Jackie Hennessey is an author and blogger who recently received an IndieReader Discovery Award for her book, “How to Spread Sanity on a Cracker.” Hennessey’s book is a compilation of stories from mothers about motherhood and cheese-dip recipes. The award honors undiscovered writers and exposes their work to agents, publishers, public relations professionals, bloggers and book reviewers. She earned a bachelor of arts in journalism from Texas A&M University. She is the founder of Hennessey PR Consulting and also writes for the “Ask Mom” column at OnlineRI.com. Early in her career, she worked as an assistant editor in Seattle.
PBN: Does winning this award feel different because it was judged partly by other writers/authors?
HENNESSEY: It’s an honor to have “How to Spread Sanity on a Cracker” recognized by any organization, but there is a sense of validation that comes with this award. To have my book recognized by a panel of judges made up of agents, authors and publicists is like a dream come true. When I found out my book won this award, I felt an overwhelming sense of honor, excitement and relief. Self-publishing a book is a lot of work and I enjoyed every minute of it.
PBN: Can you talk about the “potty-seat-stuck-to-the-head” incident referenced in your book and how things like this fuel your writing?
HENNESSEY: One of my favorite mommy “whines” in the book comes from a friend whose daughter proudly wore a potty-training seat on her head like a crown. She was giggling until she realized the crown was actually stuck on her head. That’s when it becomes the kind of story that every mom can relate to. That’s the kind of real-life stuff that inspires me in my blog and book: a celebration of imperfect motherhood. It reminds us that it’s OK to not be perfect and laugh at ourselves.
PBN: What advice do you have for other professional moms out there?
HENNESSEY: Put your iPhone down (for even 10 minutes) when you’re with your kids or husband. There are times when you’re deep in work mode and have to put your mom hat on until the kids go to bed, but when I’m on deadline, I’m on deadline. I use an oven timer to stay focused. It also helps to avoid checking email or Facebook every five minutes. •