I’m so happy to welcome author Jennifer Irwin to Aurora B’s Book Blog! She has graciously taken the time to answer some questions and share her debut novel A Dress the Color of the Sky, which has seen great reviews!
A Dress the Color of the Sky
by: Jennifer Irwin
Glass Spider Publishing
For too many years, Prudence Aldrich has been numbing the pain in her life with random sexual encounters. Her marriage to cold, self-centered Nick is, not surprisingly, on the rocks. But after several dangerous experiences with strangers, Prudence finally realizes the needs therapy to stop her self-destructive behavior, and so she checks into the Serenity Hills rehab center.
Prudence blames herself for her irresponsible behavior and is filled with self-loathing. She’s convinced she is completely at fault for Nick’s manipulative attitude and believes with therapy, she can return their relationship to its idyllic beginnings. However, her therapist and the other members of her rehab group see the person behind the pain. As Prudence learns for about herself and the reasons for her behavior, including startling revelations about her childhood, she begins to understand the basis for her lack of sexual self-respect. She also learns she is not entirely to blame for the failure of her marriage. With the positive reinforcement of everyone at Serenity Hills, Prudence learns not to define herself by her past. But moving forward would mean letting go of Nick for good, and Prudence isn’t sure she can.
AB: Please tell us something about yourself and how you came to be a writer.
Jennifer: I live in Los Angeles and have three sons ages 19, 22, and 24. While I raised my kids, I taught Pilates which helped me to better understand how women think and feel. While I had written a screenplay in college and worked in advertising for many years, I stopped writing while raising my kids. When I went through a divorce, I decided to start writing a book.
AB: How did publishing your first book change your life and/or process of writing?
Jennifer: The journey from when I first started writing, A Dress the Color of the Sky, to when I actually got it published was probably very similar to many writers. I sent out a lot of queries, received a lot of rejections and never gave up. I’m not sure that publishing a book has changed my life as much as it has changed me as a person. I learned that I am a very determined woman with a strong work ethic. When someone says no to me I look at it as an opportunity. My skin is a bit thicker while at the same time, I have been incredibly touched by the support I have received from bloggers, readers, friends, and family. Regarding my writing process, I still write the same way but I know a lot more about storytelling.
AB: Who or what would you say has influenced your writing style the most?
Jennifer: I read a lot in my genre (contemporary fiction) which I’m sure has an influence on my writing. Just before publishing my book, I worked with a writing coach who gave me a lot of confidence in my ability to tell a great story. My boyfriend is one of my biggest fans and he kept telling me I had a unique writing style so I guess he might be one of my biggest influencers.
AB: Can you tell us a bit more about your debut novel A Dress the Color of the Sky?
Jennifer: A Dress the Color of the Sky is the story of the human condition that we all want to be seen, heard, and loved. The story moves back and forth in time so the reader creates empathy for Prudence Aldrich the protagonist regardless of her bad behavior. The book touches on childhood trauma which can be difficult to read but I feel it’s an important subject especially with the #MeToo movement. I am fascinated by how one’s childhood affects who we become as adults including influencing our choice in partners and self-esteem. This is also a book about addiction and the journey through recovery. I like to describe my book as, Girl Interrupted meets Orange is the New Black.
AB: I love the “Letter from Jennifer” you have on your website! In it you described some of the struggles you faced in life along with why you wrote the book. With that in mind, do you feel that writing this book was in part therapeutic and helped you grow as a person?
Jennifer: Absolutely! Writing this book helped me heal from my painful marriage and the sense of loss one feels when a marriage fails. I also showed my boys that it’s never too late to chase your dreams.
AB: What message do you hope women will take away from the story after the last page is turned?
Jennifer: Women need to be kinder to themselves, especially those inner voices. The other important message is that we can heal from our past and move forward to lead a healthy life filled with self-love. So many readers have reached out to me to let me know how much my book has touched them and how they related to it in so many ways. It’s been incredibly touching for me and I love hearing from my readers!
AB: As far as your writing goes, what are your plans for the future?
Jennifer: Recently I have published a few flash fiction pieces, an article on sexual assault and various articles about marketing for authors. I just finished a writing course called, Timeless Storytelling which has spring boarded me into writing my next book, a stand along sequel.
AB: What question do you wish someone would ask about you or your book, but nobody has? (then answer it :-))
Jennifer: Honestly, I meet with a lot of book clubs and there isn’t one darned thing that a reader hasn’t asked me. I’ve even answered questions about the book I wouldn’t have dreamed anyone would ask me. I guess that’s a good thing because it means my readers are thinking, feeling and caring about Prudence, and her story.
AB: Thanks for stopping by Jennifer! Best of luck to your continued sucess.
If you’d like to purchase CLICK HERE