Thursday, February 23, 2017

Interview With Jordyn Woodtke, Author of Let's Try This Again

Can you share a bit about your journey to becoming a published author? Looking back are there an moments as a child that hint you would become a writer?

Looking back now, it feels like there was never a time I didn’t love writing. I remember writing short stories in elementary school during timed prompts and feeling so excited to come up with a concept. I was always a huge reader, and I think that had a lot to do with being so invested in storytelling from a young age. I don’t know if it was something I was born with, but I’ve always felt a strong compulsion to be writing.

Where did the inspiration for Let's Try this Again and the characters you created come from?
Let’s Try This Again is full of characters that are composites of people I’ve known, loved, hated, met once, saw across a room, you name it. I was inspired by my own impending move to California definitely, but the book itself started off as what I thought would just be a short story and then took on a whole life of its own.

While this is your first book, you are also a screen writer? How did this affect your storyline? Did you create the storyline with the idea of a possible movie adaptation in the future?

While writing, the idea of turning Let’s Try This Again into a movie became really motivating to me. As a screenwriter, I would see scenes in my head as I wrote chapters and that helped me be able to describe things in a more tangible way. Describing things when you have a clear vision of what you want translates onto the page and helps your readers see what you’re seeing.
Review - HERE!

How did you organize your time to create this title? Research? Working on Manuscript? Pre-marketing?

I always outline when I write. It helps keep me organized and on track. I knew what points I wanted to hit within what time period, and that was useful in giving me manageable goals to accomplish. There were lulls in the process though. I didn’t always know what the next step would be – sometimes I had to sit back and wait for some life to happen to me to kick me back into gear.

As an author - what do you enjoy most about writing process? What feels like a chore?

I love when I get to write a scene or a passage or a poem that I’ve been ruminating on for a while. I usually keep notes in journals; words or phrases or images that I want to be able to utilize. I wait until I find a project they can work in, one that just feels like the right fit. When I get to write about something that inspired me, that’s an amazing feeling. Sometimes you have to write when you’re not that inspired, though. There were parts of the book and parts of all projects I work on where you kind of just have to write something to get you to the next point or to a breakthrough for someone. That can be daunting.

What would you most like readers to know about you?

Readers should know that while Josie is a completely fictional character – her love of Britney and brunch is totally based on me. If you’re in LA and you need brunch suggestions, I’m your girl.

Any advice for young authors wanting to write books in this genre?

Don’t be afraid to write the hard stuff. Don’t let your characters off easy. Don’t shy away from topics or situations just because you’re nervous about the reaction or how people are going to react. Write what feels real to you, and it will feel real to your readers.

Do you have any new books in development?

A sequel to Let’s Try This Again!

Connect With the Author:  Book Insider Hangout ~ Website ~ Twitter ~ Instagram

Let's Try This Again by Jordyn Woodtke

It’s Sex in the City meets Bridget Jones Diary under the Hollywood sign.  A masterful debut novel of love, sex and rock & roll in the New Adult genre.

Synopsis - 

One girl. Two guys. It's complicated. And hot.

First there is Isaac, the ex-boyfriend who threatens her move to a sunny new life on the west coast when he suddenly comes back into the picture. The chemistry is intoxicating and Josie starts eating, breathing, and sleeping with him again until the move. Things are hard enough saying goodbye to her childhood home and very best friends, but when Isaac makes it seem like he might actually want her to stay, Josie wonders if she’s giving up on him too quickly.

Josie takes the plunge and moves to California.

Then comes Carter. Sweet, doting - and, oh my god! - former boy band heartthrob, Carter. Josie’s new life falls into place, with new friends and a job working as the personal assistant for Carter as he plans the re-launch of his career. When it seems like there might be something between Josie and her new boss, she can’t help but hold back in fear of crossing a line and, worse yet, getting her heart crushed. Once again.

What spirals into a complicated, heart wrenching, unexpected love triangle forces Josie to face a decision that she is not sure she can make. Carter or Isaac. Or - who knows?

It’s Sex in the City meets Bridget Jones Diary under the Hollywood sign. A masterful debut novel of love, sex and rock & roll in the New Adult genre.

Review - 

Let's Try this Again, the first novel by Jordyn Woodtke is aimed at a very specific audience - young, single adults living a night life full of clubbing, drinking, dancing and partying. The description Sex in the CIty meets Bridget Jones is bang on. Alcohol required.

Josie moves through life supported by her two unique BFF's Molly and Ellie. She has a former lover - Isaac - that keeps bouncing in and out of her life. The hook he has planted is hard to pull out. Every time she finally begins to move on, he circles back into her life and her bed again - only to waltz out when things start to get serious. Until the next time.

Alcohol fueled nights out, random sexual encounters and her girl squad just can't seem to burn this man out of her system, so Josie makes the brave move to LA where she lands a amazing job as an assistant to a celebrity working on his musical comeback. The distance from her former life helps ease the pain of the lost relationship and introduces her to a hidden talent - opening up whole new career (and relationship) possibilities.  But it hasn't changed the pattern of her life. Alcohol and bad choices still rear their ugly head. She has decisions to make on love and life that need her to look at things from a fresh perspective. Will she make the right choices?

I have to admit I didn't find Josie's struggles funny. They hit me as sad. BUT this is because I am well outside the New Young Adult target marget. I think it will find a very positive reception within this younger audience. If this is your scene, then this book is a must read. The author's strong screenwriter skills are also very evident, meaning the book could easily find it's way's adapted to the big screen - another addition to the sex, rock &roll, New Adult Genre.

