What was your inspiration to start (and keep) writing?
I always said when I was young that I wanted to be a writer. That dream got shelved during college because I wasn’t sure if/how I’d ever be able to support myself. I ended up going into teaching, but the dream to write never died. I kept imagining my first storyline in my head, for, I don’t know, years, and then when I first found out about NaNoWriMo, I gave it a shot, and that’s what got me started. When I was teaching, a lot of my students thought it was cool that I was also a writer, and I loved teaching writing. Now that I’m staying at home with my son and freelancing, I’m finally getting to do what I love. I write parenting stuff for websites like Baby Gaga, Scary Mommy, and Mommy Effect. It’s a lot of fun. I hope someday to write a funny parenting memoir. I’m as sentimental and as mushy as they get, but there’s also a lot of weird, crazy stuff that happens when you get pregnant and become a parent that I wasn’t prepared for.
Tell us a bit about the genre you write in and how it found you?
I write chick lit/romance. A lot of my plots are the “I wonder what would have happened if…’s” to real-life events, like what I would have liked to have seen happen. Or what I wish would have really happened. Or what could have happened. It’s like when I write, I kind of get to reimagine or rewrite history.
Is there any author whom you’d admire and read every book they publish? Who and why?
I’ve read a lot of Emily Giffin. I read Love The One You’re With and bawled my eyes out because at the time, I could totally relate to the increasingly more unhappy marriage/chance encounter with long lost love storyline. Something about her writing and her characters drew me in. I think I’ve read all but a couple of her titles, and she has a new book coming out this summer, so I’m sure it’ll end up on my Kindle at some point!
If you watch TV what are your shows right now?
I can’t keep up with regular TV, or my DVR would be overflowing. We went through a phase where we watched a lot of HGTV (we were moving and renovating our house) but these days, we try to record The Americans and Archer and watch them when our hands aren’t full dealing with #BabyGoodwin. I’m lucky that my husband does bedtime every night, so I crawl into bed and watch Netflix on my iPad until I get really sleepy. I watched all of Fuller House and Chelsea Does… on NetFlix and I’m currently working my way through The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. If my husband doesn’t watch Season 3 of House of Cards with me soon, I may have to move on without him so I have something to keep me occupied until the next season of Orange is the New Black.
Do you have any talents other than writing that your fans maybe don’t know about?
Not really… I like to cook, but even if I start out following a recipe, I usually end up chucking ingredients and making it my own. I tried crocheting a few times, but I never kept up with it. I’m not super crafty. My husband bakes, though. If I ever need to take a dish somewhere, he can usually hook me up with some kind of dessert.
Do you have any writing rituals we should all start doing?
Just write a little bit, every day. There will be times where you’re stuck, or you’re tired, or you don’t feel like writing, but you’ve got to make it a habit.When my son was born, I’d think, ok, after he goes down for the night, I’ll take my laptop upstairs and just write in bed… Except I was always too tired and never felt like it. I ended up curling up in bed with a notebook and writing down all my thoughts and plans for what I wanted to write the following day. I was able to get my ideas out onto paper so I at least felt somewhat productive, and knew what I wanted to get done in the morning. Now that my son takes two big naps during the day, as soon as he’s down, I’m on my computer. Can’t let nap time go to waste!
What is your favorite movie? & then book to movie?
I am SO indecisive when it comes to questions like these. I can never just answer with one thing. If I’m channel surfing and I see that The Devil Wears Prada, Sex and the City, (the movie) Breakfast at Tiffany’s, or Jaws is on – I’ll watch. Yes, I know one of those things is not like the other. Haha. My favorite book-to-movie is Something Borrowed. When my second book, The One Who Got Away, came out, it hit the Amazon bestseller list right behind Emily Giffin’s book – I freaked out, my friends freaked out. Seeing the movie (with Ginnifer Goodwin and Kate Hudson!) come on TV is a reminder that anything can happen!
If you could go on vacation anywhere where would you choose and why?
My husband and I are going to Tuscany this summer (cross that one off the bucket list) but that doesn’t answer the question. I’d love to go anywhere. It’s so hard to narrow it down. I love traveling. I keep saying that one of these days I’d like to do some fabulous week in one of those over-the-water tiki huts in Fiji, but there’s so much to go and see and DO while we’re young, so I can’t decide. Anyplace that has cool little towns and good food, and I’m in!
What are three foods you can’t live without?
I make this killer chicken parm recipe. It’s so easy and has become an almost weekly meal at our house.
Pizza from this Italian market near us. (I love carbs, carbs love me.) They do wine tastings on Friday nights, so we go and have a few slices, some wine, and hang out.
Sleepytime Herbal Tea with honey. Helps me relax and unwind before getting into bed at night.
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
I don’t have a big one, but I have a lot of little ones. Group texts or social media messages, especially if I don’t know the other people in the message. People who don’t use turn signals, because I can’t read people’s minds. UPS drivers that don’t pay attention the sign on the door that says “BABY NAPPING – PLEASE DON’T KNOCK!” and then bang on the door anyway. Mommy Wars – can’t we all just take care of our kids without worrying about keeping up with the Joneses? People who can’t put their shopping cart back in the corral in the parking lot – especially when it’s like two feet away!
Win 1 of 5 eBook copies of Clarissa Jean, Homecoming Queen.
About the Author:
Jessica Goodwin lives in northern Virginia near Washington, DC with her husband, son, and their two cats. She likes cookies, coffee, and anything that sparkles. If she could have any animal for a pet, it would be a T-Rex. She loves experimenting in the kitchen, going wine tasting, singing in the shower, and taking pictures of the baby.
Two of Goodwin’s books, ‘Here We Go’ and ‘The One Who Got Away’ have been on the Amazon bestseller list. In March 2012, her third book, ‘One of the Guys,’ received an Honorable Mention in Sapphire Star Publishing’s Month of Romance contest. These titles were originally published on Amazon under her former name, Jessica Strassner, but have been rereleased under the name Jessica Goodwin.
Goodwin is also a mom blogger with work appearing on Scary Mommy, Baby Gaga, and Mommy Effect. She hopes to someday write a humorous parenting memoir.
Visit www.jessica-goodwin.com for more information.
Find her here:
About her Book:
When Claire Bradshaw decides to end her dead-end relationship of several years, she only has one place to go – back home to the tiny town of Palmetto Park. Claire keeps bumping into people from her past as she struggles to shake her “better than everybody” reputation, make peace with her enemies, and even attempts to rekindle an old flame. Claire gets to know her old friends all over again and gets to know more about herself as she starts over – right back where it all started.
Join her upcoming Book Tour here:
Thank you so much Jessica Goodwin for being my Author of the Week this week & check out her feature page here.