Author Interview - Jessica Strawser
Author I draw inspiration from: At this moment I’m compelled to say Maggie O’Farrell, as I’ve just finished reading I Am, I Am, I Am, her memoir (told entirely, remarkably, in near-death experiences) which was as achingly beautiful as any of her novels, if not more so. But there are so many talents who inspire me, of course. Can any author really name just one?
Favorite place to read a book: On the beach, under an umbrella, with not a person or thing blocking my view of the waves.
Book character I’d like to be stuck in an elevator with: I think I’d strongly dislike being stuck in an elevator under any circumstances, if I’m honest! My imagination is overactive, and in that case would involve pictures of a plunge down the shaft to my untimely demise. But if an essayist counts as a character in his own books, I’d say David Sedaris. If anyone’s capable of turning such a moment into a witty, unforgettable experience, it’s him.
The moment I knew I wanted to become an author: In all honesty I can’t ever remember not wanting to write in some capacity.
Hardback, paperback, ebook or audiobook: Yes, please! I read in every format, as much as I can.
The last book I read: I’ve just begun The Flight Attendant by the talented Chris Bohjalian.
Pen & paper or computer: My Macbook, all the way.
Book character I think I’d be best friends with: It’s hard to imagine a more fun friend than Bridget Jones.
If I wasn’t an author, I’d be a: I’ve had a much longer career as an editor, actually, and still do freelance work in that capacity.
Favorite decade in fashion history: I binge-watched The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel earlier this year and was completely taken in by the upscale New York fashion of the 1950s, though I’m not sure it’d be my favorite to wear—the scenes with the corsets do not inspire the same nostalgia!
Place I’d most like to travel: The Amalfi Coast—I caught only a glimpse of it on a Mediterranean cruise and would love to spend real time there.
My signature drink: Bombay Sapphire and tonic if it’s cocktail hour; a nonfat caramel macchiato if it’s morning or a droning-on afternoon.
Favorite artist: Having had the good fortune of visiting some truly breathtaking galleries, from the Smithsonians in D.C., to palazzos in Florence, Rome and Venice, to museums right near my Cincinnati home, I’m certain that’s impossible to say. I am consistently amazed by how much beautiful art is in the world, and by how much of that has stood the test of time.
Number one on my bucket list: I’d love to expose my children to meaningful international travel once they’re old enough to appreciate the history, the art, the cuisine, the culture. I was an adult before I spent any time outside of North America and would love to have the opportunity to expand their worldviews earlier than mine were.