June 3, 2011 by heartonsleevereview
HeartOnSleeve Review: Hello, Jamie Sughroue, and welcome to your official introduction to our fans of HeartOnSleeve. You have a weird last name. Please clarify for our readers exactly how to pronounce it, because they will be screaming it later.
Jamie Sughroue: I do indeed. Depending upon your regionality (is that really a word? It is now) and dialect, the pronunciation varies greatly. In the South, it’s usually just shortened to Sugar. Here in the Midwest, it’s typically drawled Shug-a-roo. A special fellow once coined Schmrrmrr as the most unique attempt. I sadly have never heard someone from the East or further North speak the name. That’s on my bucket list.
HOSR: I prefer “Shuggaluggadingdong,” but that’s just me. You’ve been writing for quite some time now. Can you describe your writing process and how you develop your ideas? And speak directly into the flower on my lapel.
JS: I prefer to be out of doors somewhere. But if that’s not possible, I’m usually parked on my couch, laptop in my lap (cliché, I know), pattering away on the keyboard. I don’t have a specific way of garnering ideas–I typically pull from real life experiences…but, when a little gem of story starts percolating, I snatch up the little reporter’s notebook I keep in my bag and jot things down. Now that I have an iPhone, I’ve been taking advantage of its functionality more and more.
HOSR: You shouldn’t take advantage of harmless electronic devices…wait…that sounds bad, but a terrific lead in for this question: Do you write in the nude?
JS: Well, following my preference for being in nature, being in the buff would likely follow, yes? But sadly, here in the big city of Omaha, naked writing is frowned upon. I should run for office, see what I can do about that.
HOSR: If you ran for office just for this specific purpose, I would move to Omaha one year prior to the elections so that I may vote. Since you’re considering candidacy for advocate of nekkid writing, you will be scrutinized by the public. They will try to dig up dirt and find those skeletons in the closet, so you better ‘fess up now: have you ever been in trouble with the law?
JS: I plead the fifth. Well, no, okay, fine. It’s a good story. I, one snowy spring break many moons ago, built a delightful snowman in the front yard of a rental house I shared with two other folks. I decorated said snowman with a feather boa, giant sunglasses, and other assorted paraphernalia. I left, having successfully accessorized the snow creature, and received a phone call from a roommate a few hours later. The cops had stopped by and destroyed the work of art because a neighbor had called and complained that I had erected a giant snow penis and it was obscene. Now, I honestly couldn’t tell you the last time this neighbor had seen a penis, but this, sir, was no penis. All that was left when I got home was a flaccid pile of snow. Typical.
HOSR: Perhaps the only male sexual organ this person has ever seen was bedecked in a feather boa and other garish accessories? Ever think about that? HMM?!? Anyway, moving on. Four out of five dentists are dying to know what influences you most as a writer, and when did you consider yourself a writer?
JS: My life experiences, as I touched on before. Life is not perfect, but it’s certainly interesting. And if you can keep an attitude that at least borders on finding the humor and irony in situations, you can find a story in that.
HOSR: I find irony ironic, don’t you? And I don’t show up in mirrors…huh…anyway, I have it on good authority that one of your favorite authors is Jane Austen. If you could meet with her and ask her anything, what would you ask her?
JS: My darling Ms. Austen,
I have a great many questions for you, but I’ll only ask this one: what’s the real story with you and James McAvoy, ahem, I mean, Tom LeFroy?
Oh…and thank you for your novels, and for being an inspiration.
Your biggest fan,
HOSR: I have an extremely serious question for you and I want you to answer as honestly and openly as you can: Are you ready for the Zombie Apocalypse?
JS: Absolutely. I have a talent for drawing Day of the Dead Sugar Skulls and I’m certain that will be useful somehow. And even with that ace in my pocket, my new mantra, plucked from the book Zombies vs. Unicorns, is: “Use your brains, or else someone’s going to eat them.”
HOSR: That is excellent advice, Jamie. If there were to be a movie made about your life, who would you like to portray you?
JS: Alan Rickman.
HOSR: Don’t be silly; he’s a boy. What did you want to be when you were little? And don’t say “Alan Rickman.”
JS: Alan Rickman. So, you see, it’s fate.
HOSR: Damn it, Jamie…honestly. You’re such a smart ass. I don’t even want to ask this next question, as I am fed up with your shenanigans, but screw it. Have you ever read or seen yourself as a character in a book or movie?
JS: Being the Austen-ite that I am, I’ve always imagined myself to be Elizabeth Bennett. Of course. But, I’ve also relished the opportunity to step into the shoes of Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. I get along well with cowardly lions, I have a soft spot for small dogs that ride in baskets, I almost live inKansas, and yellow’s my favorite color.
HOSR: I want to be Cleopatra, because I live in denial. You have a rambunctious puggle named Zoey. Has she ever tried eating anything you’ve written?
JS: I think my dog has eaten and regurgitated everything I’ve ever written. That’s why it stinks. Ha!
HOSR: I don’t get it. Hey, new topic. How much impact does your every day life have on your writing?
JS: A lot. Too much. My challenge to myself is to stretch beyond that, really explore my slightly psychotic imagination and see what spews out. So beware…
HOSR: I disagree with your opinion on writing from every day life, as let’s face it, it can be pretty freaking bizarre at times, but I applaud your willingness to expand your creativity and whatnot. High fives to that. Jamie? What’s the greatest thing you’ve learned in school?
JS: Treat others as you’d like to be treated. No, wait. That was an episode of Little House on the Prairie. Hm. I think the greatest thing I learned while in school was that every decision you make, even if it’s something mundane as a hair cut or the shoes you wear on the first day, can affect the rest of your life–so, be constantly alert, paranoid and second-guess absolutely everything you do. No, wait, that wasn’t it either. Ah, that’s right. The greatest thing I learned was how to hone my sarcasm and wit…
HOSR: Do you admire your own work?
JS: Every third Wednesday.
Seriously though, when I’ve put in a lot of effort and poured my soul into something I’ve written, baring slices of my life, feelings and the like, those are the days when I feel proud, but not necessarily admiration. I have much too low a self-esteem for that. 🙂
HOSR: My mom told me that if I admired myself too much, I would go blind. Well, my dearest darling Jamie, thank you again for taking time out of your life to answer my silly questions, even though you were a complete smart ass 99% of the time. This pleases me.
Jamie L. Sughroue lives in the bustling metropolis of Omaha, Nebraskawith her manuscript-eating puggle Zoey and what is arguably the best cat ever, Jay. She is taking classes at the University of Nebraska Omaha in Library Sciences and English, and will maybe graduate some day…sounds familiar…(coughcoughMaryCappscoughcough). It is an honor and privilege to know Jamie personally, and she gave me the insane pleasure of throwing a pie in her face once. So far, this has been the highlight of my life. You can read more from Jamie on her personal blog: http://naptimewithshuggie.blogspot.com.