You may have heard of the traditional American Christmas Elf on the Shelf – but I am going to introduce you to something even cuter – “Boomer On The Ledge”! The book & toy “Boomer On The Ledge” was created by author Molly Stevens, whose blog “Shallow Reflections” just happens to be one of my favourites. Having just been published this November, I couldn’t wait to buy a copy of the book and I wasn’t disappointed – it was packed full of sketches that reflect Molly’s fun sense of humour! I couldn’t wait to ask Molly about “Boomer” …. Hi Molly!
Hi! My name is Molly Stevens, and I live in central Maine. When I’m not writing, working or rummaging around in the middle of the night looking for a snack, I love to spend time with my husband, Patrick, and our son, daughter-in-law and two perfect grandsons. This is my first book.
What was the inspiration behind On Boomer The Ledge™ or BOTL™ (Humoroutcasts Press,2017)?
I watched my grandsons get excited about finding an elf posed each morning that monitors their behavior leading up to Christmas and thought my generation was missing something fun. I felt like we were invisible with no one watching us unless looking for signs of dementia. My mother left me a little vintage doll, and I started photographing it in different poses and it made me laugh. I brainstormed ideas with my husband, Patrick, and The Boomer on the Ledge concept was born. I waited for a year before I published it as a blog post, then decided I needed to expand it into a book with a new doll. I designed my vision of the doll, and worked with a fantastic seamstress, Brenda DeRoche, to make the doll come to life with a unique personality. The more we worked on the prototype, the more she looked like me, especially when I first get up in the morning.
Congratulations on being published – how does it feel to finally get your idea published and off the ground? What was your main highlight and what proved most frustrating?
Having this book published feels like giving birth, and this is not something I ever imagined at age sixty-four! The most frustrating part was meeting my deadlines while working fulltime. Also, I shot the pictures during the height of summer, and in Maine, that means endless hours of bright sunlight. I used an umbrella, a blanket and even did a few photos in the bathroom with the shade pulled to improve the lighting. The highlight was selling the first book, hearing the buyer laugh and say, “Everyone will love it as much as I do!”
I certainly love the book and did have a giggle at some of the positions she got herself into – hard to pick favourites, but I did particularly like the “roasting pantyhose on an open fire” and “ drinking out of the dog bowl thinking it was gin” – so where did you draw your inspiration for the Boomer antics from?
Her antics come from my own life – balancing work and family, pursuing creative endeavors, trying to stay healthy, looking stylish while staying comfortable, planning for retirement, and some days not wanting to get out of bed.
Which Boomer On The Ledge antic is your personal favourite?
My favorite is cover photo, the doll hanging on the ledge, because this is symbolic of my life stage – hanging precariously between danger and adventure. When you are younger, it is a shock if an illness or injury strikes someone you know, but in your sixties, a disaster can be right around the corner. Conversely, I have found this age to be a fabulous time of self-discovery, creativity, and adventure.
What do you hope your readers get from this book?
I hope my readers can relate to the Boomer on the Ledge and have a lighthearted moment in a world that is often sad and scary. If I can give one person a moment of escape from this madness, I will have achieved my goal. I believe humor is the emollient that smoothes life’s rough patches and I want to show boomers how hilarious aging can be.
Growing up, did you always hope to have a career connected with writing or were your dreams directed elsewhere?
I dreamed of a career in the arts – music and literature were my favorite subjects. I grew up in a time when a teacher, nurse, or secretary were the most common career pathways for a girl. I chose a career in nursing and I have no regrets but I’m grateful my dream to be a writer ignited at sixty years old, and now I consider it my passion.
Where do you prefer to read – in bed, in a comfy chair, in a library surrounded by books or elsewhere? Do you prefer hardback, paperback or kindle? Favourite genre?
I do most of my reading in bed but if I can’t sleep I settle into my swivel rocking chair. I read a mixture of hardback/paperback and kindle books, usually several at a time, which can get confusing. I have read a lot of non-fiction the past few years, but am getting back into fiction, which is my first love. I enjoy variety and will read about anything as long as it is well written, having no tolerance for dull concepts and shoddy writing.
Where can people purchase Boomer On The Ledge? Is there worldwide availability?
Boomer on the Ledge book is available on Amazon worldwide. The Boomer on the Ledge doll is available in the United States, made to order and available on my website at www.shallowreflections.com, (sold only with the book).
Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?
I love skinny jeans and flowing tops that leave plenty of room for me to eat a plate of nachos without revealing any bulges.
Do you have any favourite shops or online sites?
I like J. Jill clothing line for its style and comfort. Did I mention I like comfortable clothes?
What’s next on your clothes/shoe/accessory wish list?
I’m always cold and I want to take trip to mid-coast Maine to buy a warm, cozy alpaca sweater.
Boots or Shoes?
This time of year nothing but boots, short ones with my jeans, tall ones with my leggings/tops.
Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook/twitter etc so that readers can find out more about you and Boomer On The Ledge.
Good golly Miss Molly, I sure do love your sense of humour and the Boomer doll is so cute! So, dear readers, what mischievous poses would you put your Boomer doll in? In honour of Molly, I would opt for Boomer to be immersed in a bowl of Nachos …. !
All photographs have been published with kind permission of Molly Stevens.