Thursday, November 15, 2012

Jessica Grose gives us the inside scoop, plus a book giveaway

Photo by Judith Ebenstein
**Giveaway is now closed**

Today we welcome Jessica Grose and her debut novel Sad Desk Salad. Jessica writes about women's issues, family, culture, and grizzly bears. She was formerly a senior editor at Slate, and an editor at Jezebel. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, New York, Glamour, Marie Claire, Bloomberg Businessweek, and several other publications. Jessica is the co-author, with Doree Shafrir, of Love, Mom: Poignant, Goofy, Brilliant Messages from Home, based on their blog, Postcards From Yo Momma. She lives in Brooklyn.

You can find Jessica on Facebook, Twitter and at her website.

Thanks to HarperCollins, we have FIVE copies of Sad Desk Salad to give away to some lucky readers anywhere in the US.

What was the most challenging about the writing process for you?
Keeping faith. I kept worrying: what if this is awful? What if no one will tell me it's awful? What if I spend months and months on this and I never sell it? Ultimately I needed to trust my own taste, and not be so outwardly focused. I had to internalize the mantra that the process was worthwhile, no matter what the outcome was. I could always feel proud of the fact that I wrote an entire book, even if nothing had ever happened with it.

In one sentence, what was road to publishing like?
Somewhat bumpy, fueled by strong coffee.

Do you have a favorite character or one you most identify with?
My favorite character is the best friend, Jane. She's an amalgam of a lot of my good friends, and I loved showing a supportive, and hopefully realistic, female friendship. I also adore Caleb, the ex-boyfriend, because he's just such a bonehead, and he provides a lot of the belly laughs in later chapters.

What's the most interesting comment you've received about the book so far?
Someone tweeted at me that her values felt challenged by the novel, which was the greatest compliment I could get. Even though on the surface, the book is a fun mystery, I really did hope to grapple with bigger, more serious issues like privacy on the internet, and what celebrity means in our culture today. So that a reader was engaging with it on that level was great. Also an interviewer described the book as a story about a girl breaking up with her computer, which I thought was really clever.

If Sad Desk Salad were made into a movie, whom would you cast in the lead roles?
I would make Emma Stone the heroine Alex--she has that perfect blend of intelligence, comedic quickness and complexity (I think Alex is a lot like Emma's awesome character in Easy A, Olive. I loved that movie and her in it!).
Funniest thing that happened to you recently.
I am almost eight months pregnant so there are LOTS of funny things that happen to me physically on a daily basis but I'm not sure any of them are fit to share in mixed company. Someone told me yesterday that pregnant women in New York City are legally allowed to pee anywhere they want. I have not yet tested the boundaries of this law but thinking about it makes me laugh and laugh.
Are you a cat or dog person?
Dog! My parents have a cockapoo named Cassie that I get to dogsit on occasion. She is the cutest. Also I have spent more time than I'd like to admit watching Corgi videos on the Internet.
What is one item you can't live without?
Running sneakers. Though my running career is on hiatus since I am so pregnant, I can't wait to get back outside for a run. It's my favorite hobby, it clears my head and makes me feel great.

Tell us one author who you would love to meet.
Nora Ephron. Maybe in some quippy afterlife...

Thanks to Jessica for a fun visit and HarperCollins for sharing her book with our readers.

How to win Sad Desk Salad:
Please comment below with your e-mail address. (Please note: Entries without an e-mail address will NOT be counted. You can use AT and DOT to avoid spam. Or provide a link to your facebook page or blog if you can receive messages there.)  

Bonus entries (can be listed all in one post):
1. In honor of the title, please answer ONE of the following questions:
a. When was the last time you were sad?
b. What is the coolest item on your desk?
c. What is your favorite salad dressing?

2. Follow this blog and post a comment saying you are a follower (if you already follow, that's fine too).
3. Post this contest on Facebook or Twitter or in your blog, and leave a comment saying where you've posted it.
4. Join Chick Lit Central on Facebook. Edit settings if you don't want to receive a lot of messages at your e-mail account. Please read our posting guidelines as well. (If you're already a member, let us know that too.)

5. Follow us on Twitter and/or Pinterest.
6. Add a friend to our Facebook group. (Tell us who you added.) Be sure to remind them to edit their settings.

US only. Giveaway ends November 20th at midnight EST.


Movie Passenger said...

The coolest thing on my desk is the photo of my oldest son when he was three months old, in a frame that says "relax." Loved the interview!

Kristen said...

