Q&A with Jessica Strawser ~ Author of “Almost Missed You” ~ Paperback Release 2-6-18 @jessicastrawser @kab0207 @stmartinspress

Thank you for taking the time to answer some questions! Your fans will love getting to know you.

Jessica Strawser is editor-at-large for Writer’s Digest, where as editorial director for nearly a decade she became known for her in-depth interviews with such talents as David Sedaris and Alice Walker. She is the author of the novels Almost Missed You, named to Barnes & Noble’s Best New Fiction shortlist (March 2017), and Not That I Could Tell, coming March 2018. She has written for The New York Times Modern Love, Publishers Weekly and others, and is a popular speaker at writing conferences. She lives with her husband and two children in Cincinnati.

Author Q & A for Jessica Strawser

Q – It seems that you have had quite an exciting career revolving around reading, editing, and now writing books! What kind of reader were you as a child? What genre did you love as a child? What book do you remember carrying with you everywhere?

A – I was always reading as a child and as a teen—often when I was supposed to be doing other things (like sleeping) instead. On days I was home sick from school, I’d read Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys all day (and play Boggle with my patient mom!). I loved everything by Judy Blume—Just As Long As We’re Together is the one I remember reading over and over—but also books where the natural world factored in strongly: Where the Red Fern Grows, Island of the Blue Dolphins, The Indian in the Cupboard … anything that captured my imagination. I also started reading some adult mysteries—Mary Higgins Clark in particular—at a fairly young age.

Q – Do your two children love to read? What advice can you offer parents who are trying to instill of love a reading in their children?

A – They do—which makes me so happy! Every night we have story time before bed, snuggling up with a handful of picture books. We’ve been doing it since they were infants, and I think it’s everyone’s favorite part of the day. That’s such a great ritual—and I also encourage family trips to the library. It’s a wonderful way for them to discover books they might not otherwise, to pick things out for themselves, and to haul home as many titles as they want without stretching your wallet! (Later, of course, we’ll buy our favorites.)

Q – Can you describe the most influential educator you had in your life…someone who encouraged you to pursue your dreams?

A – I really looked up to my advisor in journalism school, Patricia Westfall. She’d had a successful career as a magazine editor and went on to teach, to publish cozy mysteries, to paint, to renovate this amazing old house outside of town … and she really made it seem possible not only to carve out the kind of life you want for yourself, but to pursue more than one creative avenue. I know she’s retired now, but I’d love to see her again one day.

Q – If we were to interview your mother or father, what might she say to us if we asked her what you were like as a child?

A – That I was a straight-A student with an independent streak, a responsible and (mostly) kind big sister (my brother is six years younger than me), and could entertain myself for hours with books, stuffed animals, and something called my “junk collection” (don’t ask).

Q – Preferences… cold beer, aged wine – spicy or mild – dark chocolate or milk chocolate – beachside or country living – ice cream sundae or cone?

A – Both (the darker the beer the better, and any wine but chardonnay), mild, dark, beach, and sundae!

Q – Where does the inspiration for your characters come from? Are any of them based on real people in your life? 

A – I’ll sometimes take emotional or thematic inspiration from real life, but not so much characters. Dreaming them up is part of the fun of fiction writing for me.

Q – What do you love about where you live in Ohio?

A – It has an amazing bike trail that runs through a wonderful park and historic district. A perfect afternoon for my family would be a long bike ride, plenty of time to skip rocks in the river, and wood-fired pizza and lawn games in the trailside beer garden.

Q – Where is the most unique or ideal place that you have traveled or vacationed?

A – Camping on a secluded beach at Bahia Honda State Park, an island north of Key West, was amazing. It’s hard to beat panoramic sunset view from the old portion of Highway 1 that’s been turned into an overlook there.

Q – Describe a secret talent, one that some people may not know you have!

A – I danced for 14 years, mostly ballet but also tap, jazz—I never pursued it seriously, but I did once do the time step with a Rockette on the stage of Radio City Music Hall.

Q – Can you give your fans a little hint about what you are working on now and what we can expect from you in the future?

A – I’m working on my third upmarket book club novel with St. Martin’s Press now. It’s tentatively titled Forget You Know Me, and with any luck will be out in 2019.

Buy Jessica Strawser’s books on AMAZON

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