Cupid's Pulse Article: Mother-Daughter Duo Talks Life and Love in New Book ‘Have a Nice Guilt Trip’Cupid's Pulse Article: Mother-Daughter Duo Talks Life and Love in New Book ‘Have a Nice Guilt Trip’

By Sarah Batcheller

Growing up and growing older offer a variety of challenges, including the guilt imminently packaged with being a mother or daughter. Have a Nice Guilt Trip is the fourth book in its series from this lovable and popular mother-daughter duo and details their journey in vibrant colors. Filled to the brim with witty, hilarious, and heartwarming anecdotes, the authors have mastered the art of tugging at your heart strings and putting a laughing cramp in your side simultaneously. Lisa Scottoline and her daughter Francesca Serritella share the pages, decorating them with the stories of their lives and loves. had the pleasure of interviewing both authors about their new collection of tales, which was released on July 8th.

We love the title Have a Nice Guilt TripWhat inspired the two of you to co-author this book?

Lisa: What inspires me is my daughter. I love being her mom, and we’ve evolved into being best friends. Plus, we both like to make people laugh. By the way, the credit for the title goes to Francesca — she thinks of them all!

 Francesca: Now that I’m an adult, our mother-daughter relationship doesn’t always take place in the same room, but you always carry your mother’s voice with you, either in your head or calling you three times a day on the cell phone. This book is about the ways we stay close and find our “space” across state lines.

Being that losing and finding love again is a significant theme in your work, what lessons do you think are most important when moving on from a failed relationship?

L: As Francesca will tell you, I think my motto in life is “move on.” It’s really important to not to get stuck in relationships or in any situation generally, and I think that stasis is really the enemy of growth and creativity.  As I’ve gotten older, I become more able to take risk and embrace change, and I think it’s all for the better. I used to think it would be terrible to be divorced twice, and now, I think it’s wonderful. Everyday, I wake up, and I am living the life that I truly want to live.

F: I don’t think there are any rules about how much time there should be between relationships, and we rarely have as much control over it as we’d like. It’s a feeling, a sense of security in yourself, that tells you you are really ready to move on. My mom always taught me to be financially and emotionally independent, to try and build that wholeness in myself first—she’s been a great model of that for me. It isn’t always easy, but I think it’s an essential pre-requisite for any new relationship.

Related Link: Beauty Expert Kym Douglas on Falling in Love 

There seems to be a debate of what it means to define a woman as independent. How would you describe an independent woman?

L: I think it’s about maintaining control. We used to talk about the life you lead, and I think about that phrase a lot. More and more, I try to lead my life; that is, I try to steer it or run it in a positive way according to what I want to accomplish. This is not the same thing as control, but it is really a change for me. I think it’s a really good thing for women to try to do. We are so often asked to meet the needs of others that we have defaulted to thinking of ourselves second. I say to myself that we should all be the stars in our own lives. That doesn’t mean that we’re selfish,  but it means that we shouldn’t negate our own wishes and desires and subordinate them to someone else’s. I was a single mother my whole life, and the only person who deserves to be placed above me was my child.

 F: An independent woman isn’t looking for someone to complete her. She isn’t looking for someone else’s goals to give her purpose, and she doesn’t need a man to validate her life choices.  An independent woman loves herself, even if she struggles with not liking everything about herself. She has her own goals and agenda, even if they’re flexible or changing, and she’s looking for an equal partner.

Lisa, in the “Homely Remedies” section of this book, you find yourself apprehensively conforming to Mother Mary’s old tricks of the household, but you still find your own way to do things. What lessons would you like to pass on to Francesca?

L: Believe it or not, I’m not a big advice giver as a mom or as a best friend. So in a paradoxical way, if I pass on any lesson, it’s that there are no lessons to pass on and that every woman needs to make her own way in the world, find her voice, and give herself the permission to meet her needs and fulfill her desires. Your time belongs to you and no one else — until you give it to them — and the same thing goes with your money. My only lesson is to trust yourself and find your own way.

Related Link: Comedian Julia Sweeney Discusses Love and Family in Memoir ‘If It’s Not One Thing, It’s Your Mother’

Is there a specific message you hope readers take away from reading this book?

L: It’s an entertaining book and one that makes you laugh out loud, but it also has moments of deep poignancy. I’m not sure that it’s a message per se, but I think our love of family comes through loud and clear in this book. I think the message is that family matters, and that’s much more than lip service with the flying Scottoline/Serritellas!

F: I hope the message is that a mother-daughter relationship is something that can evolve over time and that finding that adult friendship is worth the occasional scuffle.

Pick up a copy of Have a Nice Guilt Trip today!