Having had the opportunity to read an excerpt of Clarissa Jean, Homecoming Queen I’m delighted to be welcoming Jessica Goodwin today.
Jessica Goodwin lives near Washington, DC with her husband, son, and their two cats. She likes cookies, coffee, and anything that sparkles. If she could have any animal for a pet, it would be a T-Rex. She loves experimenting in the kitchen, going wine tasting, singing in the shower, and taking pictures of the baby.
Two of Goodwin’s books, ‘Here We Go’ and ‘The One Who Got Away’ have been on the Amazon bestseller list. In March 2012, her third book, ‘One of the Guys,’ received an Honorable Mention in Sapphire Star Publishing’s Month of Romance contest. These titles were originally published on Amazon under her former name, Jessica Strassner, but have been rereleased under the name Jessica Goodwin. Goodwin’s newest novel, ‘Clarissa Jean, Homecoming Queen,’ is coming to Kindle May 1, 2016.
Goodwin is also a mom blogger with work appearing on Scary Mommy, Baby Gaga, and Mommy Effect. She hopes to someday write a humorous parenting memoir.
(I would like to add that before LO was born, Jess was a dedicated and passionate teacher!).
Connect with Jessica
Amazon Author Page US
Amazon Author Page UK
Welcome to JJ.
Please summarise Clarissa Jean, Homecoming Queen in 20 words or less.
Girl returns to hometown after break up, tries to fit back in, finds love where she least expects to.
What was the idea/inspiration for your novel?
Social Media. I know sites like Facebook have been around for years now but it still amazes me how you can find someone and reconnect with someone that you completely lost touch with. What’s really crazy is how a lot of the people that I talk to the most on Facebook these days are people that I didn’t really hang out with or have a lot in common with in high school. I kind of wanted to write about how sometimes, the people you were mean to, overlooked, or ignored in high school can end up being some of the nicest people you come to know as an adult.
Please tell us about the characters.
There’s Clarissa Jean, who goes by Claire. She’s been in a stagnant relationship with her boyfriend, and decides to leave him, but the only place she can go is back home. You’ll meet her parents, her sister Cookie, and her Aunt Nancy, as well as friends, enemies, and an old crush from high school.
What scene was the hardest to write Jess?
I had a hard time writing some of the scenes where Claire is dealing with the people she was rude to in high school and is kind of getting a taste of her own medicine. There were times where she sounded so bitchy and whiny, (even my editor pointed it out!) which is how I wanted her to come across, but it made me dislike her at times! Haha!
If your novel was optioned for a movie, who would you cast for the lead role?
I keep picturing Sandra Bullock in Hope Floats… Similar story… She returns home after a breakup, too. Or maybe Rachel McAdams. I’m trying to picture someone who could go from sophisticated and kind of uppity back to small town girl.
Most creative time of day?
I guess I’d have to say when I go to bed at night. Now that I’m running around chasing after #BabyGoodwin all day, I’m constantly focused on him. Even though I’m totally drained at the end of the day, when my head hits the pillow, I start thinking about what I’m going to write the next day. My most productive time of the day is naptime. I’ve learned not to waste those precious hours when Jacob is napping!!!
Panster or plotter?
I’m a little bit of both. I like to start with notes on the big, broad storyline, but then I get to a point where I have to just jump right in and start writing away. When I have a bunch of ideas and I’m not ready to write them out yet, I’ll take notes and save them for when I need them. When my son was just born and I was working on Clarissa Jean, I’d take a notebook to bed and write down my notes for what I wanted to write the next day, so I didn’t forget things overnight.
If your novel is part of a series, what is in the future?
I’m not sure if it is or not. I’ve been thinking a lot about doing a book where Clarissa Jean’s sister, Cookie, is the main character. And then I keep thinking about Polly (one of the girls that Clarissa Jean was mean to in high school) and where her story could go. I think I have a lot of great people to work with!
What project are you currently working on?
I’ve been doing a lot of freelance writing and blogging for parenting sites like Scary Mommy, Mommy Effect, and Baby Gaga, plus I did some blogging about #BabyGoodwin’s first year. I’ve started writing a bit of a humorous parenting memoir… all the crazy, scary, weird, and funny stuff that happens when you find out that you’re expecting and starting a family. Having a baby is so completely life changing and I feel like there’s so much for me to write about.
Finally Jess, what has been the best part of your writing journey so far?
The best part has been starting my freelancing career and deciding to quit teaching so that I can stay home with our son and write full time. Writing has always been a dream of mine, but it never seemed reachable or practical. I took a long time mulling it over, and my husband has been my biggest supporter and cheerleader, and we’re thrilled that I am able to do what I love, which is spend all day with my son and write!
Thank you for sharing 🙂
Wishing you success with all your projects.
When Claire Bradshaw decides to end her dead-end relationship of several years, she only has one place to go – back home to the tiny town of Palmetto Park. Claire keeps bumping into people from her past as she struggles to shake her “better than everybody” reputation, make peace with her enemies, and even attempts to rekindle an old flame. Claire gets to know her old friends all over again and gets to know more about herself as she starts over – right back where it all started.