Two shows she created – Two Broke Girls, co-created with Michael Patrick King, and her eponymous sitcom Whitney – had just premiered on major networks, thanks to her early success doing stand-up on late-night TV and appearing on Comedy Central roasts.

With Whitney floundering, Cummings had to learn quickly and at a young age how to be the boss of the show.

Dealing with the failure of Whitney and subsequently E!’s Love You, Mean It With Whitney Cummings – “I thought I was going to do this incisive show with like Michael Moore and Malcolm Gladwell; instead I got Snooki,” she says – forced her to re-evaluate what success meant to her.

The book may be hitting shelves today, but writing – especially humor writing – has been Cummings’ coping mechanism since she was a teen.

Similar to how 2 Broke Girls presented what’s like to be poor, young and living in a big city in a way that resonated with people, putting Roseanne back on the air, she says, is a way to get a middle-class family back on TV. As she hits the road with a bunch of friends including Neal Brennan, Cummings’ shows are going to revolve around her new book.

“It made me realize that people don’t just want funny. With so much on going in the news right now, and so many people in a lot of pain, I don’t think people want jokes and me to only talk about my bad relationships. No one is talking about mental illness, and it’s comedians that are pushing the envelope and talking about something that people are pretending isn’t happening.”

Whitney Cummings