Interview with NP/Silver Publishing author Jessica Degarmo.
Now all of you: take up your cutlery from beside your plates, hold them in the air, on my signal 3-2-1 start banging them on the table and shout: Jessie, Jessie, Jessie!!! Stage-doors open and in she comes.
Who doesn’t love Jessica Degarmo? Isn’t she our all American sweetheart? Don’t we all start smiling when we think of our loyal friend-in-arms? Yes, Jessica has stolen many a heart in our writers’ circles but what’s more, she is a successful, prolific author with a growing amount of wonderful books on her name, published in a speed that dazzles us. What’s Jessie’s secret? A great personality and a no-nonsense writer. Character-driven, smooth prose with great enjoyment sparkling off every new page and that unrelenting devotion to the craft. But most of all… her big heart. In all Jessica does, that is what shines through first and foremost. We will see her rise to formidable heights as a result.
Where do you live(town, country)? Were you born and bred there?
I live in Millerton, Pennsylvania, but I grew up in Elmira, New York.
What kind of food do you like? Are you a good cook? How important is food to you?
I love food. Too much! But I love comfort food like baked chicken and stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy and biscuits. And I love picnic food, like potato and macaroni salads and baked beans and burgers and hot dogs, fresh off the grill. Ooh, and donuts and cheesecake and pie. Great, now I’m hungry!
Do you do any sports? How often? What does exercise mean to you? Any other hobbies?
I don’t do sports, except for some hiking, canoeing and fishing with my family. Really, I’m about the most un-athletic person ever. And I’m also clumsy. I love to collect gemstones and have a nice little collection of them. I like sparkly things.
Do you have kids? If so, please tell us a little about them?
I have three beautiful kids. Tyler is 14, Lauren is 10, and Rylan is 7. They’re amazing. They’re fun, happy, quirky and very loveable.
I also have an amazing husband, Travis, without whom I’d be completely lost.
He’s my rock, and the love of my life.
Do you like travelling? Where do you go then?
I do enjoy travelling. My family goes to the Outer Banks of North Carolina every other year or so, and it’s a lot of fun. That’s actually where I got the inspiration for my first book, and my third book is based there in part.
Do you have another job apart from writing? For how many hours? How do you feel about the ‘other’ job?
I am a full-time insurance agent/branch manager at the Barry Scott Agency in Elmira, New York. I love my job! I am also the lead singer in a classic rock band. Recently, I graduated from college after going part-time for three and a half years, and I also gave up my part-time job as a country music DJ. I’m glad I have more time, but now that I’m done with all of that and still always busy, I wonder how I even had time do to it all.
How do your family/friends react to you being a writer? Have their opinions changed since you became a published author? Which remark from your surroundings has stuck most with you?
My family mostly takes it in stride. They’re proud, of course, but at this point, I’ve written so many books that they get confused if I talk about them. They’re like, “Now, which one was that one again?” I know that my parents are particularly happy with my accomplishments, and the most memorable comment I’ve received is when my mom told me she cried at the end of Hooking Up. My husband recently told me that some of our neighbors approached him and said (in jest I hope) that they wanted to put up a sign in our town that said, “home of Jessica Degarmo, author” on it. We had a good giggle over that.
Would you call yourself a social human being? Do you have time for going out and spending time away from the writing desk?
I think I used to be social. Now it’s a little tougher. When I do go out, it tends to be with my family. The exception to that rule is when my band has a gig, and then I’m not really “out”, I’m working! It’s a lot of fun, though.
Can you describe the place where you write + the view?
I write in my living room or my kitchen, on my little netbook. That way I can be with my family and eat least half-listen while I’m typing. The view is my netbook. I tend to get very absorbed.
What genre(s) do you write in? How did that develop?
I write chick-lit and romance, because I think I’m a romantic at heart.
You have three works published right now, correct? Tell us about them.
How to Meet a Guy at the Supermarket was released by Night Publishing in November 2010. It was amazing! I think while I started writing that book, I caught the writing bug, and I started two others while I was waiting for that one to be released. Hooking Up was released in May 2011 by Night, and Decisions was just released on July 16 from Silver Publishing.
Basically, Supermarket tells the tale of Quinn, a thirty-something journalist who finally decides it’s time to look for Mr. Right. The only problem is she has no idea where to find him. One day in her local grocery store, she has an epiphany and sets out to find the man of her dreams in a supermarket.
Hooking Up is about Caitlin, a woman whose long-term boyfriend breaks up with her. She decides to have a one-night stand to get over him, but gets a lot more than she bargained for. Hooking Up is, on the surface,
a sexy book about a one-night stand, but it deals with relationships, abuse, and the true meaning of family.
Decision is about Emma, the daughter of Pennsylvania Senator
Schooner Tremaine. He has struck a deal with a wealthy natural gas baron and attempt to marry Emma off to the baron’s rude, cruel son, Gray Taylor. Emma flees in the night and ends up in Duck, North Carolina. She’s safe for the moment, but she knows she needs to come up with a contingency plan to prevent Schooner from dragging her back up north. In walks handsome Reese McConnell and Emma has an answer to her problem. After all, they can’t force her to marry Gray if she’s already married to someone else, can they?
Any upcoming projects?
Yes, I have a novella, Six Weeks, due to be released by Pfoxmoor/Pfoxchase Publishing sometime this year, and I have another full novel, the first in a series, out
on submission. I’m also working on a sequel to Hooking Up called Holding On.
I’m also mid-manuscript for the second in my new series.
What does Night Publishing Mean to you?
Great question! Night Publishing has been a huge help to me, and to a lot of other authors just like me. They took a chance on me when I was an unknown writer and helped me build a brand. They’ve held my hand, answered all of my questions (and trust me, there were a lot!) and generally provided support, camaraderie, friendship and trust. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them. So, the short answer to your question is: everything.
Where do you see yourself in 5-years’ time?
I hope I’m still alive and kicking and writing. I’d love to share my books with more people and give them a moment’s entertainment. That’s all, really. Oh, and I’d like to be rich, but I doubt that’ll happen!
Final fun question. If you had to choose: are you a Houdini or an Edison? This is for
the official NP tally.
Uh, probably an Edison.
THANK YOU SO MUCH Jess!!
Thanks for having me, Hannah!
Want to get in touch with Jessica or read her books:
Six Weeks is only available on smashwords right now:
It will be on amazon soon. Thanks!