Jillian Medoff Recommends...

“I write from rage. White-hot. Electrified. Deadly. You? People are shocked when I tell them. But you’re so… So what? Even-tempered? Motherly? Professional? I am, I am, but beneath the affable corporate face is a blistering fury that fuels my fiction. As a younger writer, damaged by childhood violence, my anger was easily triggered; it was also unbridled. I’d create chaos in real life—quit my job, dump some guy—then rebuild on the page, ruins be damned. Since then, my rage has been dissected, so although it still exists, it’s muted and harder to access, to whip into service. (Also, the stakes are higher; if I set the house on fire, I don’t burn alone.) On the plus side, I have zero tolerance for injustice; so now, before I start to work, I peruse news stories about people whose lives have been ravaged by crime, poverty, racism, and craven politicians. I read about victims of bent judges, corrupt drug companies, and wicked CEOs. I read prison exposes (Newjack: Guarding Sing Sing by Ted Conover and Blood in the Water by Heather Ann Thompson), survivor stories (A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard and Hunger by Roxane Gay), and Holocaust memoirs (Survival in Auschwitz by Primo Levi) and I cry, and I rage and I rage and I rage. By tapping into my young, unbridled self, I’m ready to write.”
—Jillian Medoff, author of This Could Hurt (Harper, 2018)

Photo credit: Nina Subin