2 Broads Abroad: Moms Fly the Coop
by Deborah Serra and Nancy Serra Greene
GENRE: Nonfiction, Motherhood, Travel Memoir
When sisters, Deborah & Nancy, discovered that motherhood was a temp job they decided to run away from home. After packing up that last kid for college, and facing the sad stillness of their suddenly quiet homes, they decided to leave the country. 2 BROADS ABROAD: MOMS FLY THE COOP is a funny, irreverent, occasionally poignant travel tale of their impulsive road trip around Ireland.
In this witty warm-hearted adventure, they experienced some of Ireland’s quirkier history while sharing universally relatable stories of maniacal school coaches, neurotic neighbors, and tiger moms. Having kicked that empty nest into their rearview mirror, the sisters took off careening down the wrong side of the road, making questionable choices, getting trapped in a medieval tower, sneaking Chinese take-out into a famous cooking school, drinking way too much, and gaining a changed perspective on their lives ahead.
When we thought about the phases of our lives at each juncture of change: our own departure from home, our first real job, our marriages, the birth of our children, all of the big phases of change held out something new for us. This change was shaping up very differently. This change was loss – complete dissolution of the fundamental family structure forever and that was all. We had to plan. We needed to be proactive. The alternative was to be left standing frozen in time, in a life that had moved on without us, and to become observers and visitors in our kids’ lives. Not acceptable. So, we set our imaginations loose.
We considered our location. Now that we knew we were leaving – where could we go?
“Angkor Wat,” I said.
“Wat what?” Nancy asked.
“It’s the largest temple in the world, built in 1125.”
“Where is it?”
“Uh, huh. Deborah, I was thinking more along the lines of a bucolic vineyard in Tuscany. You know, stroll along the hills, sample the fruit of the vine, nectar of the gods?”
“Oh. Okay, how would you feel about a camel trek in Morocco?”
“Probably sore, smelly, and hot. And I understand camels are mean and they spit. They spit, Deborah. What about a civilized boat ride down the Rhine River in Germany? They have castles and I know how you like castles.”
“I do like castles, but don’t you think we should go more exotic?”
“This is our first trip together. I’d like to steer clear of nations at war, places we’d need to wear a burka, or can’t speak the language, or ride on an angry animal. Surely we can agree on somewhere.”
“I’ve always wanted to see where grandma’s family came from.”
“With a little research and a rental car we can see the entire island in a couple of weeks.”
“Perfect. Ireland it is!”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Deborah Serra has been a sought-after screenwriter for twenty-five years having written for NBC, CBS, Sony, Lifetime, Fox, and others. She was a recipient of the 2012 Hawthornden Literary Fellowship. Her first novel was a semi-finalist for the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Award given by the Faulkner Society in New Orleans, LA.
Nancy is a graduate of San Diego State University. She worked in medical sales before stepping away to raise her two children, at which point she became: Team Mom, Snack Mom, PTA member, Assistance League Volunteer, and the list is never-ending. Nancy was the editor and publisher of the Buffalo Hills Echo newsletter with a circulation of 1400. She also designed and managed her community website.
CRITICISIM V. COMMENTS
By Deborah Serra
WORD COUNT: 446
I’ve been a successful screenwriter for over twenty years. I’ve received my share of negative criticism from some very well known and colorful Hollywood denizens. It really depends on the professional experience of the person giving the criticism how I feel and react. On the outside, I’ve never allowed anything to show in my expression except interest, while on the inside it could be anything from ennui to a volcano of personal invective and vitriol. (Really language too harsh for a rock fight.) My sister, Nancy, who co-authored this book 2 BROADS ABROAD: Moms Fly the Coop was going to experience all of this for the first time – this being her first book.
While we were shopping for an agent and editor for 2 BROADS we ran into some encouraging, useful, and elegant comments from editors at Simon & Schuster, Atria, and St. Martins Press, and also to some bitter, mean-spirited, unnecessarily sarcastic criticism from elsewhere. For this category, the prize goes to one agent in particular, a woman at William Morris in NYC. Stunned at her visceral malicious response to our fun, humorous, travel memoir we reviewed her comments, and then, could see that she was clearly irritated that we had happy marriages and kids we missed. She had admitted to a bad marriage (yes, during our notes phone call) and said seeing her kids once on Thanksgiving was plenty – why were we complaining about an empty nest? It’s hard to communicate the derisive tone and nature of her comments. From criticism like that writers just need to shut their ears. And even with closed ears – you feel it.
All along the submittal and comment process, I was concerned for my sister. She was new to this and I worried if someone hurt her feelings I could lose that faux sang-froid and bite their head off – not productive for anyone. I recognized that being her sister was more important to me than anything else, and I was armed with a lifetime of big sister weapons so watch out. Then, I learned how very much easier it was to have a co-author; to have someone equally invested and how it made our shield doubly strong. How wonderful it was to have a partner in this adventure.
Ultimately, it’s always been the case for me personally, that if a comment has legs it will repeat on me until I attend to it. I find myself thinking about it and eventually give in to it. Those are the best comments: the ones that make the work better. And let’s all start using the word comment instead of criticism, shall we?
Deborah Serra and Nancy Serra Greene will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: