Today, I’m chatting with debut author Jasmine Guillory. Since we recorded this interview, The Wedding Date has come out, and it was a USA Today bestseller – congratulations, Jasmine! We talk about the excitement of pre-release and the stress of balancing book releases with real life, and what brought Jasmine to reading and writing romance. Some of her favorite books involve characters who lead busy lives and love their careers, which informed her own writing as well.
Jasmine tells us about:
Writing her own catnip story, and writing characters who own who they are and celebrate themselves the way they are.
How her real-life friendships found their way into her story and why friendships are essential to a person’s journey, both in fiction and in real life.
The importance of internet friends, in-person friends, writer friends, the fun of recommending your friends’ books, how crucial it is to have people in your life who know about writing and publishing, and people who don’t, and especially, friends who can help you look terrific by talking you into or out of clothing purchases.
Her advice to aspiring writers about being proud of yourself, and not comparing your own progress to someone else’s.
The importance of lipsticks, lip stains, and her personal product recommendations.
Plus, Jasmine solves the mystery of why and HOW I always get lipstick on my glasses, AND the source of one of my reading catnips. Life changing conversation, people.
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Here are the books we discuss in this podcast:
You can find Jasmine Guillory on her website, and you can sign up for her newsletter – which I recommend if you want tips on lipsticks!
Speaking of, Jasmine mentioned the following:
The DIY Cheez It recipe is at Serious Eats, from Brave Tart’s latest cookbook.
Her US cover is above, and here is the UK cover, as we mentioned in the episode:
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This Episode's Music
To celebrate 25 years together, the Peatbog Fairies have a new live album, Live @ 25, and it is seriously fun.
This is The Ranch by the Peatbog Faeries.
And you can learn more about the Peatbog Faeries at their website, PeatbogFaeries.com.
This episode is brought to you by The Most Eligible Highlander in Scotland by Michele Sinclair.
Award-winning author Michele Sinclair returns to the Scottish Highlands, the land of her fan favorite McTierney Clan, full of fierce warriors and vibrant women. As the most sought-after bachelor in Scotland, the seventh McTiernay brother claims he cannot be caught and taken to the alter, not by seduction or love—until a roving Highland beauty lays siege to his heart….
Conan McTiernay will leave the joys of wedlock to his happily married brothers. He’s too busy mapping out Scotland to protect her borders from English invasion….
Until he’s dispatched to escort a cloistered Highland lass safely back to his family’s castle.
Mhàiri Mayboill has embarked on her journey facing an impossible choice: Marry or take the vows of a nun. But she cherishes her freedom too much to be tied to any man.
Yet this arrogant Highlander with his spirited ways and piercing eyes awakens more than desire. For two people who want nothing of love but have everything in common, emotions soon forge an unforeseen bond. But happiness is never simple for a McTiernay, and more surprises lie ahead….
The Most Eligible Highlander in Scotland by Michele Sinclair is available everywhere books are sold and at Kensingtonbooks.com.
❤ Click to view the transcript ❤
Sarah Wendell: Hello, happy Friday, and welcome to episode number 286 of Smart Podcast, Trashy Books. I’m Sarah Wendell from Smart Bitches, Trashy Books. Today I am chatting with debut author Jasmine Guillory. Since we recorded this conversation, her book The Wedding Date has come out, and it was a USA Today bestseller! Congratulations, Jasmine! In our discussion, we talk about the excitement of pre-release and the stress of balancing a book release with your real life and what brought Jasmine to reading and writing romance. Some of her favorite books involve characters who lead busy lives and love their careers, which informed her own writing as well. Jasmine also tells us about writing her own catnip story and writing characters who own who they are and celebrate themselves the way that they are. We talk about how her real-life friendships found their way into her story and why friendships are essential to a person’s journey, both in fiction and in real life. We talk about the importance of internet friends, in-person friends, writer friends, the fun of recommending your friends’ books, how crucial it is to have people in your life who know about writing and publishing and people who don’t know anything about that, and especially the importance of friends who can help you look terrific by talking you into or out of clothing purchases as needed. She also gives some advice to aspiring writers about being proud of yourself and not comparing your progress to someone else’s. And we cover the important elements of lipsticks, lip stains, and her personal product recommendations, plus she solves the mystery of why and how I always get lipstick on my eyeglasses, and she reveals the source – unknowingly, but completely blew my mind – she reveals the source of one of my own reading catnips. I really enjoyed this conversation, and I hope you enjoy it as well.
If you have suggestions or questions or you’d like to get in touch with me, I – I like to tell this part first, ‘cause you know, if you just tuned in and you’re like, wow, I want to tell this person who I’ve never listened to some things, you should totally tell me some things, and if you’re listening to every episode, you should also tell me things – you can email me at [email protected]. You can record a voice memo – I have a few; they’re awesome; I should have more; you should send one – record a voice memo, tell me all the things, and email it to me at [email protected].
This episode is brought to you by The Most Eligible Highlander in Scotland by Michele Sinclair. Award-winning author Michele Sinclair returns to the Scottish Highlands, the land of her fan-favorite McTiernay clan, full of fierce warriors and vibrant women. As the most sought-after bachelor in Scotland, the seventh McTiernay brother claims he cannot be caught nor taken to the altar, not by seduction nor love, until a roving Highland beauty lays siege to his heart. The Most Eligible Highlander in Scotland by Michele Sinclair is available everywhere books are sold and at kensingtonbooks.com.
All of my podcasts get a transcript as they are produced, and this week’s transcript is brought to you by Lauren Dane’s Whiskey Sharp: Unraveled. The sharpest ache comes from wanting what you think you cannot have. Whiskey Sharp: Unraveled is the newest contemporary romance from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lauren Dane. Maybe Dolan has lived independent, free-spirited, and unattached since she left home at sixteen. Whiskey Sharp, Seattle’s sexy, vintage-styled barbershop and whiskey bar, gave her a job and a reason to put down roots. Cutting hair by day, losing herself in drumming in a punk rock band by night, she’s got it good, but a long-time crush that turns into a hot, edgy night with brooded and – brooded and bearding. Brooding and bearded? Brooding, that’s much better; let’s try brooding and bearded – [laughs] – now I’m going to, now I’m going to look for heroes that are brood, brooded and bearding. Bearding Heroes: that’s a new series, right? Okay. [Clears throat] Let me try that sentence again. But a long-time crush that turns into a hot, edgy night with brooding and bearded Alexsei Petrov makes it a hell of a lot better. You can find Whiskey Sharp: Unraveled available at all book retailers, and you can learn more at laurendane.com. Thank you to Lauren Dane for sponsoring this transcript, and thank you to garlicknitter for compiling each transcript each week.
Now we have a Patreon, and the Patreon helps support the show and helps me produce new, spiffy episodes, but it also helps me commission transcripts for the episodes that don’t have one yet, way in the archives, about episodes, eh, I want to say thirteen through seventy. If you would like to support the show and support the work we do and also help me commission those transcripts, have a look at patreon.com/SmartBitches. I am deeply, deeply appreciative of all of your support, and I have a compliment to give to one of our Patreon supporters.
Debbie D.: You are the friend that people turn to for advice that is fair and kind and terrifyingly accurate, so don’t stop doing that.
