Today I have an interview with Jamie Lynn Goldenberg, author of the recently published Finding Jolie.
I love writing, and getting lost in the story as I write. Almost as much, I love keeping the characters with me when I’m not writing. While writing Finding Jolie, I often found myself thinking, Jolie would do this, or like that.
I write all the time in my career as a psychology professor. But I wanted to write something that would reach a broader, non-academic audience. I’m inspired by big existential questions; this is what I have been exploring in my academic writing, and what I wanted to capture in my fictional writing as well. But mostly there’s nothing I love more (aside from my family) than being alone with my computer, a cup of coffee, and figuring out how to transfer ideas from my head to a blank page.
I get up early! I usually do my best writing between 5:30 and 6:30 in the morning, contently drinking my first two cups of coffee. My productivity dwindles as the day goes on. At night I’m useless.
I wrote the book from beginning to end (then I cut most of the beginning). As I moved toward the end I kept a mental list of holes that I needed to close up. But, really, the story evolved in chronological order – I didn’t know what would happen next until moments before I wrote it – the characters led the way. A writing teacher told me once that if you know where the story is going, so will the reader, and I took that to heart.
I am an artist as well, so I featured one of my paintings on the cover.
About Jamie Lynn Goldenberg:
Jamie Lynn Goldenberg is a professor of psychology at the University of South Florida. She is also an artist. Her work explores existential themes in life, death, the body, and women’s bodies in particular. Finding Jolie is Jamie Goldenberg’s debut novel.
Finding Jolie by Jamie Lynn Goldenberg
Jolie Feinstein is a 16 year-old girl from a “good” family in an affluent New Jersey suburb. She’s popular, smart, attractive, and not unhappy, but the awareness of her mortality haunts her. Jolie seeks refuge in drugs and sex for a while, but a series of events and a revelation about an early childhood accident resulting in the death of her little sister pushes her to her breaking point. She runs away – but not before making a late-night call to her high-school math teacher, Mr. Keltz. Daniel Keltz is a 32 year-old algebra teacher who, after Jolie’s call, begins to question his own solitary and unsatisfying life. When he learns of Jolie’s whereabouts, Daniel does the only crazy thing he’s ever done in his life, and takes off to find her. The story follows Jolie to Colorado Springs and then to San Francisco, where she finds temporary solaces and unlikely friendships interspersed with more trouble, obsession, and death; and it follows Daniel’s journey to find Jolie and himself along the way.