The coolest thing on my desk is a photo collage of a trip to Rome. :)

I follow on facebook and email!


EFC Chrissy said...

My favorite salad dressing is a house made honey balsamic from a local restaurant. It is so creamy and tasty.

I follow the blog, twitter, facebook, and email! I just can't get enough. =)

Marthalynn said...

I would definitely watch this if it were a movie, especially if Emma Stone were starring in it!

Umm, I was sad just a couple of days ago :( Pregnancy hormones...

I follow via GFC.

marthalynn16 at gmail

Jessica said...

1. I'll answer the salad dressing question because I loveee salad dressing! I'd have to say the balsamic vinaigrette dressing from Panera Bread. Just typing this makes me wish I had some right now! It's so good I could drink it plain!
2. I follow through GFC.
3. I posted this on twitter.
4. I'm a member of Chick Lit Central on facebook.
5. I follow through twitter and pinterest. twitter= xxpaperhearts

-Jessica M

rhonda said...

Sounds like it would. Be a great movie.follow on twitter at rhondareads.

susieqlaw said...

I heart honey mustard salad dressing.

I follow the blog, facebook, and twitter

tweeted about contest @susieqlaw

sendsusanmail AT gmail DOT com

Susan @ The Book Bag said...

1. What is the coolest item on your desk? That would have to be the Toucan coffee mug I won at a library conference.
2. Follow this blog - I am a GFC follower and email follower.
3. Join Chick Lit Central - done!

Stephanie said...

My favorite salad dressing is ranch.

gfc follower

Mary said...

I was extremely sad when my daughter went back to Florida after staying with us for two weeks.

I follow on Facebook, email, GFC and Twitter.


Erica said...

The coolest thing on my desk is a stress-reliever polar bear. I love that thing.

I follow in every way: GFC, twitter, email, FB

wordywon at gmail dot com

Bonnie K. said...

My favorite salad dressing is the basic blend of olive oil and vinegar (any kind such as red wine, balsamic).

bluedawn95864 at gmail dot com

I'm a follower of your blog.

I shared on facebook.

I'm a member of Chick Lit Central on Facebook.

I follow on twitter. @grobiemum

Nina said...

As an NYC/LI girl I laughed at the comment about pregnant NYers being able to pee wherever they'd like! Haha! As far as my "coolest" desk item, here's how much of a nerd I am...I truly feel my coolest desk item is the envelope opener. I know. I just can't get over how easy opening letters are now. HAHA. And to answer the other question, the last time I was sad was RIGHT NOW as I come to that realization ;)
I follow on twitter!

Amber @ A Little Pink in the Cornfields said...

My favorite salad dressing is Trader Joe's Goddess Dressing. Yum!

I'm a follower on Twitter, FB and GFC.

missamberljohnson at gmail dot com

Unknown said...

The last time I was sad was my daughter's first day of school. She just started preschool this fall. I'm a stay at home mom, so she's never been away from me on a regular basis, and it makes me sad that my baby is growing up :(

I follow the blog
I'm a member of CLC on Facebook
I follow on twitter

Linda Kish said...

My favorite salad dressing is Western dressing which is not sold in California but I can buy it online.

I am a GFC follower

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Dolly said...

The coolest item on my desk is my digital photo frame; it has my favorite vacation pictures, so I can 'escape' anytime I need to just by watching them flicker by.

Shared on FB

I'm already a blog/FB stalker

jcsites2002 at hotmail dot com

Nova said...

Follow CLC by blog.
Follow CLC on facebook.
Follow CLC on pinterest.
Coolest thing on my desk is an old style stapler that my Dad gave me...
Book sounds fun!

Jeryl M. said...

I like honey mustard salad dressing.

I am a subscriber.

I am a facebook follower.

Patricia said...

1.c.: Good ol’ oil and vinegar.

2. Follow with GFC/Google Reader.

3. Posted this contest on Twitter.

4. Joined Chick Lit Central on Facebook.

5. Follow you on Twitter (@CapitalismRox).


Mrs Mommy Booknerd said...

When i had on office the best thing I had was a small sand zen garden for those times I needed to relax!

mrsmommybooknerdsbookreviews@ gmail dot com

Krystal Lynn said...

My desk is a mess and at the moment there is a piece of the Berlin wall sitting on it, from my trip to Germany.


Rosita said...

I heard Jess Grose talk about her book on a Slate podcast and that really made me want to read it! Coolest thing on the desk? Pictures of my family, for sure.

I follow via Google Friend Connect.

rosita dot p dot mariani at gmail dot com