Welcome to Jersey Girl Book Reviews, Jess!
How long have you been a writer?
I've been writing as long as I can remember – poetry, short stories, essays. Writing has been there for me through a lot of hard times.
Do you have a day job, or is being an author your career?
Being an author isn't my career, it just helps out a lot. I am an ordained minister and provide what I call soul therapy, leading people in creating heart-centered lives full to the brim with authenticity. But I do also have a day job a few days a week – I'm a vet assistant.
What inspired you to become a writer? Describe your journey as a writer.
I have written for as long as I can remember. It's how I'm built. When things happen, I process them through my writing.
Please give a brief description/storyline about Can Spiritual Women Say F#ck?: A Jersey Girl's Guide To Inner Peace.
Can Spiritual Women Say F#ck?: A Jersey Girl's Guide to Inner Peace is all about questioning the way we've been taught to think and approach life, and it's a call for you to find what's true for YOU. It's also a memoir, taking the reader through some of the darkest times in my life so that you can see I mean what I say when I tell you that you can come from anywhere and create your best life.
What was the inspiration for this story?
I wanted to help people to see that there are other options out there, other routes to take than what we've been shown. I wanted to demonstrate that you can be every single thing that you are and STILL be able to see all the beauty and light that you possess. I say in the book, you are perfect and a hot mess. Those things exist together, and I wanted to help everyone find that place where they live.
How did it feel to have your first book published?
It feels AMAZING to publish my first work. It feels even more amazing because the book is so deeply personal, and my heart and soul are bared to anyone who wants to read. And the fact that everyone who's read it has had a profoundly positive reaction actually makes me tear up a little. It's such a huge blessing in my life.
Do you write books for a specific genre?
I am a non-fiction writer – a memoirist / inspirational writer.
What genres are your favorite(s)? What are some of your favorite books that you have read and why?
I read a LOT of non-fiction – books on spirituality and books that advance my chosen career field. I read books on community and lifestyle design and all kinds of things. As far as fiction goes, I love Jodi Picoult. Her stories are so well-crafted and they always suck me in.
Do you have a special "spot/area" where you like to do your writing?
I have a very special meditative spot in my living room, on my cushy loveseat when all the light is streaming in through the skylights. And it makes me feel so centered and at peace, I can think more clearly there than anywhere else. I'm lucky enough to have that right in my house.
How do you come up with the ideas that become the storyline for your books?
Everything I have written so far, and everything that's in the pipeline to write, comes from my rich and varied history. It's all real, and it's all happened to me.
When you write, do you adhere to a strict work schedule, or do you work whenever the inspiration strikes?
I'm very much into writing when inspiration strikes. And it works better for me, because I have a very full and busy life – it's much more efficient for me to write when I'm feeling it than try to make myself do it when I'm not!
What aspects of storytelling do you like the best, and what aspects do you struggle with the most?
I love that my experiences, and the way I can share them so openly, allow my heart to reach yours directly. I struggle with sharing so openly, sometimes, and I wonder what people will think when they read it – then I remember that if I'm brave, I show you that you can be just as heart-centered and brave. And that matters to everyone who has read the work.
What are your favorite things to do when you are not writing?
Well, I chase around a dachshund to make sure he's not eating something he shouldn't or pooping on my bedroom floor. And I watch six cats run around my house like they own it. Otherwise, I'm happiest when I'm connecting with my friends – we go to lunches, I host a monthly girls' night at my house. I embrace a lot of solitude in my life because it gives more color to those moments where I am in deep, meaningful community with people that I cherish.
What is/was the best piece of writing advice that you have received?
“Write hard and clear about what hurts.” That's Hemingway, I don't think advice gets better than that.
What is the most gratifying thing you feel or get as a writer?
So far, I haven't gotten a lot of reviews on Amazon. What I have gotten is a lot of personal messages, on Facebook and from my friends, citing ways that my book has changed their lives. There's nothing more gratifying than that.
How do you usually communicate with your readers/fans?
