I’m really excited to be here today with Jill Zarin and Lisa Wexler, two sisters who are the coauthors, along with their mother Gloria Kamen, of the book Secrets of a Jewish Mother. Jill Zarin is a reality TV star. Her breakout performance was as an original cast member of The Real Housewives of New York City, which she was on for the first four seasons and by the way, which I watched probably all of. She subsequently appeared on Celebrity Wife Swap and many other shows. An entrepreneur, Jill established the Jill Zarin brand which she has extended to bedding, shapewear, jewelry, and rugs. With over a million social media followers, Jill is a frequently sought-after speaker and personality.

Jill Zarin and Lisa Wexler, SECRETS OF A JEWISH MOTHER

Her sister, Lisa Wexler, is a talk show host, a judge, an attorney, an advocate, and a public speaker. She hosts the Gracie Award-winning radio show, The Lisa Wexler Show, in Westchester and Fairfield counties. She was nice enough to have me on her show last year, which was the sweetest thing ever. Lisa has appeared on The TODAY Show, Morning Joe, and many other local and regional TV programs. She’s been elected three times to the position probate judge for the Westport/Weston district in Connecticut. These coauthors wrote Secrets of a Jewish Mother, which is now in its third printing and has been translated into four languages. These sisters are totally a total dynamo.

Ladies, I want to know first how did this book, Secrets of a Jewish Mother, come to be? Who had the idea? Who decided what to do when, how much to do, how much to write?

Lisa Wexler: Jill was in her end of second season of Housewives. She said, “I really think that we ought to do a book,” which I translated as, “Lisa, think of a book.”

Jill Zarin: No, it was, “Lisa, write a book.”

Lisa: That’s true. I don’t know how familiar you are with the Housewives.

Zibby: I watched a lot of that one. I watched the early — when Jill left, I was not interested.

Lisa: Well said. Anyway, my mother was on. She gave this spiel about how life was really between Rosh Hashanah and Passover and how the years went so quickly. It really resonated with a lot of fans. I was in the shower, where all good idea come. It hit me like a bolt of lightning. That’s our book, Secrets of a Jewish Mother.

Jill: We never had another name.

Lisa: Nope. That was it. Then the idea of doing the format came in discussion with my friend Virginia.

Jill: Going back to the book, I thought because I’m on a TV show — I think Luann had written a book — I thought I could do an autobiography. God knows I could fill up volumes on that. I could do something with my mother and my sister. For me, it wasn’t about the money. Of course if I did it by myself, I would get a hundred percent. I wanted to travel and be with my sister and my mom.

Lisa: She’s a sharer.

Jill: I’m a sharer. We went on book tour together. That was part of my problem with the Housewives in general because I wanted to share with the other girls. I wanted them to share with me, but nobody wanted to share with me. Nobody wanted to play with me. It hurt my feelings. That’s what happened on the show. I wanted us to all be a team, friends, how they really stuck together, negotiated together, did everything together. Housewives, oh no. It was every man for himself. I learned that the hard way.

Zibby: Did you see how Jennifer Aniston wants the Friends to get together again and make a remake of The Golden Girls? Isn’t that funny?

Lisa: That would be adorable.

Jill: No, I did not know that.

Zibby: I just read that.

Jill: She’s not old enough yet.

Lisa: You think? Believe it or not, The Golden Girls did The Golden Girls in their fifties. We look at them now as if they were in their eighties.

Zibby: No, way.

Lisa: Oh, yes.

Jill: They were retired living in Boca, or wherever. Miami?

Lisa: Yes, they were supposed to be mid to late fifties in it.

Zibby: When you did the book, did you all get along?

Lisa: Oh, yeah. We never had one fight.

Jill: Because we let Lisa do everything. It’s hard to fight with yourself. Lisa, her friend helped her format it. You have so many questions. We’ll get through this one.

Zibby: You don’t have to get through them all.

Lisa: My friend helped me format it. I wrote the book proposal. That did very well. It was unexpected. They were shocked that I could write. Remember, they wanted to hire somebody?

