It all started when...
Tarja and Janine
met in 2015 through the 501(c)(3) nonprofit writing group Write on Mamas where Janine was event coordinator. Their first collaboration was directing and producing the San Francisco production of Listen To Your Mother. Through the process of essay submissions, auditions, rehearsals, securing sponsorships, and show day, they discovered that they had a shared history of ballet and performing and a shared desire to help women’s stories find their way into the world. In January of 2017, Moxie Road Productions was born.
Tarja Parssinen is a writer, performer, and producer, with a background in sales and marketing. Her prominent online presence as a blogger and social media whiz date back to 2010. To date, she has 1,648 followers of her humor site, The Flying Chalupa, on Twitter, and more than 600 followers on Facebook. She has forged relationships with Ann Imig of Ann’s Rants and Listen To Your Mother, as well as Jill Smokler of Scary Mommy. With an essay in the self-published smash success anthology You Have Lipstick On Your Teeth, the #1 rated book in Humor on Amazon in the summer of 2013, as well as an essay in the e-book from Simon & Schuster, Scary Mommy’s Guide To Surviving the Holidays,
Tarja is very familiar with positioning books pre and post-publication for maximum effect. In addition, she is a former National Account Sales Manager for Random House, selling books to Barnes & Noble. To this end, she knows how books stores work, what booksellers are looking for, the realities of book sales, and what ultimately sells books. Tarja also co-directed and co-produced the San Francisco production of Listen To Your Mother in 2016 and 2017.
Janine Kovac is a metaphorical juggler. A former professional ballerina who danced in Iceland, Italy, San Francisco, and her hometown of El Paso, Texas, she has worked as a database architect, a software engineer, a web maven for San Francisco’s literary festival Litquake, and as a ballet teacher. In addition to Listen To Your Mother, Janine has performed at Literary Death Match, Lit Crawl, Beast Crawl, KQED’s Perspectives, and Litquake’s Barely Published. An avid attendee of writing workshops, she is an alumna of the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley, Lit Camp, the Mineral School, and Hedgebrook and is the 2016 recipient of an Elizabeth George Foundation Fellowship.
Her writing has been anthologized in Mamas Write: 29 Tales of Truth, Wit, and Grit; Multiples Illuminated: A Collection of Stories and Advice from Parents of Twins, Triplets, and More and Nothing But the Truth: 51 Women Reveal the Power of Positive Female Connection. Janine holds a B.A. in cognitive science from U.C. Berkeley. Her thesis “A Cognitive Linguistic Analysis of Parenting” became the scientific foundation for her book Brain Changer: A Mother’s Guide to Cognitive Science, which chronicles her experience as the mother of twins born nearly four months before they are due. Janine tells the same story from her perspective as a ballet dancer in her new memoir SPINNING: Choreography for Coming Home, forthcoming this Fall from Moxie Road Productions.