Jessica Grose is no stranger to the fast paced world of online media. She was previously a senior editor at Slate, and an editor at Jezebel–a blog that regularly aids procrastination for numerous authors and at least one Deb. Her debut novel, SAD DESK SALAD, is a comic tale about a savvy blogger who stumbles upon an irresistible scoop, and must reconcile her true values with the ruthless demands of a gossip obsessed culture.
Luckily for us, she has agreed to visit us here at the perhaps more slow-paced ball for a waltz with the Deb Interview. Welcome, Jessica!
Which talent do you wish you had?
I always wished I could dance really well, and without self-consciousness. I could be a worse dancer (I’m not Elaine Benes levels of awkwardness). But I’m not exactly graceful either, and I get too embarrassed to dance in public unless I’ve had a few. Whenever I see someone who moves well having a great time I am full of admiration and jealousy!
What time of day do you love best?
If I can get up in time for it, the first few hours of the early morning. I am the most productive the first few hours I’m awake, and I love the quiet and relative peace when you’re up before the rest of the world.
What is your advice for aspiring writers?
Have a day job, and don’t be a snob. On the first bit, the most important thing when you’re starting as a writer is getting your name out there. Often that means writing for higher profile places for little or no pay. You want to be able to do this without worrying about paying rent, too. Don’t be a snob is related advice. I’ve met some people fresh out of college who think they shouldn’t write for anywhere less august than the New Yorker. If that is your attitude you’re going to miss out on a lot of exposure, but also a lot of growth. Try to write for people and places where they have talented editors with good advice to impart. The trick is to always be improving.
Have you ever met someone you idolized? What was it like?
I’ve met a few people I’ve idolized, and it’s been a mixed bag. One older writer, a huge hero of mine, was a total jerk in person. He just couldn’t have been more dismissive or sour. Knowing his writerly persona, I guess it wasn’t that surprising, but it was disappointing. Others have been much nicer, but it still punctures the fantasy! After those experiences I definitely prefer to keep my idols as idols and not know them as mere humans.
Which animal would you like to be, and why?
No brainer: a panda. They’re cute, goofy, get to sleep 90 percent of the time, and everyone gets really excited when they do anything useful.
Jessica and her publisher have generous offered a free copy of SAD DESK SALAD to one of our readers (US addresses only)! To enter, leave a comment below. Bonus style points for telling us which of your idols you’d rather keep idolizing from a distance.
Want to know more about this author? Find Jessica at her website here.