Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Author Interview: Jerramy Fine (& Giveaway!)


Born in 1977, Jerramy Sage Fine grew up in Western Colorado along with her little brother Ezra. Although she was raised by crazy hippy parents, she still maintains there was a dreadful hospital mix-up and she was switched at birth with the baby daughter of English aristocrats. Jerramy attended the University of Rochester where she spent her semester abroad working in the House of Commons, and later completed her master’s at the London School of Economics. She now lives in London with her English boyfriend. He’s not royal, but she forgives him.

From the author's website.

You can read my review here.


How did your love for the British royalty begin?

I have no idea. All I know is that it was something I was literally born with. As a toddler I knew right away that the life I had with my hippie parents in Colorado was not for me! (I made it very clear that I wanted a castle, not a cabin. And was certain that my real royal parents would be coming for me any second.)  I was describing royal scenes, furniture and places even before I could read.  I was also not allowed TV so my ideas definitely came from within.  My hippie parents claimed all this was because I was royal in past life – and they’re might be something to that. J But all I know is that my desire to be in England and immerse myself in all things royal is something that nothing short of an exorcism could remove from my heart. Then and now.


What were your favorite fairy tales as a child?

I had a huge obsession with Snow White when I was little. (At one point, I managed to accumulate such a huge collection of Snow White memorabilia that the Denver Children’s Museum put it on display.) I insisted on dressing up as Snow White for Halloween five years in a row, and every day after preschool I’d rush home to listen to my Snow White record on my Fisher Price record player.  Don’t forget that back in 1977, there was no such thing as a “Disney Store,” there were no “Princess Collection” aisles filled with everything a little girl like me could only dream of playing with. For my 2nd birthday party, my mom had to scour the party shops to find anything vaguely Snow-White themed and when she finally found plastic Snow White cake-toppers, she thought she had hit the jackpot.( I was so happy, I didn’t even notice that my health nut parents were serving me a sugarless carrot cake with sugarless icing!) I guess you could say that Snow White was my best (albeit imaginary) friend, and whenever I was upset about my non-royal life I would confide in her. My mom said she overheard me all the time, “Snow White,” I would sob, “You are the only one who understands!” (Looking back on it, it makes perfect sense. Snow White was an orphaned princess. And so was I.)


What is the most challenging part of writing a memoir?

Writing is the easy part! Because it’s a true story, the words came easily. But here’s something all those agents and editors don’t prepare you for when writing a memoir: the simple fact that it’s not just the quality of your writing that will be judged by the masses; the quality of your life, your brain, your heart, and your soul will also be put forward to the public as an acceptable punching bag! Even though I got great editorial reviews and endless emails of praise from readers –every now then I’d read something on Goodreads or Amazon that was so cruel, it would knock the wind out of me. (I mean, when someone calls you an alcoholic slut, or a bitch, or expresses a wish to see you hit by a double-decker bus – it’s kind of hard not to take it personally!)  Enduring this type of personal attack never once occurred to me when I sat down to write my memoir and as a result, I wrote with honest abandon. What I’ve learned is that while no one can send mean emails to fictional characters that love martinis, they can send mean emails to me – because I am real. On the plus side, 99% of my reader reviews are so wonderful that I cry with happiness to learn I’ve inspired girls to such an extent. But as we all know, it’s easy to forget the good and focus on the bad, and I’ve had to diligently train myself to do the reverse!


Who is your favorite English monarch, past or present? Why?

HM Queen Elizabeth II, of course! She has been Queen since she was 25-years-old and always (always!) puts duty and the nation before herself. Her dedication and selflessness (in a job that she never asked for) is truly inspiring – and even though she is 84 years-old she continues to carry out her public work almost daily – never ever complaining or asking when she is allowed to retire.


What do you think would be the best aspect of royal life?

True royals look beyond themselves in every situation and it is this altruistic aspect of royal life that I’ve always been drawn to. Yes, the palaces and pageantry are fantastic – but it’s the philanthropy and magnified sense of duty that I find truly incredible.


What is the biggest culture shock faux pas you committed while acclimating to English life?

Once I was attending a black-tie ball for a charity that provides cricket equipment to disadvantaged children. (In England it doesn’t matter if the child is starving or homeless, as long as he or she can play cricket.) I was seated at a table of rowdy rugby players and had already swallowed several glasses of champagne before the first course arrived. It was salmon of some kind yet I was so caught up in the ridiculous conversations happening around me (and so hungry as I hadn’t eaten much lunch) that I accidentally used the wrong knife. I quickly spotted my mistake after the first bite and swiftly changed knives, certain no one would notice – least of all the highly inebriated gentlemen on either side of me. How wrong I was. Within seconds, the broad-shouldered, floppy-haired Englishmen to my right was standing up and tapping his spoon on his water glass to get the table’s attention.

