Monday, April 12, 2010

"Mormon Mishaps and Mischief": Review and Interview

I wrote an endorsement of Mormon Mishaps and Mischief before it was ever published, and I stand by that endorsement:

"Mormon Mishaps had me chuckling, giggling, and chortling so hard, my cats came trotting into the room to see what was 'wrong'. Nothing was 'wrong', but everything was 'oh, so right!' D.N. Giles and C.L. Beck have put together a delightful compilation of laugh-out-loud gems. What's not to love about laughter? We all need more of it, so buy this book!"

Well, of course, I can't make anyone actually buy this book, but if you're a member of the LDS Church, I think you'll be glad you did.

Whoever thought sacrament meeting could be so silly? In Mormon Mishaps and Mischief you'll find a unique collection of hilarious short stories from celebrated LDS authors that turn the spotlight on ordinary members to illuminate the lighter side of Mormondom. Whether it's the annual Primary program or a simple Sunday school prayer, you'll soon find that where two or three are gathered together . . . there's bound to be potential for some humor. Cure your family's Sunday afternoon doldrums with a little dose of mishaps and mischief.

Believe me, this will cure Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday doldrums, too!

Now, having endorsed and laughed my head off at this book, I'm excited to be able to present today an interview with the compilers (and authors of several of the mischievous mishap stories),  D.N. Giles and C.L. Beck.

JDP: What prompted you to write Mormon Mishaps and Mischief?

Cindy: The moon was full, Aquarius was on the cusp, and the chickens were molting, all of which combined to make this the right time for a book of humorous anecdotes. Well, that and the pantry was empty, so a book that might actually sell a few copies seemed like a good idea.

Nichole:What Cindy says might be true. Or it could be that one sunny spring morning, one of us woke up and said, “I think I’ll write a book of humorous anecdotes today.” Then there was email involved. Lots of email. And brainstorming and collecting and chocolate eating. And maybe some Twinkies. Thus, proposal for a book of humorous anecdotes was born.

JDP: Ah, chocolate. That has inspired many an author, has it not? I've never tried the Twinkie method. An experiment may be in the offing. What’s your favorite story in the book?

Cindy: There’s this fantastic story about a crotchety old man who gets visited by three ghosts at Christmas, and by the end of the story, he vows to keep Christmas … oh wait, that’s Charles Dickens’ stuff.  All right then, my next favorite is “A Good Impression” contributed by Cathy Witbeck. It’s about a little girl who gets all decked out for Easter and puts something interesting into her purse to take to church. (But I’m not going to tell you what, because it would ruin the fun.) On the other hand, I do have to tell you that because they’re all so funny, my favorite story changes about every five minutes.

Nichole: I’m with Cindy. Choosing just one favorite would be like playing favorites between my children. Which I’ve never done. Ever. I’m a good mother. I promise. Oh, but speaking of motherhood, there are several stories about children doing funny things, like licking worms and bringing a head of lettuce to pray. Love all of those.

JDP: I know what was in that Easter purse, but I'm not telling, either! Where do the stories come from?

Cindy: From the demented … er … I mean, the creative genius of our minds. And from the funny events that we, and our contributors, saw happening at church, home and everywhere in between. Rest assured, however, that all contributors to the book signed a statement that the stories were true, and so even though real names were seldom used in the anecdotes, the situations actually happened. Which means if you think you recognize your bishop in there, well … we’ll never tell.

Nichole: None of them came from my current ward. They all came from other people’s wards, which I visited while wearing my invisibility cloak. So if you happen to be in my ward and recognize a story or five or twenty, well I didn’t see those things or write them down in my handy-dandy notebook. Er. Um. I mean…I plead the fifth?

JDP: (Hmm, maybe I'd better start paying more attention at Church and less time plotting my WIP.) What are your favorite things to eat?

Cindy: I’m not particularly fond of witchetty grubs from Australia or puffer fish from Japan—not to mention Brussel sprouts from my mother’s kitchen—but otherwise I like most food. Especially Twinkies. Yes, I think Twinkies count as a very nutritious snack. Which reminds me, I’m almost out of ‘em.

Nichole: Chocolate, licorice, carbonated beverages, and cheese. And snow crab. But not all mixed together. Fondue is great and all, but only if you have the right recipe. Sometimes I like Twinkies, but since Cindy loves them so much I try to give her my share to be nice.

JDP: I'm with you on the chocolate and cheese! And considering the Twinkies. (Did you know the Twinkie is 80 years old this year?) Passing on the witchetty grubs, puffer fish, Brussel sprouts and (sorry, but I don't like seafood) snow crab, though. If you could choose to be any animal, what would it be?

Cindy: I’d choose to be pixie dust. Oh wait, dust isn’t an animal. Okay, I’d choose to be the pixie. In fact, I think I probably was one in a previous life. At least I had a haircut that made me look like a pixie when I was a kid.

Nichole: If Cindy gets to be a pixie, I want to be a mermaid. Then I could swim around from island to island and eat all the snow crab and mango I wanted. Plus, I think mermaid fins are beauteous.

JDP: Pixies and mermaids. Good choices! (I'd still pass on the snow crab, though.) Thank you for letting me interview you. Do you have anything you’d like to add?

Cindy and Nichole: It was our pleasure! Readers can visit us at our website,, or laugh with us at our humor blog at In addition, there are our personal blogs—follow Nichole at or Cindy at

We really like having followers. It makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Plus, we like to post funny stuff and make you laugh. 

JDP: Sorry, JDP NEWS readers, no giveaway freebies with the interview this time. You'll each have to buy your own copies. (Or find some generous visiting teacher to give you one for Christmas. Hey, there's an idea! I think I just struck one Christmas gift off my list. Unless they all read this blog first, then they'll all have copies by December and I'll have to think of something else!)

To the FTC: I bought MMM with my very own hard earned money.


Nichole Giles said...

Joyce, thanks so much for the interview and review. It's been fun.


Cindy Beck, author said...

Joyce: You are so funny! Loved your comments in the interview. And I hope you know what a "lifesaver" you were in giving us an endorsement on short notice. Really, a sweet lifesaver! :)

Thanks a grundle for the interview and review.You're the best!

Donna Hatch said...

Your book sounds fantastic. I've sure heard a lot about it. I'll have to pick up a copy.

Joyce DiPastena said...

You won't be disappointed, Donna. I love this book!