Behind Mammy Banter: Derry’s Serena Terry ‘so proud’ of new book ‘Mammy Banter - the Secret Life of An Uncool Mum’
‘Mammy Banter’ aka Derry woman Serena Terry, became a huge online success during lockdown and in the months since.
With her spot on videos of parenthood, navigating the pandemic, working from home and the highs and lows of life itself, she gained hundreds of thousands of fans around the world.
This week, Serena’s ‘Mammy Banter’ popularity has been cemented with the pre-order launch of her self-penned new book, titled ‘Mammy Banter - The Secret Life of an Uncool Mum.’
Published by Harper Collins,who approached her earlier this year, Serena told the Journal the publication is ‘a dream come true,’ and the realisation of a life-long wish.
“I’m so excited and also so proud. I’ve always wanted to write a book. With ‘Mammy Banter,’ the videos are great but the book has given me an opportunity to beef out Mammy Banter’s story - her history growing up, what she was like as a teenager, how she’s coping with getting older and parenthood and finding grey hairs! I’ve really been able to flesh out and her family life and professional life and all that comes with it. I feel like it’s Bridget Jones for mammies.”
The book is fictional but Serena told how some of it is ‘loosely based on the truth’.
“As a teen growing up she wanted to be a star, which is what I thought I was going to be. And there are the calamities of dealing with children and all that. But it’s all dramatised to make it a lot funnier. I brought emotion into it too, so it pulls at the heartstrings. I am so proud of it and so excited and genuinely can’t wait until it goes out into the world.”
Serena told how she wanted to make sure the book followed the theme of her videos - ‘relatable, real life content, without the b******t’.
“There’s nothing there with a big Instagram filter. What you see is what you get and the book had to follow the same theme, or else I’d be doing a disservice to Mammy Banter.”
Serena’s videos show the hilarious, frustrating, endearing and chaotic intricacies of life and it is this honesty that has won fans and ‘shares’ right across the world. She outlined how the feedback she receives shows that people are grateful for her honesty and very much see themselves in ‘Mammy Banter’.
“People will say to me in the comments: ‘Oh My God, you say what I think or I thought it was just me.’ When I first put myself out there I was hoping that these things happened to other people and not just me. I was falling apart at the start of the pandemic and wondered if other people were feeling the same way. It turns out they did. I thought: ‘If we don’t laugh, we’ll cry’ and people tell me how I make them feel so much better. But, they make me feel better too. Validation goes both ways.”
Serena has been extremely candid in her videos about her mental health and the fact she takes medication for anxiety. The feedback on this has been massively positive as people work to reduce the stigma of mental illness.
Serena, who also runs her business, ‘Catchy Co’ told how she finds inspiration for her videos from daily life and ‘the calamity that goes with being a working mammy in my mid-30s, coming out of lockdown’.
“It’s me and it’s dramatised a bit, but it could be something as random as seeing a meme and thinking that it would be funny if I did this and customise it for my audience.”
Serena said it is ‘amazing,’ to think that she has reached people so far away.
“My first video that went viral quite quickly in America was around the eighth or ninth I’d done and I remember wondering how they could understand me. I think Derry Girls definitely paved the way for that. Some people think I’m Erin in the show or Saoirse-Monica Jackson, which is definitely a compliment. But, it shows you how global the series has gone that when they hear me talking they automatically go, ‘she’s from Derry.’
The vast proportion, although not all,of Serena’s followers are women and/or mothers.
“And mammies are the worst in the world for comparing ourselves or having guilt. It goes back again to the theme of my content and why people say it’s so relatable. We look at it with humour and say: ‘You’re not alone, I’m right here with you’.
You can pre-order the book at https://www.bookstation.ie/product/untitled-serena-terry-book-1/