am. Doesn’t it suck?”

Then she goes on to say:

“I think our bodies shape themselves into what they should be regardless of certain measures we take to prevent it when we live our life normally and happily. Don’t get me wrong, I am sure if I exercised for four hours a day and only ate rabbit food on a regular basis I may not be fat. But who wants to exercise four hours a day and only eat rabbit food every day? I don’t.”

making-light-of-being-heavy1And that’s not the funniest part as I couldn’t help myself and kept reading. This book is the bomb. I asked her tour coordinator if I could host her for a few days next month when she’s on virtual book tour with us and I’m waiting on her answer. No, I’m not the only one taking books on tour and, no, I don’t have a say (or too much, lol) on where she ends up, but after reading a few pages, I immediately asked Tracee if I could host her here for three days and I’m waiting on her answer.

This book hits so close to home, but I won’t spoil any of it until she comes in May. But, how many people who are naturally big can laugh at the situation? Kandy Siahaya is my role model. I was born a skinny person and up until about a year ago, I started really considering dieting. I have gained 50 pounds (shudder) since the birth of my first child. Of course, I was in my twenties and I was SKINNY, remember?

So, this ought to be fun. I’ll let you know if I can get Kandy here we can find out more about her, but it will include a review at least.

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Virtual Book Tour: Introducing Humor Writer and author Kelly Epperson

I am so excited about today’s guest author here today at As the Pages Turn!

Kelly Epperson, author of When Life Stinks, It’s Time to Wash the Gym Clothes, is here with a brand new v-log talking about her book in one of the most….um…unlikely places….in Santa Claus’ lap! You heard it right! Kelly is on a virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book Promotion and had this terrific idea…I won’t spoil it…watch!

Wasn’t Santa a good sport????

Here’s more about Kelly and her new book!

About the Author:

kelly-epperson1Kelly Epperson has been dubbed “Everywoman” and “Rare woman” in the same breath. Kelly’s style is uniquely her own, yet she can relate to all of us. Her weekly columns of life, real everyday life as well as travels through Europe, bring a warmth and a wit that we all long for.

Leaving her job at the IRS ten years ago (it was “sucking the life out of her”), she then embarked on a new career, and served as resident court jester, at a local nonprofit agency that taught English and reading to adults.

Kelly’s motto and quote that hangs over her desk is “To love what you do and feel that it matters – how could anything be more fun?!” After a year in France, Kelly returned to the states and launched a fulltime career of writer, ghostwriter, and speaker. Every day, she does the happy dance in her kitchen.

To maintain connection and spread a little joy with friends, family, and readers, Kelly recently started a weekly “happy mail” – When Life Stinks, Find Your Joy. To check it out, send Kelly an email to kel_epperson@yahoo.com.

Kelly lives in Loves Park, IL (city with a heart) with The Man of the Place, her two teenage sons, who are brilliant and witty of course, and a sweet dog Starburst who sheds like crazy. FYI-Kelly hates dog hair, hence, the essay, “It’s Not Easy Being Cruella DeVil.”

For more info, please visit www.whenlifestinks.com.

About the Book:

when-life-stinks1Kelly Epperson, former IRS agent turned English as Second Language teacher turned writer and speaker, unabashedly tells it like it is, heartwarming and hilarious. From tales of life in France to going blonde to buttwear, you’ll bust out laughing, you’ll get a little misty, and you’ll be sad when this little book comes to an end.

When Life Stinks, It’s Time to Wash the Gym Clothes is a collection of her newspaper columns and no topic is taboo. From the “Job Hazards of Parenting” to “Mysteries of IQ Testing Revealed” to “The Scary, Hairy French Doctor,” you’ll share a hearty laugh as Kelly’s conversational style makes you feel you are a part of the happenings. She also grabs your heart with poignant tales of walking the D-day landing beaches, Grandma O, and her reflections as the days in France come to a close.

Kelly’s fans call her writing “witty, pithy, and real.” A freelance columnist since 2001, Kelly viewed her writing gig as a soul-fulfilling side job. The year in France was a break from reality that propelled her into a new career, that of fulltime writer, ghostwriter and speaker.

In an interview, Kelly states, “Ghostwriting – writing for others under their name – is a fascinating job, and I’ve written for New York Times best selling authors. But to have a book in my own name with no confidentiality clauses is a joy.” Kelly, always the dreamer, may see her name on the New York Times list someday.

Loyal readers are already screaming for more. “Words can’t describe how great your writing makes others feel.” Kelly’s essays are called charming and delightful, and her favorite, “a hoot.”

Some people devour her debut book in one sitting and others savor an essay a day. When Life Stinks, It’s Time to Wash the Gym Clothes reads like a letter to a friend because that is how Kelly sees her readers. In fact, she is now organizing a trip to Ireland with her readers!