“I would like to announce that the lovely American lady to my left has used the wrong knife,” he bellowed. “And for this she must be penalized!”

To atone for my mistake I was forced to chug the rest of my wine, the rest of his wine, and all the remaining wine in the bottle sitting in the center of our table. As you can imagine, I have very little recollection of what happened after that. But let me tell you: I now make a point of paying close attention to the cutlery before each and every course.


Do you have any words of wisdom for people who may be chasing their own fairy tale endings?

Fairytales are real and each of us has the power within us to move beyond our circumstances to something greater. Anything is possible if we believe it, and once you make a decision about something, the entire universe will conspire to help you achieve it.  Your childhood dream is the most honest dream you’ll ever have – you should honor it, do your best to indulge it and never let anyone make fun of it.


How did your interest in writing develop?

I’ve always enjoyed writing and I knew that my story was a unique and funny one – with a theme that lots of girls could relate to. There’s lots of negativity and skepticism in the world these days – so most of all, I wanted my book to convey the importance of listening to your heart, holding tight to your childhood dream and believing in the impossible – no matter what those grumpy cynics out in the real world may tell you!


Who are some of your favorite authors? What do you love about them?

Paul Coelho (The Alchemist), Marianne Williamson (A Return to Love), and Garth Stein (Art of Racing in the Rain) – for soul-touching narratives. Nancy Mitford, Evelyn Waugh and PG Woodhouse for pure British wit and aristocratic indulgence.


What is a random fact readers probably don’t know about you?

I secretly love tofu. (Sometimes that hippie upbringing never dies.)


Do you have any plans for future books?

I’ve just finished writing Bright Young Blueboods (a guidebook to all the eligible royals in Europe). Also, Someday My Prince Will Come is currently being developed for TV by ABC Family –which I’m super excited about. See www.jerramyfine.com for more details.


For more information about Ms. Fine and her works, please visit:


Many thanks to Ms. Fine for such a lovely interview!


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GIVEAWAY [CLOSED]



Thanks to Ms. Fine and Casey Maloney at Penguin, I am able to offer a copy of Someday My Prince Will Come to one lucky reader!

To enter: 

1. Leave a meaningful comment on this interview

2. Fill out THIS FORM

Here are some links you might need for extra entries:


This contest is open until midnight EST on August 17, 2010.

Good luck!


34 comments:

Books and Bane said...

Wow! The part about peoples comments was brutal. Yeah you for taking the chance and sharing your experience with us!!!

nedsped at gmail dot com

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

I like that Jerramy mentioned the royals' sense of duty and responsibility. I'm a minor royalty buff myself, and I'm always impressed by how many young aristocrats join the armed services of their countries. (In the meantime, the children of democratically politicians in the supposedly more egalitarian republics stay the heck away from military service.)

Great interview, Casey!

Alexandra said...

I trust Jerramy's taste of literature,so I finally decided to read The Alchemist.Great interview!

Judit said...

I've never heard about Jerramy Fine but the review of her book looks very interesting and judging by the interview she looks like a smart woman. I would love to read her story. There's just nothing better than heroine who is actually a real person.

misha1989 said...

Great Interview! I have a fascination with British royalty too. I love reading about them

Melissa said...

What a fantastic new book and author! And I am also excited for you that ABC Family has picked this up--I would be thrilled to be able to get a copy to read and review!
~Melissa
www.squeakycleanreads.com

Meredith said...

I would suspect that the criticism over a memoir would be more personal, as you said, since your entire life is being judged!

angelatarantula said...

great interview! What an amazing life story, growing up with hippie parents in a cabin in Colorado, but determined to prove that you were switched at birth. Meaningful advice for people who have been chasing their fairytale endings.

p.s. I love tofu too :P

-Angela

bkobsessed17 said...

Funny story! I would've run out of the room! I love your name btw! Can I steal it???

Robyn said...

The book has been picked up by ABC Family! Say it isn't so - I was dreaming of writing the screenplay myself! (Except I pictured it as a feature film.)

I adored this book, and it's definitely inspired me to make my own dreams happen.

Joan said...

I love the title of the book, it's hopeful and almost poignant.
I think the cover was well-done too. Can't wait to read it!

anbi14 at hotmail dot com

Tina said...

