Guest Author Jenny Gardiner

Guest Author Jenny Gardiner

Today we’re welcoming a new author to the GCC, Jenny Gardiner!

She’s just out with her BRAND NEW first book, SLEEPING WITH WARD CLEAVER. I know Jenny must be still riding a high from seeing that first book on the shelves. It is so much fun!

And her book is fun, too, a very funny look at a midlife muddle, or what happens when you look in the mirror and wonder: Who are you and what did you do with me? And when you look at your husband and wonder, How did Ward Cleaver possess my husband’s body? Or, as Jenny puts it, when your Mr. Right has morphed his married way into Mr. ALWAYS Right and you’re spending all your time taking care of being a wife and a mother and not a YOU anymore. Well, it’s a YOU but a you you don’t like nearly as much as you thought you would when you were younger.

Have I confused anyone yet? Do you want to have a contest on how many yous YOU can fit in a sentence? 🙂 I warn you, I’m on a roll!

So anyway, what with her being new to GCC and having her FIRST BOOK OUT YAY!!! I had to invite Jenny onto the blog and hit her with my scintillating questions.


Laura: We are very gourmands on this blog, as you can see from our ongoing Chocolate War. Please feel free to join us in this war, by the way, or to get your poster here. We recruit from all ages, sexes, and walkses of lifeses. What food would you like to try but have never yet had the courage and/or gotten the chance? What food have you tried/been forced to eat and deeply regret, perhaps even been scarred for life by?

Jenny: I am very experimental in my cooking–if I’ve had something and like it, I’ll usually try to replicate it (not always with great success!). But I would love to make a cassoulet some time, and I would love to make duck confit. And if I do that, you’ll know I have WAY too much time on my hands!
And the scarring food for me–totally sushi. BLECH! Once I went to an all-you-can-eat sushi party that a friend of my husband’s family invited me to. All the guests were determined to get me to love sushi, but all that happened was I proceeded to get really drunk because every bite of icky sushi was washed down with a large swig of sake…My husband laughed as I marveled at the beautiful moon on the drive home, over and over again for 20 minutes…

Laura: Sébastien LOVES cassoulet. And I love duck confit. Can we come over for dinner when you succeed at these two? So I like to cook when I want to get my creative juices flowing again and can’t stand looking at the computer. What about you?
Jenny: Yoga is the best retreat for me. No matter what I do, if I take a break and practice yoga, I feel restored. Besides that, writing helps me clear my head. As does cooking. Always done with a glass of wine, of course!

Laura: Yes, writing IS very good at clearing the head, isn’t it? Maybe that’s why I wrote a memoir. So I (obviously) draw very strongly on my own experiences for my writing. What is an experience of yours that fed into this book?

Jenny: Really I think because my parents had a very bitter divorce after 25 years of marriage, and I had a ringside seat to that debacle, I have always been very fascinated with that fine line between love and hate. And as I approached middle age, I found it interesting to watch how it seemed so common for women–who until then are often mired in the ‘fog of motherhood’–seem to re-invent themselves. Once their kids are older and self-sufficient, they start to think about potential career paths that they’d never considered before, all sorts of opportunities become available. But for men at this same time they are so entrenched in their careers, this sort of re-birth doesn’t necessarily fit into their plans. The situation is ripe for conflict and so I wanted to explore these components of marriage and the ‘what-ifs” –what if so and so could have worked it out instead of splitting up? It’s really hard to fix a marriage that’s on the skids. But I liked the idea of doing that in fiction, because of course in fiction anything is possible.

Laura–thanks so much for hosting me! Merci beaucoup!

Laura: C’est � moi de te remercier, Jenny. This really sounds like a great book, and I can’t wait to read it. Thanks for coming on and thanks for writing it! It’s a great subject.

1 Comment
  • Fun interview! Just so you know, I think I ate enough chocolate today for about 6 people. A sacrifice, I know, but I do what I can.

    February 14, 2008 at 3:58 pm