If you are curious and would like to have a look at the Patreon, it’s patreon.com/SmartBitches. Are there other ways you can support the podcast? Absolutely there are! You can leave a review wherever you listen; you can tell a friend; you can subscribe; you can hang out with me here every Friday or whenever you listen. All of those things are equally wonderful, and I deeply appreciate that you’re here!
I also want to thank some of the Patreon folks personally, so to Megan and Anne, Samantha, Jayne, and Karoline, thank you for being part of the Patreon.
The music you’re listening to is provided by Sassy Outwater. I’ll have information at the end of the show, and of course I will have links to all of the books that we talk about, as well as links to some of the products that Jasmine recommends, in the show notes at smartbitchestrashybooks.com/podcast.
And now, without any further delay, let’s talk writing, friendship, lipstick, and books with Jasmine Guillory. On with the podcast!
Jasmine Guillory: Hi! This is Jasmine Guillory. My new book The Wedding Date is out January 30th!
Sarah: Hooray! Congratulations!
Jasmine: Thank you!
Sarah: Your release date is almost here, and my first question is: how are you? Are you okay?
Jasmine: Sort of.
Jasmine: I veer between super-excited and basically wanting to throw up at every minute of the day. It goes, really goes back and forth.
Sarah: Yep. And I’m sure that your to-do list gets bigger by the hour.
Jasmine: Oh yeah! It’s, yes, it is, it, every time I look at it I think, oh, I was supposed to do that on Tuesday.
Jasmine: Today is Thursday.
Jasmine: I’m sorry! [Laughs]
Sarah: You have this very weird, compressed sense of time, right?
Jasmine: These past two weeks have felt like at least two months? I don’t understand how it happened.
Sarah: Isn’t that strange?
Jasmine: It’s, it’s been wild. Yeah, and especially, like, my, I’ve had two family members in the hospital in the past two weeks also, which, thankfully, as of last night, they’re both out, but it’s been, like, sitting by hospital beds, typing on my phone, trying to, like, answer questions and then schedule, like, oh, I’m, I have to run home now to do an interview; I’ll be back, though. [Laughs] So it’s been a little wild, but everything is good now, thank goodness.
Sarah: That is very good! And that is a lot –
Sarah: – to add to your plate during pre-release, you know, coverage and all the things that you have to do.
Jasmine: Yep, yeah, it’s been a little crazy.
Sarah: So how did you come to write this book? What brought you to romance?
Jasmine: So I sort of had a long and twisty road to romance. I read a bunch of romance when I was in high school, and then I kind of stopped reading romance after, I guess once I started college, maybe? And hadn’t gone back to it for a number of years, but the funny thing is, I followed you on Twitter for a long time, like long before I was writing romance, because I just follow a lot of people on Twitter who talk, say interesting things about books –
Sarah: That’s so cool!
Jasmine: – and so I would see you saying things about books, but I was like, oh, well, that sounds interesting; I’m not sure if I’m interested in romance, though. But then I had a big health scare a few years ago, and I was compulsively reading romance then. I think I read, like, well over three hundred books that year, and I had been writing before that, but it wasn’t romance.
Jasmine: And when I first started reading so much I was thinking, like, this is so fun to read. I wouldn’t want to write one of these, though; I don’t think I, I don’t think my brain works that way. And then after reading a bunch of them I was like, well, actually, I have an idea –
Jasmine: – and, and that’s sort of how it happened.
Sarah: So what made you think you couldn’t do it?
Jasmine: You know, I think at first it was because I was reading a lot of historical romance at first?
Jasmine: And I, like, I was a history major in college, I love historical romance, but I didn’t think that I wanted to, like, both have a writing fiction and research mode at the same time. That just seemed not the way that my, like, creative mind worked?
Jasmine: And I feel like historical research is a kind of – I mean, everyone does research for books, but I feel like that, especially historical romance readers can get very specific about things? Like, I don’t want to have to research, you know, what clothes worked or, like, all of that stuff. And, and also, I wanted to write books about people of color, and that seemed a lot more challenging in, in a historical context. And I’ve read a lot that I really love, but they’re, like, they’re not books that I think that I would be good at writing, I think is part of it. And so I was sort of stuck in that world of reading, and I – it, it’s funny to look back on it, ‘cause I remember thinking, like, I don’t want to read romance about people in the contemporary world; that doesn’t sound interesting, and then I started reading some, and I was like, oh, okay, I was wrong about all of that.
Jasmine: Keep reading more. [Laughs]
Sarah: So contemporary romance was the, sort of the subgenre you discovered later after reading historical.
Sarah: What romances did you really enjoy? Which were some that you were like, oh, keeping this one forever and ever?
Jasmine: So some of the ones that I started with, I, have you read 32 Candles? I love it.
Sarah: No! Please tell me about it!
Jasmine: Oh, it’s, it’s be-, it’s sort of like, it’s kind of built around, like, Sixteen Candles. It kind of, there’s a lot of throwbacks to that? And it starts when the main character is, like, in her teenage years, but that, but that’s sort of not quite the prologue, but that’s just the very beginning of the book, and then it kind of moves up until when she’s thir-, when she’s in her thirties and this kind of up-and-down romance that she has with someone where they both mess up a lot, and I loved that book.
Sarah: Ohhh –
Jasmine: And then I love Julie James’s books a lot. They really resonated with me because I wanted to read more, like, books about people living in cities who had kind of lives that I could relate to? And I just thought her books were so much fun.
Sarah: I love her books! I love them.
Jasmine: Yeah. They’re great. I gobble them up every time they come out. Ruby Lang’s books are wonderful. They, they’re about, like, oh, she has a series out about female doctors and kind of the men that they meet and fall in love with, and they’re just, like, they’re, they’re just perfect. I love Jennifer – Jenny, Jennifer? I can’t remember – Holiday’s books? Jenny or Jennifer; I’m going to remember it. Her books are just, like, I think they’re, are they all or mostly set in Toronto?
Sarah: I think so, yes.
Jasmine: Yeah. And those are all a lot of fun. It’s also because, like, that’s not a city where I read a lot of books set in –
Jasmine: – so that was really interesting, is to sort of see a different, a, a place that I don’t see that represented in a lot of books. So those are, like, really the contemporary books that I started with.
Sarah: It’s interesting that you mention Julie James, because while I was reading The Wedding Date I was thinking, there’s a lot of, of, of similarities in the fact that the characters are two very busy people who value their jobs. It’s not that they do nothing but work, but they work hard and they work a lot, and that’s something that, that Julie James writes. I mean, a lot of the time her books are about two busy people who don’t have any time finding out that they need to make time for each other.
Jasmine: Yeah, and I, you know, I, like, I wanted to write a book about people who like their jobs? You know –
Jasmine: – I think that there’s a lot, there are a lot of books about people who, where their jobs are either secondary to them or they don’t care about them, or they, like, are actively trying to get rid of their jobs and, you know, do something else or travel or something, and, like, I know a lot of people who really like their jobs, and I think that that is an interesting thing to think about of someone, because I think a lot of times what you do is an im-, is an important part of who you are as a person, and so that was one thing that I found interesting to kind of explore in, in writing fiction.
Sarah: Absolutely, and the idea that your, your job is the result of some very conscious choices that you make –
Jasmine: Right. Totally.
