I've been reading both Fussy and Finslippy ever since I started blogging six years ago, and I've even had the pleasure of meeting the writers behind those two blogs. Eden Kennedy and Alice Bradley are smart, funny women who (among other projects) created a humorous website called Let's Panic! The popularity of that website let to a book being written: Let's Panic About Babies! Eden and Alice sent me a copy of the book to review when it first came out and I can honestly tell you that I have never laughed so much when reading a book. I asked the ladies if I could interview them for the Daily Grommet, and they obliged.
1. I would hope that the entire Internet would know who Fussy and Finslippy are, but in case our readers have not heard of you, could you give us an introduction?
Alice: I write Finslippy, which is a blog with a made-up name. I've been writing that for over seven years. In addition to the blog, I've been known to write for magazines. In my free time, I hang out with my son Henry and husband Scott, and try to put funny hats on my dog Charlie. I have not succeeded, not even once.
Eden: Well, I've been blogging at Fussy since 2001. It hasn't won any awards but it sure has been there a long time. I once put a diaper on my dog and took a photo of it. She looks very angry in the photo.
2. You (Eden)(Fussy) and Alice (Finslippy) created the Let's Panic! website a couple of years ago. How did it come about?
Eden: Alice had an idea for a book that would be a parody of dog-training manuals and I said, Hold up! What if we do one about BABIES?
Alice: Eden and I had been working with this idea of writing a fake parenting book for a while, and then we decided to turn it into a website. The book deal arrived shortly thereafter. I'm making it sound so easy and simple, but in fact the process that brought us here took years and probably also years off our lives. Then there was this troll who lives under a bridge, and all I'm going to say about that is, promises were made. It's not going to end well for me.
Eden: It never does with trolls.
3. Do you find writing the Let's Panic posts difficult, or is it an easy task because having babies is not as serious as certain message boards would have you believe?
Alice: Oh, it's surprisingly easy. There's so much to make fun of, when it comes to all the parenting literature there is out there.
Eden: All you have to do is be MORE serious than the message boards and it crosses over into parody.
4. Where do the post ideas come from? Past history? Reader submissions? Encountering THE CRAZY on the Internet?
Alice: There's no shortage of sources. The Internet's been known to do some fear-mongering, so that's simple to poke fun at. And of course there are all the books. The media at large, really. There's an entire industry built around the need everyone seems to have to tell you what you're doing wrong. It's not hard to find things to satirize.
Eden: A lot of our ideas come out of personal experience, then we just extend a specific event until it becomes good and absurd. Sometimes it's not even that much of a stretch. I guess that's a nice way of saying yes, The Crazy is inspiring on a lot of levels. If it weren't I'd have to kill myself because OH MY GOD SOME PEOPLE OUT THERE ARE ANGRY ABOUT DISPOSABLE DIAPERS.
Eden: We are fortunate that lets-panic.com got some positive attention, which led us to being noticed by some big-shot New York editors. They paid us some money and made a book for us. It's all about making us happy.
Alice: As I mentioned, the book idea came before the website. We had always intended on turning this into a book, and we were lucky enough to get that opportunity. Somehow Eden stole my share of the advance. We'll clear it up one of these days, if I manage to find her. She's surprisingly hard to pin down!
Eden: I have a vast array of aliases.
6. Give our readers a quote from your book that best tells them why they would be remiss in not ordering Let's Panic.
Alice: Just ONE quote? This is difficult. Very well, then. Here's some warning signs to look out for when it comes to choosing a pediatrician:
- Eats a club sandwich while examining your child
-Diploma is written in crayon
-Can't pronounce "stethoscope"
-Says he needs to see and/or feel your breasts "to make sure they're working good," even if you're bottle-feeding
-Picks up Baby by the foot
-Shrieks at sight of umbilical cord stump
-Play area of waiting room is a driving range
Eden: Hey, I chose a quote from that same section! TWINS! Note: my quote comes just before the one Alice chose, which may confuse some readers.
"Most pediatricians fall into one of two categories: the attachment-parenting advocate, and the attachment-loathing automaton. Whichever one you choose depends on how much you love your baby. Not that we’re judging."
Thanks so much, ladies! Here's to continued (success, and) humor in all of our lives.