Jill: It was always assumed that we would have a writer, but we didn’t.

Lisa: We didn’t. When we had the format down, which were basically a narrative and then stories and then an “Ask Yourself” section, that made it easy. We would collaborate. What are the stories we want to tell? I was, at the time, on the air between nine and ten PM and practicing law during the day. I sat down at the computer, ten o’clock every single night. My show was on eight to nine. I was at the computer by ten, between ten PM and three AM. I wrote the book from June 25th, which is when we had our formal proposal. I handed it on my mother’s seventieth birthday on October 13th. It had one rewrite. It was over by Christmas.

Zibby: That’s insane.

Lisa: I would text Jill. “Jill, do you remember when such and such happened?” I don’t remember anything. She’d say, “Oh, yes.” She would tell me who, what, where. Then I would write it. That’s why you hear her voice. Her voice really comes through. So does my mother’s.

Jill: My sections are my words. Lisa didn’t write for me, but she wrote all around me, up and down, left and right.

Zibby: One of the things that I liked so much about this book, it was so relatable. Everything you said, I was like, “Oh, my gosh. My mother said that.” Kyle will tell you.

Lisa: What are some of the things that you remember as you were reading it that you enjoyed? We’d love to know.

Jill: We probably got a lesson.

Zibby: No, I have a lot of different things. I have a bunch of different quotes that I thought were amazing. One time when you were talking about worrying you say, “The Jewish mother lives to analyze and worry, the two being inexplicably intertwined. The Jewish mother is actually quite happy worrying. It’s the default setting in her computer.”

Lisa: I think so.

Jill: That, Lisa wrote. That’s not me.

Zibby: That’s exactly how I feel. I feel that’s my baseline. This is my baseline.

Lisa: I feel that way about our Aunt Cookie, our Aunt Gloria, our mother.

Jill: Would you call it worry or anxiety?

Lisa: I was just going to say, you just finished my line. Today I would probably say anxiety because that’s the new term of art for that feeling, but it’s the same thing.

Zibby: My grandmother keeps saying, “I gave you my worry gene.” I’m like, “There actually is a gene for this.”

Lisa: There actually is a gene.

Jill: There is definitely a gene. Don’t you feel more at ease?

Zibby: Maybe that’s why my dog has anxiety. I’ve given .

Lisa: It’s true. It’s the disease of our age, of the modern age.

Jill: It’s okay. You handle it well.

Zibby: Another thing that I loved, when you talked about dating — I don’t know which one of you wrote this. You said, “You need to cycle through at least four seasons with the same guy –”

Jill: — That’s me. That’s funny how I know what I say.

Zibby: “– to feel like you’re really compatible.” That’s literally what my mother said to me when I started dating Kyle and immediately I knew I wanted to marry him. She’s like, “Zibby, just see him through the seasons.”

Lisa: I love that.

Jill: Because people change.

Zibby: That literally was in the book. I couldn’t believe it. That’s what my Jewish mother told me.

Jill: You have a real Jewish mother. I met her mom. She’s a real Jewish mom.

Lisa: Oh, yeah? In the best way?

Jill: In the best way.

Zibby: Another favorite was when you said your favorite fashion tip is, “Always bring a sweater. The Jewish mother is never without a sweater.”

Jill: Aunt Gloria. That was Aunt Gloria. We’re always cold.

Lisa: We literally grew up with that. There was always one on the backseat of a car.

Jill: Mommy always had a sweat jacket or something.

Lisa: You wouldn’t know about cars because you grew up here in the city?

Jill: She has a driver, a cab driver, an Uber, whatever.

Zibby: Another thing I wanted to talk about, I want to hear more about your feelings on women’s friendships. You did a great job in the book talking about it. I loved how you called them balcony friends versus front-row friends.

