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Celia Rivenbark

The names of Celia Rivenbark’s books give you an idea of what to expect when you hear her speak to an audience. It’s hard to escape the in-your-face Southern nature of Bless Your Heart, Tramp; We’re Just Like You, Only Prettier; Stop Dressing Your Six Year Old Like a Skank; Belle Weather: Mostly Sunny With a Chance of Scattered Hissy Fits; You Can’t Drink All Day If You Don’t Start in the Morning; You Don’t Sweat Much for a Fat Girl; and Rude Bitches Make Me Tired.

Celia’s take on humor is the result of growing up in rural Eastern North Carolina listening to, and absorbing, stories, jokes and tall tales at the country store. Her humor blends this country tradition with her love of all things pop culture for a unique take on the ever-changing South.

A newspaper reporter since age 19, Celia started writing a weekly humor column for the New York Times Regional Newspaper Group in 1993. The column is currently syndicated by Gannett and appears in newspapers throughout the country. An award-winning journalist, Celia has represented the New York Times Company as a media fellow at Duke University, although she continues to have no use whatsoever for their basketball team.

At the age of 40, Celia gave birth to her first child and retired from full time newspaper work to stay home with her daughter. She continued to write the humor column, however, and those essays about marriage and motherhood became the framework for her first book.

Four years later, her second book, We’re Just Like You, Only Prettier, won the Southeast Booksellers’ Alliance award for best nonfiction book of the year and was a national bestseller. Stop Dressing Your Six-Year-Old Like A Skank was also a national bestseller and the controversial tone of the title essay led to appearances on numerous national news shows including Good Morning America.

Her fourth book, Belle Weather, was a finalist for 2008 nonfiction book of the year as was her fifth, You Can’t Drink All Day If You Don’t Start in the Morning. Her sixth book, You Don’t Sweat Much for a Fat Girl, was a New York Times bestseller and was named one of the five funniest books of the year by the Thurber Foundation. Her most recent book, Rude Bitches Make Me Tired was adapted into an award-winning stage play.

Celia is a frequent speaker for corporate meetings, banquets, fundraisers and library events, having become known as a lighthearted expert on the mind and soul of the South.

Celia lives in Wilmington, N.C., with her husband, Scott Whisnant, a hospital executive and true-crime author. They have one daughter, Sophie, who lives and works in Charlotte.

Ten Things I Can’t Do Without

  1. A yearly trip to Maine to recharge
  2. Really good coffee
  3. Hoppy IPA’s
  4. Daily texts with my daughter
  5. Connecting with my readers
  6. Being in the company of good people willing to speak up for what’s right—no matter what
  7. The clearance rack at T.J. Maxx. The good one with the really expensive brands for cheap.
  8. Amazon’s romantic jazz ballads playing in the background when I write
  9. Homemade pimento cheese
  10. Loving and being loved