Monday, September 29, 2014

Would You Rather... with Jessica Ashley Dafoe

Please welcome Jessica Ashley Dafoe, author of The Tantalizing Tale of a Bitter Sweetheart.

About Jessica Ashley Dafoe:

Jessica Ashley Dafoe resides in Toronto where she is an educator by day and a literary enthusiast and writer by night. She attained her BA in English Literature at The University of Ottawa and her B Ed at Brock and Queen’s University. 

When Jessica does not have her nose in a book or is not scribbling out her ideas for her newest tantalizing tales, she's most likely keeping busy trying out various exciting activities and delicious cuisine that the great city of Toronto has to offer or planning her next getaway to her immediate destination of choice. The travelling bug bites her often.

 A romantic comedy addict to the core, she enjoys all things silly, frivolous and emotionally endearing which is the reason she writes stories that encompass all of these qualities. 

Connect with Jessica:

Would You Rather... Jessica Ashley Dafoe

Chips, chocolate or cheese?

Oh! Most definitely the answer is CHOCOLATE!

Bridget Jones, Becky Bloomwood or Carrie Bradshaw?

All three have found their way into my heart. I honestly am unable to choose. Bridget is a hopeless disaster in so many ways that I cannot help but identify with her, seeing as I too am clumsy, say the wrong thing all too often and, in the past, have been known to choose the man all wrong for me, initially.   Becky is so endearing and a character written by one of my top literary inspirations, Sophie Kinsella. And Carrie, oh Carrie, living the life of a fashionista sex columnist, with only her designer clothes and shoes as a major asset, with such a passionate and persistent heart…I’ve just decided, I choose Carrie Bradshaw. Ignore my opening words to this question.

Wine, beer or vodka?

Wine, always wine. Red preferably and when I’m really ready to celebrate, a full-bodied Amarone is my first choice.

Camping or spa vacation?

I was raised alongside two older brothers so I often found myself being dragged along on camping excursions as a child and teen. I think I was duped into believing that I actually enjoyed it because now I am a spa going city girl to the core.  Sleeping in the middle of a thick forest with only a layer of nylon separating me from whatever wildlife may be lurking on the other side, is of no interest to me. I don’t care how pretty the night sky is.

Water or mountains?

Water, unless I’m on a ski holiday and then some mountains are needed.

Zombies or vampires?

Zombies! They are so much more diverse.

Dogs or cats?

Dogs. I, sadly, do not trust cats. One minute they’re curled up all cuddly on your lap, the next minute they’re hissing at you and digging their claws into your legs….maybe it’s just me.

Coke or Pepsi?

Neither. Ginger Ale. I’m a fan of the clear carbonated beverages

Coffee or tea?

COFFEE! It is not until I have had my first sip of this delightful legal stimulant each morning that my day can truly begin.

Dine out or take away?

Dine out.  I love to have a buzz of activity around me when I’m ingesting delicious grub. It usually encourages me to be more refined as opposed to inhaling my food in a heartbeat, the way I sometimes do at home.

High heels, sneakers or flip flops?

Kitten heels.

Physical Book or ebook?

I prefer a physical book, something that I can flip through and add to my bookshelf as if it’s a trophy of my accomplishments.

Paperback or Hardcover?

Paperback. Although hardcovers are often more visually appealing and durable, I dislike how the jacket constantly slips off…I also tend to prefer bending the cover back for an easier grip when reading on the subway train where there is standing room only.

Pen or pencil?

Pencil! My writing is impossibly neat in pencil and utterly disastrous in pen; pure chicken scratch.

Mad Men, Downton Abbey or Breaking Bad?

Downton Abbey. When I was a child, I wished I was the lady of an English manor. My mom forced me to watch PBS a lot as a child.

Drama or comedy?

Comedy. Always.

Twilight or Hunger Games?

Hunger Games, Katniss is one tough and determined character that is an incredible role model for young women. Truth be told, I never got on the whole vampire bandwagon.

Lipstick, lipgloss or chapstick?

Lipgloss. It helps me achieve the necessary level of moisture and gives a touch of vibrant colour as well; a perfect bridge between the others.

Facebook or Twiter?

I’m hopelessly hooked on Facebook, I’m afraid. Twitter has proven useful for book promotion but I must admit I have to push myself to Tweet and even visit the site. Visiting Facebook is as much a part of my morning routine as that first sip of glorious caffeine.

Plot your entire novel or fly by the seat of your pants?

I hate to admit it, but I absolutely fly by the seat of my pants. I have never been a planner. I just act. When I sat down to write what turned out to become The Tantalizing Tale of a Bitter Sweetheart, I had intended to create a semi-autobiographical confessional about dating life in Toronto. My initial pages had the title 101 Dates. I was going to incorporate my own voice and describe the torturous, awkward and sometimes pleasant dating experiences I have had in the past. Half way through the 2nd page, the voice stopped being my own and I scratched the whole idea, deleted all that I had written but carried on with the narrative voice that was overtaking my own. Portia was born! I must admit, although she is completely fictional, ‘excel spreadsheet guy’ is absolutely non-fiction. Yes, I had the pleasure of receiving those perplexing spreadsheets that made my jaw drop, then wrote him in to Portia’s dating history.

The Tantalizing Tale of a Bitter Sweetheart

Successful, lucky in love, taking the world by storm?.....not quite. Portia Delaney is down on her luck, disgruntled in a dead end, mind- numbing career with little prospects and is not even close to finding a stimulating romance to take her mind off her lack-luster situation. Her defeatist attitude and unmistakable idiosyncrasies don’t help much either. 

But with rock bottom comes a choice, lie down and enjoy the cold and barren ground beneath, or climb that ladder of success to the top. Portia finally sets out to do just that. With a fantastic group of friends and a bit of fateful circumstance on her side, she begins her trek up and out of the despair filled trenches. But Portia soon finds out that with success, often comes hardships and unwelcome competition.

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