An Outrageous Dating Adventure

Jennifer Lieberman
Jennifer Lieberman Author Interview

Year of the What? follows a young woman who’s newly single and sets out to discover who she is meant to be. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

The story for “Year of the What” began as a theatrical piece of writing loosely based on my life in my early 20’s when I was living in New York City following my first major heartbreak. When I first moved to Los Angeles I developed a solo-show to showcase my acting rage and writing ability. The story started off with my personal experiences and then I took many liberties in order to develop a cohesive story arc and a range of 10 hilarious characters to show how I could seamlessly flip back and forth between different accents, genders and ages. After the show gained some notoriety in New York City a colleague suggested I adapt the play into a novel. Once I dove into working on the novel the piece took on an entire life of its own; without the restrictions of a stage performance, the story could go anywhere so I decided to create an outrageous dating adventure of sexual and self discovery.

Dana is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind her character’s development?

I feel like Dana embodies the characteristics of so many young women trying to find their identity and their place in the world. First there is the insecurities and lack of self-esteem in a world where it’s simply impossible to live up to the beauty standards set out by the media, the inward judgments of never feeling enough, and the universal desire for love and acceptance. Although Dana starts off quite naïve, she learns that she is more judgmental about herself than anyone else would ever be towards her. This is a recurring theme I’ve seen both in my life and with many of my friends. It’s amazing how many things “we think we know” before we have gained the life experience to back up our opinions, I was also able to show this through Dana’s evolution and internal dialogue.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Some of the themes I wanted to explore in this book were female empowerment and positive sexuality for women. The original title of this book (an title of the stage play) “Year of the Slut” was meant to be provocative as the story deconstructs a word that is weaponized against young women regardless of their actions. Calling a woman a slut is an easy attack, but what does it even mean? I feel like society discourages teenagers from having sex (understandably so), yet we never re-visit the topic of sexual health with women in their twenties and that a healthy sex life and sexual desires doesn’t make the woman a freak or a bad person, is completely normal for adult women. I used the character of Kelly the dominatrix, who lives on the opposite end of the sexual spectrum from Dana to help reframe our protagonist’s point of view.

The next theme I wanted to explore was a loving and supportive friendship between two women where they were unconditionally supportive of each other with zero competition, but still didn’t hold back from difficult and honest exchanges.

Lastly, I wanted to show the evolution of a character who was so focused on falling in love that she kept putting her own needs aside, because this is something so many young women do in order to please their partner, myself included, when we don’t have the confidence to assert ourselves in fear of being rejected. Dana ultimately realizes that until she is able to love herself and her flaws she will never have the confidence to be in the relationship she dreams of.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

My next book is Book #2 in the “Year of the What?” series: ‘Year of the Bitch’. In this book Dana’s journey towards love and success continues. In the vein of the first book, I am deconstructing another word that is used as a weapon against women as they mature and become more assertive both in life and in the workplace. This book has an expected release date of late 2022/early 2023.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Year of the WHAT? is a romantic comedy that follows heartbroken and lonely 25-year-old Dana, who is six months off her first break-up and living the single life in New York City. A virgin once removed, she’s insecure and on the hunt for the one. Dana has only been with one man and hasn’t given herself a chance to explore her own curiosity. She feels ashamed of her desires, and keeps trying to squash them in order to be a ‘good girl’. Her roommate, Kelly, on the other hand, has none of Dana’s hang-ups. Kelly is unabashedly promiscuous, with an off the charts IQ and a full ride to NYU. But Kelly can’t stand the monotony of school, so she drops out to become a dominatrix and pursue an alternative lifestyle where she makes ‘lawyer money’ working in a dungeon in Chelsea. After months of searching in vain for Mr. Right, Kelly’s lust for life and insatiable quest for adventure finally rub off…Dana embarks on an outrageous adventure of sexual discovery where she finds her inner power and confidence, all while taking charge of her erotic exploration. Through her exploits Dana realizes she will never find what she is looking for, until she finds herself.

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on November 11, 2021, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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