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If you’re in the mood for: Humor, a long chat with a good friend, a belly laugh, inspiration
OverBOOKED Meet the Author: Mary Katherine Backstrom
Author and speaker Mary Katherine Backstrom has a knack for touching the heart (and funny bone) of her community members.
You may know “MK” from her Mom Babble online community, her hilarious viral videos or the time she was featured on The Ellen DeGeneres Show after she gave a stranger a holiday hug and her "Holiday Magic" video went viral. With Mom Babble, MK has compiled heart-warming (and hilarious) essays on the “noise” of family life.
MK writes to her audience (and speaks to them on her live videos) with the tone of a friend who “gets” you. Due out April 7th, Mom Babble is one you can read straight through or pick up when you need a break or some comfort.
OverBOOKed reached out to MK so we could get to know a little more about her!
MK currently resides in Fort Myers, Florida, with her husband Ian (her college sweetheart) and their two children; Benjamin, 6, and Holland, 4. “I was born and raised in Alabama,” Backstrom says, “which explains my southern accent and frequent use of y’all.”
MK brings comic relief to life’s everyday turmoil, uplifting her audience and making them feel less alone. More important than her humor, though, is her willingness to publicly share her vulnerability.
Upon seeing a copy of her first published book, MK told her online community the story of how others’ perception of her deeply hurt her. As a senior in high school, the school paper ran a special section where outgoing seniors shared where they saw their classmates in ten years. MK never forgot how she felt when she ran to the stack of school papers to learn what her classmates said about her.
The paper stated, “In ten years, I see Mary Katherine having big ideas and never following through,”
“It gutted me,” MK recalls. “To be honest. I’ve always been a big dreamer, and (let’s be honest) big dreams don’t always come true. But I had no idea that people (or perhaps, just one person) felt like I was such a joke.”
For years, MK carried the weight of those words. “Every time I failed, it felt like an affirmation that I was, truly, a joke,” she shares.
MK is proud to share that, before she became an author, “God did a work in my heart, reminding me that I was His, quirks and all, and that He had a plan for me—a good plan.
“When I trusted Him, I finally started living in my purpose. And wouldn’t you know it? God worked a miracle through my gift of writing. Here I am, a published author. I had a big idea, and it was God who pulled it through.”
MK is satisfied with how she has grown, “I am very happy with the way that narrative was rewritten,” she says.
OverBOOKed asked MK a few questions about where she is now, what she would share with her past self and what she wants to share with her readers.
OverBOOKed: What are three things you would tell your 12-year-old self?
MK: “Oh, my poor, sweet 12-year-old self. I would just stop, give her a hug and tell her everything will truly turn out okay. I think that’s what most of us need at that age.”
OverBOOKed: “In two lines, what do you hope your readers will take away from your book?
MK: “I hope readers find comfort and solidarity in those pages. I honestly just want my readers to laugh and feel less alone.”
OverBOOKed: Who inspires you?
MK: “Strong women who aren’t afraid to lift one another up. I could list 100, but I would rather let people read that description and imagine the ones they know. Go thank those women for being who they are.”
Take Three! 3 Fun-Facts About: Mary Katherine Backstrom:
1. MK believes in the idea of “Love God and Love People.”
2. As an online persona, MK has her fair share of embarrassing moments. Her most embarrassing? Once, during a live stream, the camera accidentally gave “a sneaky peak” of her underwear! Soon, the online comments started rolling in. “Talk about a slow-motion anxiety attack!” she says of the experience.
3. MK’s ideal day would begin with her sleeping until she wakes on her own. “That is a luxury most mothers rarely get,” she says.
*Originally posted October 18, 2020