Jill: That’s my audience. I got that from Amelia. I remember that. What you’re referring to, so that the listeners can hear, is that I believe that in your life your friends are like an audience. You have people in the front row. You have people in the mezzanine. You have people in the balcony. I used to say and laugh that Ramona was in the audience but behind the pole, blocked that she can’t see the stage. That was a joke. People shift. My friends, the people I met when Ally was in school, those moms became my front-row friends. I saw them every day. We planned things together. We took holidays together. Then, life changes. When your kids are out of the house, those people fall to the wayside. Now, you maybe pick up a sport like tennis. Then those tennis people become your friends and they move closer. I believe that. You move them around. Sometimes you have to put them in the back.

Lisa: That friendship chapter took a lot out of us. We told real stories from the heart. I really do believe, Zibby, that when you’ve really loved a friend — we’re talking about women friendships — it’s a love affair. When there’s a breakup, it’s like a breakup.

Jill: It’s like a divorce.

Lisa: You take it really hard. I don’t know if you’ve ever had that in your life.

Zibby: Yes, I have. It’s a loss, a true loss.

Lisa: Then of course a little bit of you always loves that person even if you can’t be with that person anymore.

Jill: There are things you miss about them.

Zibby: The subtitle of this chapter was “Finding a friend is finding the best part of yourself and setting it free.” That was so pretty.

Jill: That was Lisa.

Zibby: Nice job, really good.

Jill: She’s a good writer.

Zibby: The other thing throughout all the chapters including this friendship chapter is all the specific tips you give. These aren’t just general parenting concepts or Jewish-isms.

Lisa: No. We’re very concrete. We were raised with a very pragmatically concrete mother, no osmosis whatsoever, no guess work. By the way, I think that comes from the anxiety gene. The way to treat anxiety is to be very specific.

Jill: Lisa’s amazing.

Lisa: I have a son with real anxiety.

Jill: Husband too?

Lisa: Husband for sure.

Zibby: I thought of you all because a friend of mine recently had surgery. In your book it had said, “Call after surgery,” not writing a text, not anything else.

Jill: You took the advice.

Lisa: Was it appreciated?

Zibby: Yes.

Lisa: I bet it was. In today’s world, it’s even rarer.

Jill: Nobody calls.

Lisa: We wrote before the iPhone.

Zibby: You’ve got to pick up the phone. I’ve been trying to do a better job of that, so thank you. I feel like I have these little coaches. You’re like my coaches now.

Jill: You do. You have us on speed dial.

Zibby: Exactly. I wanted to talk about you were really nice about fathers. There’s all this talk about Jewish mothers, the whole book is centered. Right in the beginning you said how the importance of a great dad, and how your dad was such a mensch, and how many successful women come from fathers who are amazing.

Jill: They say that a girl gets her self-esteem from her father, self-image.

Lisa: I believe that, the feeling of being able to do anything and be anyone and be beautiful. Of course, beauty is incredibly important for women. Women have to feel beautiful to be successful to some extent. Whether we are or not, there’s a part of us that has to feel it. Femininity and women and beauty are so intertwined.

Zibby: How does that play into the dads? You think the dad has to make them feel beautiful?

Jill: Yes. My father tells me all the time how beautiful I am and how smart am I and how capable I am, always giving me the boost. I hear him.

Zibby: What do you think about all the latest studies that say don’t overpraise your kids?

Lisa: Depends what they’re praising them about.

Zibby: What if they’re praising them about how beautiful they are?

Lisa: It depends. To say someone is beautiful in the way that we learned it with our father was always like, “I look at your face, and I see beauty,” not that you’re dressed up, not that you’re wearing a pretty dress.

Jill: He would never comment on what I wore.

Lisa: No. It was like, “I look at your face, and I see beauty because I see you. You are beautiful.” You can’t overdo that. You can’t overdo praising the essence. You can overdo praising false accomplishments. To feel beautiful in your father’s eyes because he believes it is different.

Jill: You want to be honest with your kids. You don’t say they’re so smart all the time if they’re not so smart all the time. You don’t say they’re so smart all the time. If they get an eighty you don’t say, “You’re such a genius.” You’re not such a genius if you got an eighty. You might be one, but you’re not workin’ very hard.