Buy the Book:  Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Kobo Books ~ iTunes

Meet the Author - 

Check out a great author interview HERE!

Jordyn Woodtke is an exceedingly gifted new author who is destined to take the New Adult genre by storm with her debut novel entitled Let's Try This Again.

A graduate of NYU, she majored in screenwriting with a minor in bottomless brunching, skills she took with her when she moved to Los Angeles to follow her dream of becoming a writer. Jordyn started writing poetry and plays in high school, garnering prestigious awards and accolades from the Hartford Stage, Drexel University, the Waterbury Young Playwrights Festival and the national Scholastic Art & Writing awards, among others.

Now, on any given afternoon you are likely to find Jordyn petting random dogs on her street, noshing at any of the numerous brunch spots in LA, or bingeing Netflix on her couch. She's grateful and dedicated to the art of storytelling because it lets her say all the things she wished she'd said when she had the chance.

And if Let’s Try This Again is any indicator of future success, Jordyn will get to keep saying them for a long, long time.

Connect With the Author:  Book Insider Hangout ~ Website ~ Twitter ~ Instagram

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Monday, February 6, 2017

Sausage Egg Roll in a Bowl

Image from Buns In My Oven
I am trying yet again to lose those unwanted pounds that crept on over the holiday season. In winter I am just not as active and there are countless get togethers in the fall - Halloween, Holiday parties, the feast on Christmas Day and smorgasbord of delectables always available at New Year's Eve celebrations. It was time to move the scale number down a bit.

Diets really do not work in the long run, so I try to make small changes, less bread and cheese in particular. No eating after 8 p.m. is another. If I need a snack, I eat my Hummus with raw veggies stead of crackers or tortilla chips. I try to move more each day.

And I downloaded the app I used before into my new phone - LoseIt!  You decide a goal weight and how fast you want to get there. It sets a daily caloric limit (too low, but for a reason). Then you enter the food you eat. It scans barcodes to help make it easy and I input recipes or food combos I eat more often into the memory. You can access the app online to make adding specific foods easier.

The reason the daily caloric allowance is low is that calories are added to this amount every time your input any daily exercise. What you do can be a simple as walking, dancing, calisthenics or even house cleaning. Just input what you did and the total minutes you did it for. Voila - you instantly know how much more you get to eat that day as it ups the calorie count immediately.  I love how it brings home how many calories the food you eat actually has (Chia seeds was a total shocker) and how much more you can eat if you're active. It's an eye opener.

There are so many amazing recipes that get shared on Facebook.  I keep trying to keep track of them but they get buried on my newsfeed. Last night I was determined and dug around until I unearthed one that had caught my eye - Sausage Egg Roll In A Bowl  from a blog site called Buns In My Oven. You can click the link to go to view the original recipe and watch the video.

I had several heavier meals over the last couple of nights, so this lighter carbless meal was the perfect choice and well worth the time it took me to re-find it.  Here are my comments -

               1. Fabulous flavour. Both my husband and I loved it. I'll definitely make it again.
                   And yes, it needs the full 4 cloves of garlic and tablespoon of ginger root!
               2. The recipe says serves 4. Not really. Not as a one bowl meal - especially for
                    bigger eaters. I had to add 1 cup of rice to my husband's and he still ate 2 pieces
                    of toast with it to fill up.
               3. As I wasn't dividing 4 ways, 1 pound of sausage was too much. I changed it
                   to 340 grams (1/4 pound per person, the same serving size of meat.) I kept all
                   other amounts the same.  If you  are going to serve 4 you definitely need  the
                   full pound of sausage.
               4. I used turkey sausage to bring the calories and fat down a little.

This recipe was very quick to make, especially since I used bagged coleslaw mix, and full of flavour. I definitely encourage you to give it a try. I did have a few leftovers as only 2 of us dined last night and can't wait to finish it off at lunch today.

= = = =

Sausage Egg Roll In a Bowl 

Ingredients - 

340 G                    Turkey breakfast sausage (or your preference), casings removed
4 cloves                 Garlic, minced
1 T                         Fresh Ginger Root, Minced or grated
1 bag                     Coleslaw mix (454 G - about 6 cups)
1 T                         Soy Sauce (I used low sodium)
1/4 C                     Green Onions, sliced or chopped
1 T                        Sesame Oil

Directions - 

Using a large, nonstick skillet, saute the sausage breaking it into small pieces as it cooks.  Remove from heat and wipe the excess fat from the pan with a paper towel, leaving a little to saute the rest of the ingredients in. (Note original recipe says to leave all fat in the pan as carbless meals need to be higher fat. I preferred to take most out and it still had a great flavour.)

Add the garlic and ginger root and saute for a few minutes. Add the cabbage and continue cooking stirring frequently until it has softened, adding soy sauce for the last couple minutes of cooking.

Remove from heat. Sprinkle on green onions and sesame oil and toss until fully combined. Separate into large individual bowls and serve.

Note - For me this was 3 servings max. My guys eat bigger portions, so this recipe would have served 2 with 1 cup rice added to each.  For my size serving, the recipe would serve 3 with no rice added. If you use the full pound of sausage that helps serve more, but I still think you'd need to up the cabbage to 8 cups (and perhaps the other ingredients) if you are feeding 4. Just my personal opinion. It all depends on who you are feeding.