Q and A with author Jill KargmanOur summer reading series continues and this time we chat with “Rock Star in Seat 3A” author Jill Kargman. Her novel revolves around Hazel, a 30-year-old woman, who finds herself on a first class flight with her “free pass” rock star crush Finn Schiller. So will she take the bait and leave her longtime boyfriend to live out her rock n roll fantasy? Jill Kargman gives us the lowdown on her novel and what inspired the story.
Sinister Girlz: Your bio states you’re deathly afraid of clowns and mimes what is it about them that scares you? Is it the makeup? Are you also afraid of Gene Simmons and the other members of Kiss?
Jill Kargman: I’m not afraid of Kiss because they admit to their aggression; the reasons clowns and mimes freak me out is because they’re all smiles and pretending to be jolly but have something creepy lurking behind the painted smiles. Also I learned what rape was from a traveling circus clown banging a girl on Little House On The Prairie.
Sinister Girlz: At what age did you discover your gift for writing?
Jill Kargman: I wouldn’t say I have a gift, but THANKS! I’m not the artist type who sits in a log cabin in Maine writing the Great American Novel. I’m more the trashy beach read type. I guess I’ve always written the way that I talk and people dig it which is lucky. But I’m not a true Talent in terms of researching historical fiction or creating an alternate universe or anything wildly imaginative like that. I just try to make people laugh.
Sinister Girlz: In your novel “Rock Star in Seat 3A” your protagonist, Hazel, strikes up a conversation with rock star Finn Schiller on a flight. Have you ever approached a celebrity and struck up a conversation?
Jill Kargman: I’ve met celebs in social settings but the only time I randomly struck one up was at Meow Mix, a lesbian bar on the lower east side; I was having dinner around the corner so decided to check it out and in walked Michael Imperioli- “Christophuh” from the Sopranos. He thought I was dykadelic and so I guess he felt safe and we had two drinks together and chatted– he was lovely.
Sinister Girlz: What was the inspiration for this novel?
Jill Kargman: I was at a dinner party and it devolved into Which Celeb Would You Schtupf. I named Trent Reznor and my husband (he said Kate Beckinsale) basically said you’re a 35 year old mother of three- good luck with that! I got all defensive and lay awake wondering how I could ever get to know a celeb crush and trapped on a turbulent flight for six hours was what I came up with. I’m not gonna boil rabbits on his stove or anything- it was just a fantasy.
Sinister Girlz: Music is a big part of your story; when you were writing the novel did you listen to music to help you get into the rock n roll mindset?
Jill Kargman: Yes! Nine Inch Nails, Type O Negative and The The.
Sinister Girlz: What kind of music are you into?
Jill Kargman: Hard rock, generally, though I love classic alternative- XM33 First Wave.
Sinister Girlz: I have a theory that most music lovers, critics and/or journalists secretly want to be rock stars (or maybe it’s just me) if you could be or have any rock star’s career who would it be?
Jill Kargman: It’s not just you. Yes. I’d've loved to be a rock star. I guess I’d have Trent’s because NIN’s fans are so rabid. I wouldn’t want to be so famous I couldn’t eat dinner out. He’s the perfect kind of celeb.
Sinister Girlz: Since you’re a New York Times Best Selling author is there more pressure to write a best seller? Does that ever hinder your writing?
Jill Kargman: Yes, there is more pressure but I want to write what I want to write and really don’t do it for the marketplace. For example my last book- a humorous essay collection, SOMETIMES I FEEL LIKE A NUT didn’t sell as well as my fiction but it’s by far my favorite one and so I’m going to write another.
Sinister Girlz: Are you currently working on anything else?
Jill Kargman: Yup! Starting new essay collection now! I also have an essay in the September issue of Glamour.