Monday, November 19, 2012

We know how Jessica Gordon "rolls" a book giveaway

Introduction by Melissa Amster

**Giveaway is now closed**

Jessica Gordon and I have a few things in common: We both love chick lit (like that isn't obvious), we both are Jewish and we both live in Washington D.C. (well, I live close enough...). I had the opportunity to read her debut novel, Becoming Mrs. Walsh, and I fell in love with it. (Check out my review!)

Jessica is a Johns Hopkins University alumna for both her undergraduate and graduate degrees. She received her bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from the Writing Seminars program and her master’s degree in communications. After working in the corporate world for several years, Jessica decided to return to her first love: creative writing. In Becoming Mrs. Walsh, Jessica takes her readers to the prominent Washington, D.C. area where her characters navigate through the complex world of family, in-laws, and love. (She also takes them on a few other adventures, but you'll have to read the book to find out where!)

We're excited to feature Jessica at Chick Lit Central today and we know you will enjoy meeting her! She even has THREE e-books of Becoming Mrs. Walsh for some lucky readers anywhere in the world!

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

What was the self-publishing experience like for you? Any tips for future self-publishers?
I think that for any author the first part of the publishing process is to have a compelling story to tell and to tell it well. The second part is to publish it. If you have your book professionally edited and you publish it yourself, the quality of the book (in my opinion) is on par with a traditionally published book. With the extreme popularity of e-readers, self-published e-books have been a huge hit. The process of self-publishing is straight forward due to the numerous step-by-step directions available online. The difficult, time consuming and, at times, frustrating part is the very specific formatting that is required in order for the document to be “e-book ready.” Formatting for online or print has to be done just right or the book will not be accepted into the various online catalogs.

As far as tips for self-publishers: If you think about all of the time and effort that goes into writing a book, I think the same amount of effort should go into the outward appearance. This is key so your self-published book will have the same quality as any traditionally published book. Social media is also important: Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, use these free sites to your advantage. The more you spread the word about your book, the better.

How did you decide to write chick lit?
The decision to write chick lit came naturally. I studied writing in college and loved the creative process so much. Even armed with the knowledge I had, I still never sat down to write a novel. I’ve always been a fan of chick lit and women’s fiction. I would finish a book in those genres and think ‘I should really do this.’ So one day I did. I was inspired by my own experience marrying into a large family. My husband is the youngest of three boys, which meant meeting a lot of different future in-laws. And the spark of an idea began, that spark turned into a fire. I kept writing everyday, sometimes even waking up in the middle of the night to write scenes. The more the story developed the more I knew it was perfect for the chick lit genre. I like books that don’t take themselves too seriously, just seriously enough.

With which of the Walsh women (from your novel) do you have the most in common?
The Walsh women. An excellent question indeed. I love Rachel. She and I both lived in New York and New Jersey. She tells it like it is, but can also be open and friendly and easy to get along with. I like that she is not over-the-top or obnoxious, just straight forward and honest—a real ‘girl next door.’ There are elements of Shoshana I can also see in myself. I don’t always agree with her, but I think she is relatable. I particularly like her emotions throughout the book, she is very real and raw and I like that she allows herself to go there.

What kind of research did you do for Becoming Mrs. Walsh?
A lot of people-watching and ‘D.C. city behavior observing’ for starters. When you write dialogue, you really want to have an ear for the way people speak. I also made sure I went to every place mentioned in the book, not just passed it on the street, but actually went into the place and sat there and visualized the characters there. Only two places had made-up names, but they were based on real restaurants. I really wanted the book to be authentic to D.C. There was also an incredible amount of fashion and brand research. Some I knew and some I had to investigate. I wanted each of the sisters-in-laws' styles to accurately match their personality. Ariel would never be in Burberry, but a hot pink Herve Leger—definitely!

If Becoming Mrs. Walsh were made into a movie, who would play the four women? Are there any other characters you've cast in your head?
This is an interesting question because I don’t want to specifically assign an actress to each of them. I think it is fun if people have their own image of the characters. But, I will say this, Shoshana has to be someone with personality and spunk, and the reddish-brown hair is a must. She must greatly contrast with Ariel and Zoey who are both tall and thin. Their style is impeccable and their faces are gorgeous. Zoey is more mysterious and brooding and Ariel is loud and brash. Rachel, however, I see as very preppy with shiny brown hair, not a hair out of place. Mark. Wow. Someone extremely gorgeous, tall, and built. He needs to be sexy and charming, but still have that boyish grin. The type of man that it is nearly impossible not to like or even fall for!

Sushi is mentioned a lot in your novel. Do you like sushi? If so, which kind of roll do you usually order?
You caught me! I love sushi. I think sushi is consistent throughout the book because of what it represents. I tend to think of sushi as this trendy ‘cool’ thing to eat. It’s almost like sushi and ‘shi shi’ sound alike. And that is how I see Shoshana and the Walsh family. Shoshana gets acclimated into the shi shi/sushi world of the Walshes.

I like all different rolls, just nothing too spicy. I think the more inventive the roll, the better!

What do you like best about living in Washington D.C.?
I love living here! I am not originally from here, as you find with most Washingtonians. I went to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD which brought me down here from New York. After school I moved to D.C. for graduate school and I thought I would move back. But then I met my husband and now years later I am a full-fledged D.C. resident and enthusiast! It is absolutely beautiful here, even the bridges are a thing of beauty. It has a very European feel. One of the original D.C. city planners was Pierre L’Enfant, a French-born architect. He modeled the city after places like Paris, Amsterdam, and Milan. At least once a day I hear a language spoken other than English. It is a transient city that makes the bond among ‘locals’ living here even stronger. It really is like living in a small town that also happens to be the epicenter of the free world with major people and politics all around you.

