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Martin Wednesday Martin, Ph.D., is a social researcher and the author of Stepmonster: a New Look at Why Real Stepmothers Think, Feel, and Act the Way We Do (2009). She is a regular contributor to Psychology Today (www.psychologytoday.com) and blogs for the Huffington Post and on her own web site (www.wednesdaymartin.com). She has appeared as a stepparenting expert on NPR, the BBC Newshour, Fox News and NBC Weekend Today, and was a regular contributor to the New York Post's parenting page. Stepmonster is a finalist in the parenting category of this year's "Books for a Better Life" award.

A stepmother for nearly a decade, Wednesday lives in New York City with her husband and two sons. Her stepdaughters are young adults.

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For more information, view Wednesday Martin's Web site.

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An Interview with Wednesday Martin:

1. What was your biggest childhood ambition?
Honestly, to be a writer. When I was five I told my mother I had written a story about a mouse that I wanted everyone to be able to read. Ever supportive, she said we could try to get it published in a children's magazine. I was adamant that it had to be published as a book, and right away. Kids know nothing of the market!

2. What is your fondest memory?
Childbirth. I must be crazy. But there's something so great about knowing you're about to meet the baby. It's a perfect moment before all the sleep deprivation begins.

3. What did you do for fun as a child?
I had an elaborate interior life. Really, you could give me a piece of string or a Mr. Potato Head and put me in my room and I'd be happy for hours.

4. What was your worst job?
Once I worked in a factory making t-shirts--the work was so dull and repetitive I had an epiphany about Marx. The second worst was probably being a features editor at a magazine that shall remain unnamed. The editor in chief had a germ phobia; she sprayed Lysol at us writers before letting us into her office, and once wrote on a manuscript I had turned in, "If you're going to write sh*t like this, you should show up at work in a clown suit." All these years later, it's hilarious. At the time, I wanted to die! There was a stretch there when I was transcribing interviews for a sex researcher. Believe it or not--very boring.

5. If you had another occupation than the one you are in now, what would it be?
An anthropologist, preferably the kind who does actual fieldwork in far-flung, remote regions.

6. What inspired you to write?
To put it bluntly, it's the only thing I know how to do. So it was a question of necessity.

7. What was your biggest challenge when writing this book?
Not getting into a rage at my husband while writing about/reliving all the stresses from the beginning of our marriage! And cutting the manuscript from 350 to 250 pages. It meant losing details and other women's stories that I still wish I could have included.

8. What do you dislike about writing?
The sweatpants. I've yet to figure out how to dress for work.

9. What book are you reading now?
I read books two at a time and the rule is I have to finish them within five minutes of each other. I just finished Mothers and Others by Sarah Hrdy, my nominee for "most amazing writer and thinker of the last several decades," and Hunter-Gatherer Childhoods by Barry Hewlitt. Now I'm onto David Sedaris. I'm reading two of his books of essays right now, and constantly howling.

10. Where is your favorite place to write?
In my office, which I call the garret. It's a former maid's room, very tiny and claustrophobic and painted bright blue, but I love it. If only it weren't in my home, it would be perfect. As it is, I constantly have a toddler on my lap or an eight-year-old on my sofa when I'm trying to think. I also do well writing by the ocean.

11. If your best friend was a celebrity, living or dead, who would it be?
Oscar Wilde. Imagine the emails. Oh my god!

Copyright © 2009 Wednesday Martin, author of Stepmonster: A New Look at Why Real Stepmothers Think, Feel, and Act the Way We Do