I can’t tell you how excited I am to have Jennifer Longo drop and chat with me at Creatyvebooks. If you don’t know, I’m totally obsess with the book Six Feet Over It. Which happens to be written by the beautiful and talented Jennifer Longo. I did a fangirling review awhile back.
Yep that’s one. Please go check it out.
So like I was saying I’m totally stoked and happy that Jennifer. I hope I can call her Jennifer. Agreed to do the 5 Quick Questions. It mean a lot to me and i hope I can continue with this series. It’s fun getting to know the author and sharing how much you appreciate their work.
For those who have not read Six Feet Over It, I highly recommend that you get it. Buy it, Borrow it, whatever you do go and read this book. It’s a fantastic read and you will fall in love with Leigh the same way that I did. It’s available at Amazon, B&N, and most online bookstores.
Now without delaying you any farther here are 5 Quick Questions with Jennifer Longo
1) Hello and thank you for stopping by and spending some time over here at Creatyvebooks. I just want to say that I love your book Six Feet Over It. It’s in my Top 5 of 2014. Leigh is such a unique voice and memorable character. What made you decide to tell Leigh’s story? Because the world is happy that you did.
Thank you so much! I’m so happy you enjoyed the story, that’s my favorite thing to hear. The story of Six Feet Over It became one about mourning, and so Leigh’s character became one who needed to not only observe many different kinds of mourning, but also be experiencing and navigating it herself. I think I wanted to tell this story because as a child, there was a lot of mourning to be done, and I always felt I was in trouble if I did it wrong, or too much, or at all. I wondered how many kids in America (with all our whacky death and mourning mores) felt that way. I wanted to write about how children, adults – families – contend with mourning. Does anyone have the right to dictate or mock the way another person processes and lives with grief? And how can we help one another? Leigh, as a character, is emotionally way more mature than she’s given credit for, by herself and others, and her story and situation were, for me, the perfect vehicle to explore those themes.
2) So I hear congratulations are in order. You recently got spotlighted to do another book. Is there anything you can tell us about The Pointe of Light? And when can your fans except a release date?
Oh thank you! I’m am incredibly grateful and thrilled to get to write this story I’ve loved for many years. Random House, my editor and agent, are my heroes! I’m deeply obsessed with the Age Of Exploration in Antarctica – the three main explorers who reached the South Pole first, who brought the beauty of the continent to the world. And I also have always been fascinated with the incredible lifelong dedication it takes to become a ballerina – the two seem very connected to me in so many ways. So I’ve written a story intertwining them both. This book is currently slated for a Winter 2016 release, but you know publishing..also, I’m super excited for the inter-webs to attack all the things I’m sure to get wrong about Antarctica and Ballet – bring it on, Haters! 😉 Any research-heavy book always draws a ton of scrutiny and I’m gearing up for it.
3) In the back of the book you revealed that your father brought a cemetery and that you worked there. How did you feel about it at the time? Did you find it creepy, exciting or just plain weird and unusual? It’s not every day that a young person can say they worked in at a cemetery.
I was twelve when my dad bought that thing, and I remember thinking at the time, that this move proved there was nothing my dad wouldn’t do for a laugh. In reality, it truly was a financial investment, but he was just so eager to make jokes about it and loved the attention it got him from people who thought it was just whacky, that I really did imagine he did it for fun. It was also horrible timing as far as my reaction, because a really sweet classmate and friend from school had recently died, and she was buried in our graveyard. My parents, much like the parents in the book, had no patience for anyone’s sadness but their own, and they often mocked my deep sadness about this friend. Then our teenaged cousin died, and a family friend’s teenaged son, so there were a bunch of wakes to attend. It was kind of too much death all at once. But as far as working there, that was actually nice. It really was a relief not to have to get a job during high school at a fast food place or something like that, the schedule was very flexible so we could still do after school activities. At the cemetery our jobs were picking up rocks in the lawn, planting flowers, and once summer I sold graves. And aside from seeing mourning families and watching funerals, it was very peaceful. My parents and sisters still live there in “The Park” today. It’s been good for them.
4) Time for a little fun with the questions. Since Leigh is such a unique character can you tell us something unique about you that nobody else knows? I mean that is if you are willing to share.
Ha! Welp, okay – I’ll try and think of something juicy…Alright here’s my go-to thing only close friends and family know but I’ll tell you and the blogosphere now. I’ve had more plastic surgery on my face that you would ever believe. My parents were driven absolutely insane by my face from the time I was born – as a baby it was mostly my nose, as I grew up it was my unibrow and other stuff. They weren’t trying to be mean, they were always just like, “You could be so beautiful IF….” My parents are pretty big on physical appearance. Kids at school made fun of me and my mom would get so impatient when I came home crying. She would make me lay down under a goose neck lamp or by sunlight from a window so she could pluck my eyebrows starting when I was six or seven, which I remember because I was in second grade. She and my dad would always say not to worry, that when I was old enough they’d schedule me for plastic surgery and I was like, WTF?! was terrified of the idea of needles and surgery. But I wasn’t allowed to cry about the teasing I got, as my mom said, because they were willing to fix it for me if I would only let them. It wore me down, so I let them. When I was 13 years old, which was way too early, it healed wrong and I looked worse. Long story long, by the time I was 17, I had three facial reconstructive surgeries, including chin reconstruction and silicone crap injected into my face. SO DUMB! I spent high school looking like the poor elephant man, developed a really great personality in order to survive freaking high school bullies, eventually had a final surgery that made me look semi-typical, and came out with not a shred of self esteem intact. It did not help that my two sisters were really beautiful, blonde blue-eyed and lovely. How’s that? 🙂 Moral of the story: Parents – do NOT do this to your kids. And kids – oh, I don’t know. If they do – well, let’s face it, you’re probably doomed, but you know what you CAN do to make yourself feel better? Take notes! Write a book!
5) Okay for the last and final question of the day. What is one of your favorite reads? It can be fiction, non-fiction, from your childhood. What is the one book that you go back to time and time again?
The book I read over and over is GIFT FROM THE SEA By Ann Morrow Lindbergh. It’s an account of a few days the author spends in a beach shack thinking about life as a woman and mother, and she picks up sea shells and thinks about a bunch of crap and reminds herself it’s okay to tell people she needs to be alone. It’s a celebration of solitude and not apologizing for it, so that you can go back and be strong and present for all the people you love and who need you. I read it a few times every year and it makes me so happy, and reminds me to not waste time on stupid things that do nothing but complicate life and make people sad; working hard, helping people, being kind to others and yourself, and talking responsibility for one’s self as an adult, not blaming things on her people – it’s SO GREAT! It’s a book whose theme is, “Shut up your whining, this life is a precise gift so don’t waste it, have an independent life so you can do good in the world don’t be lazy, work hard, be a grown up and ignore the stuff that need ignoring.” It’s my bible.
This was so fun, thank you again so much for all your kind words about SIX FEET OVER IT, and as always I enjoy reading your blog – writers unite! 🙂