Sarah: – and it, and it reveals a lot about your, your, your values and your focus when you realize you’ve gotten to this place and you work really hard, but the characters in this book, they work really hard, but they enjoy what they do. Like, they’re proud of what they do.
Jasmine: And I think especially for a lot of women, like, being able to be both proud of what you do and find that, you know, take value in your job, like, think that your work is important is something that a lot of women feel kind of embarrassed about?
Jasmine: That, you know, your job, you know, it’s, your job shouldn’t be the center of who you are, and I think it’s great to find a job that you love and you find important and that you want to dedicate your life to.
Sarah: Absolutely. Women are so often taught to diminish and ignore and downplay their own achievements and to never –
Jasmine: Right, absolutely.
Sarah: – have ambition. Ambition’s totally healthy! [Laughs]
Jasmine: Yeah! I find ambition to be one of the most interesting things about people.
Sarah: Oh, I agree, I agree, and I love that both characters had ambitions.
Jasmine: Well, thank you. I really appreciate that that came through in the book.
Sarah: Oh, I’m glad. I’m, I really enjoyed it. I actually, one of my, one of the things I wanted to say was that while I can’t discuss too much about the book because I don’t want to spoil it, one thing that I have really enjoyed is seeing the other comments and reviews for the book come in and then reading it myself and finding it to be such a happy, charming book and how much readers who have read it have said how much they love how happy it is.
Jasmine: That makes me really glad. I’m so glad to hear that.
Sarah: I mean, did you basically write your catnip and be like, I’m going to write what makes me happy?
Jasmine: Yeah! I mean, I wanted to write a book that I wanted to read on the beach, you know? Those, those are the kinds of – like, I read a lot of, you know, all sorts of different genres, and I read a lot of fiction and nonfiction and some really depressing books, but, you know, especially in the past few years, gosh, the world has been pretty depressing, and it’s the kind of life that I wanted to – I mean, when you’re writing a book, you’re inside that world for a long time, and I wanted to be inside a world that, you know, made me happy and that made me feel like love is a good thing, people are good to each other, sometimes bad things happen, but then people treat each other well, and that was sort of what I wanted to both live within myself and put outside of the, into the world.
Sarah: Yes, absolutely. Now I read in the New York Times article about you that Cindy Hwang encouraged to examine race more closely to, to sort of, as, as many people would say, dig deeper, and you said that –
Jasmine: I think that was actually probably exactly one of her notes was dig deeper? [Laughs]
Sarah: Dig deeper! Dig deeper. And you said that it delighted you. How did that delight you? Why is that, and how was that process for you as a writer?
Jasmine: Well, you know, you know, publishing is a very white world.
Jasmine: And when I was writing this book, I mean, a lot of, a lot of the stuff in the draft, I was nervous, especially when it came time to submit. I just didn’t know how certain things would resonate with either agents or editors or readers –
Jasmine: – and so there was definitely so-, like, I kind of went to a point, and then I wasn’t sure if I should keep going or how exactly to keep going to keep it, to keep it both resonant and true to myself, right? And so there were a few conversations that they had where I kind of stopped before the big part came out, and Cindy kind of found those points and said, keep going here, basically.
Jasmine: And that was great, you know; it was really good to know, okay, I can talk more about this. People do want to hear it; my editor wants to hear it at a, you know, big publishing house. This is real-, that made me really excited.
Sarah: So more than just the moment early on where the heroine says, am I going to be the only black person in this room? And the hero’s like, oh, I hadn’t even thought about it.
Jasmine: Right, yeah.
Sarah: Moving beyond –
Jasmine: That moment was definitely in there from the very beginning. [Laughs]
Sarah: And then moving on, there’s later scenes in the book – and like I said, I don’t want to spoil – there are later scenes where that is a much bigger discussion and –
Sarah: – much larger conversation. That was some of things that were added in so that you could go deeper.
Jasmine: Yeah, absolutely.
Sarah: That’s fascinating! I do have two silly questions.
Sarah: So at all of your events for this book, are you going to have cheese and crackers? Is that like –
Jasmine: I certainly hope so.
Sarah: – a rule?
Jasmine: Yeah. I really, I definitely hope there will be cheese and crackers at everything.
Sarah: [Laughs] Do you have a cheese and cracker recommendation?
Jasmine: Okay, well, I have a lot of cheese and a lot of cracker recommendations. I mean, you know, one of the things that brings them both together, one of my favorite foods of all time that I never purchase except in times of great stress because I will eat an entire box are Cheez-Its. I love them. I cannot be trusted with them inside my house. Like, I –
Jasmine: – you know, there’re, like, sweet people and savory people? I can have – and I think I have in my house right now – like, half a thing of brownies, lots of chocolate. It’s fine; those’ll last for a while. A box of Cheez-Its, no matter how big the box is, is gone in a day and a half, so I just try not to buy them unless I, I know I really need them, which is maybe twice a year.
Sarah: So I should not send you the recipe for homemade Cheez-Its. That would be –
Jasmine: Well, I was going to say, I have a recipe for them –
Jasmine: – and I make them sometimes, but I only make them when I’m taking them to parties.
Sarah: Very smart! Very smart!
Jasmine: Which is good, ‘cause I, you know, I usually get one, like, hot out of the oven and eat a few more, but then at the party everybody eats them all, and then I don’t have any left over, which is great. I like a lot of different kinds of cheeses. I’m a big fan of, like, soft, stinky cheeses? There’s one from, there, there’s a local bakery – bakery – local dairy, Cowgirl Creamery, that’s up in Marin County that makes some amazing cheeses that I love, all of theirs, and I love them with a variety of different crackers. There’s, like, relatively –
Sarah: Oh no.
Jasmine: – simple crackers, which are great, and then there are these crackers that, like, Trader Joe’s carries them. They have them at – or Trader Joe’s has, I think, a mockup of them – they have them at Whole Foods and a bunch of different markets that are, like, I always forget the brand name, but they’re hard, and they have, like, nuts and dried fruit in them, and they’re delicious, and they work with all cheeses, but especially kind of a, like, goat cheese or a brie. I love those. But honestly, I’m, like, I would be happy with some cheddar cheese and Carr’s table water crackers; that’s some of my favorite things in the world.
Sarah: Those are, those are surprisingly good, considering that they are –
Sarah: – just water and flour?
Jasmine: I know. They’re really good. I think they work with all – like, I, if I make a cheese plate, which is one of my favorite things to do for parties also, I always have those because they work with everything, and sometimes you just want something simple.
Sarah: They go with everything; they absolutely do.
Sarah: Now, and I don’t, like I said, I don’t want to spoil, but what about doughnuts? One of the things I love about this book is how much the heroine enjoys her food.
Sarah: I take it if you’re a savory person, then doughnuts are not necessarily a thing that you’re going to have in many, many places in your house.
Jasmine: Well, so I love doughnuts, but I also, again, like, I’m satisfied quickly with sweets, unlike –
Jasmine: – Alexa there, who, in the book, who –
Jasmine: – can eat sweets forever, and that is a little part of her character that I took from my sister, who loves sweets, and especially doughnuts, and when, when we were little – she’s ten years younger than me – and when, so, she, when she was little especially, like, thing that she would get a doughnut for something was the way to get her to do basically anything?
