Author's Note: Since I conducted this interview, Jessica has begun yet another book, Six Weeks. A sample of the first draft can be read here.
Jessica Degarmo grew up in Upstate New York and now lives in the rural Northern Tier of Pennsylvania with her husband, children and dogs. When she is not at her job as branch manager/licensed insurance broker, she writes and sings in a classic rock band. She is the author of How to Meet a Guy at the Supermarket and Hooking Up, both from Night Publishing, and Decisions from Silver Publishing July 2011. She is currently working on several other projects.
1. It's a pleasure to have you join us on Authors on Show this week. Your latest book, Hooking Up, is getting off to a strong start. What inspired you to write it?
Well, I guess I've always been intrigued by the different components of relationships. I got to thinking one day about how stereotypically, you'll see a guy instigate a one night stand and leave the woman behind wanting more. I wondered what would happen if the tables were turned?
2. Did you always set out to write in the 'chick lit' genre, or do you have other interests as well?
I love mysteries and crime-fiction but I find that It's much harder for me to write that sort of book. I do enjoy a good romance, and I've read hundreds, so I guess that writing romances is the next step.
3. When did you get started in writing and was being an author always your ambition?
I've always liked to write, but I only started writing seriously in January 2010. Looking back, I guess I always did want to be an author, but I never thought it would actually happen. To say I'm excited is an understatement!
4. In addition to Hooking Up and your last novel, How to Meet a Guy at the Supermarket released by Night Publishing, you have yet another book, Decisions, coming out from your second publisher Silver Publishing July 16. Meanwhile, are you planning on writing any more books within the next year?
Yes, I'm working on several other projects right now, and I'm only a few months away from completing my fourth book. After that, I'll probably work on some of the little partial manuscripts I've started to see if I can finish any of them.
5. Are there messages in your novels that you want readers to grasp?
It seems to be a theme in my books that women overcome adversity and find what they are looking for, along with themselves in the process. If I send the message to my readers that there's always a way to achieve your dreams and desires, then I guess I've done my job!
6. Are experiences in your books based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Well, not really, but not really no, either. We've all experienced things in our lives, and although my characters and story lines are completely fictitious, there may be shades of truth in there, somewhere. Maybe.
7. Where can readers purchase your books?
Both of my books are available at amazon.com as either paperbacks or e-books.
8. If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I really, really love LaVyrle Spencer and Nora Roberts writing as J.D. Robb. They are both amazing writers with completely different styles, but they both speak to me.
9. What are you currently reading?
Honestly, nothing fun at the moment. I've had to put my reading for pleasure on hiatus while I finish up my last semester at college. I guess you could say that I'm reading my textbooks...
10. Word has it that you're going to be honored with the Continuing Education Part-Time Student award from your college. Tell our readers more about this accomplishment.
If I knew, I'd tell you! I have no idea what the award is or why I've won it. The award ceremony is in a few weeks. All I know is that I'm honored to have won something. Winning is fun.
11. Several authors are active online. Do you have a web site and/or
social network pages?
I have a facebook page, Books by Jessica Degarmo, and my blog is www.jessicadegarmo.com. Hope to see everyone there!
12. Do you have anything else specific you'd like to tell readers?
Thank you! Thank you for reading my books! I hope that you enjoy them. And I hope that you reach for your hopes and dreams. I did, and it was the best thing I ever did.