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2011 Twenty Questions Interviews : Jessica Goody

20 Questions Interview
with Jessica Goody

Essayist, Poet, Writer


1. What's your name?

Jessica Goody.

2. Where are you from?

Oceanside, New York.

3. Who are you today?

A writer.

4. What do you do? (Elevator speech)

I write a little of everything — stories, song lyrics, essays, articles, and especially poetry. I have completed a volume of poetry, a mystery novella, and a book about Audrey Hepburn.

5. What's your story (how did you get here)?

I began working professionally at fifteen, when I started having poems published in various journals.

6. Why is creativity important to you?

Creativity is an outlet for emotions, a way to dream, to comfort and inspire. It is a way of increasing and emphasizing the beauty in the world. If I didn't have artistic outlets I think I would go crazy.

7. When/how did you realize you had a creative dream or calling to fulfill?

I knew I wanted to be a writer at the age of eight. I won my first poetry award in elementary school I wrote for my school newspaper for eight years. I came to realize that while I loved to write, journalism was not my forte, and poetry was the medium which came most naturally to me.

8. How did you embrace it?

I grew up in an artistic household where imagination was always encouraged, with art projects and playing pretend. My grandfather loved my writing, and he taught me to appreciate movies. My grandmother was a creative cook, and she sewed school-play and Halloween costumes for me and my sister.

9. How did that feel?

I was a curious kid, a dreamer, who loved to hear and tell stories, and figure out why people did what they did. I spent a lot of time in fantasy land. I felt more at home there than out in the world of my classmates. I was a lonely kid who was abused by my peers. Not having friends my age, I created imaginary friends. I always had my nose in a book. Those escapes helped put me on the path to being professionally creative.

10. Where has your journey taken you?

In expressing myself, I have brought myself closer to others who feel the same way. I have learned that I am not alone.

11. What challenges have you faced?

It can be incredibly frustrating to have something you have created be rejected many times over. Artists face criticism more often than people in other careers. You have to learn to not take it emotionally. It is awful to be a struggling artist, unable to financially support yourself even though you work hard. All I can say is, have faith in your work and keep going.

12. What worked for you?

I am a struggling procrastinator. If I don't sit down and knock out the idea that is rolling around in my head, I lose it. I tend to work in feast-or-famine bursts of time. I might stay glued to my computer for two weeks (which is how I wrote my mystery novella, The Stardust Room), and then not write anything special for a month. It would be nice if I could sit down every day for an hour and cumulatively write a book, but that doesn't seem to be the way my mind works.

13. What didn't work for you?

I am a night owl, I don't work well early in the morning. I also dislike interruptions. I need to concentrate deeply; I can't start and stop easily.

14. What three tips can you share with those starting on a similar path?

  1. Get into the habit of asking "why?" of everything you see or hear. This is where the stories come from.
  2. Keep a journal. Thoughts, ideas, plans, dreams, projects, artwork. Explore.
  3. Most importantly, DO IT. Get the stuff in your head out onto paper. It is meaningless to call yourself a writer without ever putting pen to paper, or a painter without ever picking up a brush.

15. What are you working on now?

Several short stories, hopefully for a book.

16. What's coming up for you in the next year?

I will be submitting manuscripts to publishers. And writing even more…

17. What else do you desire/dream to do?

I have a lot of creative hobbies. I love fashion, and I like to make jewelry. I am a film buff and a shutterbug — I love photography. I also do collage. But my main goal is to get a publisher so that my books can be sent out into the world!

18. How will you make that happen?

Mail and hope.

19. What question do you want to answer that's not on this list?

What inspires you?

Serendipity. The perfect words at the perfect time. Color. Old movies. Modern art. Vintage clothing. Animation. Jazz music.

20. How can people connect with you?

Email me at: PinnipedPerson [at]