While I may disappoint some expectations, I really am a bona fide Jersey girl. (I even graduated from Rutgers University.) We are some dynamic, colorful people. And from the woodsy Bear country counties to the more NYC-borough-esque region, our geographically diverse state makes for an awesome setting for a story (or two).
Perfect Shot is set in a fictional town that sits in the shadow of that towering Manhattan island where I was born. A trendy shop like Chic Boutique (the modeling contest’s headquarters in PS) would easily fit into the cosmopolitan atmosphere of the real Bergen County towns that inspired me. And ambitious young ladies like London Abrams and her bff Pam are found in abundance all throughout the garden state.
London’s town is the type of neighborhood I moved to as an adult. But I was raised in East Orange, NJ, the city I wrote about in Hallways Diaries. Here I am with my godmother (great aunt/soulmate) “Dada” outside of our East Orange home.
Ever see that “30 Rock” episode when we learned that Ken the Page sees the world as one big puppet show? Well, my hubby likes to tease that Ken and I are kindred spirits. (Of course, you know that’s an exaggeration--in my mind, the world is more like a Broadway musical.) But so what my POV is a little rose-colored? I know a lot of folks consider New Jersey to be more of a punchline than a home state. That doesn’t bother me. I can’t deny the great memories of growing up there. Like with everyone else, sure there were some off moments, but they certainly don’t come close to outweighing the bad. And at this point in my career, I find myself wanting to write more stories about colorful characters in this colorful region of the country.
But just don’t expect any of my characters to bust out with the “fist pump” dance, either. Not gonna happen.