Do you watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade? If so, which float is your favorite?
I watch the beginning of it, but more in the ‘I must watch the start’ of it type of way. Same with the NYC marathon. I want to see the race kick-off for the sheer excitement of it all. I’m not sure I have a specific favorite, but the more colorful and imaginative, the better! I don’t know how people stand outside for it. There is something about being home and watching the floats go by that feels right, much like reading: a parade of vivid scenes and characters coming into your mind in the privacy of your own home.

Special thanks to Jessica for an enlightening interview and for sharing her book with our readers.

How to win Becoming Mrs. Walsh:
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. Please tell us: What is the most expensive thing you own or would like to own?
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.

Giveaway ends November 25th at midnight EST.


Literary Chanteuse said...

Besides the house and the car I's say a watch that I was given by my Mom. Very beautiful and very expense and I don't use it often in fear of losing it.

-blog follower
-memember of ClC on fb
-twitter and pinterest follower


Cat Lavoie said...

Great interview! Sounds like an awesome book! :)

The most expensive thing I WISH I owned is a red Mini Cooper! (With a Union Jack on the roof.)

I already follow this blog
I follow CLC on Twitter and Facebook

Thanks for the giveaway! :)



Marthalynn said...

Hmm...I would have to say that aside from the obvious big-ticket items like house, car, and furniture the most expensive thing I own is a watch that I purchased for myself many years ago.

I'm a follower.

marthalynn16 at gmail

Na said...

The most expensive thing I would like to own is my own mansion. That would be where I would spend most of my time with my family.

I liked the FB post: Fiery Na
I am a GFC follower.

Heidi B said...

I would love to own a pair of louboutins (but unfortunatley too expensive - but who knows may be I'll be able to afford them at one point :-)

I follow CLC on twitter and receive your daily emails.


Maureen said...

I think it would be a bracelet I own.
I follow on GFC - Maureen
I follow on twitter - @MaureenCE
mce1011 AT aol DOT com

Jessica said...

1. I'd like to own a black lexus suv!
2. I follow this blog 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 username= xxpaperhearts

-Jessica M

Allyson said...

Besides the big things, I guess the most expensive thing I own is my engagement/ wedding ring( that was before the big things and kids:) This book sounds excellent, can't wait to read it!
I follow this blog by email and GFC
I posted on facebook and twitter
I am a member of Chick Lit Central
I follow on twitter and pinterest
I followed Jessica Gordon on Facebook and Twitter(allyson29)
Allyson Brann

Nova said...
The most expensive thing I own is my car. Other than that a beautiful set of earrings.
I follow this blog by email.
I follow this blog by GFC.
I follow CLC on facebook.
I follow CLC on pinterest.

Stephanie said...

I most expensive thing I wished I owned is a 1965 Ford Mustang.

gfc follower

Mary Preston said...

BECOMING MRS. WALSH looks fabulous.

I have a house & car, but I do treasure the pearls I received from my parents for my 21st birthday.

GFC: Mary Preston


EFC Chrissy said...

My house is the most expensive thing.

I am a blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest follower!

Jilleen said...

I would have to say the biggest thing I own is my house but I would love a big diamond on my hand and two big diamonds on my ears! They don't have to be huge!!! But a carat and half on the hand and one in each ear can do! Wait a second, what I would really love to own is a cottage on a beautiful lake! Forget the diamonds (or could I sell the diamonds for the cottage?)

Blog Follower
Follow on Twitter
Follow on FB
Follow in Pinterest

Thanks for the great giveaway

Jill at Seaside Book Nook

seasidebooknook at yahoo

Linda Kish said...

Other than the obvious house, car, wedding rings, I have a ring my son picked out for me when he was four. It's a pink CZ, not expensive but means the world to me. I think it was about $4-500. The ring is beautiful.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

I am a GFC follower

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Erica said...

I own 2 houses! Neither is a vacation house... but hubby and I have jobs in different cities.

blog follower, email follower, twitter follower, FB follower, GFc follower too!

wordywon at gmail dot com

Unknown said...

Besides our house and cars, it would be either my engagement ring or the diamond earrings my husband got me from South Africa :)

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

bn100 said...

I'd like to own a car.

I follow the blog.


The Book Chick said...

I would love to win this one!


-We just bought a house in March- definitely our biggest purchase to date!
-I am a blog follower
-I am a Facebook member
-I'm a Twitter follower!

Bonnie K. said...

An expensive thing I would like to own would be a new home that doesn't need work. I like my small house, but it could be bigger and newish.

bluedawn95864 at gmail dot com

I follow the blog.

I shared on facebook.

I'm a member of Chick Lit Central.

I follow on twitter. @grobiemum

StereoQueenBee said...

1. Please tell us: What is the most expensive thing you own or would like to own?

I really am happy with the simple things in life...

2. Follow this blog and post a comment saying you are a follower (if you already follow, that's fine too).

Am already a follower.

3. Post this contest on Facebook or Twitter or in your blog, and leave a comment saying where you've posted it.

Facebook - Sabrina-Kate Eryou
Twitter - stereoqueenbee

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.)

Am a member.

5. Follow us on Twitter and/or Pinterest.

Follow on Twitter.

leonel said...

I would like to own a small cottage by a beach - I love bodies of water!

FB member, follower on Blogger and twitter

leonelescota AT gmail

rhonda said...

My engagement. Ring sentimental. Value pricelessfollow on twitter at thole dareads will