Jasmine Guillory is the bestselling author of The Wedding Date and The Proposal and more. She visited the American Writers Museum July 24, 2019 to chat about her book, The Wedding Party, which Bustle called “the perfect summer book.” Real Simple also says, “If you want a juicy, modern twist on the classic enemies-to-lovers romance, Guillory has you covered with The Wedding Party.” We agree with them, and especially with Oprah Magazine, which says, “Jasmine Guillory is the queen of contemporary romance.”
We spoke via email with Guillory about her new book, the romance genre, and which American writer of the past she’d want to go on a date with (the answer may surprise you). Read on to learn more about Guillory, then watch a recording of the program here or listen to a condensed version of it on our podcast here.
American Writers Museum: Without giving too much away, what can we expect from The Wedding Party? What feelings are we going to feel?
Jasmine Guillory: The Wedding Party has so many feelings! Friendship and anger and lust and love and joy and sorrow and excitement and love again.
AWM: What about writing romance novels first attracted you to the genre?
GUILLORY: I loved reading romance: the stories were fun, they made me happy, but they were so much more than that — they tackled major issues about sexism, relationships, consent, race, politics, family, and so much more. I hoped it would be as fun to write one as it was to read them, and I was right!
AWM: What inspires you to write?
GUILLORY: The joy I get from it, the thrill there is in figuring out a story, or discovering something about a character, how much I learn from it every day.
AWM: If you could meet one American writer from the past who would it be and why?
GUILLORY: Dorothy Parker, who I’ve always been fascinated with. In true nerd girl fashion, I did a report on her in school a long time ago and she’s interested me ever since.
AWM: In a similar sense, which American writer of the past or present would you most like to go on a date with?
GUILLORY: I can’t think of a single writer I’d want to go out on a date with (we’re all kind of neurotic) but I’d love to go out for drinks and dinner and gossip with Julia Child and Edna Lewis and Samin Nosrat. Can you even imagine how fun that would be???
AWM: What was your favorite book to read growing up?
GUILLORY: I had so many! I especially loved the Betsy-Tacy series, about two friends growing up in early 20th century Minnesota. I still love those books and reread them all the time.
AWM: What are you reading now? What should we be reading?
GUILLORY: I’m reading two books due to come out in the fall; Not the Girl You Marry, by Andie J. Christopher, and All This Could Be Yours, by Jami Attenberg.
AWM: Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
GUILLORY: Read as much as possible! Read widely, but especially in genres you think you want to write in. And then think about those books: why did you like them? Why didn’t you? Why did other people like them? And then read some more.