When Life Stinks, It's Time to Wash the Gym Clothes by Kelly Epperson

Join Kelly Epperson, author of the humor book, When Life Stinks, It's Time to Wash the Gym Clothes (RWG Press, Apr. '08), as she virtually tours the blogosphere in December on her first virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book Promotion.

About the Author:

Kelly 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 http://www.whenlifestinks.com/.

I was lucky enough to get the author to agree to an interview. Here's what she had to say:

Could you please tell us a little about your book?

When Life Stinks, It’s Time to Wash the Gym Clothes is a collection of my weekly newspaper columns. I’m a fulltime freelancer and ghostwriter. My humor column is my chance to be me. I tackle the silly and the serious, and sometimes a comingling of the two. The book is a compilation of forty-three of these essays, each about three pages. Some readers tell me they like to enjoy a story a day. Others say they devour the whole book in one sitting.

Did something specific happen to prompt you to write this book?

Two things. Readers asked for it. (How cool is that!) My wonderful, loyal, treasured readers wanted a book of my columns. I started writing in May 2001; this book is a small sampling. If you want to read them all, my grandma and mom kept scrapbooks. You can borrow them.
The second thing that prompted the book was that as a ghostwriter, I have written several books for others and none for me. I wanted a book of my own. Does that make sense?

In the last year, have you learned or improved on any skills?

My writing skills improve every day. I also am a speaker now, which is crazy because I used to be terrified to speak in front of a group. Now it is my joy! I come alive in a way I never knew possible, and we – the audience and I – have so much fun. It’s a blast! My eternal thanks go to those kind hearted retired guys who gave me my start.

What are you currently working on?

I always have freelance and ghostwriting projects, but I’m doing more of my own stuff. I launched a JOY network – When Life Stinks, Find Joy. Sign up for free weekly joy dropping at www.whenlifestinks.com. I am creating cards and clothes and calendars and………. Ideas are popping like popcorn in my hot air popper. (I still have a hot air popper and I love it. With real butter. Yum.) The next book will be Joy or When Life Stinks, Go to France. I lived in France for a year and it awakened my joie de vivre.

What do you feel is your biggest strength?

I need very little sleep.

Biggest weakness?

I am addicted to Coca-Cola.

What do you feel sets this book apart from others in the same genre?

Not much out there like this little book. Get your happy on and give it a try.
It’s on amazon.com, www.whenlifestinks.com, at Borders, and Barnes & Noble.

Are you a different person now than you were 5 years ago? In what way/s?

I think I am becoming more me. I found a journal from long ago where I wrote, "I don’t let my real self out much." Now I am, and good things are happening. It’s okay to be silly. It’s okay to put pink flowers and peace signs on my smart car (my joy mobile). It’s okay to express myself. My boys are teenagers now and they think it’s cool that Mom is a writer and on YouTube. Instead of trying to be a perfect and proper mom, it’s okay to just be me.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us?

Be yourself. Follow your heart. You don’t have to wait until you are 40. J
I give myself the Zen test. If a new place, person, or project makes the neon sign in my head flash BAD ZEN, I stay away. When Life Stinks, It’s Time To Wash the Gym Clothes is good for your zen. If you disagree, send it back to me. I love hearing from readers. Even the cranky ones. Write me at kel_epperson@yahoo.com or visit www.whenlifestinks.com. Thank you!

About the Book:

Kelly 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

Win prizes!

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 http://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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Cheryl said...

Great interview ladies. Kelly, no wonder you don't need sleep--you're additcted to Coke! I'm a Pepsi girl myself. Took the Pepsi challenge as a kid and there's no other soft drink for me. LOL!

Good luck with the tour.


Kelly said...

Wowee - thanks!

Morgan Mandel said...

I wish I had the guts to quit my day job and go around and do what I liked, but can't afford it.

I love the book title. Sounds like a fun book.

Morgan Mandel