Author Jenifer Goldin probes the online lives of moms!
While Jenifer Goldin moved around the country for her training and work as an audiologist, one thing was always part of her luggage: a box crammed with hand-written notebooks that formed the basis of a book she began 30 years ago.
It took a pandemic to pry open that box.
“When COVID hit, everything scaled back, and the timing was great,” says the Miami native who has called Dunwoody home for 12 years. “I had more free time to look at those notebooks written when I was in school in D.C. and didn’t even have a computer.”
Goldin, who is not deaf, was in the capital to study audiology at Gallaudet University. A fellowship at the University of Miami’s hospital took her back to Florida, where she worked in the emerging field of cochlear implants. That expertise led to a three-year stint at a children’s hospital in St. Louis followed by another position in Chicago. Twenty years ago, when she shifted to working for an implant company and could be based anywhere, Goldin picked Atlanta, where she met her husband and gave birth to two daughters. As they got older, she switched to parttime. Then came COVID and a bit more free time to surf the internet.
“In particular, I kept reading these posts on mom pages that always get tons of comments, some nice, some snarky and some downright mean,” she says. “But similar themes around moms and marriage grabbed my attention. I wondered how the mom wound up in this situation, and that turned into a book with all the funny, snarky mom drama.”
Goldin’s debut novel, Anonymous Mom Posts, built on that idea but with a fictitious plot and posts. She also used the book to explore topics she wanted to share: raising a special-needs child, toxic friendships, antisemitism and deaf culture.
“But the overarching theme is the pros and cons of social media and what’s at the heart of genuine connection,” she says. “Getting people to think about that would be great.”
Goldin found working on the book so enjoyable, it was hard to stop. “The hours I spent writing went by in a blink,” she says. “I had to tear myself away to get to carpool. In fact, I was writing another book when I got pulled into this one and had to take a break from that to write Mom Posts.”
But learning about marketing and publishing presented a substantial challenge, says Goldin, who at first resisted the idea of self-publishing, the path she ultimately chose.
“I’d been a stay-at-home mom for so long and hadn’t been challenged by outside forces other than my kids,” she says. “Learning how to develop a website, advertise on social media, figure out what makes a good book cover, how to market— I had to get uncomfortable and learn things I had no idea about.”
Released as a paperback and e-book on Amazon in April, the book represents more than just a story, says Goldin. “I’m really proud of myself for learning new things and evolving.”
ANONYMOUS MOM POSTS
Atlanta-based writer and editor contributing to a number of local and state-wide publications. Instructor in Georgia State’s Communication department and Emory’s Continuing Education division.