HOPress-Shorehouse Books is proud to launch the third book from Lee Gaitan — Lite Whines and Laughter: Mild Rants and Musings on the Mundane. Lee is a well-known and talented writer, blogger, author and a great advocate of writers. Proud to have her in our HOPress family. This book is all about laughter when life gets tricky. When you read it, you feel as if she is sitting with you, sharing some wine and having a lively conversation. Beneath the fun is a good amount of inspiration to get you back when life knocks you down. Over the next few months, we will be introducing you to the world of Lee Gaitan. It will be a pleasure to do so.
Book Description: If you like your optimism served with a side of snarkiness, this is the book for you. Lee Gaitan is a recognized “Bounce Back” expert (unless she’s not wearing eye liner, in which case she often goes unrecognized), known for looking on the bright side and finding the silver lining in dark clouds. But sometimes the best way to part the dark clouds and discover the sunshine is by way of a mild rant or musing on the myriad irritations of modern life. With Gaitan’s wit cutting through those clouds with razor-sharp accuracy, readers will find themselves on the sunny side of life again in no time.
Lite Whines and Laughter: Mild Rants and Musings on the Mundane is available on Amazon as paperback and Kindle. We will be doing a lot of fun things with Lee, so stay tuned. Today, get to know this multi-published author and advocate of wine.
Tell us about Lee Gaitan (where were you raised? Where you live now? Education? Profession? family? – whatever you want to share.)
I grew up the in Ligonier, Pennsylvania, a small town about an hour east of Pittsburgh. My parents were both first generation Americans, as all four of my grandparents were immigrants from the Piedmont region of northern Italy. Three of them were even from the same village, but my parents assured me—and 23andme.com has recently confirmed—that no actual blood lines were crossed! My Italian heritage is very important to me and I think it’s why I connect so deeply with my current job of teaching English as a Second Language. My Italian heritage is also where my hips come from—with the help of stracciatella gelato.
My dad was the vice president of a large commercial development company and my mom was a homemaker with a great love for music and languages and she was a fabulous cook. I credit her with passing those interests down to me—although of late my cooking has leaned more in the direction of assembling. I’ve gotten very lazy and have somehow sold my husband on the idea of salad night…every night! It’s like the movie Groundhog Day, but with edible greens and cruciferous vegetables.
Tell us about your writing background and experience?
I was the youngest in a family of three girls, but in many ways I was like an only child because my sisters were 8 and 11 years older. There weren’t too many children in the neighborhood when I was young, so I created a lot of imaginary friends and that’s how the story-telling began. My best (imaginary) friend was named Mia Cotts (I have no idea where I came up with that name), and she had quite the elaborately detailed life, thanks to my imagination and we had many great adventures together.. I got the surprise of my young creative life one night when I was around five. My older sister was babysitting me and she convinced my cousin Jeffrey to dress up in his mom’s wig and clothes to pretend he was Mia. I can remember being fascinated that my creation had actually come to life, but I kept saying, “You look like kind of like my cousin Jeffrey.” I haven’t stopped trying to bring characters to life to entertain people since! The truth is I am a ham, whether in my kitchen, in front of the camera or in the classroom. But my friends disagree. They say, “You’re not a ham because a ham can be cured!”
I majored in speech and rhetoric at the University of Pittsburgh and acted as well. I did three writing internships in college, one in corporate PR for Rockwell International, one for a news radio station (where I interned for a day before being offered I job, which I took!) and one in the News and Publications Department of the University and the Department hired me as a full-time P.R. representative upon graduation. After that, I worked in P.R, television and education all over the country for the next several years, following my ex-husband’s job moves!
What is the inspiration for this book? and What do you hope readers get from this book?
I have always taken humor very seriously, ha ha. My sense of humor has been a constant in my life, enhancing the good times and mitigating the bad ones—and I’ve had my share of bad, or challenging, times. During what I refer to as my decade of “shock and awfulness,” I hit the trifecta of death, divorce and destitution, and I credit my ability to still find humor—though a bit dark at times!—to helping me survive and eventually thrive again. Our modern world is bombarded daily with issues of nearly incomprehensible gravity and the stress is overwhelming. Finding a moment or two of lightness and laughter is critically important to our mental health. I hope this book helps readers do that. I poke fun mainly at myself and “litely whine” and “mildly rant” about the most mundane situations, but these are moments of shared humanity that I think we can all relate to. Maybe we will see that we are all more alike than different.
What are your plans for future writing? (you can hint about the next book if you want.)
My publisher, Donna Cavanagh at Humour Outcasts, and I are planning a re-releases of my book My Pineapples Went to Huston, with additional new material about bouncing back. And at my age, I bounce a lot!
What were your biggest challenges writing this book? And what gave you the most pleasure?
My biggest challenge—typing. It’s so pitiful. I have had to type my whole professional life and I am just awful. I not only don’t improve, it’s like I de-improve with each keystroke. I got a mercy B in high school typing class. I also can’t use chopsticks or hold my pencil the way Sister Catherine Elizabeth said I needed to in first grade. My fingers and my hair cannot be tamed.
The biggest pleasure—imagining others laughing at my silliness and maybe having a better day because of it!