Thursday, 16 April 2015

Guest Post: Jody Gehrman!

After reading (and falling in love with) 'The Truth About Jack' a couple of days ago, I'm delighted to welcome the author, Jody Gehrman, to my blog!

Jody Gehrman is a native of Northern California, where she can be found writing, teaching, reading or obsessing over her three cats most days. She is also the author of ten novels and numerous award-winning plays. Her Young Adult novels include 'The Truth About Jack', 'Audrey's Guide to Black Magic', 'Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft', 'Babe In Boyland', 'Confessions of a Triple Shot Betty', and 'Triple Shot Bettys in Love'. 'Babe In Boyland' was optioned by the Disney Channel and won the International Reading Association's Teen Choice Award. Her adult novels are 'Bombshell', 'Notes from the Backseat', 'Tart', and 'Summer in the Land of Skin'.
Her plays have been produced in Ashland, New York, San Francisco, Chicago and L.A. She and her partner David Wolf won the New Generation Playwrights Award for their one-act, 'Jake Savage, Jungle P.I.' She is a professor of English and Communication Studies at Mendocino College.

If you're interested in getting in touch with Jody, you can visit her website, or you can find her on Facebook or on Twitter.

Now I'll hand you over to Jody!

My first "novel" was really a very long letter sent to my friend about us riding around on our flying dogs. I was eight. We'd moved to Canada for the year and I missed our imaginary games, so I wrote about them instead. I guess writing for me has always been about delving into imaginary worlds. I still tend to think of each of my novels as a long love letter--to a place, a time in my life, a person, a feeling.
That same year in British Columbia, I had a bizarre thing happen with a message in a bottle, something that plays an important role in The Truth About Jack. I made a really great friend up there named Kristen. She and I decided to write a letter and launch it in a bottle. I remember my dad helping us throw it really far, to be sure it would catch the currents. I can still remember watching the bottle get swallowed by the sea, feeling all hopeful and certain someone would find it.
A few weeks later, we'd all but forgotten about it. Out of the blue we got a massive envelope. Inside were like thirty letters, all written from third graders. A teacher from one of the nearby islands had found the bottle with our letter and had her entire class write to us. 
Looking back, I think that's when I decided to be a writer. I know I started learning to use a typewriter soon after.  
In college I discovered playwriting, and after college I freelanced as a journalist. Both of these experiences confirmed my commitment to writing, in part because they helped with the inherent loneliness that can become an occupational hazard. As a playwright I love working with actors and directors; as a journalist I feel invigorated by interviews. The more social aspects of writing balance out the isolation of writing novels. 


Dakota McCloud has just been accepted into a prestigious art school. Soon she'll leave behind the artists' colony where she grew up--hippie dad, tofu since birth, yurt--and join her boyfriend and best friend on the East Coast. It was the plan...until Dakota finds out her boyfriend and best friend hooked up behind her back. 
Hurt and viciously betrayed, Dakota pours her heart out on a piece of paper, places it in a bottle, and hurls it into the ocean. But it doesn't quite go where she expects...
Jack Sauvage finds the bottle washed up on the shore and responds to Dakota's letter. Except what if his straight-laced life doesn't jive with the free-spirited girl he's only seen from afar? As Jack creates a persona he believes she'll love, they slowly fall for each other with each new letter. Now Jack is trying to find a way to make this delicate, on-paper romance happen in real life...without revealing his deception.
If you're looking forward to getting hold of a copy of 'The Truth About Jack' (and I highly recommend that you do!) you can find it on Amazon US and Amazon UK. This is a perfect book for summer, so with the weather warming up you should definitely read this one!

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