Big treat for us at Kings of Kindle today. We got in contact with Jess Degarmo, author of 'Hooking Up' and 'How to Meet a Guy at the Supermarket' and we were royally chuffed when she agreed to be interviewed.
Hey, Jess! Thanks for agreeing to be interviewed today.
Your second novel, ‘Hooking Up’ is out now and quickly gathering great reviews. Tell us a bit about it.
Well, in a nutshell, it’s about a young woman, Caitlin, who has just been left by her boyfriend of ten years. She goes out to a bar with her best friends to take her mind off of things, and one of her friends suggests that what she needs is a one-night stand to help get over her ex. At first, Caitlin scoffs at the idea. After all, who wants sex without emotion? But eventually, overcome with loneliness, she follows through with it. There’s just one problem: how did Caitlin end up with the only guy in town who wants more than a one-night stand?
Hmm... your first novel, ‘How to Meet a Guy at the Supermarket’ was also about the dating game – albeit in an unorthadox way… so...um….. how’s your love life!?
Pretty darn good, and I didn’t have to go to a supermarket to find him! My husband and I met at school fifteen years ago. We’ll celebrate our fourteenth wedding anniversary this September. I get questions from people all the time asking whether my husband minds that I’ve written about meeting a guy at the supermarket, but honestly, it’s mostly fiction. There may be some parts that are true, but I’m not telling!
Okay - we won't force you. Clearly woman have far more sexual freedom than they did pre the 1960’s. Do you feel it’s a level playing field for men and women now, or are women still treated differently to a man for having, say, a one-night-stand?
I think it’s more of a level playing field than it was, but I also think there are still some double-standards. I think TV shows like Sex in the City have glamorized casual sex a bit, but I’m thinking that guys have more of a problem with us having it than women do. Of course, I could be completely wrong. I’ve been off the shelf for a long time!
So, tell us about your worst ever date!
Uh, that would have to be when I met my date at the bowling alley and assured me that his parole officer said it was fine to stay out a bit past curfew, just this once. I was so glad I brought my own car!
Priceless. And the best?
It would have to be when my husband and I went to the Outer Banks for the first time in 2008. We went to this little pub that was tucked behind a shopping plaza and had the best burgers and crab legs ever. No kids, no obligations, just time with each other. It was amazing.
Ah yes, kids. You’re a busy mum, author, country music DJ and lead singer of a classic rock band. How on earth do you fit it all in and do your kids think you are the coolest mother ever?
Well, I don’t do housework, for starters! No, actually, I just carve the time out. I actually have more time now than I have in a while. While I wrote my first three books, I was also in college part-time and holding a full-time job as well. It was pretty crazy, but it’s amazing what people can accomplish if they set their mind to it. I didn’t have a lot of free time, and the writing was wherever, whenever I could manage it. There were a lot of long, sleepless nights when I’d be frantically typing. As far as my kids go, no, I’m just Mom. I’m the same Mom as always--the one who makes them clean their rooms, brush their teeth, eat their vegetables. But we’re close, and I hope we’ll always stay that way.
(Pehaps Jess's next book should be about how to train your husband to do housework - we'd be fascinated how she managed to do that!)What would be your advice to any aspiring novelists out there?
Oh, boy! That’s a loaded question! I think the key is to learn. Learn all you can about your subject matter and the writing process itself. Study up on different publishers and ways of publishing. And network! There are a lot of great author networking sites out there, such as www.authonomy.com and www.thatright.ning.com, to name a couple. You’ll learn so much about the whole publishing process simply by asking people who have already been there, done that. But I think the most important thing to do is to love it. Writing is so many different things to so many people. It can be therapeutic, even cathartic, to get your innermost thoughts on paper. Go for it, and have fun!
Great - we'll check those out. And finally, what would be your advice for any woman looking for love?
Um, avoid the freezer section unless you’re wearing a padded bra?
Seriously, love is what you make it. Don’t be afraid to try new things, especially if the old things aren’t working to your satisfaction. And really, I think the key to finding love is finding yourself first. If you truly understand yourself as a woman, you’ll have a much easier time figuring out which person is the perfect fit for you.
Thanks, Jess. (And we agree, the smuggling peanuts thing is not a good look....)
Jessica’s brand new novel ‘Hooking Up’, which we enjoyed enormously, can be bought from Amazon, as can her last novel, How to Meet a Guy at the Supermarket.