We had the good fortune of connecting with Jessika Grewe Glover and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jessika, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
The way I see it, without taking risks, you end up stagnant. Perhaps a comfortable situation, perhaps a gross misrepresentation of who and what you could be or achieve. As a creative, without taking a chance on yourself or an opportunity, there is zero room for growth. I have always been a writer. From my earliest years, through one of my university majors, writing has sustained me. When my children were younger, I found I didn’t have the same headspace to create and instead read more and let my imagination ruminate. In 2018, on a trip visiting my in-laws in the UK, the idea sparked for what became my debut novel. I rearranged my schedule so that I could write before my sunrise personal training clients, and finally decided to take the plunge and share my words with friends and eventually, publishers. It’s an incredibly vulnerable place to be in, having handed over the soul you’ve bled on paper, waiting for feedback. However, had I not decided to put this introverted self out there, I would not have the two books published I do now. Had I not continued sending stories out, I would not have pieces published in several online magazines and a short story in an anthology. There’s never a perfect time or situation in which to begin change. Simply a spark you harness and make the decision to grow. I intend to continue to take risks and though there will inevitably be switchbacks, ultimately, I’m here for the growth.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My voice in writing has always toed a line of literary and snarky, often having a thread of the supernatural or magical realism in it. My debut series, of which books one and two (Another Beast’s Skin and A Braiding of Darkness) have released, is a contemporary adult fantasy series. I wanted to write escapism for adults, including bits of my history and science obsessions, threaded with magic. Another Beast’s Skin is built in both the human realm and fae realm, demarcating the line between both. I wanted a main character who is an adult, with an adult career (FOREX trader), anxiety disorder, and a hazy background she can’t quite put her finger on. It’s dark, clever, sexy, and different. The publishing challenges I’ve encountered have been numerous, yet all have given me more insight to the industry and how I can work within it to grow and improve myself and my career. So much of getting my book into others’ hands is marketing myself and creating my own brand. It was a bit of a baptism by fire process for me. Five years ago I would not have been able to be on podcasts and Instagram Live interviews without stuttering. Now they are almost second nature and most people don’t notice the cold sweat when they see me speak! I am extremely proud of the writing I have put out and also recognize that each piece I write shows my growth in the craft. Currently, I am querying for an agent with two separate novels. A high concept dark academia project set between Oxford and Turkey, and a literary thriller featuring art, ghosts, and quite a bit of Mexican food, set along Florida’s Treasure Coast in Vero Beach. I get butterflies talking about either. My brand is literary snark, emo music, rescue dogs, vintage fashion, history deep dives, Los Angeles foodie extraordinaire, and world traveler. My husband and children are all British, keeping our roots tucked and tangled perfectly between L.A., Florida (I am from Miami), and the UK. This cultural tapestry is easily recognizable in my writing, photography, and branding in general.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Oh! I just had friends in from the East Coast. The Getty Villa is always a favorite of mine, followed by lunch at The Sunset Malibu. The rest of the week would (and did) include visits to indie book shops like Chevalier’s, The Last Bookstore L.A., and maybe even The Ripped Bodice. I think some vegan Mexican food from Gracias Madre in WeHo should be on the list. Hikes. All the hikes. Towsley Canyon, Runyon, Malibu Creek, and Vasquez Rocks. Gluten free churros from Hugo’s West Hollywood, and rooftop drinks SOMEWHERE. Most of my itinerary is daytime focused as I get up before sunrise (because my dog is on a strict medication schedule), and go to bed fairly early. I would definitely put together a charcuterie board with local wines, cheeses, and and this serrano pepper condiment my friend makes and distributes locally, called Combasti. It’s a gift form the gods. Trust me.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
The Writing Community on Instagram has been a great solace to me. Being a writer is a lonely profession, keeping you inside your head. When you add rejection, criticism (don’t read reviews!), and the highs and lows of a creative career, it’s easy to back down and quit. When I stumbled into the writing community a couple years ago, the camaraderie I found was incredible. I love being able to support my fellow writers and cheer them on their writing paths as they have helped me on mine. Beyond that, my friend, Heidi and my mom have been there letting me rage and cry through the tumultuous publishing journey I’ve had, always throwing shovels in the trunk for me, so to speak.
Instagram: @jessikagreweglover @superjessika