Monday, May 25, 2015

Featured Author: Jennifer Ammoscato


Oh, don’t judge me, people. We
 all do it.

Don’t try to tell me that you’ve never checked that weird mole on your thigh on WebMD. Or how to fold meringue on Epicurious. And, there’s no way that I’m the only one who clears her search history after looking up how to give a great bl— (Um, that last one’s not important.)

When newspaper reporter Avery Fowler discovers her husband is having an affair, the online help site is where she turns to navigate this challenging stage of her life.

If the Internet is Avery’s information god, then is her Holy Grail. Its live chat option is like having a virtual life coach for the low, low price of $14.95 a month:
When I joined, it assigned me “Clementine” as my advisor, based on my choice of “British female” in the Preferences panel. That way, I can pretend that a Maggie Smith or Judi Dench type supplies the wisdom, tinged with a sassy touch of malt vinegar. (In reality, it’s most likely a bored, seventeen-year-old boy labouring in a New Delhi call centre.)

Add into the mix a new boss whose managerial style calls to mind the Wicked Bitch Witch of the West — or the Anti-Christ — and the poor girl needs all the help she can get! The stakes rise and hilarity ensues as our heroine struggles to take control of her personal life and topple her boss after she learns Victoria’s guilty secret.

With Clementine (virtually) in tow, our heroine tackles such tricky situations as dating after divorce, sex once nothing points north anymore, and how to cover attempted murder scenes (despite a paralyzing fear of blood) as the new and improved Avery Fowler 2.0.

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Jennifer, what’s the story behind the title Dear Internet, It's Me, Avery?

The title reflects Avery’s emotional journey. She’s a woman who has no faith in her ability to make decisions. Instead, she turns to Clementine, her online muse at who provides advice 24/7. The Internet is her crutch, her confidante, her shoulder to cry on. Of course, it can’t end well. 

Tell us about your series. Is this book a standalone, or do readers need to read the series in order?

This is Book 1 in the Avery Fowler 2.0 series. The series will trace Avery’s continual evolution to become the new and improved Avery — the first version needed a reboot. There will be five in total. You won’t absolutely have to read Book 1 to appreciate the others, but it would certainly add to the reading experience to have the context of each before moving on to the next.

If you had an extra $100 a week to spend on yourself, what would you buy?
Manicure/pedicure. Hot red, please! 

What’s the dumbest purchase you’ve ever made?

The rowing machine I bought last summer and used twice. Slowly.

What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned?

That you can’t control much of what happens in life so you might as well get over yourself and laugh. And even cheap wine tastes better when you use an aerator. 

Who would you pick to write your biography?

Dorothy Parker. She was brilliant.

What’s one thing that you wish you knew as a teenager that you know now?

That it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. And that skinny arms aren’t such a bad thing. 

What makes you nervous?

The thought of chopping my hair in a pixie ever again.  

What makes you happy?

My husband and children. And chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate. 

If you could only save only one thing from your house, what would it be?
Assuming all family and pets are safe, my photo albums and videos. I actually keep them in a cupboard by the front door with shopping bags there ready to collect them in if the need ever arises.

What brings you sheer delight?

When someone tells me how much they enjoyed reading my novel.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where in the world would it be?
England. I’m not picky. Notting Hill would do in a pinch.

What’s your favorite line from a book?

"I think that voice held him most, with its fluctuating, feverish warmth, because it couldn’t be over-dreamed — that voice was a deathless song." The Great Gatsby

What would your main character say about you?

“What a bitch! How could she do that to me?”

How did you create the plot for this book?

It occurred to me that there’s nothing you can’t find on the Internet. How to bake a pie. Fix a dishwasher. Give a great bl— (Never mind about that one). So why not how to figure out your life once everything goes to hell in a handbasket? From there, I simply kept imagining what awful (or funny) things could happen to Avery next. 

No wonder she's mad at you! Are any of your characters inspired by real people?

No. They’re the usual chick lit suspects: the plucky heroine, the stalwart but lovingly sarcastic friends, the evil boss, a handsome guy (or two). They’re popular characters because people can relate to them. Cheer for them. Laugh with them and cry with them. They’re people you know. That’s comforting.

Is your book based on real events?

Not at all. It simply reflects the reality that many women face today: starting over again when life throws you some very tricky curveballs. I love the theme of someone reaching deep inside themselves to find a strength they didn’t know they had. It doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with them along the way when they trip up, of course. 

One of your characters has just found out you’re about to kill him/her off. He/she decides to beat you to the punch. How would he/she kill you?

Bore me to death by making me watch a Storage Wars marathon.

You can be any fictional character for one day. Who would you be?

Charlie in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He gets to live there in the end!

What would your dream office look like (other than a chocolate factory)?

My fantasy office would be an industrial loft with wide-plank hardwood floors, floor-to-ceiling windows, a fabulous glass desk that someone else shines, an espresso machine, a fireplace, and a couch. For napping.


jennifer ammoscato Author Jennifer Ammoscato – solving the world’s problems one cosmo at a time. Jennifer Ammoscato is a paid, productive member of society. Frankly, it’s not enough. Therefore, May 2015 will see the launch of her debut novel, Dear Internet: It’s Me, Avery (The Avery Fowler 2.0 series, Book I). During the day, she is an intrepid writer/editor for the public relations department of a Canadian university. By night, she fights crime and the urge to organize closets and stuff herself with salted chocolate caramels. Jennifer began writing as a child, producing such classics as The Occurrence (she understood the appeal of werewolves long before Stephenie Meyer). She had to search for the courage to write a novel, though. “That’s so F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway. I didn’t know if I had the alcohol capacity for it.” However, after being goaded (sorry, encouraged) by a friend, she took the leap. Dreams do not inspire Jennifer’s books. In fact, they tend to terrify her. In particular, the everpopular naked-at-school or I-have-a-final-exam-and-didn’t-study dreams. She usually just makes stuff up. She is married to her husband, Ezio. As opposed to someone else’s husband (insert name here). She is the proud mom of two very tall sons, Dante and Christian.

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