I’m thrilled to bring back the Bookish People interviews, and even more thrilled to feature Jillian Cantor as the inaugural author! Jillian is the author of eleven novels, the latest of which comes out THIS Tuesday, February 1. I’ll let her tell you more about this story below. I’ve read and thoroughly enjoyed several of Jillian’s novels and I can’t wait to dig into this one! I’m so grateful to Jillian for answering some questions for us, and I hope you’ll grab a copy of Beautiful Little Fools as soon as you can! Or you can click here to purchase online through Bookshop.org or at a local store near you.
»» Give us a quick overview of the books you’ve written. I’ve published 11 novels for both teens and adults, historical and contemporary. My latest novel, out February 1st, is Beautiful Little Fools, a reimagining of the world of The Great Gatsby from the women’s points of view.
»» What’s the hardest or best criticism you’ve received, either after your book was published or as you were editing, revising, or getting feedback? I think the hardest to take — in the editing stage — is the one I often know deep down is right but will require massive amounts of work. But that is also usually the best criticism, too, once I process it!
»» Funniest (or best or worst) thing that happened during a book signing or book tour? The best has been all the readers and other authors I admire who I’ve gotten to meet and interact with in person, something I’ve really missed in the pandemic. The funniest was the woman I met at a signing who had the same first and last name as my main character and was so excited she wanted to take a picture with me and the book to share with her family.
»» Did you always know you wanted to be an author? Or was there a specific idea or event that spurred your desire? I’ve always been a big reader from a very young age, and I did always love to write, but I didn’t really know I wanted to be an author until I was in college. I thought was going to be a journalist but after an internship at a newspaper my sophomore year I realized that wasn’t the kind of writing I truly loved. I took my first fiction writing class the next semester.
»» Describe your writing process. Is it orderly, scheduled, daily? Erratic, middle-of-the-night, gimme-a-piece-of-paper now? Or something in between? I try to write every weekday while my kids are at school, generally between 9-2. But depending on where I’m at in the process (near a deadline, for example) it becomes more erratic – I’m up working at 5 AM or still writing at midnight sometimes.
»» Is there a topic/theme/setting you’re particularly interested in that you’d like to write about in a future book? I’m always interest in strong women and their stories both in the past and in contemporary settings. This is the basis of all my books.
»»What’s the strangest/most inappropriate place you’ve ever brought a book to read? (Example, a family dinner, a baseball game, etc.) Is it ever strange or inappropriate to bring a book with you?! I pretty much bring a book everywhere…
»»What books are on your bedside table right now? (Or in your bag, your car, or wherever you keep your current reads.) I have galleys of The Magnolia Place by Fiona Davis and Hester by Laurie Lico Albanese. I just finished Who is Maud Dixon? by Alexandra Andrews and I’m about to start The Husbands by Chandler Baker.
»»What are your pet peeves as a reader? Slow pacing. If something moves too slowly in the first 50 pages I tend to give up on it.
»»Books: print or e-reader? Similarly, calendar: paper or electronic? Books I do both – depending on the situation. I prefer print when I have the choice but also read ebooks. My calendar is all electronic.
»»Favorite ice cream flavor? Mint chocolate chip
»»Coffee or tea? Or something else? Coffee in the morning. Decaffeinated green tea at night!
»»If you can, tell us what you’re working on now. I can’t say too much yet, but it’s another feminist look at a classic.
Thanks everyone for reading! I’ll see you back here in two weeks on The Sunday Dish!