22 Feb 2014

Meet the lovely Jennifer Sadera

Do dreams ever inspire your writing? What did you last dream about?
I would love to say I dream at night and then wake up inspired! Sadly, my dreams tend to be incredibly boring. The last dream I recall had me waiting my turn in a doctor's office! How awful is that? On the up side, I have always been a dreamer during daylight hours. I was that kid in class looking out the window and making up stories in my mind when everyone else was learning algebra. I can tell you some fantastic tales from those days but don't ask me if x+y=z. I have no clue.

When did you first start writing? And when were you first published?
I began writing when I was 8. I wrote my first “novella” in a spiral binder. It was about a girl who found a magic coin and had to deal with the consequences—good and bad—of that discovery. After I graduated from college, I landed a job as a junior copywriter at NAL publishing in New York City. The pace was slow and my boss was horrible so I switched it up a bit and jumped into magazine publishing. I was an assitant beauty editor at “Woman's World” magazine and then moved on to associate and senior beauty editor positions at “Redbook” and the now defunct “Beauty” magazine. It was then that my first articles were published.

What is it about 'chick lit' that appeals to you the most? Do you read other genres?
I read every kind of genre out there. When people ask me what I do, I tell them I read a lot and write a little. I think all good writers are primarily readers. Genre isn't a factor so much as the writing. I will read a book about zombies bitten by vampires, whisked away by aliens and reintroduced to earth as family pets if the writing is good. Why limit oneself to genre? That said, I do love “chick lit” for its often upbeat, lighthearted approach to life. My personality tends to be annoyingly optimistic so “chick lit” is often a natural choice for me due to the upbeat nature of the writing.

Can you tell us a little about your latest book?

FLAWLESS is a bit heavy. I would actually label it a dark contemporary but it does have its light moments. It's a story about a young woman's search for her essence--what is true in her core--amid all the extraneous matter floating around her. It's about the search for love and meaningful relationships despite the perception that she is perfect and has no right to look any further than in the mirror--at her own beautiful face.

What inspired you to write it?
As I have mentioned, what inspired FLAWLESS was an observation that I (and I suppose every female) made when glancing around me: perceived perfection amid a sea of flawed faces. I mean, who among us hasn't gazed at the girl with the perfectly proportioned features and not-a-hair-out-of-place kind of perfection without wondering--even fleetingly-- what it would be like to live her life? Let's face it, the universal perception is that anyone possessing the outward markers--things like great wealth, fame or beauty--must automatically be HAPPY. The idea fascinates me and pushed me to explore the concept more closely in order to write that novel.

Have you ever spotted anyone reading your books anywhere?
No! But I keep looking! What a thrill that must be.

Who designs your covers?
I do!!! I mentioned recently that the cover of FLAWLESS was in my mind from the moment I started writing and never wavered during the two-year process of getting the story written, edited, etc. The closeup is actually my daughter who was blessed with the most gorgeous eyes the color of a blue summer sky. The connection is important to the book's message because we can all gaze up into a cloudless sky and feel as though we can see everything with no clouds obscuring our view. Yet in reality what do we see? Fathomless blue. Beautiful but not revealing. That's also why I only revealed one eye and I turned her face so it's off-kilter. It's not a perfect likeness of her or a perfect picture, which makes a mockery, of sorts, of the book's title. As I said recently, I like to think the concept works. I hope it does.

If your latest book was made into a film, who would you cast?
ScarJo would have to be Lia. She's unrivaled in her beauty but has such a vulnerable quality to her. Even her voice is alluring (as you know, I'm sure, she is the voice of the "love interest" in HER). Perhaps Robert Pattinson as Chad. He's just so sexy. And a really soulful actor to play Wilson. Actor James Franco keeps popping into my mind. He's often funny but I think he could dig down a few layers and connect with Wilson's character.

What's your favourite Chick Lit book that made it to the big screen?

I really liked "In Her Shoes," but c'mon, it's got to be Bridget Jones! Funny, funny, funny!

What were the last two books you read?
"Rules of Civility" by Amor Towles and "Freudian Slip" by Erica Orloff

Name one female author who you think deserves to be better known.
Michelle Tea. Loved her book "Rose of No Man's Land." It straddles NA and Women's Contemp and there is a scene in it that had me nearly wetting my pants, it was so funny. Yet the story is poignant and heartrending. She's the real deal--true talent and insight into the modern woman's mind.

Where do you write?
I have a lovely office on the top floor of my house with a bay of windows overlooking the Catskill mountain range. My husband just renovated the entire space and I love him for his thoughtfulness (as well as many other things!). It's got built-in bookshelves and a writing desk he crafted himself. How lucky am I?

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? And did you follow the dream?
All I ever wanted to do was write. It's all I want still. I DO love my garden and I enjoy designing flower beds as a hobby and side business, but even when I'm digging and planting, my mind is turning over ideas for possible plots or characters.

In the movie of your life, who would play you?
Meryl Streep. She can play ANYONE so why not me?

Speed Round...
Top drink to make you tipsy?
Shopaholic or shopadon't? Shopaholic when it comes to handbags and home garden d├ęcor--otherwise not so much
Sky high heels or closer to the ground? Closer to the ground--I'm not very graceful!
E.L. James or Jilly Cooper? Jilly Cooper all the way. Spice is nice but c'mon...I mean if you're making meatloaf with a touch of oregano it's yum...but remove most of the meat in favor of keeping just the spice--not very filling is it? "Fifty Shades" just leaves me hungry.
Cry baby or tough cookie? COMPLETE cry baby (and I'm convinced that's the quality I tap into to do my best writing)

Exotic beach or enchanted forest? Enchanted forest EVERY TIME. Every forest is enchanted--I love the idea of never knowing what's behind the next tree I look past: maybe it's an ethereal mix of foam flowers and ferns, or a spongy carpet of moss. I'm in my element in nature....

Jennifer McGill-Sadera first worked in the publishing industry as a junior copywriter for NAL/Penguin. She has written and edited for newspapers and magazines as a free-lancer and on the staffs of major women's publications "Woman's World" and "Redbook." Her New Adult novel "Flawless" is her first published book, though she admits to writing three previous unpublished books "just for fun." A nature lover, she recently became a certified horticulturist and has a side business designing flower gardens. She and her husband live in upstate New York with their two kids, two dogs and a lop-eared rabbit, who, incidentally, has a starring role in "Flawless."

To order hard copies or Kindle eBooks of FLAWLESS:
Amazon US

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