Lisa: We’re very practical about that. In fact, my daughter Joanna, who’s now twenty-five, says the biggest gift I ever gave her was never letting her win, which I never did, in Scrabble in Jotto, in Boggle, in anything.

Jill: What? Who?

Lisa: All the games that we played.

Jill: Lisa’s the intellectual house. They played Bridge, things like that.

Lisa: Joanna plays Bridge.

Jill: They did the crossword puzzle on Sundays.

Lisa: I never let her win. I don’t believe in letting kids win. They have to earn winning. Eventually, she’s going to beat me.

Jill: Do you think that all children when they’re in camp and they’re five years old, should they all get a trophy at the end of the summer?

Lisa: Definitely not. Do you believe in participation trophies? Do you believe in that?

Jill: I never got a trophy for anything.

Lisa: Me neither. We were never good. We never won.

Jill: I still haven’t. I haven’t gotten one tennis trophy.

Lisa: You will. You’re on your way. You will have earned it.

Jill: I will have earned it. I don’t have any. I might have one that I got in golf.

Lisa: What do you think, Zibby? Do you like participation trophies?

Zibby: I don’t love them. I don’t. My son, my little guy, he’s four years old, every year we all go in celebration at —

Jill: — It’s nice to participate, but you don’t need a trophy for it. The schools are ridiculous.

Lisa: He feels good, but what’s the message? Long term, what’s the message?

Jill: That you’re all the same? You’re not all the same. Some are better than others.

Lisa: The kids already know who the best one is.

Jill: I was always the last picked. You know when they used to go, “You’re the two captains,” and you each got to pick, I was always picked last. Maybe that was a good thing in hindsight because I knew that I wasn’t good at it. If it was where the coach did it and made everything equal, I might have actually thought I was good at something that I wasn’t. I have to say, I told Allyson she could sing. She was in chorus and everything. She has the worst voice you’ve ever heard.

Lisa: She does not have the worst voice.

Jill: She’s so off key.

Lisa: I don’t agree. I like her. I like her voice.

Jill: Trust me. Because I kept telling her how great a singer she was, doing that whole positive thing, and putting her in chorus where they could drown her out — she was once singing in the car as an adult. I said, “Ally, you got to stop singing.” “Why?” “Ally, you don’t hear yourself? You can’t sing.” “What do you mean? You told me I could sing.” She was serious. “What do you mean? You told me I could sing.” I said, “Allyson, I just said it because you were in fifth grade. What was I going to say?” “You lied?”

Jill: Then you have no ears.

Lisa: I have a good ear.

Jill: We’ll do that again.

Zibby: What do you do when your child is the last one picked?

Jill: Nothing. It’s a heartbreak.

Lisa: You just empathize with your kid, but you don’t go to the school. That’s for sure. You empathize with your child. You put yourself with them and say, “That must be really lousy.”

Jill: You think about why. Did it happen because they’re being socially rejected because of the way they’re being perceived? I know part of it was me. I went to therapy when I was a little girl because there was a reason that they weren’t picking me. There’s a reason why I couldn’t get along with other kids. I had total ADD. I was probably flying off the walls. I didn’t get along with the kids. For whatever reason, they didn’t like me.

Lisa: I know why I didn’t get picked. I used to pray for the softball never to get to me. I couldn’t field. In other words, I was the worst. I had no athletic aptitude whatsoever.

Jill: You played tennis as a kid.

Lisa: Yeah, but I couldn’t do any team sport whatsoever. You know what was interesting when we were growing up? You’re younger than us. You’re probably Title IX a little bit. We had no Title IX when we were growing up.

Jill: What’s Title IX?

Lisa: Billy Jean King, equal money for women’s sports. When we were growing up, there was no women’s tennis team.

Jill: There was no soccer for women. We didn’t even have soccer in school.