Although Snow White was my least favorite princess when I was growing up, your story about your mom overhearing you confide in her cracked me up. I'm pretty sure I did the same thing when I was little to Ariel from the Little Mermaid.

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

wow that's quite a penance you paid for your silverware faux pas!! can't wait to read this book! thanks for the contest!

Ali said...

Love your words of wisdom, Jerramy :)
Great interview Q&A... I love tofu, too... especially with soy sauce like I get at a Korean restuarant I go to :)

Lora1967 said...

Great interview! I would love to read this book...

The Bookish Type said...

Thank you all so much for stopping by! I'm really glad to hear you enjoyed the interview! You've left some really great comments!

Pink Panther said...

My favourite fairy tale is.. hm... let me see... Cinderella. Somehow, when I was a child, I got this stupid concept that princess SHOULD have long hair, so Snow White is definitely out. :) Anyway, I can't wait to get my hands on this new book! Thanks for this lovely interview! :)

Melissa @ Mel's Books and Info said...

I know sometimes reviewers can be harsh when they review a book, but the personal attacks are unacceptable. That is so sad. It is hard enough to put your heart out there and write without having people personally attack you in reviews. So sorry that happened. This was a wonderful interview!

k_sunshine1977 said...

congrats for having your book picked up by abc family! to heck with all the haters - i'll stand by and eat tofu with you! :)

k_sunshine1977 at yahoo dot com

Winning Readings said...

I love tofu too! I'm more public about it... :)

And I'm Mozi Esme...

janemaritz at yahoo dot com

Janelle said...

I like the jusxtoposition of poverty against the royal trappings and the inner struggle of the author.
Chanticlear1@gmail.com

Diana said...

Wo, I love every part of it. I think that you can read a book and understand it your way but the meaning changes if the author gives you so personal details and what it ment for them to write it. It isn't only she liking royalty, but she expressing and achiving, like she said, her childhood dream and now sharing it with all of us readers.
It has only left me with more expectation and desire of reading the book.
BTW I love fairytales too, I also think they can be true if you want them to.
Beautiful and inspiring interview!

The Bookish Type said...

I'm so glad you're all enjoying the interview! I thought it was fascinating as well. I can definitely see this as a TV show =) I really appreciate the thoughtful comments!!

Joanna said...

This was a great interview! I really liked what she had to say, especially about the personal fairy tales ;)

Joanna said...

This was a great interview! I really liked what she had to say, especially about the personal fairy tales ;)

Steph said...

I wonder how Jerramy feels about abolishing the monarchy after working in the House of Commons. I like tofu too, especially extra firm. And, congrats on living her fairy tale.Fangs, Wands and Fairy Dust
steph@fangswandsandfairydust.com

Maddie McPhail said...

great interview!(:

Maddie McPhail said...

I love tofu too, haha.(: Great review, I am so pumped to read this book.(:

Liz said...

Wow, people are such idiots! They just don't understand. They shouldn't be saying things like that to the Author but there is always someone there to say something cruel.
Well 99 percent did love it so whatever!!
Oh and I also LOVE tofu :P

Lauren P. said...

It's kind of great this book has been pick up to be a serie ! Can't wait to see it !

Elena said...

This book looks great! I hope it does become a show on ABC family. They did a great job with Pretty Little Liars.

Stella (Ex Libris) said...

Jerramy, wow, first and foremost not only congratulations for the release of your book but congrats on it being adapted for TV!!

Thank you for the wonderful interview, I always love to learn more about the author behind the novel :-)

That Snow White (Snow White you are the only one who understands) story was so cute! When I was little I was obsessed with Cinderella! I kept watching the Disney movie on buckle, when I was 4-5 and started to worry my mom when once she saw that I was speaking along with the movie: reciting ALL the words in all the dialogues! So she hid my cassette for a few years, but when I was a teenager I found it, popped it in the VCR, and imagine my surprise when I remembered ALL the lines! :-D lol

Someday My Prince Will Come is one of my favourite Disney songs, it's nice you chose that for your novel's title :-) It sounds lovely, I can't wait to read it!!

Thanks again for the great interview and thank you for the giveaway!!

FionaChan said...

:O congrats on TV adaption! I love love love love love England, and I'm so jealous of you, living in London!

LOL at the wrong knife thing.

and I believe in fairytales <3

Jennifer Mathis said...

my daughter is into the snow white thing now herself everyday she comes home and puts on her snow white dress and dances around singing about her prince coming

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