Laurie: Class Mom is about the mother who volunteers in the classroom to help out everybody. My character, Jen Dixon, was a mom very early in her life. She had a crazy ride through Europe following the band INXS. She had two kids by two different band members. Then she finally came back to the United States. She raised her kids. Then she met the man of her dreams and she had another kid. She has girls in college and one starting kindergarten, which is a unique and interesting place to be. She gets roped into being class mom.
Marcy: Very Nice is literary soap opera. I wanted to write about a student-teacher affair. I've always been so interested in it. It was material that other people wrote about and I was jealous about. I was like, maybe I could write it anyway even though I haven't had this experience. That's what one of the pleasures of fiction is. You can make things up.
Chris: Random House got in touch with me a couple years ago and said, “Chris, you've been writing all these Sesame Street songs. You wrote two Beginner Books with your mom at the beginning,” which I did. “Do you think you could write a book in the old Beginner Book style using the original rules?” I said, “I sure would love to try.” That would be bringing things full circle. I tried. I wrote A Skunk in my Bunk! They liked it. It was just published a couple months ago. It happened.
Lauren: How Could She is about the trouble and heartbreak of female friendship. It’s a friendship triangle about three women who have a past together. They met and came up together in their twenties. The story takes place over the course of one year when the women are a little older than thirty-five. They all find themselves in very different stations in life. They are still enmeshed in each other's lives, but they have a difficult time digesting each other's successes and failures.
Michael: What I wanted to do was to be more rigorous about the science of human development and how it applies to male development in particular and to make the connection between the outcomes we’re not happy with, the broken outcomes, and violations of boys’ fundamental human natures. That's really the thrust of the book that I wrote.
Lisa: The two things that I'm the most interested in and the two things that I think drive most of our lives are sex and death. I had a lot of loss in my twenties. I lost my parents, my dog, my aunt, my uncle. Almost all my entire family was decimated. It was a lot of loss. This project started very differently than how it ended. When I started finding people that I really thought were both narratively interesting and relatable on a human level, because I had so much loss, I think that I was drawn to the aloneness that one can feel in desire. I didn't want people to feel alone.
Eva Hagberg Fisher: It’s actually a critique of capitalism dressed up as a narrative about friendship with a little bit of chronic illness and non-chronic illness to move the plot along. That's one answer. Another answer is that it is a memoir about how three friends in particular saved my life when I needed it to be saved in various and extremely different ways.