ED- It isn’t often that an author can build two careers off of a single topic, so The Eerie Digest could not miss the opportunity to interview such a writer as Debbie Sue Goodman. Debbie, you are not only an author, but you also make a good living as a comedian as well. How did you first start your career and what was your greatest influence in doing so?
DSG- Thank you Joe! As far as I can remember I’ve always enjoyed writing. When I was about eight years old, I started keeping a journal about what happened in my life. Every day I would write down what I was feeling that particular day. If I was happy or sad, I would write a poem. I kept writing in journals, all through school and college. Then, I became a singer in musicals and an actress in local theater. I would write song lyrics, music, and play my guitar and piano everyday. I always enjoyed performing in plays. I wanted to be an actress. When I started dating, I went on many unusual dates. I used to write down the funny dates and keep them in my diary. I didn’t use any names in my journal. Everyone’s always giving me ideas on how to find “Mr. Right.” I found out you can meet someone in unusual ways! For instance, I was standing in line at my local post office, minding my own business. A guy in front of me turned around to talk. He was holding a bunch of envelopes in one hand, he said, “With a face like yours, I feel like I can tell you anything”. He said, “I’m going to tell you everything!” He continued, “I lost my last four jobs, yep, they fired me. I’m mailing out six resumes, and my car was re-possessed.” So, I gave him my number! He looked like a nice guy. He called me up the next day and I heard a strange noise in the background. It sounded like a washer and dryer. Sure enough he said, “Debbie I’m calling you from the local Laundromat. They took my phone away. I’ve only got a minute to talk because I’m running out of change. I’d like to take you on a date for a WALK!” I replied, “A walk? I don’t do things like THAT on the first date!” I would write a note in my journal that would say, “I went out tonight with a guy that told me he had something very important to tell me before we ate dinner, and before we ordered. He was eating crackers and drinking water. Everything seemed fine. He suddenly leaned across the table and said, “I don’t use silverware.” I didn’t think anything of it until he ordered spaghetti! He ate with his fingers! That was a messy and interesting meal. After our main course he asked me, “What would you like for dessert?” I replied, “Anything but ice cream.” Men that meet me actually ask me to write about them in my books. However, I do not use their names. They enjoy the stories. They want to be in my books. They tell me about their unusual dating experiences. I went out with one guy I met at work. He said, “Debbie we’ve worked together for two years and never had lunch together. Let’s do lunch.” I agreed to go with him to lunch. We got to the restaurant and we ordered our food. When the food arrived my date started eating and talking to me very slowly. As he spoke I started blinking slowly. Something was hitting me in the eyes. He picked up speed and started talking faster and eating faster. I started blinking faster. I realized now he was spitting food in my eyes! I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want to hurt his feelings. He thought I liked him and was winking at him. After we ate, we got up to leave and my date said, “We have to do this again sometime. I had fun.” He then gave me a big “WINK.” One day I decided to take all my funny dating stories and poems from my journals and put them in a book. I contacted a local bookstore and they gave me a name of a publisher, iUniverse. I sent them my work. I published my first book titled, “Still Single.” It includes many humorous and heartwarming stories about my life as a single female, my family, poetry, and songs that I wrote through the years. I enjoyed reading from my book at my book signing events in libraries and bookstores. At one of my book signing events in Downtown Chicago, a talent scout from a comedy club spoke to me after my author event. He enjoyed my funny stories. He told me I should come out to his comedy club and tell these stories onstage! That was the start of how I became a comedian. I always enjoyed talking into a microphone and being onstage. Now, I took my stories and turned them into a one-woman comedy show. I started appearing in many theaters, comedy clubs, singles groups, charity events and women’s groups. Many organizations were hiring me to speak and do my comedy show for different events. It was amazing! I had fun. I incorporated my funny stories with various songs. Since I was already a singer in musicals, I added some celebrity impressions in my show and turned it into comedy and music. Everyone now knows me for my books and celebrity impressions. I have some of my comedy videos on my website. There are many comedians that influenced my life. I enjoy going out to live performances. I always enjoyed the classic shows. Like the “Dick Van Dyke” show and “I Love Lucy” show.
ED- Tell us about your on-stage performances and where are you appearing?
DSG-I have appeared in many theaters in Chicago, comedy clubs, singles groups, women’s organizations and charity events. I have a comedy appearance at a restaurant in Wilmette , IL . On March 23rd. I will be doing some more private events in the summer for birthday parties and two women’s groups. My website has all my upcoming appearances. www.stillsingle.org I enjoy singing, telling jokes and meeting the audience after the show. Sometimes people ask me questions during my book signing appearances. I answer questions after I read from my three books. I enjoy meeting new people and everyone is so nice.
DSG-That was my first book and it started my comedy career. It led me to write another book titled, “Still Dating.” It’s been an amazing ten years since my first book was released. I have people that follow me to my shows and book signing events. They have followed my career. It’s very heartwarming. People stay after my comedy shows and they talk to me. I’ve met a lot of wonderful people at my shows. I like to hear their advice about dating and I love to answer their questions. They ask me if I’ve tried different ways to meet a nice man. I love to go to the health club. I enjoy walking the track and working out. I always said that if you enjoy your life and what you’re doing, the right person will come along. When you least expect it, the right guy will come along. I have tried different things. But, If all else fails, one thing I know for sure is I can count on all the busboys in all my area restaurants! They love me! They cater to my every need. As soon as I walk in the restaurant and sit down, they come running over. They re-fill my water. I hand them a dollar. They are working hard. They come back to the table to take the plates away. I hand them a few more dollars. They come back again to give me a doggie bag. I hand some more. Yes, I’m proud to admit, the bus boys love me for my big TIP’S!
ED- What kind of response do you get from your audiences with your performances?
