Q&A With Jessie Rosen

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Q&A With Jessie Rosen 

This week I have the honor and pleasure of doing this Q&A with Jessie Rosen. Jessie is the author of the novel Dead Ringer which is a young adult thriller. Her upcoming novel is The Heirloom coming out in May of this year. On top of being an author, Jessie is a writer and producer and blogger. Jessie has pitched original projects to Full Screen, CBS Studios, Warner Brothers Television, ABC Studios, CBS Studios, & Netflix. Jessie’s blog is 20-Nothings which was named Time Top 25 Blog, & Forbes Top 100 Website For Women & Top 10 Website for Millennials.  


Q: Jessie, would you like to give a brief description of your upcoming novel The Heirloom? Where did the idea for the book come from? 

A: The Heirloom followed the journey of Shea Anderson who is deeply superstition because her beloved Nonna had endless rules for a happy, healthy life: avoid owls, never put a hat on a bed, and most importantly never, ever accept a marriage proposal that comes with an heirloom ring. Happily, ever after is hard enough without bad karma in the mix.
Naturally, panic sets in when Shea’s boyfriend, John, proposes with an heirloom ring. Yes, is her answer, but Nonna’s warning sets Shea on a mission to ensure the ring contains forever energy. She sets out to find its previous owners wherever they may be in the world. With the help of her protective big sister and a nosy journalist eager for a big story, Shea embarks on a journey that takes her from Los Angeles and New York to Italy and Portugal, then back home with all the learnings to help her decide about whether she can say I do. 

The story is completely inspired by my own grandmother’s very strong superstitions, especially about vintage engagement rings. I warned my husband enough times to avoid Shea’s fate, but I’ve wanted to explore this idea since I got engaged over a decade ago! To me, superstitions are signs are our deepest fears and feelings. That felt like such rich material to use as the basis of a big, romantic novel. 

Q: Are you currently writing your next book? Do you use bits and pieces of real people and places to create your fictional worlds and characters?

A: I am currently writing my second novel with Putnam Books, which will be a spiritual sister to The Heirloom but not a sequel. Once again, I’m using bits and pieces from my own life in a fictionalized world. This story is about astrology, and I’m going so far as to use my own, personal astrology as the basis of my main character! The great side to that decision is that I can bring all of my own, true emotions to her journey. For this second novel I traveled to Venice, Italy for research and sought the counsel of many astrologers for accuracy. The tricky piece is separating myself from my heroine so that I can deliver the best story! If I get too close to the material it can be hard for me to let my characters get as messy as they should for a truly compelling story. 

Q: You have a blog called 20-Nothings. What made you create the blog and what is your advice for those of us who are bloggers? I’m always willing to learn.

A: I wrote my blog 20-Nothings from 2007 until 2017. It started as a weekly email I sent to college friends about life post-graduation, how I was surviving coming-of-age as an adult in every category from finances and friendships to dating and defining myself. I think the blog gained popularity for the very reason I loved writing it so much: it was a place for me to be truly vulnerable about my experiences. The posts that gave me the most angst because they contained the most honest issues in my life were the posts that got the most attention and feedback. I recommend that all bloggers dig deep and get vulnerable. I promise whatever feels specific to you has so much more universal appeal than you can imagine. 

Q: What’s it like pitching original ideas to networks like ABC, CBS, Netflix, and Warner Brothers? It sounds so exciting! Are any of your upcoming projects going to become movies and television shows soon?

A: Pitching TV and film projects at major networks and studios is as terrifying as it is gratifying. First you must learn how to distill your idea into a compelling, cohesive, 20-minute pitch. Then you must prepare to deliver it in a room full of executives! It is an absolute thrill, total rush, and perfect boot camp for any creator. Having compelling ideas is step one. The ability to communicate those ideas with clarity is potentially more important. And yes, we are currently preparing to pitch The Heirloom for a hopeful screen format!


Q: Did you write a screenplay for The Heirloom yet? Who would be your dream cast to play your characters if/when Hollywood does the movie show adaptation of your book?

A: The Heirloom has yet to become a television or film script, so I haven’t yet gotten the chance to imagine who might play my beloved characters. In my wildest dreams real-life sisters like Dakota and Elle Fanning would be my protagonist and her sister in the book, but that’s as far as my pie-in-the-sky planning has gone!

Q: What is your advice for anyone wanting to be an author, producer & blogger?

A: I have two pieces of advice for anyone that aspires to some of the work I’ve been so fortunate to do in my career. First: learn what elements of your personal life allow for your best creative life. By that I mean: what time of day are you most creative? What kind of movement do you need in your life to feel energized to write? Who inspires you to do great work? What kind of support turns that work into potential sales? Do you need 8 hours of sleep to feel like your most productive self? Time and time again I realize that everything I’m able to get down on the page is a result of the life I lead off the page. My second piece of advice is sharing your work. I became a blogger because magazines and online sites wouldn’t accept my work. With blogging success, I was hired to write magazine and online articles. I told stories on stages in formats like The Moth and RISK! so that I could showcase my storytelling ability to people hiring TV and film writers. And I always had a script ready to show someone the moment they say, “do you have anything new I could read to get a sense of your writing.” Now I would include creative posting on social media, short film producing and platforms like Substack or Medium in that mix. But I think the worst thing an aspiring creator can do is keep all their creations to themselves until it’s “perfect.”  

Q: What is it like having your blog named Time Top 25 Blog, & Forbes Top 100 Website For Women & Top 10 Website for Millennials? It sounds like such a dream come true! 

A: Yes, it was an absolute dream come true, but I always like to mention that the honor came after seven years of blogging! I was so thrilled to have more people discover the blog because of that recognition because I always wrote to give people comfort around what they were experiencing through the example of my own struggles. But if I’d given up the few times I considered stopping along the way, I never would have gotten those lovely accolades! Perseverance really is the name of the game as an artist.