Lisa: I started it in junior high school. I wasn’t even a good tennis player. I thought, “We need a women’s tennis team.” We lost everywhere. That doesn’t matter. The point is that there wasn’t pressure on girls to be great at everything, in a way. Nowadays, girls have to be athletic and smart and everything. I don’t know how it’s playing out. I think it’s, in general, good for girls.

Jill: To apply to colleges, girls feel like they also need a sport now.

Lisa: We didn’t have to do that. That was one thing we really didn’t have to do.

Zibby: That’s one of those misleading things about childhood. Now as a grown-up, you don’t even know who’s athletic anymore. You know your close friends, if they play tennis. There aren’t a lot of other sports. We’re not all picking up our lacrosse sticks and running around at the park anymore.

Jill: Who plays any of those games? By the way, do they have gym anymore, or have they cut that out of the program?

Zibby: They have gym.

Lisa: Depends on the school.

Zibby: Not every day. My daughter doesn’t have it every day.

Lisa: We had it every day. They don’t have it every day?

Jill: That’s how we let out our steams constantly.

Lisa: You look at pictures of kids in the sixties and seventies, we were thinner. It was a thinner generation.

Jill: Because they didn’t have soda and snacks. Did you know that the public schools have McDonald’s and brands? Our kids would go to private school because we live in New York City. In general around the country, they have these fast foods. I couldn’t believe it.

Lisa: I was shocked the first time I saw it in my kid’s lunchroom. We used to bring our lunch to school. There was nothin’. That was like 1922.

Zibby: Can I ask a little about the show and the impact of the show? I wanted to know how you went from being an Upper East Side Jewish mother, like everybody else on the Upper East Side, to then being a real housewife and how that affected you and your daughter, and you and your family.

Jill: I can say that Lisa said not to do it, adamantly. My mother said, “Don’t do it. It could only be bad.”

Lisa: We were afraid.

Jill: Afraid of things like what happened to Teresa and Joe of showing money or — not that I did anything wrong with the IRS or anything like that. Thank god because if I did, they would’ve been all over me. Maybe they were and I don’t even know. Maybe they did look into us.

Lisa: We were afraid of the unknown. We were afraid of the exposure — I thought, and I still feel this way; Jill knows — of Allyson. I feel that all the children — I will say that publicly — all the children in these reality shows were being exploited in their real life, for their real life.

Jill: Until you’re married, you have your life set, it’s not a good idea to be on television in general. It will affect your trajectory for sure.

Zibby: Is there anything you feel like you can do to protect her?

Jill: I did. First of all, Allyson protected herself. Are you watching Dirty John, the new series on Bravo?

Zibby: No.

Lisa: What’s it about?

Jill: It’s so good. It’s about a woman who met a guy online dating. It turns out that he’s a fraud and a criminal and all these horrible things. It’s so cliché, but it’s a true story. It really happened. He married this woman and then she found out. The point is, is that in this show she has a daughter just like Allyson but worse. She’s more of a caricature of Allyson. I said, “Allyson, I think I found your doppelganger. Watch Dirty John.” Then she came back. She goes, “Oh, yeah. That’s me.” In the show the girl’s very mean about it, but she’s a protector of her mother. She right away didn’t like the guy, said to her mother, “Get rid of him.” Mother, of course, was smitten. She hires an investigator. She hires a lawyer. My point is the protector.

Lisa: So what about Ally on the Housewives?

Jill: Allyson has always had a very good head on her shoulders, also being an only child, being around adults probably more, and living in New York City, all those things. She self-regulates. Ally kind of didn’t want to do the show. She wasn’t looking for fame.

Lisa: After the first year or two.

Jill: The first year didn’t count because nobody knew what we were doing.

Lisa: It counted when it became a hit though.

Jill: When the show aired, it counted. I’m saying when we filmed it, that doesn’t count. That’s when she filmed the most. After that and we saw the show, pulled her back. When was she there? She was there at an all-cast event, at a dinner. She was never part of storyline.

Lisa: She still gives you a hard time about the detox.

Jill: Right, but that was season one.

Lisa: Was that season one?

