Everything that Wildwood-based author Ellie Grossman needed to know, she learned from her dog. At least that's what one of the chapters from her new book claims.
Grossman, author of Mishegas of Motherhood. Raising Children To Leave The Nest As Long As They Come Home For Dinner, will be on-hand at 10 a.m. Saturday at to discuss lessons from her Poodle, Lucy, as well as a variety of other of life's parenting wonders. The café is located at 14438 Clayton Road in Ballwin.
"I cover universal topics that I describe as domestic satire with a Jewish twist," she said.
She said she enjoys writing about the craziness of being parents. She has a daughter who attends and a son who attends . "I have as many dads as moms for readers, and as many non-Jewish as Jewish readers. We really have more in common than we think. As parents, we're all trying to determine how to be sure our kids become good members of society."
After graduating from the University of Missouri-Columbia school of journalism, Grossman has been published in newspapers, magazines and blogs across the country. She said readers refer to her as the “Jewish Erma Bombeck.”
Locally, Grossman has written for the Suburban Journals, The Jewish Light, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and Ladue News. She is a Creve Coeur native who lived in Clayton when a single adult. She and her husband then purchased their first house as parents in Brentwood. They moved to a little more than 10 years ago when their son started first grade. She said is her backyard.
"I never thought I'd be so happy living this far west, but I love the openness and newness of Wildwood," she said, pointing out that she enjoys walking to businesses at the city's Town Center.
"I like that Wildwood has that small town feel but is still cosmopolitan, too."
She said she didn't start out to be funny as a writer. "I was just being myself, a bit tongue-in-cheek. I'm told my 'voice' comes through in my writing. I knew that it is good to entertain and then educate, and I believe people want to read things that help them and put them in good moods. So I try to provide enjoyable, but valuable, stories as well."
In Mishegas of Motherhood, her first book, Grossman tackles how to answer children's questions about whether there is a God, how chocolate makes every day sweeter and why "Jewish girls don't camp." The chapter about camping even inspired a webisode on the Internet-based sitcom In The Motherhood, starring comic actress Leah Remini.
The book was just published in November. Grossman said being flown to Los Angeles and Hollywood to see her story being acted out for the webisode definitely has been a highlight of her career.
The author said neighbors and family members often ask if she's writing (talking) about them in her columns or blogs. "I'm keeping it truthful and real. I tell relatives 'you wish' when they ask that, but mostly it is me who I poke fun at."
But Grossman admits her Wildwood neighborhood and community is a mirror of the whole world, and that it does impact her writing.
"I write what I know about, and I write about things I'd like to know more about because that's how I learn, too," she said.
Grossman is working on her second book about raising teenagers, which she summarizes as "opinion and observational writing with humor."