Meet Author Jennifer Worick
Can you tell our readers a bit about yourself?
I’m the New York Times best-selling author of more than 25 humorous, heartfelt and how-to books and, per Reader’s Digest, one of the four funniest bloggers in the US. Pretty cool, eh? I’ve written on everything under the sun for national magazines and websites like The Huffington Post, Allure, Salon, and MSW. In addition to bookshelves, newsstands, and your favorite websites, you can also find me online at Things I Want to Punch in the Face along with fellow author and publishing pro Kerry Colburn, I deliver publishing talks, workshops, and webinars to help burgeoning authors get published through The Business of Books.
You have A LOT of books out! How has the process changed for you? What are some learning pains that never seem to go away?
Writing each book is its own unique challenge and there are always portions of each manuscript that are like pulling teeth, no matter how many times I’ve done it. I’m currently writing a memoir and the process is definitely different than my previous books. Rather than creating an outline and writing to it, I’ve had to let go of my need for organization and structure in order to free myself up to write.
Tell us more about your latest book, Things I Want to Punch in the Face. I love the title! Where did this idea stem from?
Well, while it’s a black humor book, the idea came out of a dark period in my life. I had a bad eight days: I had an unexpected breakup, euthanized my cat, a book was cancelled (due to budget cuts at the publishing house) right after I submitted the manuscript, and I had surgery. I was grieving and didn’t really know what to do with all my emotions. I was angry all the time and anything would set me off. Even a minor annoyance, such as cutting into an avocado to find that it’s rotten, would make me have a disproportionate reaction, such as throwing the avocado against the kitchen wall. One night, while watching bad reality tv, I had the brainchild. Things I Want to Punch in the Face would detail all those little things in life that chap my hide. I quickly found a following, with so many malcontents coming together around life’s collective annoyances.
It sounds like you are working on a memoir. How has that process been? I can imagine a lot different then some of your other titles.
As I said above, it is a very different process and I’ve had to change up my game. Taking classes and putting together a writer’s group have been some ways to build support and accountability around the project. And I have the same challenges as any writer in carving out time amidst paying gigs and a busy schedule to write. Add to that the emotional issues involved in writing about something so personal and it’s been a hard row to hoe.
You seem very engrossed not only in the literary scene in Seattle but in the whole culture of book stores, book community and in various facets. What are some of your favorite spots in the city for aspiring writers and book lovers alike?
So many. Gary Luke of Sasquatch Books once described the literary scene as a book ecosystem and I think that true. Hugo House is great for classes and community, then there’s Town Hall Seattle for literary events, 826 Seattle, the U-W certificate classes, LitCrawl, the PNWA conference, Hedgebrook, Writer.ly and so many more. The bookstores have a wonderful culture around them as well: Secret Garden, Queen Anne Books, University Bookstore, Third Place Books and of course Elliott Bay Book Company. You can find a class, reading or meetup any night of the week. And of course, with my partner in crime Kerry Colburn, I teach people about the publishing industry and writing salable book proposals through The Business of Books.
What might we see from you in this coming new year?
I hope to finish a draft of my coming-of-age memoir. I’ll be conducting publishing workshops. And who knows what else? I like to write about things that blow my skirt up and luckily, there are new things that catch my fancy every day.