Monday, May 5, 2008

Down the Shore with...Trish Ryan

Trish Ryan is one of those people I found out about because of my blog. She's a former Villanova law student-turned-memorist who has a lot of memories of the Jersey shore. Her first book, He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not, just came out (my review is here), so I asked her about the shore, the book, and, of course, Upcakes.

1. What do you consider your shore town and why?
Avalon. I rented a house there one summer when I was in law school with 11 of my girlfriends. For those three months, it was my salvation...I spent every week counting the minutes until I could leave the office on Friday afternoons!

2. Did you know about 'the shore' before you went to Villanova Law?
I didn't! When I got my welcome letter from the head of the VLS Student Association, it said, "I hope you're all having a great summer down the shore..." I thought, "Pennsylvania doesn't have a shore...does it???" I had no idea about this integral part of Philadelphia life.

3. What surprised you most about it?
That people started planning for their shore houses right after Christmas!

4. What's your favorite shore food?
That particular summer, I think my favorite food was beer :) But if I went back now (as a more mature, much less stressed out individual) it would definitely be upcakes!

5. What's your thoughts on upcakes?
First, why has nobody thought of these sooner? And how do they make the Irish Creme upcake taste just like a chocolate martini?

6. Where did the idea for your book come from?
When I was trying to sort out my love life and my spirituality, I read all kinds of self-help books and memoirs, but never one by someone who tried the Bible as a spiritual path. Also, there weren't many that had a happy ending. I guess I wrote the book I would have liked to find back when I needed some encouragement that might life might turn out okay.

7. Tell us a little more about how the book went from idea to actual book.
I emailed my agent, Elisabeth Weed, with a query letter that essentially said, "I've got this quirky story about how Jesus saved my love life. I don't want to convert anybody, but I think it might be a fun, funny story that readers would enjoy if it's written in the right way. Would you be interested in helping me do that?" She had just had lunch with an editor who'd said, "I'm looking for an unusual story about spiritual exploration...keep me in mind if you hear of anything." After that, it all fell into place.

8. Have any of your ex's contacted you yet?
Just one...he was quite relieved to know that he's not in the book!

9. And what's the leading name for the frog on the cover of your book?
Right now I'm torn between Roger and Hubert...but the suggestions keep coming in on my blog, so I'll wait a few more days before making such an important decision!


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1 comment:

KerriFOX said...

Jen-- love your blog, and would love to put some of your shore posts on Thanks for offering! As I write this I'm wearing an Ocean City longsleeve t, but when I'm without my little guy (3 year old son) I head straight for Avalon. Let's talk shore!!!!!