Jennifer discusses her influences and inspiration for “A Dress the Color of the Sky”, with Vinny O’Hare for Book Reader Magazine
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
I was raised in New York and live in Los Angeles with my boyfriend of six years. I have three sons ages 22, 20 and 17. I’m incredibly proud of my boys! My dog and two cats are all female so I’m not the only girl in the house. I have a BA in Cinema from Denison University. After college, I worked in advertising but when my third son was born I got certified in Pilates and have been teaching privates to a plethora of women ever since. Teaching Pilates has given me a lot of great material for my book!
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
I have always enjoyed reading and now I spend my free time reading books in the genre that I write in, commercial fiction and women’s fiction. When my kids were little I read them every single Gold, Silver and Bronze Caldecott award winning book that was available in the library. I began writing my novel, A Dress the Color of the Sky about three years ago. Two years ago, I committed to writing every single day because I was so excited about my book and sharing it with the world. At Denison University, I wrote a screenplay that earned my acceptance into a semester long arts program in New York City.
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
I believe that a book can affect people differently depending on what’s happening in their lives. One of my favorite books is, Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt. I was going through a hard time when I read it and it really moved me. I have never read it again because I’m afraid it won’t have the same impact on me as it did the first time I read it. I read, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho about once a year just because it makes me think. I love book club reads! I’m not a fan of fantasy or science fiction but I did read the Harry Potter series to my boys. One summer, my oldest son and I read several classics then watched the movies based on them. Some books that I’ve really loved are, The Poisonwood Bible, House of Sand and Fog, The Goldfinch, Life of Pi and Running with Scissors. I also love the book, The Gold Coast, because it was based on the town I grew up in! Mostly, I want a book to make me think and feel.
Tell us a little about your latest book?
For the past three years I have been writing, A Dress the Color of the Sky and I can’t wait to share it with everyone. Although my novel is not yet published, the feature film rights have recently been sold. As I mentioned, I’ve been teaching private Pilates for 16 years to a variety of women and that has helped me understand how how women think and feel. My book touches on subjects that concern women: Why do we fall in love with the wrong men? How can I hate myself one day and love myself the next? Do I have supportive friends? Can I heal from my past and find self love? Can women be sex addicts?
Prudence Aldrich, wife and mother pulls up her jeans in the minuscule airplane bathroom after yet another random sexual encounter. Leading a double life is killing her. Prue’s tough childhood has left her with a thick protective skin. Nick and Prue fall in love, somewhere along the way the relationship takes a sad turn. With buried secrets from her past and a desperate feeling inside she seeks love in the arms of other men. When Prue and Nick separate, she unravels. After several dangerous liaisons, Prue’s therapist advises her to get serious help. Her diagnosis, sex addict.
Prudence checks herself into the Serenity Hills rehab center. Mike, her therapist and the cast of characters in the orange group see the person behind the pain. In rehab, Prudence searches for someone with a story like hers, finally that woman checks into the orange group. She’s not the only one! Mike says that Nick and his alcoholic behavior might be the catalyst to Prue’s sexual addiction.
With the positive reinforcement of Mike and the members of the orange group Prue’s self-hatred starts to lift. Her gut tells her to let go of Nick for good but, Prudence isn’t sure she can.