Jasmine: And, and so, so, yes, I, like, I like doughnuts; she loves them.
Sarah: I also loved so much that Alexa is a, is a curvy character, has basic insecurities like everyone does, and is still like, yep, and I love pizza, and I love doughnuts, and I’m going to eat, and I’m not going to feel bad about it. That was just, that was just so charming and so enjoyable. Thank you for that part.
Jasmine: You’re welcome. I’m really glad about that. I mean, I feel like that’s, that was one of the advantages to writing a heroine, like, in her thirties. And it’s not to say that people in their thirties are over their, you know, body issues and food issues, but I feel like that is a point in your life where you sort of learn that I have to enjoy life – [laughs] – when I, while I have it. I will eat the pizza. Maybe I’ll exercise sometimes too, but, you know, things happen; we have to just keep going. And I think that that was one of the fun things about writing Alexa is that I, you know, wanted her to be, be a real person. I know a lot of real people who look sometimes at, at, you know, at themselves in a mirror, and it’s like, oh, that dress; I’m not sure about that on me. Maybe I should go up a size, and then say, like, yes, I will eat all of those dough-, all of those doughnuts and a few tacos later too. I mean, I think that’s something that just happens in life, and we all kind of think about both of those things at once and don’t worry about it as much.
Sarah: I agree. I think as we age we tend to renew our give-a-shit card at a much lower rate.
Sarah: It’s lovely when you don’t give a shit. [Laughs]
Jasmine: Yeah. Oh, it makes life so much easier.
Sarah: I also noticed while I was doing research for this interview that you have so many different covers for this book. They’re so interesting! What do you think of them? Do you have a favorite?
Jasmine: Well, I mean, I, like, I love all the covers so far. I am a big fan of the bright red cover, though. I mean I, like, red is one of my favorite colors anyway, and I was just, that’s the first cover I saw, and I was just so happy about it from the very beginning, so I, I’m, I mean I’m thrilled with them all, but that one just makes me really happy.
Sarah: They are really stunning, and they, they, they really pop. Like, we see them and it’s like, hello!
Jasmine: Oh, yeah, well, that ma-, that is great. I also, one, you know, one of the things that I told my editor when we talked about covers initially is that it was really important to me to have a Black woman on the cover –
Jasmine: – and I’m so glad that this book does so that, you know, I love basically just everything about the cover and the way it’s represented, but I also really love that a Black woman is front and center.
Sarah: And it’s a, it’s a very elegant silhouette.
Jasmine: Yeah, I like that too. [Laughs]
Sarah: Now, Elyse, who writes for me, also read this book. You saved her from flight panic, ‘cause she’s afraid of flying but was going to Costa Rica on vacation, and she’s like, I didn’t even notice I was in the air, which is pretty much –
Jasmine: Oh, that makes me so happy!
Sarah: It’s the best thing you can say, right?
Jasmine: Yeah, absolutely.
Sarah: She asked me to ask you a very important question: what frequent flyer program do they belong to? ‘Cause we both want that one.
Jasmine: Well, okay, but here’s the thing: it’s very easy to fly within California.
Sarah: Oh, right.
Jasmine: I fly Southwest between LA and the Bay Area all the time. They have pretty cheap flights constantly –
Jasmine: – so that part is not, you know, they’re, like, in their many daily flights between, like, all of the LA airports and Oakland and San Francisco, so that, that part is, was relatively easy for me.
Sarah: Because here on the East Coast we’re like, wow! Flying back and forth with frequent flyer miles every weekend! What program is that? We need to know. [Laughs]
Jasmine: Yeah. South-, Southwest has both lots of cheap flights and a relatively easy frequent flyer program and so many flights that it’s, you know, it’s about like, costs – there is a cost to it, but it’s not difficult to get on a flight at the last minute without paying a bundle of money.
Sarah: Right. So do you have a favorite scene in your book that, one that you just really love or are really proud of?
Jasmine: Absolutely, but it’s a little bit of a spoiler!
Sarah: Ooh, that’s a tough answer.
Jasmine: Yeah. I will tell you it comes sort of towards the, not the end, but in sort of the second half of the book?
Jasmine: And it’s a big, kind of emotional scene between the two of them, and I really loved writing it, and it sometimes still makes me cry when I read it, so.
Sarah: Oh, that’s, that’s, I have heard, a very good sign that when it makes you cry, there’s really emotion, especially if it can –
Sarah: – make you cry more than once.
Jasmine: Yeah, that is, that is definitely my favorite scene in the book. It, it, so far, no, no one else is that their favorite scene in the book, which that’s fine, but I need to find the person who comes to me and tells me that’s their favorite scene, and then they’ll be my favorite person.
Sarah: I also wanted to ask you about friendship. Part of the romance is that they become friends and that both of the characters, both Drew and Alexa, have friends who are part of their lives. How much, how much of the friendship of the characters in the book is based in your, in your reality and in your own experiences?
Jasmine: Oh, like, one hundred percent of it. I mean, I, you know, my friends are very close to me and have, like, they have supported me through everything that I have done in my life. And I care very much about my friends, and, you know, I, I feel like the, the relationship when your friend starts dating someone new is a really interesting, like, tension, ‘cause it’s a good thing, but also you want, like, this person better be good for them, and also, I hope I like them, which –
Jasmine: – sometimes isn’t the same thing? And so that was one thing that I thought it was interesting to explore is, you know, meeting the friends of the person you’re dating and also being the friend and meeting the new person and, you know, kind of wanting them, you know, keeping your fingers crossed that this is a good person, that they treat your friend well. I think all of that is really interesting and fun to explore in fiction.
Sarah: Especially since, in the book, Alexa and her friends care for each other.
Sarah: They take care of each other. There’s one scene where her, her very best friends is like, okay, I have some questions. What kind of wine do you want? Am I stopping for burgers? I, when you’re in an emotionally devastated or unhappy state, it’s your friends who can say, okay, white or red?
Jasmine: Yeah, right, exactly. And who can say, you know, we can talk or not talk, either way.
Jasmine: Just know that I’m here. And I’ve had friends say that to me, and I’ve said that to so many friends, and it is something that is really important; it’s just, like, being there, letting them get out what they need to get out, or just sit in silence and watch television and drink wine. Sometimes either of those things is exactly what you need.
Sarah: Yes, absolutely. Now you wrote about your friendship with Amy Spalding in Slate, and it was a really lovely essay.
Jasmine: Oh, thank you so much!
Sarah: Especially that it’s all about internet friends, and so many of my friends who are the closest people to me I only see maybe once every couple of years, but we talk –
Sarah: – all the time in multitudes of ways. And I love what you said about finding that the person online is the same as the person in real life, because there’s so many ways in which we perform a persona for one another.
Jasmine: Yes, absolutely.
Sarah: And – [laughs] – you know, answering a friend request can seem very minor, but think about performing that in person, like walking up to somebody and saying, hi, I would like to be your friend!
Jasmine: Right! [Laughs] Yes, absolutely!
Sarah: It’s really kind of alarming! For a lot of, in a lot of ways, that’s what courtship is –
Sarah: – and that’s what your characters have to do. They have to take a chance and say, I would like to, I would like to be your friend. Here is a friend request without software.