Jill: Season one, episode one or episode two, because we started in the summer. It was definitely episode one or two. I can’t take it back. If I could, I would. Would I take her off that scene? Absolutely. I thought it was good at the time. There were good things that happened. It taught people that there are things like that around.

Lisa: Some people were cruel to her on social media for no reason.

Jill: They called her names and fat and horrible things.

Lisa: Children are also not compensated. We feel that the SAG, they’ve been missing in terms of the child actors. If I had my way and whatever resources I would’ve had, I would think that SAG is completely asleep. All these kids in reality shows are not protected the way professional actors are. They should be.

Zibby: That’s a good point. I didn’t know that.

Jill: There’s no union.

Lisa: The children deserve it.

Jill: If there was unionization in reality — I’ve been told — then they wouldn’t have reality. It would be way too costly.

Lisa: That’s how they get away cheap. Think about all the kids who had to act, the Jackie Cooper generation, etc. They started these children union protections because they felt their life was work, but at least it was a persona. For these other children, it’s not a persona. It’s really their life. When a family films a therapy session and the child is there and a child’s consent is not able to be given because they’re underage, so by law they can’t even give their consent, but the camera is taking away a piece of their childhood, that’s wrong.

Zibby: It’s sort of similar when authors write these really invasive memoirs about their kids too before they’re old enough to say, “You know what? I don’t feel comfortable with that.”

Jill: Right. “I don’t want you to talk about that story.” That would be like me telling the story that I was talking about before, but any kind of story and writing it without permission if she’s under twenty-one. Even if she told me it was okay, she may not in ten years. It would really have to be consent as an adult. Overall, I have to say I think Allyson’s happy she did the show. She definitely benefited from it, whether she wants to admit it or not.

Lisa: I think she likes being famous.

Jill: Like I said, admit it or not. She would — I don’t want to say pretend. She doesn’t pretend. She’s cool. Ally’s chill.

Lisa: She’s found her way in the world of art now. She has a big social media following of her own.

Jill: She has about 100,000 people following her.

Lisa: She does beautifully with that. She really does.

Jill: Allyson, like I said, has always been very mature.

Lisa: She’s got her feet on the ground when it comes to you.

Jill: And the show, what’s real and what’s not real. She was always better at that than me. The line was very blurred for me, still is. It’s so crazy.

Zibby: To get off of Ally for a sec, as much I think she’s amazing, one more thing from the book because I know we’re almost done with our interview. When you wrote in the book that Jews like to work for themselves more than for other people, you said, “We’ll be perfectly honest, Jews prefer not to work for other people because we do not like being told what to do. Have you ever tried to tell a Jewish mother what to do?” I love that. I felt like you guys were just talking to me. What do you think about that?

Jill: Look at you. You’ve got your own podcast. You’re working for yourself.

Lisa: We have a pretty high rate, as a group of people, of entrepreneurship. I don’t think that will ever change. Jewish mothers, we know how to take command and control.

Jill: I think of all the men that I know in my world. They could be a professional, a doctor or lawyer. It doesn’t mean they don’t work for someone else. They could work for a law firm or a hospital, but they’re still their own boss so to speak.

Lisa: Everybody I know, really, is an entrepreneur. My son, he left his job without a job to start his own hedge fund. He started a hedge fund. Goldman Sachs is his clearinghouse. Leviathan Capital Management.

Zibby: It’s great that you called the book Secrets of a Jewish Mother because some of the other books are very dogmatic in what you have to do as a parent. You understand your audience completely. We’re not going to listen if somebody else is like, “You have to do this.”

Lisa: We want to start a conversation.

Jill: I love in the book, the stuff about medical, obviously because Bobby was sick. A lot of people ask me for referrals for doctors and things like that. It’s right in the book, how to find the best doctor.

Zibby: I just laugh so hard. One of the craziest things when we got together is like, “We’re going to this doctor. Now, you’re going to go to that doctor.” He’s like, “What’s with all the doctors?” I was like, “See? It’s not just me.”

Jill: My mother has — what does she call it? A diploma? DWD?

