May 19, 2013 by Jenna Zine
Dishwasher Pete at IPRC-May 2013.JPG

Thumbnail image for Bigfoot at IPRC-May 2013 .JPGI finally got to see Pete Jordan read and it was as rare and exciting to me as a Big Foot sighting! Hey, wait a minute... 

For those of you who aren't familiar with Pete's work (and, if you're not from the 'zine era, who could blame you) do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of Dishwasher immediately. It's such an incredibly funny, well-written exploration of Americana from a real person's perspective. Pete just came through Portland touring his new book, In The City of Bikes: The Story of the Amsterdam Cyclist. To think that there's a new Pete Jordan book, sitting on my shelf just waiting to be read, fills me with joy.

Speaking of, that brings me to my next point... I'm going on a brief vacation and there will be a few missing posts. Well, just one really - but we'll roll last week's lapse into this as well. I know there're only 4 of you lucky souls out there on this mailing list, but someday you will be at the ground floor of a massive movement. You know, like when I finally publish my book and then everyone starts reading my blog because they're hungry for more words? This is where they'll come and you, lucky subscriber, will already be here! 

So hang in there while I jet off to Hawaii, because that's how my struggling writer self rolls - very deep, as Adele might (beautifully) yodel. And then I'll be back, posting while writing and rewriting that adorable little beach read that's dying to get the hell out of me and into your hot little hands. And, because it is a beach read, I'm heading to a beach. Research, people! This chick lit requires utter thoroughness Until then, Internet peeps...

[Photo Credit: me & my hubs. Click on either photo for a full-size view. Credit for the funky photo placement goes to Moveable Type. Thanks to the fabulous IPRC for bring Pete to Portland!]
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May 7, 2013 by Jenna Zine
maui sunset 2.JPGSo there's this sweet little "interview" going 'round the web, and it's finally fallen on my doorstep. I'm happy to participate in this love letter to writers and their babies (aka books). Thanks to Michele Lovell for the tag, as well as all the fabulous Lit Kitchen/Wayward Writers.  

What is the working title of your book?

I have a firm title that I'm going to decline to share at the moment, only because I'm a little behind on my deadline. I don't want to put it out there and have someone go all Chinese Democracy* on me. But I privately refer to my book as Dumb As Fuck because it's this really fun and fluffy read. 

(*Referring to Axl Rose and his longtime claim that the next Guns & Roses album would be named Chinese Democracy. He took so long to make the album that the band The Offspring ripped off the title claiming, "You snooze, you loose." Not that anyone would steal my title; I just think it's a funny analogy.) 

Where did the idea come from for the book?

It sounds so cliche, but it came to me in a dream. Cue the groans! I had a pretty intense dream about Matt Damon, who I didn't even realize I harbored a crush on, and woke up with this wonderful scene running through my head. I was so taken with the imagery and the feelings it evoked that I wrote it down. And then I realized this was the start of my novel. It's the perfect flight of fancy that collides with my main character's reality. 

What genre does your book fall under?

It is a straight up beach read. I'm psyched to embrace my "chick lit" roots. I greatly admire the Dave triumvirate: David Sedaris, David Foster Wallace and Dave Eggers (let's throw Dave Barry in there too) - but I'm never going to write like those guys. I was really striving to pen this fabulous memoir that I imagined would be critically lauded by NPR. And, let me tell you, it was not going well! Then I had a really simple epiphany: I'm not McSweeney's, I'm Us Weekly; and that's okay. I've spent way more time with Candace Bushnell and the cast of Sex & The City than I have with any literary journal. I finally got honest and gave myself permission to embrace what I really love; it's made the road a lot easier. 

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Well, if this question isn't up my alley, I don't know what is! I'd love Emma Stone as Sarah, my lead. She'd bring that combination of wit and goofiness that I'm striving to bring to Sarah. I think Ellen Page would be a fun fit as Tessa, Sarah's smart-ass, spitfire best friend. (Though I might have to swap them, given the physical descriptions I've written into the book. Ah, the pressures of casting a Hollywood film!) I'd also take Ashley Rickards in anything! Penn Badgley would be awesome as Sarah's love interest, Steve. Penn is a hunk who excels at playing the guy-next-door that happens to be perfect boyfriend material. 

What is a one-sentence synopsis of your book?

A case of mistaken identity is actually Sarah's salvation; but will she be smart enough to recognize love? 

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I'm going to self-publish on Kindle this September - but I'm also going to pitch it in the meantime. I want it to come out either way, and it's great that Kindle and Amazon have made that possible. But, ultimately, I'd love to be represented by an agency. My goal is Montlake Romance, Amazon's romance publishing division. 

How long did it take to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Ask me that in September! 

Who, or what, inspired you to write this book?

Every woman that's secretly hid a copy of a Candace Bushnell book behind something she's "supposed" to be reading. My greatest hope would be to make someone smile while enjoying my book on vacation. Serious literature does make my reading list, but I also think it's good to embrace lightness and fun - especially when you're at the beach!

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?

It's set in Portland and chock-full of references to Oregon history. Plus all the bars, restaurants and background events I'm writing about really do take place here. I think any locals who read it will get a kick out of being able to visualize the locations, and anyone fascinated with Portland will have fun getting to know the city through Sarah's eyes. 

[Photo Credit: A picture I took during my honeymoon; I thought it fit my lit theme nicely. And yes, I did read some delightfully trashy novels during my trip!]
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Apr 30, 2013 by Jenna Zine
thrift score-2013.JPG
Ya know, I was just looking for a decoupaged cheetah print and here it is. Man, the Universe really provides. I feel like The Dude right now - and I even have my choice of exotic locale cocktail glasses in which I can sip my celebratory White Russian (with soy milk, sorry haters) from. And can you believe I found the mushroom cookie jar on the street? Quite bizarre. There it was, saying, "Jenna, you've found me!" I looked both ways and the world gave me the nod. Oh, you can try and claim it's yours - but it was owner-less by the curb and now it's found home sweet home. Right next to my decoupaged cheetahs. 
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