Jasmine: Yeah. Right! I mean, I think that’s, that’s one of the ways that, kind of, the internet makes things a little easier in life –
Jasmine: – is that you can, you know, you have that courtship while you’re just, like, chatting on Twitter sometimes. It’s like, oh, this person and I can be funny together. Maybe we would be able to be funny together in the same actual room! But that, yeah, it’s definitely a kind of heart, heart bounds at first, and you worry the first time you meet someone in real life, like, are, are we going to get along; or is this going to be weird; or are they just going to be, like, silent; or are we going to sit there on our phones all night? Which sometimes is a lot of fun, honestly.
Sarah: Oh, yes.
Jasmine: But, you know, how is, how is this going to play out as we’re two people in a coffee shop or in a bar or on a couch versus two people behind two computer screens?
Sarah: And being your whole self and your authentic self is another part of friendship and also courtship that you have to –
Sarah: – trust the other person to show your, all of your sides, even the ugly ones, even the things you’re ashamed of.
Jasmine: Yes, right. I mean, you know, it’s one thing for someone to see you, like, with your makeup on and your hair done, but another thing, like, first thing in the morning waking up on the couch. [Laughs]
Jasmine: And that’s sort of how the, you know, both, like, the, the external and the internal kind of all comes out once you’ve known someone for a while.
Sarah: Yes. I also noticed that one of the themes of your essay and also of the book was that friendship and finding people who are a good connection for you, are, are a good fit for you, helps you become the best possible version of yourself, or at least I hope that friendships do that for people.
Jasmine: Yeah, I completely agree. That, that’s one of the things that I think friendships absolutely do for people is to support you in whatever ways you need and to make you a better person, absolutely.
Sarah: What were some of the keys that were essential for, for your characters, for Alexa and Drew to become the best versions of themselves?
Jasmine: You know, I think for, I think when I thought about this it was really figuring out what the things were about yourself that you wanted to improve or that you realized that you were doing a bad job at –
Jasmine: – and trying to work on that, ‘cause I think there’s certain things that we all know about ourselves that we need to work on, and sometimes we, we actually work on them, and sometimes we don’t. And then sometimes we don’t even realize it until someone calls you on it, right?
Jasmine: Like, we all need that person to say, what are you doing? You know you can’t do it that way, or, like, I know you’ve been doing it this way for years, but that’s not actually good for you. And so I think that there were a few times in this book where they both get called on some of their, their, the ways that they work and have to work to be better people, and I, and I like that their friends did that to them for the most part.
Sarah: Yes, because your friends are the ones who eventually reach a point where they have permission to say difficult things to you.
Jasmine: Yes, absolutely.
Sarah: It’s not just your romantic partner that has that, have that permission.
Jasmine: One story about this from some of my real-life friendships: I was on a trip with two of my closest friends from college once, and again, you know, we’ve known each other for over twenty years, so we all have permission to say things like this to each other. We were, I think, driving, and we were a little bit lost, and we knew we would find our way, but one person was, like, being super grumpy, and, like, one of my friends was just like, you know, you’re being a real bitch right now, and she was like, oh! I am. You’re right! Let’s not do that anymore. And it just, it was just fine, because we all recognized, like, this is how you’re acting; let’s not treat each other that way, and we all just moved on, whereas you can’t really have that conversation to someone that you’ve known for, like, two months, and that’s a lot harder in a romantic relationship, especially at first, I think, so that’s one of the things about, like, navigating relationships is figuring out how, how to call someone on what they’re doing and just all, like, be fine with it and make it work.
Sarah: [Laughs] It’s, it, like in the, like in your book: listen, you know I love you, right? The introduction to, and whatever –
Sarah: – comes after that is going to be really annoying! [Laughs]
Jasmine: Yes. Exactly. [Laughs]
Sarah: In your essay in Slate about your friendship with Amy Spalding, you wrote about the vulnerability of not only deciding to be a writer but telling someone else that you want to be –
Sarah: – which is a really secret piece of yourself to share with someone, and it’s, it’s like a level of, like I said, a level of access. Is that vulnerability still there? Do you still feel that way about talking about yourself as a writer?
Jasmine: A, it’s getting less, a lot less so now? But definitely, every time I tell someone who I haven’t seen in a while, I have a book coming out this year, it, like, I’m nervous before I say it, you know? And so, like, there is definitely some of that that’s still there, and it’s, you know, it’s been a few years since I started telling people, but it’s, every single time it feels like I have to sort of work myself up to talk about it, ‘cause it does feel very, like, this is a real piece of me that’s coming out in this book, is, I think, different from – I think creative pursuits are different in that way, right? Like, I don’t think people feel that way when they – I mean, I certainly never felt that way when I said I’m going to law school, or I don’t think people feel that way when they say that they’re going to medical school, but when you talk about, you know, becoming a writer or painting or anything that like that you, that anything that comes out is created by you, I think that just feels very, like, personal.
Sarah: Yes, it really does. And also that you’re telling somebody about your ambition, which we talked about earlier.
Sarah: Women are not encouraged to have ambitions –
Sarah: – especially not creative ones.
Jasmine: Yeah. Yeah, that’s absolutely true.
Sarah: Now I’ve asked you about your book. Would you be willing to tell me and everyone who will be listening about The Summer of Jordi Perez (And the Best Burger in Los Angeles)?
Jasmine: Yes! I love that book! It’s Amy’s book that’s coming out in, I think it’s early April. It is a, it is a YA romance about two girls who live in LA. They are both working together as interns at a, a store for the summer and are kind of battling it out to see who gets offered a permanent job and then in the process fall in love with one another. It is such a cute, fun book; there’s lots of – again, I love books where there’s lot of food – there’s lots of talk about burgers. There are also lots of great friends in the book for both of the friends, for both of the girls, and I just love it, and I think you’ll love it totally.
Sarah: That’s brilliant. Isn’t it easier to talk about someone else’s book than your own?
Jasmine: Yeah, absolutely! [Laughs]
Sarah: I’ve always found that to be true. [Laughs]
Sarah: So how have your friendships helped you as a writer?
Jasmine: Oh gosh, in so many ways. I mean, I think, you know, my, my friends who are writers have been wonderful. I’ve had so many people just, like, email me and text me, and especially, you know, people who have had books come out in the, before, and in the past few months just say, let me know if you have questions about all of the stuff that you’re going to encounter; here is my biggest piece of advice. Often that biggest piece of advice is do not read your Amazon or Goodreads reviews – [laughs] – which I’ve been trying very hard to abide by. Or, you know, and just, like, letting me ask them all of my questions from, like, the small things to the big ones. And they’re, I got a lot of advice just in the early stages when, you know, when I was first writing about kind of how to put a book together, how to revise it. When I was looking for an agent, the, you know, names of agents or just the best practices for looking for an agent.
Jasmine: But I’ve also had so much help from my friends who aren’t writers who are, who, like, mostly are just cheerleaders, which is wonderful. I don’t “just” cheerleaders; like, there’s no “just” there? It is fantastic to have a bunch of cheerleaders in my phone who I can just text at any time and say, like, I’m depressed about this, and I get lots of, you know, love back, or I’m excited about this, and I get lots of exclamation points back, and it just makes such a difference in my life to have people who I know are in my corner no matter what.
Sarah: I very much recommend that when you are writing and working in publishing that you have people in your life who have no idea what writing and publishing is like.
