We had the good fortune of connecting with Jacquelyn Phillips and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jacquelyn, what’s the end goal, career-wise?
For me, the end goal is to inspire and help other women. Within my writing, I talk about subjects that are tough for people to reflect on because oftentimes, they’ve gone through those situations themselves and they want to forget about them. I like to talk about the hard topics and bring them to the forefront because in order for people to grow, they need to face their demons head on. It’s never easy. Oftentimes, when writing, I find myself struggling to get through the topics myself, but I so badly want other women to know they aren’t alone. They never have to feel alone. By the end of my career, I’d like to walk through Barnes and Noble and find my books strewn across the best selling section. It’s always been a dream of mine. I don’t want it to stop there, though. Eventually, I would love if my books became a movie or a TV show because I know not everybody reads, and I want my work to be approachable to everyone in anyway possible.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I believe that my writing is different from others because I like to touch on situations that are frustrating and difficult for people to read through. Oftentimes, I like to write about real-life scenarios that I know I’ve struggled through, that my friends have struggled through and my family has struggled through, and even though I’ve received criticisms about these types of plot lines because readers don’t want to see the narrator “beat a dead horse”, how many times do we do this in real life? I know it often takes more than one mistake for people to learn and change their bad habits. It’s uncomfortable and it makes the reader reflect on their own choices, but it should also show the readers just how much they’ve grown in life, and how EVERY SINGLE CHOICE you make in life ultimately alters the path your life takes. It was NOT easy for me to get where I am today. It’s still not easy. I attended college to get my English and Comparative Literature degree, and then followed up with three more years of a rough Master’s program to get my Master of Fine Arts in Fiction writing. I’ve received many criticisms when it comes to this path in my life because I do tend to have a thin-skin and have an emotional way of going through life. English majors tend not to make MILLIONS of dollars because they want to be penniless writers or inspirational teachers, and that is something that people often throw in my face. However, that has made me work even harder and pursue this passion even further. It’s important to surround yourself with people who support you through the easy times and the hard times, and that’s what I realized I needed to do. I asked my family to attend book readings and read rough drafts, despite how nervous I was about them reading my work. I found friends and a boyfriend who supported my dream, purchased my book, gave me honest feedback and encouraged me to continue writing because it’s an innate part of who I am. Along the way, I’ve learned that everyone is going to have an opinion. Some may have a positive opinion, some may have a negative opinion, but deep down, the only opinion that matters is the one in your own heart. It’s difficult to think that way and to ignore the judgement of others because writing is a subjective occupation, but if every writer thought that way, books would never get written. I want the world to know that I’m here to change the way people look at the coming of age story. It’s not about young kids growing up anymore. Coming of age now takes place in your early twenties. Society makes you believe that women are supposed to act, look and simply BE a certain way, and I’m challenging those stereotypes with my characters in my novels, specifically, with Roxanne Vaughn in the “Games We Play” series.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
The first place I would take my friend is the San Diego Zoo. THIS IS MY HAPPY PLACE. Upon first entering the park, the first thing I would do is drag my friend to the small cantina that’s to the left of the entrance where they sell the BEST frozen margaritas EVER. I mean, I know we have Old Town here in San Diego (and they do have the best Taco Tuesday deals), but there’s just something about drinking a frozen margarita – with an extra shot of tequila 😉 – while walking around in the summer sun amidst some of my favorite animals on this planet. I would take a picture with my friend on top of the lion statue that is to the right of the entrance, commemorating yet another fun day in San Diego. If my friend wanted to walk around, I would take her down the Tiger Trail where we would see the hippos, tigers and orangutans, and then make our way down to the Asian kitties and the pandas. If they wanted to chill and sip on our drinks, I would get on the bus, put on some sunscreen and listen to the corny jokes of the tour guide with a huge smile on my face. There’s just something about the Zoo that automatically puts me in a good mood, and I love sharing my happy place with anyone who wants to go with me.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to dedicate this shoutout to Shauna Casale. I met her through my job as a server, and she has been a bright ray of sunshine in my life ever since. She pushes me to be better. She urges me to work hard. She strives to be a better version of herself every single day and that inspires me to do the same. Although she’s only been in my life for a couple of months, she has seriously made such an impact on me and who I am. She doesn’t judge me for my short comings, but rather praises me for my strengths. She is a beacon of light to everyone she meets, encourages those around her to have faith in hope and love, and is one of the hardest working Arbonne consultants I’ve had the pleasure of becoming great friends with.