Beautiful, inspiring, funny, When Life Stinks defies categories. Certainly women feel a kindred soul, but men too are captivated by Kelly’s writing. All ages too find a warmth and a wit that they can relate to; if ever there was a perfect gift for anyone at any time of year, it is When Life Stinks, It’s Time to Wash the Gym Clothes.


The Message Is: “Look At My Butt”

They’re everywhere. I thought it was a passing fad, but this fashion statement is sticking around. Teenage girls wear sweat pants with words emblazoned across the rear end. No matter the word, “Cute,” “UCLA,” or “Pinch Me,” the real message is “look at my butt.”

I shake my head with envy. Do it while you can, girls.

My fashion consultants, my boys, tell me I could wear sweats like that. “BIG” or “WIDE LOAD” tickle their fancy. They think “Danger: Hazardous Gas” would be hilarious. I think “Made You Look” would be clever.

As women age, more words fit on the gluteus maximus. The classic, “Does this make my butt look fat?” could be popular. Depending upon my mood, I’d wear “Yeah, baby, I still got it,” or “Thanks! No one has checked out my butt since 8th grade.”

Mother-daughter sweats could become a trend. Daughter butt: CHEER. Mom butt: “Would you believe this butt used to fit into a cheerleader skirt?” Mess with minds by stating “Objects in sweat pants are smaller than they appear.” Just for fun, print in vertical letters: Cheek 2 Cheek.

Certain communities are banning billboards so I predict derriere advertising will be common in the future. Young girls can make bucks renting their rumps to Nike with a big swoosh on the tush. Your daughter could earn cash for college by plastering Heineken on her heinie. The Army could attract more recruits with “Be all you can be” brandished on All-American behinds.

It’s bumper stickers, plain and simple. My more mature bumper could work for Jell-o.™ See it wiggle; see it jiggle. Plastic surgeons could drum up business for lipo suction: 1-800-SUCK-FAT. Fitness clubs could do a dual campaign. Tight buns wear “Gold’s Gym.” Doughy buns wear “Gold’s Gym? Is that next to the donut shop?” Sort of the opposite of the old public service ad, “this is your brain/this is your brain on drugs.” This is your butt at Gold’s; this is your butt if you don’t go to Gold’s.

Certain songwriters think bigger is better regarding the backside. Their lyrics could result in size appropriate butt wear slogans. Small: “Bootylicious.” Medium: “I like big butts, and I cannot lie.” Large: “Fat bottom girls, you make the rockin’ world go round.”

“If you don’t use it, you lose it” does not apply to butts. If you don’t use it, you get a whole lot more of it. Sit on it and it will grow. My butt used to be a separate entity from my legs. Over time, they have merged into a new flesh I call the “bleg,” the combined area of drooping butt into upper leg.

I need a butt bra to lift and separate my butt from my leg, giving me back the fanny of my youth. Bleg be gone. Then I’ll wear words across the seat of my pants: “The butt stops here.”


Kelly Epperson proudly displays her dirty laundry on the pages of When Life Stinks, It’s Time to Wash the Gym Clothes. A collection of her famed newspaper columns, the book is a series of heartfelt observations and a well-balanced start for a brilliant writer. This is the kind of book that could easily launch an entire series of collections. It’s light and warm-hearted, yet unmistakably comprehensive and soulful.

–R. Pulfer, Rockford Review

WHEN LIFE STINKS VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR ’08 will officially begin on December 1 and end on December 23. You can visit Kelly’s blog stops at www.virtualbooktours.wordpress.com in December to find out where she is appearing!

As a special promotion for all our authors, Pump Up Your Book Promotion is giving away a FREE virtual book tour to a published author or a $50 Amazon gift certificate to those not published who comments on our authors’ blog stops. More prizes will be announced as they become available. The winner(s) will be announced at the end of every month!


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I have a new client over at Pump Up Your Book Promotion named Kelly Epperson.  Kelly will be touring with her book, When Life Stinks, It’s Time to Wash the Gym Clothes, which is, as you guessed, a collection of humor stories.  Actually, they’re from her columns she wrote over the years which she gathered the best of to put in this darling book.

I say darling because already I’m smitten.  Man, I hate that.  I went in with my serious face and I swore to myself I wasn’t going to laugh out loud unless it was really funny.  Damn, page 13 was as far as I got when the LOL attack hit.

She writes, “I must admit that buying the Carpenters’ CD made me smile.  I was banished to the bedroom to enjoy my new purchase.  I cranked my boom box (okay, I guess one does not really “crank” the Carpenters), and surprisingly I remembered every word to songs I had long forgotten.  I grabbed my hairbrush microphone to lip sync for my boys.  They went scurrying for Daddy.  ‘Help! Mom is acting weird!'”

I know the reason why I laughed.  I could relate.  If a reviewer (or reader) can instantly relate, you’ve gone past first base.  I’ll be talking about Kelly’s book in future posts, but I’ll let you know if I hit a home run.  Something tells me, she’s not going to let me down.

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