Jasmine: Yeah, it’s great.
Sarah: It, it keeps, it, it helps you realize writing a book is kind of a big deal!
Jasmine: Yeah. Yeah, so, I mean, and my family has been wonderful. My parents are both, like, so excited about the book coming out, and so it’s, you know, and it’s, one thing that I have heard from a lot of my family, which is funny because it wasn’t the first thing I thought of, but it’s made me so happy is, so on my dad’s side, my dad is one of eight kids. I have a lot of cousins, and our grandmother, a lot of the cousins would go to her house, you know, all the time, she’d babysit for us, and so many of my cousins – and we all called her Granny – and so many of my cousins have said, like, Granny was such a big reader; you were always reading with Granny; she would be so happy about this.
Jasmine: And she died I think about ten years ago, and it’s just so wonderful to hear them, like, so many of my cousins and aunts and uncles have said that independently, and it’s been so lovely to hear that they are just sort of in my corner and thinking about the path that got me here, which was a very long path.
Sarah: That’s really lovely!
Jasmine: Yeah, it’s been so nice.
Sarah: And to have that connection to yourself in a time period that you might not remember, because you were so young.
Jasmine: Yeah. I mean, I mean, I was, you know, my cousins would always make fun of me ‘cause, like, oh, Jasmine always has a book, or, like, what’s Jasmine reading now?
Jasmine: And so that, it’s just a nice little full circle moment.
Sarah: That’s adorable!
Sarah: So do people ask you for advice? Do you have advice for anyone who’s thinking of writing a book now?
Jasmine: Yeah. You know, my biggest advice is to just keep going?
Jasmine: I, I started writing about seven years ago. I worked on, I wrote another book before The Wedding Date and then sort of another one kind of, I kind of half wrote in the middle of the two, and it took me a while to get to, you know, to an agent, to a publisher. I had many rejections along the way, and I’m so glad that I kept going. I also think that this is a time where it’s, it was really helpful for me to figure out what kind of a writer I was, like, what worked for me and what didn’t?
Jasmine: You know, I’ve learned that I really need an outline before I start writing. Some people can do it the other way. I cannot; I have tried. It does not work for me. I’m glad that I know that before I now have deadlines.
Jasmine: And in, just also, you know, for me, having a regimented time every day that I write works very well for me, and I know people who can just do it at any time. For me, just, like, forcing myself to sit down every day and work on, when I’m working on a draft, I just need to do, do it every single day. That doesn’t work for everyone; that doesn’t need to work for everyone. I think the most important thing is to figure out what, what keeps you going and then work according to that, as opposed to, you know, looking at, at other advice and seeing what works for other people. I mean, I, I did look at other advice and see what worked for other people and tried it all out, and now I know what works for me, but I think it, it’s really important to know how you as a writer can work.
Sarah: Yes, that it’s, that is, that it is an individual process, and it’s okay –
Sarah: – if yours is different.
Jasmine: Absolutely. Yeah. Absolutely. And I think, you know, to not compare yourself to other people’s process, I think – sometimes you’ll see on Twitter people talking about their huge word counts for the day. Don’t let yourself think that that’s what you need to be doing. I think sometimes that happens for everyone, and sometimes that doesn’t, and that’s fine. Just, you know, whatever makes you proud of yourself during the day works really well for you. One thing that I started doing was – again, I, this sounds regimented, but it has worked for me – is to have a spreadsheet of just, like, everything that I, you know, where I just put in what I do every day, and it just really helps me to see. Sometimes I wrote a lot one day, and then the next day –
Jasmine: – I wrote very little, and it just helps you see, like, things go up and down; that’s okay. I just kept going, and I think that’s really, again, keep going is the most important thing.
Sarah: That’s very true. That’s very true. You, you can’t, you can’t write a book if you’re not writing words somewhere somehow.
Sarah: Even if it’s two.
Jasmine: Yeah. Keeping, writing every day just keeps it in my mind all the time?
Jasmine: So often I will be thinking about it and then, in a time when I’m not writing, and have new ideas, but it just, like, even just writing a hundred words on something that day when those hundred words didn’t work, that scene got cut later, but then later on that night I woke up in the middle of the night and had a good idea, just because the, because I was wrestling over, like, why didn’t that work? What can I do? I don’t know. Oh! Now I know. And so that, you know, just, like, keeping it in my head constantly has been really valuable for me.
Sarah: Yes, I call that the Crockpot in the back of my brain.
Jasmine: Oh, that’s so smart!
Sarah: Like, twelve –
Sarah: – thirteen hours later, oh, I know exactly what to do!
Jasmine: Yeah. [Laughs] I force myself now to write down those ideas so that I don’t lose them before I wake up in the morning.
Sarah: Yes. You need to have something to write on by your bed always.
Sarah: So what are you working on now? Can you tell, tell me about it?
Jasmine: So Carlos is going to get his own book from The Wedding Date, and so I’m working on revisions for his book, which is called The Proposal, which will be out in the fall.
Sarah: Did we meet his heroine in this book?
Jasmine: We have not met her yet.
Sarah: Oooh! And is there something after Carlos?
Jasmine: There will be two books that come after Carlos, and those, those, those I’m not ready to talk about yet, ‘cause they’re still in outline form, so we’ll see how they change, but they are about people that you have met in The Wedding Date; I will put it that way.
Sarah: Oh goodie. I hope one, I hope one is Alexa’s sister, I really, really hope, or at least – and also her friend, ‘cause I, all the ladies in this story just deserve really good things, especially the one who’s like, I know what looks good on you; I do not have the talent of what looks good on me?
Jasmine: Again, talk about friends, it’s always important to have a friend who can tell you (a) what looks good on you and, and that friend who can say, like, no, take that off immediately, and you don’t get your feelings hurt.
Sarah: Yes! And the friend who can talk you into wearing something that you might not otherwise have put on.
Jasmine: Yes, absolutely.
Sarah: That is a lovely friend. That’s the friend –
Sarah: – who wants you to, to look as good as possible, and that’s such a generous –
Jasmine: Yes. The friend who wants you to succeed!
Sarah: Yes! It’s such a generous thing.
Sarah: Now I do have – speaking of beauty – I do have a question for you.
Sarah: Completely unrelated to writing: in your newsletter in December, you wrote about Fenty Beauty lip paint.
Sarah: You still recommend it?
Jasmine: Yes, I love it. I, like, I have a lot of lipsticks, and I wear them a lot, and I, I think, for the, like, two weeks after I bought that, that was the only thing I wore every day. I love it. It’s, it, it is a little tricky to apply, I will warn you, because the applicator is a little, is on the, is kind of shaped just a little strangely?
Jasmine: But once you figure out a trick to that, it’s just great. It is, it, like, and I’ve seen so many women of, like, a variety of different lip shades wear it and look great in it, and it feels very comfortable on? A lot of matte lipsticks feel pretty drying to my lips –
Jasmine: – but this one doesn’t at all.
Sarah: And it is really a universal red!
Jasmine: I, yeah, I think it’s totally a universal red. It looks great on people.
Sarah: How? How did Rihanna –
Jasmine: Not just Rihanna. When I first saw it, I was like, I’m obviously buying that, ‘cause it looks great on Rihanna, but it looks good on a lot of other people who don’t, who aren’t as beautiful as Rihanna.
