Jazzy secretly wants to get back together with her ex boyfriend, Curtis, so when he calls and reveals that he’s got something important to tell her, she’s got no idea that he’s about to propose—to her first cousin and bitter rival, Mercedes.
The annual family dinner is coming up, and fearing that she will spend the evening seething while Mercedes flaunts her four carat engagement ring in her face, Jazzy asks Reggie, an Adonis she met at the mall, to accompany her. As fate would have it, not only did Reggie and Mercedes used to date; that backstabbing, leopard print wearing cow is still carrying a torch for him! Revenge. It’s never been so sweet.
But falling for Reggie? Holy crap! That wasn’t part of the plan! She’s got enough on her plate as it is with a mother who spies on the neighbors and a sister and best friend with man problems that could land them on Jerry Springer. So when Curtis comes sniffing around again—this time, with an accusation that sends her blood pressure shooting through the roof—the one good nerve that Jazzy’s got left has just about run its course.
Quanie Miller grew up in New Iberia, Louisiana. She fell in love with reading at an early age and spent most of her time at the Iberia Parish Library discovering new authors like R.L. Stine and Christopher Pike (she was often found walking back home from the library with a stack of books that went up to her chin). She holds degrees from Louisiana State University and San Jose State University. She has been the recipient of the James Phelan Literary Award, the Louis King Thore Scholarship, the BEA Student Scriptwriting Award, and the Vicki Hudson Emerging Writing Prize. She loves writing humorous stories about strong willed, sassy women who can’t keep themselves out of trouble. She lives in Charleston, South Carolina with her husband and is currently, as always, working on another novel. To find out more about Quanie and her works in progress visit quanietalkswriting.com.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I wrote my first short story when I was 9. It was called “Sheeba the Cat” and you can bet it was probably pretty awful. I knew I was good at writing stories but didn’t really consider myself a true writer until college. I decided then that I was going to take my craft seriously and started getting up at 5 am to write. I still do till this day.
What inspired you to write your first novel?
My first novel is called It Ain’t Easy Being Jazzy. It’s a romantic comedy, and believe it or not, I actually sat down to write a paranormal story about a woman who accidentally gets a job as a nanny and later discovers that the children’s new stepmother has mystic powers. So I start the story with the main character getting a flat tire in this affluent neighborhood and cursing her GPS for getting her lost. I was going to have her ring one of the door bells and get mistaken for an interviewee by the woman of the house. But when I started writing, she never made it to the house. She called her best friend to get directions and the banter between those two had me laughing out loud. I stopped and thought, “But wait a minute. This isn’t supposed to be funny!” So I had to take a step back and decide if I wanted to scrap what I had and rewrite it to make the tone consistent with a paranormal story or go in a completely different direction and write the funny story. And I decided to write the funny story (I later ended up writing the paranormal story. It’s called The New Mrs. Collins and will be out next year).
Do you have a specific writing style?
Yes. When I’m writing humor I love writing things that are really over the top and laugh out loud funny. I have a thing for these characters who may be a little on the crazy side, and I love to build worlds that are out of the ordinary and sort of kooky.
How did you come up with the title?
I had been racking my brain for a title and one night while I was in bed it just came to me. The title, It Ain’t Easy Being Jazzy, is perfect on so many levels because of all the things that happen to Jazzy. Sometimes she gets into these crazy—yet hilarious—situations because of her own doing, and sometimes it’s because of something her mom, sister, or best friend did, but in either scenario, it’s not easy being her; in life, in love, at work, even in traffic. For some reason, she’s a magnet for all things crazy!
What are some of the similarities that you share with your main character?
Jazzy is hilarious and endearingly flawed. She also doesn’t mind making fun of herself and I think that’s a trait that we definitely share.
Why should someone read your novel?
I think people should read It Ain’t Easy Being Jazzy because it’s a lot of fun. Anybody who likes to laugh should definitely read it.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Find your voice as a writer. Don’t try and be like anyone else and don’t worry if your book isn’t like another author’s. You are unique and your story will reflect that, so don’t try and be like somebody else. Let your voice be heard!
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