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Welcome "Spoiled" Authors Jessica Morgan and Heather Cocks
June 13, 2011 - Amy Phelps
Today I have something special for readers - an interview with Jessica Morgan and Heather Cocks, authors of the young adult novel, "Spoiled," (which you can read a review of in the link below) and the writers behind the celebrity fashion website, Go Fug Yourself. Welcome ladies!
What made you two decide to write a young adult book?
JESSICA: Heather and I have wanted to tackle fiction for a long time -- we're both big readers (of young adult fiction and otherwise), and we love writing, and YA seemed like the best fit for the story we wanted to tell. We both have a lot of wonderful memories of great books we read when we were teens, and we were really excited to flip the script and try to write one.
HEATHER: It's also such a vivid and broad set of emotions and memories to tap into -- everything is more dramatic when you're a teen, or at least, that's how it was for me. The life experiences are almost universal. Not everyone has experienced a mid-life crisis or had a baby or struggled with death or infertility or whatever, but almost everyone has had a really hideous crush on someone that didn't pan out, or felt isolated or like a loner or lonely, or even been involved in a mean girl moment. It's totally fertile ground and, I think, a fun and easier way to establish common ground with readers. 2. What advice would you give aspiring young writers?
JESSICA: Just keep writing! As much of a cliche as that may be, the more you work on it, the better you get at it -- and don't worry too much about making your project perfect the first time. You can always go back and rework it. Just get the words on paper.
HEATHER: Yeah, the moment you accept that you're not going to do it perfectly the first time, the freer you become. For a long time I was afraid to put words on paper because I wanted them to be the best words and the right words. But that's kind of self-destructive and it's one fast way to find yourself staring at a blank screen. Once I realized I couldn't get better at writing without actually STARTING the writing, I was much better off.
3. How did the two of you meet and how did Go Fug Yourself get started?
JESSICA: Heather and I were both writing for Television Without Pity, a web site that recaps guilty pleasure TV shows, and Heather got a job in Los Angeles on the strength of her work there. So she moved out here, and we went for drinks, and the rest is history!
HEATHER: GFY itself just started out of an inside joke. We were shopping together one day, killing time in the Beverly Center, and we noticed all the movie posters aimed at teens were terrible -- like, awful styling, unflattering pictures. One girl seriously looked cross-eyed. And we thought, "Is that what passes for aspirational today? Is fugly the new pretty?" Naturally, after about two Diet Cokes, this seemed like the funniest thing ever. So we started a blog as a way of prolonging the inside joke, never imagining that anyone but the two of us and our friends would bother reading it. And then I guess the old adage kicked in wherein they told two friends, and they told two friends, and so on.
4. If you could have any celebrity's wardrobe, whose would it be?
JESSICA: Ooh! Let's see. I think I want to call dibs on Zoe Saldana's -- she's great at high drama, and a little cocktail dresses -- but sadly, in order for her wardrobe to work on me, I might also need to get her legs somehow.
HEATHER: She's a good pick! I'd go Reese Witherspoon, I think, because she's always walking her kids around town in adorable day dresses looking so clean and cute and relaxed yet posh. I envy her being a mom and being able to pull that off, as my version of motherhood almost exclusively involves old t-shirts.
5. In your opinion, what is the worst fashion crime: Jumpsuits, Too Tight Clothes (i.e. the need to go up a size) or the recent No Pants phenomenon?
JESSICA: I think No Pants is TERRIBLE, but I have to vote for Too Tight. EVERYTHING looks better when it fits. Even a jumpsuit!
HEATHER: I will also go with too tight. It's one of the things that also spawned this site -- the idea that all these celebs with awesome DNA and enviable figures, which should be so hard to screw up, will STILL find a way to squeeze themselves into an outfit that makes a mess out of them.
6. What were you two like in high school? Were you fashionistas like Brooke or more girl-next-door like Molly or somewhere in the middle?
JESSICA: Although I was the president of the Drama Club, just like Brooke, I was definitely more the Normal Girl Next Door, like Molly.
HEATHER: I was also a theater girl, but I was unquestionably very normal and regular and unremarkable. I was the girl whose best friends were popular but who was not herself the center of the social universe -- like, everyone wanted to be friends with the girls who were my BFFs, and I think I was just kind of the extra person you got in the deal whether you wanted her or not. Then again, the fact that I think that should tell you that I was also a little insecure about myself; sometimes I may have seemed outgoing, but I often felt like I never quite fit in even when I was trying to go through the motions.
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