Nora McInerny pivots to fiction with 'Bad Moms' novelization

Nora McInerny

Nora McInerny Promo

Like a lot of moms out there right now, Nora McInerny is doing her best.

On a Thursday at the empty Still Kickin’ offices, McInerny is trying to chat about her new book, Bad Moms: The Novel, and contend with the constant demands of her seven-year-old son, Ralph.

“Ralph, what do you need?”

“Yes, you can drink out of that.”

“I’m obviously on the phone, Ralph.”

With four kids at home, McInerny is no stranger to being a mom. She was able to channel some of that experience into her writing when she was asked by the creators of the Bad Moms films to write the novel and help expand their universe.

“The guys who wrote the film [Scott Moore and Jon Lucas] had read my book It’s OK to Laugh and liked it, and they approached me about being a ghostwriter on the book,” she says. “That shifted to, you’re the one writing it, so you should take the credit. Which is really refreshing and cool.”

For those who aren’t familiar, Bad Moms (both the book and the movies) follows the lives of three moms who go… bad through their insane adventures in parenting and navigating pretty much all facets of life. While it’s not unusual for a book to be turned into a film, McInerny says the idea of doing it in reverse provided a lot of creative opportunities.

“When a book is translated into a movie, you lose a lot,” she says. “You have like 90 minutes and you need to get to the jokes. But writing this book allowed me to create more of a backstory and develop these characters that I already love even more. If you’ve ever been engaged in mom culture, you know it’s bananas. It’s nurturing and cutthroat at the same time, and I had a lot of fun with that.”

Though Bad Moms has a global following, McInerny has developed quite a fanbase of her own through sharing her life experiences. While she says there are some of those weaved into the book, she welcomed the chance to not be her own main character.

“Do you think I want to pick my scabs forever?” she says. “It was so nice to do something different. I mean, I love all the things I do and I love writing nonfiction, but I also loved writing this book and really enjoyed leaning into comedy.”

Before she can dive any deeper into her desire to explore her more creative side, mom duty once again comes calling.

“That’s an expensive light! You don’t need to play with it. You don’t need to touch expensive shit!” she tells Ralph, proving that she may be new to the Bad Moms world, but is an OG in the everyday mom universe.