Where are you from? Tell us a little about yourself!
I’m from Winchester, IL. I grew up in a small little village where my great-grandfather started a John Deere dealership (it’s still there, just under different ownership).
I’m the youngest of three children, my parents are still married after 38 years. I started playing basketball competitively at the age of nine and still play pick-up games and intramurals from time to time. I dabbled in modeling while in Chicago in college, graduated with honors in biology, then went on to perform clinical research at the Jones Eye Institute in Little Rock, AR. Our group studied the eye and finding the correlation between the immune system and the eye; I mainly worked with uveal melanoma and finding proteins. We ended up getting published in a couple scientific journals, so that was fun. After that I decided to take a 180 degree turn and try out acting in Los Angeles, CA. So far so good, I’ve had a pretty damn good ride.
Tell us about your book? How did it get started?
The book is about my dating experiences, all true by the way. It started out as tips of what not to do and some of what to do in the dating world. It’s mainly for the dating impaired, but also as pure entertainment. It discusses my experiences in longer relationships and a smattering of the multitude of first dates I had. I changed the names of the “guilty” so as to avoid any drama. 😉
It all started from a friend and I swapping stories about our dating experiences and what we couldn’t stand about the opposite sex, their actions anyway. I continued, over the years, to jot down tips and things that had happened to me, or any of my friends. It started to grow in page length, but it was very rough. I wrote all of the tips with humor. There is a multitude of dating books out there. I wrote this one how I would want to read it, by laughing about it.
I would go back to the original document and add in tips and things that had happened during my dating escapades. When I would discuss my stories with friends and family, they always laughed. It could be the delivery and my odd facial contortions that I create when telling a story, but I thought I might have something worth a laugh brewing on my computer.
What inspires and what got your started in writing?
I started writing research papers while performing clinical research. I always was a grammar Nazi and enjoyed reading. Writing was something that felt natural to me, and I think of it as a very fun process. I’ve always had that “itch” to write something, but never really had the push to go for it. I’m glad I had a lot of people over the years say I should write a book, I guess I finally just listened one day and let it flow.
Where do you write? Is there something you need in order to write (music, drinks?)
A nice glass of wine is always pleasurable while writing, especially for a dating book. I wrote about 75% of this book in a matter of three to four days, but edits and all that comes after the initial document took much more time. Those editing days were definitely good days for a full glass ‘o’ wine.
When I write, I have to have pure quiet. Sometimes I might put on a movie that I have DVR’ed that I have seen over and over again because it’s basically white noise in the background since I know it so well. I’m usually at my parents’ place on a farm cuddled up on a leather, squishy couch, or my comfy chair at my place with an ottoman and comfy blankie.
How do you get your ideas for writing?
I have a quirky thought process as is, but for this book, it’s all based upon real, true experiences. So there wasn’t much imagination involved, purely telling a story. Now the humor in there – that comes from the wit and sarcasm that is my family.
What do you like to read?
I like to read historical novels and research papers. Yes I know, it’s nerdy, but I like to keep the brain working and fresh, rather than gumming it up with reality TV, which I must admit I do LOVE by the way.
What would your advice to be for authors or aspiring in regards to writing?
Go for it! Do your research. Sit down, jot down ideas over time, let it all simmer and marinate, then just go for it. Pitch it all over the place, and sometimes you might get feedback, in that case, take the feedback as constructive criticism rather than a personal attack, and tweak your work. It’s supposed to be a fun process, so make sure you’re having fun with it all.
Anything else you’d like to share?
I hope that many people are exposed to my book and have a damn good time reading it. Not only do I want people to snicker out loud, but also to turn it into a roaring ball of deep diaphragm laughing.
Another Q&A with SNICKERING OUT LOUD author Jenny Sauer
As readers will learn in your new book, you grew up on a farm, worked in a lab, modeled, and have acted in numerous films and commercials. How did you come to write a book?
Those various experiences took me across the country to live in different places and subsequently threw me into different cultures where I met so many types of people. It made for a collection of interesting stories, especially from during my “serial dating” stage in L.A., I wanted to share for people to connect with and hopefully even learn from my mistakes and many adventures.
How are you so unapologetic? You say things most people probably want to say but for some reason or another don’t.
My whole family is very quick-witted, so growing up I learned a lot from my older brother and sister concerning comebacks and how they dealt with things. From that I created my own effective way of dealing with people. I won’t say I’m completely unapologetic, but I am brutally honest. I’m not a drama fiend and much prefer being straight up and real about something. I believe honesty makes life easier. That being said, I don’t enjoy hurting someone on purpose. I do actually feel bad if my honesty unintentionally hurts a person’s feelings.
I think the people who come to me for advice ask because they know I will tell them the truth and not sugar coat things. And I respect others who are just as honest with me. If someone tells me I’m wrong about something, great! I want to know my faults, and I know that I can be wrong. You won’t get anywhere in life just thinking you’re better than everyone else.
While you do give many of your exes a tough review, the good guys definitely get a nice pat on the back and you’re honest about your own faults, too. Is it hard to open up about such a personal topic as dating?
It really wasn’t hard to open up about my dating experiences; I’m essentially an open book anyway. I tell stories and argue with facts. So if the guys represented don’t like how they are viewed, tough noogies because it’s the truth.
You say you’re really close to your mom – is she going to gawk at any of these stories about her little girl in the dating scene?
She has read the book and thinks it’s funny. She has known all of the stories along the way; so there weren’t any surprises to her. I really do tell her EVERYTHING.
The nicknames for your Match.com encounters are hilarious. What do you think you ex-dates would call you?
Hmmm, that’s a good one. “Smartass McDoogle,” “Eyes”…I’ve had a lot of different experiences with guys so I’m really not sure. I’ll be frank, I really don’t want to know. 😉 I’m usually just known as “Jen” or “Jenny,” in their phones anyway. For the record, I hate the nickname “Jen,” especially on a first date. Don’t shorten a person’s name when you just met them, for crying out loud! You don’t hear me shortening your name because I’m feeling lazy and don’t want to speak an extra syllable.
You’ve written a book on dating, but you’re not married?
You don’t have to be married, or an expert, to date. And these are real, actual experiences. That’s what I’m sharing. The good, bad and ugly. I’ll find that person someday, but I’m in no rush. I’d rather take my time to make sure. I don’t feel like pulling an Elizabeth Taylor and having more than seven or eight weddings. Plus, weddings are expensive and stressful, not my cup of tea to do more than one.
Do you stay in touch with any of your exes in the book?
Yes I do, and it’s probably obvious to the reader which ones. The guys I don’t speak ill about, I still like and we left everything on good terms, so why not stay in touch as friends?
There are actually a few where I talk to them about who they are dating now and give them advice. Not every day, but every couple of months here and there. It’s nice.
From text hoarding, to stiletto porn, to old people’s toenails, you draw quite a few laughs in your book. But there is a mix of funny and serious, as you also offer some real advice. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever personally received about dating?
“Stop looking, it’ll happen.”