Laurie Gelman releases new book 'Smells Like Tween Spirit' in Class Mom series

BySandy Kenyon via OTRC logo
Tuesday, August 2, 2022
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"Smells Like Tween Spirit" is the fourth in a series of books featuring a fictional mom named Jen Dixon by Laurie Gelman. Sandy Kenyon has the story.

NEW YORK -- Tuesday marks the debut of the fourth novel in a series of books written by a mom to make other moms smile.

Regular viewers of "Live with Kelly and Ryan" have seen Laurie Gelman made occasional appearances on the show produced by her husband, Michael Gelman. The title of her novel is a play on words using a rock anthem from her generation.

"Smells Like Tween Spirit" is the fourth in a series of books featuring a fictional mom named Jen Dixon, who bears a striking resemblance to the woman who created her.

Gelman's first act played out on TV as an entertainment reporter. She even co-hosted a morning show in the early years on the FX Network opposite a young Tom Bergeron.

Her second act came at home raising two daughters. She has used that experience to write her third act as a best-selling author.

"Finding my voice in, in writing was such a gift," she said. "It was not something I expected, but it just fit like a glove, and thank goodness it did."

When asked the key to writing a good third act, Gelman said, "Finding something I really wanted to do. Something that gave me maybe not joy, but passion. Sometimes, I hate writing so much, but it gets me going. It gets my juices flowing."

She first found her voice while writing what are sometimes called "mommy blogs." She found that she drew lots of comments, positive and negative, which led her to believe she must be doing something right.

Gelman drew inspiration from her time as a volunteer class mom where her daughters were in elementary school, but as they've grown older, so has Jen Dixon.

"She is the epitome of the sandwich generation," Gelman said. "She's got a kid that she's looking after and then she's got parents that need her just as much as her child does."

The book may be called "Smells Like Tween Spirit," but the latest in the Class Mom series allows Gelman to explore issues facing many women in their fifties.

"Women and sex, growing older, not being able to lose the last 10 pounds, not being truly seen," she explained.

The result is a genuine connection between author and audience.

"There's a bunch of us, we're all going through it, we might as well talk about it," she said.

Gelman tells other women the key is not being afraid to fail.

"It's OK to fail because that only makes you stronger and smarter for the next thing that you try," she said.