Blog Tour: The Daddy Diaries by Joshua Braff | Interview | Giveaway

Welcome to our stop on The Daddy Diaries book tour with author Joshua Braff.

The Daddy Diaries
Author: Joshua Braff
Released: May 5th 2015
Publisher: Prince Street Press

The Daddy Diaries is a humorous and poignant novel about a relationship between a stay at home dad and his two preteen kids. When his wife goes to work full time in a beach town in Florida, Jay must acclimate to life in the south. With a rich but stupid older brother, a lunatic townie friend and a teen son who’s ready to know what a “threesome” is, Jay’s world is thrown about as far as California to Florida.
At last! A deeply felt, deeply thoughtful book about men who caretake, wives who provide and kids making their way in a weird new world. Braff deftly knocks aside tired old stereotypes and introduces us to flawed and funny people doing their best to lead authentic lives. Smart, soulful and even, dare I say it, Important. -- Christopher Noxon, author of Plus One

Honest and heartfelt, Joshua Braff's novel about the perils of 21st century fatherhood contains more moments of truth than several hundred bestselling memoirs or self-help books. The wry humor and compulsive readability may remind readers of Jonathan Tropper or Nick Hornby, but the hard-won wisdom and disarming vulnerability in The Daddy Diaries is all Braff's own. --- Adam Langer, author of The Thieves of Manhattan

Q&A with author Joshua Braff
OUaT: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? 
I’m a Dad with two kids and a wife I met in Middle School. We will have been married for 21 years in July. My wife and I were not together through high school and met up again in college. 

OUaT: What do you do when you are not writing? 
I paint large canvasses with acrylic and oil and have had galleries where I painted and hung my work. I’ve sold some of these. I began learning guitar about three years ago. I also play drums. I love a wide array of music. I find music and love are the two tangibles no one can take from me in life. I find them both vast with soul.

OUaT: Do you have a day job as well? 
I am a stay-at home Dad, meaning, cooking, shopping, driving and being home everyday. I also write essays for the Huffington Post and make music.

OUaT: When did you first start writing and when did you finish your book?
I remember kudos for writing in 3rd grade. My novels have taken about two years to write.

OUaT: How did you choose the genre you write in?
In my late teens my mother showed me the books she liked. The genre was that of short stories. Alice Munro, Ethan Canin, Richard Bausch, Tim O’Brian, Tobias Wolf. I think I got inspired to try to create the emotions they were achieving, just from a black word on a white page.

OUaT: Where do you get your ideas? 
My ideas come from my memory and observations.

OUaT: Do you ever experience writer’s block? 
For me Writer’s Block means a shitty day at work. Didn’t sleep right, dinner was spicy, kids were cranky and a bit mean before school. Start over tomorrow.

OUaT: Do you work with an outline, or just write? 
I outline for scenes, meaning I have a great sense of the landscape and who is going to be in the scene. Often characters leave and enter scenes and those decisions can be done in the midst of writing. The stream of writing thing when honed can lead you to ideas and even wonderful unplanned moments. I, in a sense, live for these moments. The more practiced I am, the more likely they will appear. A good example is when characters speak to each outer and the flow of it allows them to tell me where it’s going. Sounds weird, I know. Doesn’t happen always.

OUaT: Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult? 
I felt when I read Catcher in the Rye that it was speaking a language I knew and that it wouldn’t be all that hard to do something similar. The novels, The Cider House Rules and The World According to Garp were important to me. The characters were as real as people and I remember feeling a longing for them, the way movies could make you connect but better. There was time to add textures in books, the kinds of things that make for well drawn characters, the type that stay in your heart for a lifetime.

OUaT: Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published? 
I wrote a first novel after grad school and it got sent back from about ten publishers in New York. Instead of editing it according to the edits, I started over and wrote The Unthinkable Thoughts of Jacob Green. I had three offers from publishers as soon as I sent it out. I chose Algonquin Books and they were great to me.

OUaT: If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you would change? 
No, I chose a very reputable smaller house over Simon and Schuster, which I was told would’ve given me very little attention/marketing dollars.

