From Pre-school to Punk-rock

From Pre-school to Punk-rock


Twirling brunette locks and chatting through lips covered in gloss so shimmery I could almost see my reflection, the sexy and perky 28 year old talks about her book Falling Is Like This (St. Martin’s Press). The story centers around Harper, a young writer, who falls into a rollercoaster romance with the lead singer of a punk band.


You started writing with a column called “Sex on the Campus” at Rutgers University when you were a student there, correct?

“I had a lot of fun with it. I thought I was Carrie Bradshaw.”


You’re a Jersey Girl?

"The book is a love letter to New Jersey. I grew up in Morristown. I used to hang out at the Livingston Mall - my Mom would drop me off. Now I think I’m in Hoboken for good."


What do you think about shows like ‘Jersey Shore’ and ‘Housewives of New Jersey’?

"I hate Jersey Shore but I like Jerseylicious - I like women with big hair and long nails because they remind me of who I went to high school with."


The book takes place in the East Village. Did you ever live there?

"I lived in the East Village for two and a half years in four different locations. I lived on B&12th with a crazy Australian man and then 9th&1st in a studio; it was so small you had to pick up the futon to get to the bathroom."


Tell me about your writing process.

"I was collecting unemployment checks for six months and that’s how long my first draft took. But it was too short. I was googling ‘how long should a book be?’ So I probably worked on it for two years all in all. Oh gosh, it took like, three years to get the book out. I feel like I gave birth to this book."


Do you have a writing strategy?

"I like to have a beer in my hand."


What’s next?

"I’m working on a second book a novel, called ‘150 lbs’ – it’s about women who blog about their weight. But I had to ask for an extension ‘cause I work full time as a teacher."


What do you teach?

"I teach pre-school. It is two very different hats. But you have to have a full time job sometimes. So I write in the summer. Some people can write full time but not everyone, it’s rare."  


Are you gonna get in trouble being a pre-school teacher who writes sex books?

"I don’t know – it’s weird because the parents are kind of finding out. They all get excited ‘We heard you wrote a book! Is it a child’s book?’ I have to tell them no. I try to think of them as two totally separate jobs as much as I can."


Is your novel based on a real relationship?

"Kind of. I took something that happened very briefly and I stretched it."


Was it a hard breakup?

"At the time, I was like, ‘Oh this is the worst thing that could ever happen to me.’ Well, I couldn’t afford a shrink and it was free therapy for me to write this book because I was definitely upset. I had low self-esteem and this book made me feel better, in a way, because I could write it all down. Whenever I get upset I get skinny. I was skinny and sad. Whenever I’m happy, I get plump."


So does the rock star know he’s in your book?

"He doesn’t."


Is he gonna sue?

"I hope not."


You have a shiny ring on your finger. Are you now married?

"I’ve been married for a year. He works at JP Morgan, he wears a suit."


You wouldn’t recommend marrying a rock star?

"No, no. Date the rock star then marry the banker so you can get health insurance, that’s my advice."