I have a very active community page over at Facebook (www.facebook.com/jerseygirlsguide) and I'm on Twitter (https://twitter.com/Jess__Barrett). I also blog weekly at jerseygirlglobal.com. I'm about to add a weekly video as a part of a conversation project I'm launching bigtime, so now is a good time to get on board with the blog!
Is there anything in your book based on real life experiences or are they purely all from your imagination?
Everything is very, very real. It's the kind of reality that you're sure is real, because nobody could make it up.
What authors have been your inspiration or influenced you to become a writer?
My biggest influences are writers who bring you into their work and write as honestly as they possibly can about the human condition. I mentioned Jodi Picoult, but Charles Bukowski has also been huge in my life.
What is your definition of success as a writer?
I define my success by how many hearts I'm able to reach. So I am celebrating my success at this point, but looking forward to being able to reach more and more people.
Are you currently writing a new book? If yes, would you care to share a bit of it with us?
My next book will be published this month – it's called From the Ashes: A Jersey Girl's Guide to Moving Forward, and it is written for fellow domestic violence survivors. It's both a memoir of my experience and a collection of journal topics and mindfulness-based exercises to help move forward into the light of being a survivor.
Jess, thank you for visiting Jersey Girl Book Reviews and sharing a bit about yourself and your writing with us!
About The Author
An ordained minister and empath, she seeks to serve by trying to reach individual souls and stir them to participate in the revolution of consciousness she believes is both necessary and inevitable. She creates life-changing experiences, offers coaching and counseling, and is available for speaking engagements on a number of topics. Further information about her work and projects can be found at her website: http://jerseygirlglobal.com
When she's not trying to change the world, she's also a crazy cat lady running an unofficial rescue out of her house (right now, we have five cats and three dogs)!
Can Spiritual Women Say F#ck? by Jess Barrett ~ Virtual Book Tour Page: Reading Addiction Blog Tours
Can Spiritual Women Say F#ck?: A Jersey Girl's Guide To Inner Peace by Jess Barrett
Publisher: Independent Self Publishing
Publication Date: July 31, 2013
Format: Paperback - 120 pages / Kindle - 275 KB
BUY THE BOOK: Can Spiritual Women Say F#ck?: A Jersey Girl's Guide To Inner Peace
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Reading Addiction Blog Tours.
The book is meant to get you riled up in some ways, reconsidering things you may have been explicitly taught or picked up from the general public. But it’s also meant to assure you that you don’t have to change who you are to be “better.” And to people who feel like there’s something missing in their lives, it gives a clear idea of how to find what that is and some options for how to go get it. It’s a manifesto for authentic living.
- A revolutionary new set of rules for your best life.
- A touching memoir of one seeker's path.
- A stirring call to action for a brand new world.
- A how-to for bringing what is possible to life.
- Straight talk for seekers & skeptics alike.
My Book Review:
Can Spiritual Women Say F#ck?: A Jersey Girl's Guide To Inner Peace is a motivational guide that will show you what it really takes to live your best life.
Fellow Jersey Girl author Jess Barrett uses her sassy Jersey charm and wit to provide her readers with an entertaining and insightful guide full of thought provoking information to survive the hard times, make good life choices, and the wisdom to enjoy all that life has to offer.
The author shares her personal life experiences from her past to inspire her readers to look within themselves, to learn from our own experiences, and most importantly that our first obligation in life is always to ourselves: learn to take care of yourself and always put yourself first.
I loved the author's sassy humor, as another born and bred Jersey Girl, it was easy for me to relate to her wit and style of motivation. I found myself nodding my head in agreement and saying "right on sister!" with her inspirational food for thought. Jess inspires us to take a personal journey of self-discovery and examine our lives through the paths, choices, decisions and mistakes that we make; that through positive growth, by being our truest selves, and making meaningful changes, we can live a meaningful and happy life.
"You deserve to be happy, believe it, then start acting like it and living it."
RATING: 4 STARS ****