Posted in Giveaway, Guest Post, humor, Spotlight on December 3, 2015

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The Daddy Diaries is a humorous and poignant novel about a relationship between a stay at home dad and his two preteen kids. When his wife goes to work full time in a beach town in Florida, Jay must acclimate to life in the south. With a rich but stupid older brother, a lunatic townie friend and a teen son who’s ready to know what a “threesome” is, Jay’s world is thrown about as far as California to Florida.


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Guest Post

Some Truths About My Writing

I would say I’m inspired to write from my observations of humans. I aim to tap into the familiar motions of people. There is so much we don’t say when communicating. A narrator can draw out all those unsaid things and hopefully find meaning in their description. I find myself in the depths of these human cracks, where people long for things they can’t quite reach. I love writing about these places we all face but don’t always know how to discuss. It’s easiest in a novel-sized manuscript to utilize both truth and fiction in my plot. Plot is also a bit of a funny word as it connects to my books, as I associate plot with more genre-driven fiction. I see my books as character driven, and then something Booklist described as domestic fiction. The fiction side is only part of the equation. The truth side is a major ingredient in my novels. The job is to pull from life. For The Daddy Diaries I took a framework from my existence at the time. My family moved to Florida from Oakland when my wife took a job in St. Petersburg, near Tampa. She’d go off to work, I’d take the kids to school and find a Starbucks to write bits of prose about being a dad. Maybe I’d write funny things my daughter said or just ponder my son’s huge feet. Bake sales, toilet overflow, lizard in the mailbox. The truth is parenting cannot be completely predicted. It’s an organism unto its own and needs to be lived, seen and smelled in the NOW to be realized wholly. I wrote and wrote and wrote, wanting to capture this truth. As the months past these entries would form into well-oiled chapters. I then stacked the chapters like a tower and restacked them until the best story immersed. Day in, day out, the characters grow in dimension and I make them speak to each other. I use less of an outline and more of a trust that the setting I’ve chosen and the people I’ve built will evoke meaning, texture, familial recognition, maybe even existentialism. I also draw from things my friends and acquaintances have told me about their children and their experiences in child rearing. Where it might be easy to believe that the son in The Daddy Diaries is my son, there are many things about “Alex” that are very unlike my boy. For example my son is 6ft. tall and loves to perform in plays. Like my younger brother, Zach Braff, my son has been bit by the acting bug.

I was a stay-at-home dad in 2000. At the time I was positive I was the only Dad in history to ever stay in his pajamas with a baby on his lap after his wife went to work. My son would nap and I’d run laundry, sponge the highchair down and flip the TV on to see women in commercials doing laundry and sponging off the highchair. I was the only man at the playground. The only guy at Jamba Gym Jambori. It would take ten years before I started to see Dads in Tide ads and on TV shows wearing Baby Bjorns. These days being a househusband is strangely ubiquitous and the country appears filled with young Dads in this nurturing role. I remember thinking it would be timely to write a book about the kind of father I was so fortunate to become. I met my wife in the 7th grade so it’s hard to say I married a woman for her ability to bring home the bacon. We fell into our roles as we discovered who we were as people and I feel so lucky that my path involved the inclusion of my children and their early growth in life. I come from a generation that still defines marital roles the way it was written in the 50’s. You, Dad, go to the office, and you, Mom, stay home to vacuum. But just in time for me to observe my children becoming independent humans, the country seems hyped by the prospect of adults raised by loving male parents. I really love the book, and also talking to people about parenting. Somehow it’s a topic that cannot be called a lost art, because it’s never been deemed worthy of study. It’s just something people take on, when they’re of age, or maybe not of age. I venture to suggest it be taught in school. I’ve been married 20 years and fall into a small percentage of people that got it right the first time out. I congratulate my 22 year old self for committing so fervently to love. But I won’t lie. We got lucky. The bottom line of what’s working for us is the connection that our history awards us. In this soup is nostalgia, shared memories from childhood, heaps and heaps of muscle memory that’s centered in our physical and mental union. A union that has gelled as a team that nurtures growing children, pays bills, buys food and aims to bring calm and true love to every single evening we share. There are lessons that can be taught about this setup. I say high school is not a bad place to start. A week in the life of health class. Today we will discuss marriage as a science or art form, and not through religion. Today and only today, let’s look at marriage as a portal to raising children into adults that are capable of passing on our most unique quality as a species; out ability to teach how to love.

About the Author

josh braffJoshua Braff is the author of three novels, The Unthinkable Thoughts of Jacob Green, Peep Show, and The Daddy Diaries, published May 5, 2015. The Daddy Diaries is a memorable take on contemporary fatherhood and a clear-sighted look at how the upending of traditional marital roles can affect the delicate balance of familial love. Braff’s work can also be found in The Huffington Post and in multiple anthologies. He has an MFA from St. Mary’s College and lives in Northern California with his wife and two children. Visit his website for more information.

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daddy diaries giveaway

1st Prize: Kindle Paperwhite plus ebook or paperback copy of The Daddy Diaries

2nd Prize: $50 Amazon Gift Card and ebook or paperback copy of The Daddy Diaries

3rd Prize: ebook or paperback copy of The Daddy Diaries

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