OUaT: How do you market you work? What avenues have you found to work best for you genre? 
The best answer has become clearer to me since I formed my own publishing house, Prince Street Press. I write essays for the Huffington Post. They do not pay. But they post anything I write and the link becomes the tool of great marketing importance. My new novel is about parenting in 2015. I wrote essays about my children and shared the links to Facebook, Twitter and a parenting site called Babble. If the work is good (I work very hard on these essays) the response is strong and it equates to sales of books on Amazon. The climb to get this ball rolling took my whole life.

OUaT: Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination? 
Yes, I use both truth and fiction in my writing. This story was based on us, a family of four that left the SF Bay Area for St. Petersburg, FL, for a job. My wife’s job. I was and am the stay-at-home Dad in our life. When we arrived the kids were off to school, the wife to work and I was still wearing my Pacific Northwest jeans in the 106 degree weather. I bought shorts and found the best air conditioning I could fine. Starbucks. I started writing “pieces” about my observations of my children throughout their lives. From the perspective of a writer that focuses on the human condition and families, my creative well was full. The Daddy Diaries is the result. I love the book.

OUaT: Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with? 
I plan to go back to protagonist in The Daddy Diaries. He is a vehicle I can continue to drive and hopefully gain access to poignant, human matters.

OUaT: Do you have any advise to give to aspiring writers? 
Advice for aspiring writers: Feedback is the best indicator of whether you should use the time in your life to hone a gift. You need readers that have your best interest in mind. Not always possible in a writer’s workshop, where people get their feelings hurt and then look forward to eviscerating you on your “critique” day. Write a lot, free write without lifting your fingers from the keyboard. Try to fly with it, forgetting about structure and rules. You should have a messy notebook where you write and scribble and have all your wildest thoughts. Avoid perfection, the same way you might when learning an instrument. It’s just you and the words so allow yourself to “draw outside the lines.” Be brave, tap your moments that define you emotionally. Change your name to a neighbor’s name. Maybe the character you’re drawing is part you and your neighbor. Read Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. Situate yourself in life around people that listen to you and respect your efforts. Always know your efforts are taking you somewhere positive, even if the thing you’re writing is about misery.

OUaT: What do you do to unwind and relax? 
My favorite relaxing tool is playing around on the guitar.

OUaT: Tell us your latest news? 
It appears my novels will be published in Europe. I really look forward to “branching out” a bit, hearing from French readers.

About Joshua Braff:

Joshua Braff is the author of three novels, The Unthinkable Thoughts of Jacob Green, Peep Show, and The Daddy Diaries, published May 5, 2015. The Daddy Diaries is a memorable take on contemporary fatherhood and a clear-sighted look at how the upending of traditional marital roles can affect the delicate balance of familial love. Braff's work can also be found in The Huffington Post and in multiple anthologies. He has an MFA from St. Mary's College and lives in Northern California with his wife and two children. Visit his website for more information.

  • 1st Prize: Kindle Paperwhite plus ebook or paperback copy of The Daddy Diaries
  • 2nd Prize: $50 Amazon Gift Card and ebook or paperback copy of The Daddy Diaries
  • 3rd Prize: ebook or paperback copy of The Daddy Diaries


  1. Hi Yara,
    On behalf of Joshua Braff and Book Marketing Services, I would like to thank you for hosting a Q & A with Joshua today on Once Upon A Twilight. If anyone has any questions and/or comments they would like to share, please leave them in the comment box. Joshua will be by later in the day to respond.
    Joshua is having a giveaway during his tour. 1st prize: Kindle Paperwhite plus ebook or paperback copy of The Daddy Diaries; 2nd Prize: $50 Amazon Gift Card and ebook or paperback copy of The Daddy Diaries; 3rd Prize: ebook or paperback copy of The Daddy Diaries. Click here to enter:
    Joshua’s tour for the The Daddy Diaries continues on Monday, December 7th, 2015 when he will be the guest on Brooke Blogs He has entitled his blog: Writing Drill – The School Lunchbox, make sure to check it out.
    We invite your readers to follow Joshua’s 10 day virtual book blog tour. Direct links for each day of the tour can be found on Joshua’s Facebook page
    Best regards, Della

  2. I like the sound of a book showing men in a good light, in the way where they aren't made out to be the baddies, or uncaring, but as men who do care for their wives and family. I think we need more books out there like this one <3

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