Sarah: How did Rihanna do this? What happened?
Jasmine: I don’t know, but –
Jasmine: – she’s a magician.
Sarah: So you recommend the Fenty Beauty lip paint, which comes in that one color.
Jasmine: Yes. It’s only that one color for now, although I’m wondering if they’re going to add more? They did add more lips, like, other styles of lipstick, which I have not tried yet, but I’m dying to? So we’ll see.
Sarah: So what are your other go-to lipsticks that you recommend unreservedly?
Jasmine: So I love the Sephora brand cream lip stain in Always Red. It is all, it’s almost the same color as Fenty. It feels a little different.
Jasmine: It is a little bit more drying, but it also stays on longer, so that, it, that is sort of, it is a good lipstick to wear if you know you’re going to be busy all day and not have time to reapply and you want your lipstick keep looking good? So that one I love, and I think that one works good on a, works well on a lot of people.
I also really love, YSL has these great lip stains that stay on for a while, but they, they kind of feel like lip gloss when you apply them, and there’s a range of reds that work there that I am a big fan of.
Jasmine: So those are, those are the ones that are, like, almost always in my purse.
Sarah: Thank you!
Jasmine: You’re welcome.
Sarah: I just recently realized that if I can wear a matte lipstick I’m very happy. If I’m wearing a lipstick that’s shiny or glossy, I, I don’t know how I do this, and I fully realize this is very strange, but I always end up getting lipstick on my glasses. I don’t know what –
Jasmine: [Laughs] Okay, I will explain to you how you do it because I, I, that, I kept getting lipstick on my nose and was trying to figure out how it happened. This is how it happens: it gets on whatever cup you’re drinking, and then you turn the cup around and you drink again, and then your lipstick –
Sarah: Oh my gosh!
Jasmine: – comes off on your nose or your glasses.
Sarah: Oh my gosh, mind blown!
Jasmine: Yeah. That’s how it happens, ‘cause I kept looking in the mirror and being like, why do I have lipstick on the tip of my nose? And then I suddenly realized it.
Sarah: Okay, you have totally changed my life, ‘cause I was convinced I was just bad at lipstick?
Jasmine: Yeah. No, that’s why. That’s – and the mattes don’t come off as well, so that’s why –
Jasmine: – it hasn’t happened to you with matte lipsticks.
Sarah: And when you find a good lipstick that, that works, that isn’t drying, that doesn’t feel like you’re wearing, like, putty, and it stays, it’s, it’s almost like a piece of armor. Like I feel like –
Sarah: – I’m dressed.
Jasmine: Exactly! Right! I put on lipstick before important phone calls sometimes, because I, you know, need to have my armor on first.
Sarah: And it, even though you can’t see it, you can almost always catch a glimpse of it a little bit?
Sarah: I’m so relieved to know why I got, like, lipstick on my glasses. I’m just, I am just, my life has changed; thank you.
Jasmine: I am so glad.
Sarah: So the last question I always ask is, is often the hardest one: do you have any books that you would like to recommend, beyond The Summer of Jordi Perez (And the Best Burger in Los Angeles)?
Jasmine: Oh, well, I have a ton of books that I have to recommend. Like, how much time do we have here?
Sarah: As much as you want.
Jasmine: One of the books that I read recently that I keep thinking about, it’s called We Are Never Meeting in Real Life. It’s by Samantha Irby. It’s a collection of essays. It, like, I am usually not a collection-of-essays kind of book reader, but these are just, like, so funny and touching and interesting that I just recommend them to everyone. They’re about her life as a writer and a person living in Chicago. Both of her parents died when she was relatively young, which makes the book sound really sad, but it’s not. She works in a vet clinic, which is hilari-, like, some of the stories are hilarious. She talks about her cat that she adopted from that clinic. I am not a cat person, and every story she tells about the cat, like, cracked me up.
Jasmine: And I just, like, loved everything about that book.
I also really loved Far from the Tree, which is a Young Adult book that came out last year. It won the National Book Award. I read it in galley form and just fell in love with it immediately. It’s about three siblings who, who were all adopted and didn’t know each other existed and then kind of find each other at the beginning of the book, and it’s about them working things through with their families.
Crazy Rich Asians: I adore all of those books. I cannot wait for the movie. Those, like, any time someone tells me, I’m going on vacation; what book should I read? I tell, I tell them to buy Crazy Rich Asians.
And look, I don’t think I have to tell anyone who listens to your podcast to read Tessa Dare and Courtney Milan, but their books were, like, what got me into romance. I was, like, waiting to have surgery, and I first read my first Courtney Milan book, and I distinctly remember finishing the first one on my Kindle in the bathtub and immediately buying the next one and, like, reading it all the way through, still in the bathtub. I love all of their books and, like, recom-, any kind of new romance reader, I recommend their books to start with, ‘cause I, like, love all of them.
Sarah: Oh, that’s very funny. [Laughs] Isn’t it dangerous to be able to buy the book as soon as you’re done reading it?
Jasmine: It is. Like, I mean, it is so dangerous. I don’t know how people with children who are big book readers can handle this, because I know that if I was a child and had a Kindle, like, I would have bankrupted my parents – [laughs] – so I, I am close to bankrupting myself on all the books that I buy. So, yes, it is very dangerous to be able to do it that way.
Sarah: Oh my gosh, I know. Do you have a favorite book of theirs?
Jasmine: Um –
Sarah: I know, it’s impossible to just pick just one.
Sarah: It’s like having one Cheez-It. You can’t just have one Cheez-It! You can’t –
Jasmine: I know, I know. Te-, you know, Tessa Dare, I just love her whole Spinster’s Cover series. They, they’re just all so wonderful. I mean, I like all of her books, but those are the ones that I recommend to new readers first, I think partly because I went to a women’s college. I love anything that’s set, you know, like, all women, and then here are a few men who come in environment. Like, that is one of my catnips in fiction.
Jasmine: And so all of those books are just fantastic. And then Courtney Milan, I mean, like, her, the, the Brothers Sinister series is where I started, and –
Jasmine: – I, like, I love all of her books, but I, it, it’s so great to start there.
Sarah: I completely agree, and I, until you said that you went to a women’s college and you love stories about com-, communities of women – I also went to a very small women’s college in South Carolina, and I hadn’t realized that, that that was formative for some of my catnip as well. I love especially secret societies of women.
Jasmine: Oh my God, me too! Oh, they’re the best.
Sarah: Right? The secret soc-, the secret groups of women, and, and I think that’s something that’s so, so alluring about the portrayal of friendship in a romance novel, because usually when you have two best friends together or a group of friends together, they’re not going to let you in and let you hear their very intimate, personal conversations, but in a book –
Sarah: – you get to be a part of this friendship in progress –
Sarah: – and you get to sort of be part of that loving group of people.
Jasmine: Oh, yeah, absolutely. I think just being able to see – you know, because usually the friendship process in books like this is kind of the side story, but it, it, for, it, it informs so much of the rest of the book, and those are, that’s one of the things that I love about Tessa Dare’s books is that there’s so much great stuff about female friendship.
Sarah: Yes, and that the friendships are not sacrificed when the romance shows up.
Jasmine: Yes, absolutely.