DSG-I have the most wonderful fans and audience members that come out to see my shows. Many men and women talk to me after my shows and want to tell me about their experiences. During book signings the audience likes to talk to me and ask questions. Single men and women tell me about their dating experiences and some talk about their divorces. In October of 2010, I started writing a weekly dating advice column for the Chicago Tribune Local editions. It’s called Triblocal.com for Skokie , IL . All my fans tell their friends to write to me and ask me for advice. I answer questions each week that single men and women write to me. I’ve had questions from divorced men and women and people that are separated and widowed also. I’m so happy to be able to read such sweet and kind letters from my readers.
ED- Your second book ‘Still Dating’ follows the same pattern of humor. Do you use this in your acts as well?
DSG-I put together a comedy routine based on my first two books. In “Still Dating” it’s all about funny dating stories. I didn’t include poems in this book. I wanted to write humorous stories only in my second book. It’s always nice to meet men that come up to me in my appearances and tell me about their funny dating experiences! I have some wonderful male friends in my life. I’ve stayed friends with a few of them for years. We’re like family. A few of them are single. A couple of them are married. They’re always telling me stories about their lives. We share so much and we’re all like family. I’m very lucky. In my book “Still Dating,” I also included stories about my widowed mom’s dates. On her first dinner date after becoming a widow, she went out with a man who was nicely dressed. He wore a suit with a bow-tie and nice slacks. He invited her to dinner.. He picked up the menu and pointed to what he wanted to eat. He just sat and smiled at her. He hardly ate anything. She continued to eat and talk to him and he just smiled. She wondered why he wasn’t talking and why he didn’t eat anything. She said, “Why aren’t you eating anything? Why aren’t you talking?” He quietly replied, “I forgot my TEETH at home.”
ED- We understand that you have also been seen on cable, television, and been heard on radio in the Chicago area. How have these venues helped your career as a comedian?
DSG- I have enjoyed being on many cable television shows in the Chicago land area and the suburbs here. Many radio stations have interviewed me about my books and my comedy shows. I have had so many wonderful articles written about me. I’m so honored to be a guest on the radio and television news shows. It’s a wonderful way for everyone to hear about where I’m appearing next. They stop in and meet me and tell me they heard me on the radio or saw me on television news shows. It’s fabulous! I really enjoy it.
ED- Your latest book, ‘My Husband the Stranger’, has recently been released. Please describe this book for us.
DSG- This new novel is much different than my other books. It is a drama story. I was married once a while back. I wasn’t happy. It ended nicely. We were friends. A couple of my girlfriends were divorced. When you get together with three women and two are going through a divorce and one had an annulment, what happens? You come out with a book titled, “My Husband the Stranger.” It’s based on a true story about my best girlfriends divorce with a bit of my humor. It’s a story about a forty-year old woman named, Lauren, who was about to give up on finding the love of her life when one of her girlfriend’s talked her into placing a “singles ad” in her local newspaper. She answered one ad. He seemed mysterious. She was intrigued. She meets Joshua, a tall handsome man. She falls in love with him, eventually marries him and finds out later her husband is a stranger. The story has been very helpful for many divorced women that have written to me. They’ve been telling me that they can relate to the story in the book. They went through similar experiences with their ex-husbands. It’s been wonderful for me to know that I’ve helped other women move on with their lives following a bad divorce.
ED- Debbie, where can our readers find your books and who is the publisher for them?
DSG- Readers can purchase my books at the publishers website, iUniverse.com. They are also available through, barnesandnoble.com, amazon.com, and all online bookstores. Also bookstores nationwide can order them if they don’t have them in the store. They are also available online at e-book, nook and Kobe Reader. I also have my books for sale on my website along with my line of t-shirts, caps, and coffee mugs. I have a “singles theme” line of accessories that are for sale on my website and at my author events. The response from single women has been great! They love the t-shirts and caps. I’ve sold so many coffee mugs at my events. They have the titles of my humorous books on them. It’s a conversation piece. They’re fun gifts for the single man or woman in your life. Many single women are wearing my t-shirts to the health club and men are seeing the title, “Still Single” & “Still Dating” on the front of the shirt. They’re asking them out on a date! It’s really great to hear. My mom, Lois, designed the cover art for my last two books. She’s an artist. She used to do murals on people’s walls in their kitchen. She has many paintings throughout her home. Everyone loves her art work. For my first book, I submitted some ideas of what I wanted on the cover to the publisher. They designed the first cover. They sent me some photos of different drawings and I picked out the one that I liked.
DSG- I started out as an extra in many films that were filmed in Chicago and the suburbs of Chicago . I met many celebrities and I have a collection of autographs on my basement wall. It was fun. It’s very hard work being an extra. You have to sometimes stand outside for many hours. If it’s cold outside, you have to wear very warm clothing and wait all day sometimes in the cold or rain. I had some nice scenes in various movies where they were filmed inside in a nice hotel or in a restaurant. I have all the movies I was in on video tapes. My mom came along with me and was also an extra. She has a lot of close ups in some of the movies. We both have a close up in the movie “The Untouchables”, along with many other movies. It was fun at the time. I haven’t done extra work in quite some time. But, I do hope to turn my new novel into a film. Everyone’s told me it would be a wonderful made for television movie. I would be so happy if someone turned my novel into a feature film, or Indie film. It would be fabulous to work on my movie. I can envision every scene being filmed. It would be a dream come true.
ED- Debbie, you seem like you have things well in hand and will enjoy a wonderful, and humorous, career ahead of you. We want to thank you for doing this interview with The Eerie Digest magazine and wish you the best of luck in all that you do.
DSG- Thank you so much Joe for inviting me to appear in your wonderful magazine! I really enjoyed our interview.