Erika is a frequent contributor to In Style, Everyday with Rachel Ray, and dozens of other national publications. She has authored several lifestyle books and is the lifestyle editorial director for Glam.com. Lenkert's most recent book - "The Real Deal Guide to Pregnancy: Fresh and Practical Advice for Navigating the Next Nine Months" - was released in March 2008.
ME: Please tell me a little bit about your background.
LENKERT: I graduated from Berkley with an undergrad degree in Literature and wanted to get into publication so I worked for HarperCollins in San Francisco. From there, I started writing traffic guidebooks. After that, I moved to L.A. and started working with InStyle and Travel & Leisure. Since then, I've written several books and I am now the Lifestyle Director for Glam.com.
ME: How old is your little girl now and how old was she when you wrote The Real Deal Guide?
LENKERT: She’s 2 ¾. I wrote the proposal when I was 5 months pregnant. I sold it after she was born. I wrote it when she was 6-8 months and it came out when she was 2 ½.
ME: Did you personally enjoy being pregnant – what were the best and worst parts?
LENKERT: I really loved being pregnant. I tend to be one of those people who has a positive attitude toward everything. Being a pregnant woman is kind of like being a transformer. It's physically and mentally changing and yet I felt very proud. It was good to move out of the self-indulgent lifestyle. What I didn’t like about it was the severe back problems that I had as a result. I had very, very serious problems a year and a half after birth.
ME: What resources did you turn to (magazines, books, websites) when you were pregnant?
LENKERT: I had the What to Expect book. I didn’t love it. I went online A LOT - not to any one particular source. I found it annoying that these books and our culture makes everything scary – the "fear factor" is injected into everything. I wasn’t a fan of that so I decided to write a different kind of book...
ME: What final thoughts/advice do you have for pregnant women?
LENKERT: The most important thing that you can do have a good time and avoid books that tell you everything can go wrong. Enjoy the pregnancy - this is the last time that your life is all about you.
Thanks, Erika! I completely agree with you about the "fear factor" thing. For the vast majority of people, pregnancy is a very normal, healthy process. There are already way too many scare-inducing books about pregnancy on the market. I like that you focus on all of the positives instead of the "what ifs..."
WIN IT! One winner will receive a copy of Erika's new book: "The Real Deal Guide to Pregnancy." To enter, simply leave a comment on this post prior to Thursday, May 29 at midnight (don’t forget to follow the rules). The winner will be announced and contacted on Friday, May 30. * Winner must provide a U.S. mailing address.
*UPDATE* The winner is #7 Barbara Baker. Congratulations!