Sarah: I love that so much. Thank you, by the way, for illuminating me onto the reason and the, the provenance of one of my pieces of catnip and also why I get lipstick on my glasses.
Jasmine: [Laughs] My pleasure!
Sarah: This is revelatory conversation. Do you have any other books you want to mention?
Jasmine: Well, one book that is one of my favorite books from maybe the past, I don’t know, ten years is Homegoing? It is a book that starts in, in Africa. It’s about, the first part of the book is about two sisters who basically get torn apart. One stays in Africa; one is sold into slavery. And then it follows their descendants story by story up until the present day America, and it is just stunning. I read it in two days, and it was one of those books where when, when you finish, I just had to sit in silence for, like, thirty minutes and think about it. I loved it so much.
And I think a book that informs that book a lot, which is nonfiction, it’s called The Warmth of Other Suns. It is about the Great Migration in America from, of Black Americans from the South to the North and West, and it, it taught me so much. I mean, you know, I was a history major; I love history. There’s a lot, there’s a lot of things in the book that I knew, but they’re, it taught me so much that I didn’t know, both about America and history, but just, like, about myself and my own family. Like, I figured out, oh, this is why I grew up where I did, basically. And I, it, it’s just a really fascinating book about America, and I think that it really helps to inform a lot of other books about America. I just loved it.
Sarah: It’s always so interesting to not only discover, you know, why you are the way you are but how you got to be –
Sarah: – where you are.
Jasmine: No, there, there is a moment in that book where I, like, reading it and got chills and was like, oh, that’s why I exist, basically, and it’s just a, it’s just a wonderful book.
Sarah: And so much of it is arbitrary.
Jasmine: Yeah, completely.
Sarah: Like, it could have been so very different, very easily.
Sarah: And that brings us to the end of this episode. Thanks and congratulations again to Jasmine Guillory for this interview, and way to go on hitting the USA Today bestseller list.
If you have questions or ideas or you’d like to ask for a recommendation, please get in touch with me at [email protected], or you can find me on Twitter @SmartBitches. You can also record a voice memo and email it to me if you would like to send me audio. I think you would sound great if you did, so you totally should.
This podcast is brought to you by The Most Eligible Highlander in Scotland by Michele Sinclair. Award-winning author Michele Sinclair returns to the Scottish Highlands, the land of her fan-favorite McTiernay clan, full of fierce warriors and vibrant women. As the most sought-after bachelor in Scotland, the seventh McTiernay brother claims he cannot be caught and taken to the altar, not by seduction or love, until a roving Highland beauty lays siege to his heart. The Most Eligible Highlander in Scotland by Michele Sinclair is available everywhere books are sold and at kensingtonbooks.com.
Each episode gets a transcript, compiled and handcrafted by garlicknitter – thank you, garlicknitter! [My pleasure! – gk] This week’s transcript is brought to you by Lauren Dane’s Whiskey Sharp: Unraveled. The sharpest ache comes from wanting what you think you cannot have. Whiskey Sharp: Unraveled is the newest contemporary romance from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lauren Dane. Maybe Dolan has lived independent, free-spirited, and unattached since she left home at sixteen. Whiskey Sharp, Seattle’s sexy, vintage-styled barbershop and whiskey bar, gave her a job and a reason to put down roots. But a long-time crush that turns into a hot, edgy night with brooding and bearded Alexsei Petrov makes things a hell of a lot better. You can find Whiskey Sharp: Unraveled available at all book retailers, and you can learn more at laurendane.com.
We have a podcast Patreon, and if you have a look you can see the different reward tiers and you can find out what the options are. For as little as one dollar a month, you make a sizable difference in my ability to keep producing the podcast, and you’re helping me commission transcripts for episodes that do not have them yet. I have some new transcripts for archived episodes going up very soon, probably this week! Have a look at patreon.com/SmartBitches for more of the details.
And I want to thank some of the Patreon folks personally, so to Kate, Hanna, Janna, Jennie, and Susan, thank you so much for supporting the Patreon.
Are there other ways you can support the show? Of course! You’re listening, right? That’s super cool! Thank you! You can also leave a review however or wherever you listen to podcasts. You can tell a friend, you can subscribe, whatever works, but thank you for being here and for making this show part of your podcast collection.
The music you are listening to is provided by Sassy Outwater. This is the Peatbog Faeries. I am making my way through their Live @ 25 album, because it is super awesome. Each track is a live recording of one of their most popular songs. This is “The Ranch.” You can find this album at Amazon or iTunes, and you can learn more about Peatbog Faeries at their website peatbogfaeries.com.
I will have links to every book we talked about, all of the recommendations that Jasmine made, including lip glosses, lip stains, and lipsticks, in the show notes at smartbitchestrashybooks.com/podcast.
And speaking of the website, it occurred to me that you might be interested in hearing what’s coming up on the site this week. I will tell you! Over the weekend, we have Romance Wanderlust and a new edition of Hide Your Wallet, Part 2. I call it Hide Your Wallet, Part Deux: Electric Boogaloo, but that’s ‘cause I’m a giant gen X nerd. Amanda has a Squee from the Keeper Shelf going up next week, and of course we will have reviews and a Bachelor recap from Elyse. I hope you’ll stop by and hang out with us if you’re interested.
I always end with a terrible joke; today is no exception. Thanks to Anoia for these wonderful, wonderful, bad dad jokes. I bet you know this one, but I’m still going to do it anyway ‘cause it makes me smile.
Why do seagulls fly over the sea?
Give up? Why do seagulls fly over the sea?
Because if they flew over the bay, they would be bay-gulls.
[Laughs] I love those so bad! Oh, they’re so bad it makes me happy. All right, now that I’ve tortured you enough, I will let you move on to the next podcast in your queue.
On behalf of Jasmine and myself and all of the animals currently on my desk, we wish you the very best of reading. Have a wonderful weekend, and we’ll see you here next week.
[finale music, applause]
This podcast transcript was handcrafted with meticulous skill by Garlic Knitter. Many thanks.
This week’s transcript is being brought to you by Lauren Dane’s Whiskey Sharp: Unraveled.
The sharpest ache comes from wanting what you think you can’t have…
Whiskey Sharp: Unraveled is the newest contemporary romance from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lauren Dane.
Maybe Dolan has lived independent, free-spirited and unattached since leaving home at sixteen. Whiskey Sharp, Seattle’s sexy vintage-styled barbershop and whiskey bar, gave her a job—and a reason to put down roots. Cutting hair by day, losing herself drumming in a punk rock band by night, she’s got it good.
But a longtime crush that turns into a hot, edgy night with brooding and bearded Alexsei Petrov makes it a hell of a lot better.
Maybe’s blunt attitude and carnal smile hooked Alexsei from the start. Protecting people is part of his nature and Maybe is meant to be his…even if she doesn’t know it. Yet. He can’t help himself from wanting to protect and care for her.
But Maybe’s fiery independent spirit means pushing back when Alexsei goes too far. Still, he’s not afraid to do a little pushing of his own to get what he wants—her in his life, and his bed, for good. Maybe’s more intoxicating than all the liquor on his shelf…and he’s not afraid to ride the blade’s edge to bind her to him.
You can find Whiskey Sharp: Unraveled available at all book retailers. And you can learn more at LaurenDane.Com.