20Q with Jeanne Veillette Bowerman

Mar 9, 2020 by

Twenty things you (probably) didn’t know about Script Magazine Editor-in-Chief, Jeanne Veillette Bowerman.

1. My first job was… working for New York State Dog Licensing Bureau. I was tasked with filing licenses for deceased dogs, complete with reading the tear-stained letters from their owners when they mailed back the license tags. Yes, feel free to use that occupation for one of your depressed characters.

2. If I wasn’t a writer, I would likely be… a contractor, flipping houses. I love construction, building, creating. In fact, when I got married, my registry wasn’t at Macy’s, it was at True Value. I wanted tools. Every tool I could get my hands on.

3. I collect… I grew up with a mother who collects antiques. Buildings and buildings of antiques. So, I tend not to collect anything, except for story ideas and a little bit of writer anxiety.

4. My favorite word is… nonetheless.

5. I’m a big fan of… paying it forward.

6. The single best piece of (writing related) advice I have ever gotten… don’t try to write like someone else. Write with the “door of judgement” shut and trust your own voice.

7. I have always wanted to… go to Bora Bora.

8. The best thing I have ever read, (but did not write) is… Joan Didion’s “The Year of Magical Thinking,” not because it was well written, but because it was so honest and brave. She wrote the book in, I believe 88 days, just after her husband quite literally dropped dead at the dining room table. Her raw, disjointed, chaotic recount of navigating her grief and surviving her monumental loss was gut-wrenching and real.

9. People often tell me that I… take on waaaaaay too much. That is 100% accurate.

10. I really think that my best work (published or not) is… the 10-hour limited series of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Slavery by Another Name. But, believe it or not, after writing that, I was so emotionally drained from the subject matter that I wrote an erotica novel – the first in a series. I haven’t pitched it to publishers yet, but it was damn fun to write!

11. I find inspiration in… people’s flaws.

12. The best thing about being a professional writer is… wearing pajamas all day long.

13. I spend way too much time… solving other people’s problems.

14. The smartest person in my cell phone is… my writing partner who is a Navy veteran, website genius, overall bad ass, and a dark-as-hell motherfucker who would bury a body for me and not ask any questions.

15. It really bothers me when… people are lazy and don’t just use Google search.

16. The worst thing about being a professional writer is… the hustle for money, which means the need for a day job, which means less time to write.

17. One mistake that most aspiring writers make is… getting defensive about feedback and/or sending their work out too early. You have one chance at a first impression. Don’t blow it.

18. If I knew the apocalypse was coming in 24 hours, I’d… get my kids home, hug them, share our memories, and eat all the chocolate we could get our hands on.

19. The three websites I visit most often are… Obviously, scriptmag.com, Library of Congress for research, and since I’m looking to expand into writing both novels and screenplays, Jane Friedman’s site is solidly bookmarked.

20. You’d be surprised to know that I… am a 3rd degree black belt.

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