29 Jul Meet Published Author, Andrea Montalbano!
What do you love to do with your children? How old are they? And what is your greatest wish for them? My children are so much fun. Lily is 9, and William is 6, and I think these are my favorite ages so far. I have to say one of my favorite things to do with them is to read. We read all sorts of things like chapter books or animal encyclopedias. Lily now reads on her own, but she still enjoys a cuddle and a book before bed – or now she just reads next to me in bed. William, who is going into 1st grade, surprised me the other day by reading a much harder book than I ever imagined he could! I started reading to them at a ridiculously young age, so they always associate a book with going to bed and the routine of winding down together at the end of the day. Lily used to chew on the books, so it wasn’t always reading, but you get the idea! I also love to water ski with my kids! I know a fast-paced water sport is pretty much the opposite of snuggling up with a book, but we are a very sporty and active crew. We play tennis, soccer, and squash. Sail. Hike. But, spending time together on the water is always one of our favorite family events. I also love to play soccer with my kids in the backyard. I always relish the looks on their faces when I score against them. It’s part awe, and part I-can’t-believe-my-own-mother-scored-on-me (I grew up playing soccer, and played in college, so they shouldn’t be too surprised). I guess that leads me to my greatest wish for them: to be able to handle all that life throws at them, the good and the bad, with humor and grace. When and where are you the happiest? I am probably the happiest in the morning when my house is asleep and I am the only one awake. There is something so comforting about creeping downstairs in my pj’s and drinking my coffee when my husband and kids are safe and sound and happily snoring away. It actually makes me reflect on all the other things in my life that make me happy… and the list is long! If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? I have actually traveled a lot in my life. My father was a foreign correspondent for the Miami Herald and the Los Angeles Times, so I got to visit a lot of cool places with him like China, Japan, Mongolia, Argentina, Brazil, Italy, England, etc. I also traveled a lot when I was a producer at the Today Show. I got to spend two months in Australia for the Olympics, produce Where In The World is Matt Lauer, and was able to visit lots of great towns in America, big and small. But, if I had to pick one place to visit now, it would be Italy. I’m part Italian and worked for a year at Vatican Radio. I have always loved the warmth of the people there, the food of course, and my connection to it all. What quality do you most admire in a mother? And what woman has had the biggest impression on you? I think I admire the ability to take it all in stride. I tend to be a bit of a worrier myself, so I admire the women who seem not to fret over the small stuff. Of course, my own mother has probably made the biggest impression on me (she is a worrier like me!). Her dedication to reading and books is one of the main reasons I am a lover of books and a writer today. What is your favorite book? Movie? I have so many favorite books, it’s hard to pick one! But, I guess The Good Earth, by Pearl S. Buck, has got to be high on the list. More recently, I really enjoyed Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. The really kept me guessing! My favorite movie is Cinema Paradiso. I think it’s brilliant. What personal achievement are you most proud of? I guess having published two books in one year might be one of my top personal achievements! It was a lot of work to complete two manuscripts in one calendar year, but I am super proud of the Soccer Sisters series, Lily Out of Bounds was published July 2012, and Vee Caught Offside just came out last week! The series is for tweens and kids ages 8-13 and each book focuses on a girl on the competitive Bombers soccer team. What do you feel is your strongest talent? I think my strongest talent is the ability to relate to all sorts of people. When I was a producer on the Today Show I had to be able to communicate with every different kind of person. I remember one day I had two calls on hold. On one line was a priest I was about to interview about the Pope’s trip to Cuba, and on the other line was Matt Drudge, who was going to talk to me about the Monica Lewinsky scandal. I was terrified of picking up the wrong line and really asking the wrong question! But, seriously, I think the ability to relate to all kinds of different people translates to my books where I have to imagine how other people would feel in various situations and try and express that as they would. What do you like to do for fun? I love to play tennis, watch tennis, read about tennis. Also, I started playing a video game! Recently, my husband introduced me to the game Candy Crush, and I am so embarrassed to admit that at nearly age 45, I have fallen in love with an App. My daughter said to me the other day, “Mom, you need to put down your phone and read a book.” She’s so right! So, I’m obsessed. Sad, but true. What is your favorite time of the day and why? Well, aside from my happy morning coffee routine, my next favorite time of day is after the kids are asleep and I get to catch up with my husband. I love to recap our days and reconnect. I also realize that I sound like a mom who prefers her children when they are not awake, but that is not the case! I adore spending lots of time with them, but for me, there is something satisfying about mothering all day, and knowing my kids are tucked away with their favorite lovies (Ana and Stinky Baby). Another day completed and a new one to come. I just get to take a deep breath before it starts all over again. Where is your favorite place to Party with Moms and what do you like to drink? I think my favorite place to Party with Moms is with my tennis team after we win a match! I love a very cold beer on a very hot night, retelling war stories (of tennis), and being part of a team. I also love catching up with dear friends with a glass of Malbec. I’ve had some of my dearest friends come to visit me this summer, and we’ve just sat on the couch with a glass of wine, toasting past and future. Andrea’s website is www.soccersisters.com Andrea works closely with Saira Rao, a former Mom of the Week and Co-Founder of In This Together Media.