Lisa: I call myself a doctor without a diploma, DWD. We are doctors without diplomas.

Zibby: What is next for you guys? What’s coming up next?

Jill: My big thing right now is my rug line, which I’m really proud of. I’ve done different things. I’ve loved everything I’ve done, but I love this the most. Maybe because it’s the right now.

Lisa: The rug is the most unbelievable product. I have to give the kudos for it. After Bobby died and around that time, I moved into Jill’s apartment with my dog Sugar. She had Chicken and Ginger. We have three dogs in the apartment, plus what’s her name had her own dog too, Megan. There were four dogs in the apartment. The dogs were doing what dogs do. They were also vomiting and peeing and pooping everywhere. I thought that Jill would at one point raise her voice or be upset because it was a brand-new redone apartment. As it turns out, there was not a stain at the end of ten days because all of these brand-new rugs, you take a paper towel and you pick it up.

Jill: That it. It’s gone. It doesn’t go through. You can spill water on it. It doesn’t go to the padding.

Lisa: I replaced all the rugs in my house. I did.

Zibby: Do they look good?

Lisa: They look great.

Zibby: Any more books?

Lisa: I started a few. I also wanted to be Judge Judy. The other half of my life which your fans don’t know is I’ve been a probate judge now for five years. I just got reelected to another four-year term. I write opinions every day. I write decrees every day. This morning I was in a mental hospital committing somebody. I have a very real serious life, the other part of my life. This is my creative life. I adore this part of my life. I would love to do another project with Jill. We’ve been asked to write an addendum to keep the world on iPhones. How would we deal with the digital world? That’s not in here. It needs to be. That’s what we should do.

Jill: I’d like to hear what Mommy says. My mother doesn’t have a cell phone. She’s the only person left on the planet without a cell phone.

Lisa: Which means she can’t be tracked, which isn’t bad.

Jill: No, it’s not bad, except it’s annoying when I can’t find her.

Lisa: Yeah, but you know what? She’s by the bed all the time.

Jill: She’s been in bed since I was in school.

Lisa: Actually, she’s easier to reach than we are by phone.

Jill: That was so great growing up that I could always call home — because we didn’t have cell phones — and my mother was always there.

Lisa: She’s always in the bed.

Jill: I have a great picture of us in my bed.

Lisa: We were bed people. Are you bed people?

Zibby: Not like your mom.

Jill: Kids don’t all jump in the bed and they’re all in all the time?

Zibby: In the middle of the night unfortunately, yes.

Lisa: We were in the middle of the day. We’re still bed people.

Jill: I have some great pictures of us. That’s what would go in the next book, the bed pictures.

Lisa: Over the years in the bed.

Jill: When Bobby died, Lisa and Joanna stayed with me for two weeks.

Lisa: I didn’t leave her side.

Jill: I took a picture of the four of us in our pajamas in bed.

Lisa: That was great. You were great. I would never leave your side ever. I love my sister.

Jill: Don’t always like each other. I’m just kidding.

Lisa: I always like you.

Jill: I know. Not really.

Lisa: Yeah, I do.

Zibby: Do you have any last parting words of advice to aspiring writers particularly people ?

Lisa: It’s so hard to get a book published today.

Jill: Self-publish.

Lisa: Yeah, but it’s really hard. The self-publishing is a problem for distribution. It becomes a real vanity project. Your top twenty friends buy it on Amazon. I think the best advice is the JK Rowling advice. You got to be persistent. You can’t give up. Most authors do.

Jill: I always say if you don’t take no for an answer, the answer will never be no.

Lisa: I like that. That’s a good one.

Jill: Never take no for an answer.

Lisa: That was you, Jilly.

Jill: Very persistent.

Lisa: That’s the answer. Don’t give up.

Zibby: I love it. Thank you both so much for coming on “Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books.”

Lisa: Thank you, Zibby, for asking us. Congratulations on having your own podcast.

Jill: Thank you.

Jill Zarin and Lisa Wexler, SECRETS OF A JEWISH MOTHER