Geetanjali Mukherjee

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

How I Write: Authors on Their Writing Process - Jordan Phillips

Today's interview is with author of fashion, travel and lifestyle books, Jordan Phillips.




1.              When did you first start writing?
When I graduated from university, I dreamed of writing a book and owning an online clothing store. Neither of those things panned out because I was a public relations coordinator, and I worked all the time. Then I climbed the corporate ladder and became a mother, and put those dreams on the back burner. Now I’m finally doing everything I dreamed of!

2.              What led to your love for literature?
I didn’t have a particularly wonderful childhood, so I loved to escape through reading. As a teenager, I could shut everything else out and dive into another world. I used to go to the library once per week and come home with a stack of books.

3.              What's your writing process like? Do you outline? Do you write by hand / type / dictate?
I first dream, take notes, and make a general plan. Then I research and gather relevant information. Next, I outline the entire book so that all of the bones are in place. Then I just beginning filling in the pieces, working on whatever part inspires me in that moment. I edit throughout the entire process.

4.              What did you find most / least useful in learning to write?
I do my best brainstorming while traveling. I jot down notes in my iPhone and email them to myself to fully develop the ideas when I have time. I find it easiest to sit down and write for hours when I’ve already allowed myself to dream and flush out the key parts.

5.              Who or what inspires you?
Just as the title of my book says, I am inspired by Paris! Though I would never want to live there again full-time (I live in New York), I absolutely love my time in Paris. It is the perfect place to wander around, take in the stunning scenery, and dream. I’m headed back to Paris tonight!

6.              When in the day do you usually write? For how long?
When I’m writing a book, I spend at least a few hours every morning working on it, as much as my schedule allows. Sometimes I stay up all night writing. I love it! Generally I spend about six months straight being totally obsessed with writing the book, and I can’t think of anything else. Once the book is finished, I have to take a break from any kind of writing.

7.              Do you have a writing routine / schedule? Any specific rituals?
I have a very busy life in New York, so it’s hard to squeeze in the time to have long writing and editing sessions. I am fortunate in that my husband and daughter don’t mind if I escape for a week here and there to Paris to really focus. When I’m in “escape” mode, I work on my book for up to 12 hours per day. It’s a treat!

8.              Where do you feel most inspired to write?
Paris!

9.              Do you ever get writers' block? What are some ways you get around it?
I never sit down and force myself to write, so no. I only write when I’m in the mood and the words are flowing. I don’t think forced writing turns out well.

10.           What project are you working on now?
I am working on building up my online French vintage store at www.inspiredbyparis.com, and beginning to think about my next book.

11.           What books do you like to read? What are you reading now?
I just finished The Light of Paris and am now reading Start Here: Mastering the Lifelong Habit of Wellbeing.


Bio:

Jordan Phillips is the author of Inspired by Paris: Why Borrowing from the French Is Better Than Being French. She spends most of her time in New York City with her husband and daughter but enjoys escaping to her apartment in Paris as often as possible.

Jordan holds a master’s degree in fashion marketing and management from the École Supérieure des Arts et Techniques de la Mode (ESMOD) in Paris, and a bachelor's degree in journalism from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly). She is also the author of Sustainable Luxe: A Guide to Feel-Good Fashion and The Lure of Luxe: Climbing the Luxury Consumption Pyramid.



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Part travel narrative and part lifestyle guide, Inspired by Paris: Why Borrowing from the French Is Better Than Being French is a must-read for anyone who’s ever dreamed about traveling to or living in France.

Author Jordan Phillips is a bona fide Francophile. Just show her a wedge of oozy French cheese or a slightly dilapidated Mansard roof, and she’ll swoon every time. Before moving to New York, Phillips lived in Paris, and she still travels to her apartment there frequently. But through these experiences, she learned that—as in so many things in life—fantasy is often better than reality.

Filled with historical tidbits, motivational nuggets, and honest insight, chapters such as “La Vie Est Belle,” “The Paris Syndrome,” and “Jacques-in-the-Box” reveal the truth of what it’s really like to live in the most beautiful city in the world. Whether you’re headed to Paris next week or never make it there at all, this chatty and information-packed book will introduce you to the real City of Light—beyond the fantasy of the Instagram version.

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