Winter Garden resident Norine Dworkin-McDaniel worked with a longtime friend on a humorous book that features situations encountered in parenting.
WINTER GARDEN It was in the middle of a “career crisis” that inspiration hit.
Norine Dworkin-McDaniel, a magazine journalist based in Winter Garden, found herself being swept up in the changes of the print industry. While mulling over her next move, her son Fletcher came home from school talking about Newton’s Laws of Force and Motion.
As he told her that an object at rest will remain at rest unless acted on by an external force, Dworkin-McDaniel was struck by the thought that described Fletcher playing video games.
“I quickly jotted down, ‘Newton’s First Law of Parenting,’ she said. “A child at rest will remain at rest until you need your iPad back.”
Dworkin-McDaniel had received a gift book and studied the structure of the book, which featured a quotation on the left and a picture on the right. She thought she could take parenting jokes similar to her Newton’s First Law of Parenting and make a gift book of her own. She reached out to her friend Jessica Ziegler, a web designer, illustrator and cartoonist, and asked her if she would be willing to create images for her book.
“You know, this could really be a whole lot more than a gift book,” Ziegler said.
So they started the blog called Science of Parenthood, which humorously discussed parenting situations.
After three years of running the blog, their book, “Science of Parenthood,” was released. It takes concepts from the blog and goes deeper.
The book and blog take situations from parenthood and subtly weave in jokes that will tickle the ears of math and science-savvy readers. But those who fell asleep in high-school science class still will appreciate the parent-related humor.
GETTING THE BOOK DEAL
In the beginning of the process, soon after creating their Facebook page and blog and before their ideas were fully developed, an agent reached out to them.
They quickly put together a book proposal, and the agent began to show it to editors at publishing houses in New York.
“We were universally rejected by just about everybody,” Dworkin-McDaniel said. “At the time, we were really unhappy about it, but it allowed us to slow down a little bit and really concentrate on, ‘What is Science of Parenthood? What is our concept? Where are our strengths? How do we want to present the content?’”
They came up with a variety of ways to showcase their material — charts, graphs and even a riff on field trip permissionslip forms.
During that time, they also grew the audience of “Science of Parenthood.”
Eighteen months later, after putting together their thoughts, they attended a blogging conference called BlogU, where the faculty at the conference awarded Science of Parenthood “mostly likely to snag a billion-dollar book deal.”
The award made them want to pursue a book again, but because their concept already had been pitched to major editors and publishers, they had to come up with a different route.
They decided to choose a hybrid-publishing model through She Writes Press, in which the author pays to have work reviewed by professionals in the traditional publishing world. A designer created the final gloss-over on Ziegler’s design work, and the book was edited by other professionals.
She Writes Press has a deal with Ingram Publisher Services, which ensures the books are available in bookstores and returnable.
For more information, read the blog at scienceofparenthood.com.
Contact Jennifer Nesslar at [email protected].