Lisa Jey Davis is an award-winning writer, blogger, author, and a fitness expert & health enthusiast. Her newest book “Ms. Cheevious in Hollywood – My Zany Years Spent Working in Tinsel Town” is due in February, 2015 and offers a peek behind the scenes in Hollywood and humorous tales from the life of a newly divorced single mom. As the editor in [Mis] Chief at MsCheevious.com Lisa Jey “brings the funny” about life, love & dating. In the fitness & health realm, Lisa Jey has appeared on The Doctors TV show and the CW in LA (among others). She is a health & a fitness contributor for LiveStrong.com and blogs for the Huffington Post. Lisa Jey resides in Santa Monica, California. She loves the beach.
Interview with Lisa Jey Davis author of MsCheevious In Hollywood. 01/30/2015
What is your current release and (without spoilers) tell us about the new book or series.
FROM THE BACK OF THE BOOK: When Lisa Jey Davis (aka Ms. Cheevious) decides to tell her story of working in television as a single mom in Tinsel Town, she does it with loads of mischief, a ton of chocolate and an ounce of vodka. If you found yourself face-to-face with a very handsome and famous a-list actor, smiling and shaking your hand back stage, or you snubbed a flirtation from the lead singer of the hottest band in the U.S., not knowing it was him – you might just do the same. Welcome to the world of Ms. Cheevious. A world where nothing is sacred or predictable. In Ms. Cheeviousland, life is a farce – at least when it’s not so damn serious. In this hilarious compilation of stories, Lisa Jey navigates the minefield of her past for tales from her divorce (which unleashed her on an unsuspecting Hollywood), her family, relationships and an enviable turn working in television. Whether she’s hiding from an interested suitor in a Vegas casino, her son is mistaken for a homeless guy, her best friend is forced to scrub in to help choose her boobs’ implant size, or she’s so tipsy, even a strip club turns her away, Lisa Jey always seems to get herself into the most ridiculous situations. The innocent mistakes she makes, even when launched into the big, bad, single Jungle in the City of Angels, are laced with tales of a beautiful bond with her two boys and tender lessons for all single moms gone a little wild. Ms. Cheevious in Hollywood – My Zany Years Spent Working in Tinsel Town showcases the razor-sharp wit, frankness, and delicious turns of phrase that have made Lisa Jey Davis the one and only Ms. Cheevious.
What is the usual process for your writing? Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I am a little of both! For this book, I plotted, outlined, planned, and took almost 9 years to finish it! Another book I’m almost finished with started because of a funny couple of videos I posted on youtube, and I was able to sit and type it over the course of a few days. It was magical to be able to get that content out in that way!
Well, I write non-fiction (as of yet), so my writing depends on what I am writing. If it is health and fitness related (which I write often) and requires research, I start there, and piece together the content based on my findings. If it’s experiential (which I also write on my blogs at MsCheevious.com and at LisaJeyDavis.com), I start with an idea and begin writing based on the Muse and where it takes me. More often than not, I visit some of my favorite blogger’s posts, or well-written websites to spark a certain tone or get me going in a given direction, because I am all about “the funny.” If a blog post or article I write for MsCheevious.com doesn’t make me laugh in some way, it’s not post-worthy (in most cases). I am always inspired and motivated by truly well-written (particularly witty) content.
Are you a full time writer? If so when did you make the decision and what factors led to the decision. If you are not a full time writer…Is your plan to one day being a full time writer?
Wow! For me, the answer to this is complex, with lots of moving parts. I suppose I could be called a full-time writer. I was a publicist by profession and owned my own marketing and public relations firm. I’d been writing this book, “Ms. Cheevious in Hollywood” for many years (started in 2005), but life kept getting in the way. My career took precedence. Then, when I underwent some life-changing surgeries because of my genetic mutation putting me at considerably higher risk of breast and ovarian cancer (than the general population). I made the decision to go on hiatus from PR and, because I’d coincidentally become a certified fitness instructor (I’ve always been involved in and interested in health and fitness), I shifted gears, simplified my life to accommodate lower income and started teaching fitness classes for a base income, so I could concentrate on writing. Now I also write for other websites, professionally, as a health and fitness pro… so it’s been a good move!
I rarely say, “Today I am writing” these days, because my current book is finished, and the upcoming one is almost finished, but will wait until the current one is launched and released. But generally, if I get inspired about a topic I am writing about, I sit down to jot some things down. But if I were to add up the amount of time I sit and write, creatively, I’d have to say it comes in chunks, and when I’m doing it, it’s all day long (for the most part). Does that help? Ha ha! I pride myself on being flexible and doing things when they must be done… and that’s pretty much how I approach my writing. If/when I sit down to write a novel, I know that will most certainly change, and I’ll probably schedule a few hours a day to sit down and write something… anything… But that time is not now.
Can you tell us about your publishing experience? Are you Indie, Traditional, or do a bit of both?
I was all set to publish everything I owned independently, because although my book Ms. Cheevious in Hollywood – My Zany Years Spent Working in Tinsel Town won BEST UNPUBLISHED MANUSCRIPT at NY Book Festival in 2007, I still was unable to acquire representation or garner publisher interest. Then, when I started to write and talk about another book a couple of years ago (a witty, post-surgery book now titled “Orchids, the New Black: How to Get Over Your Ovaries and Make ‘The Change of Life’ Your BITCH”), I got some interest from a literary agent, who signed me. She was unsuccessful in selling that book, so I am currently publishing everything on my own unless something miraculous happens (don’t doubt it!). But I am very happy with my decision!
Everyone likes to know where an author gets their ideas from, but what I want to know is what is the strangest thing to inspire one of your stories?
OH.MY.GOD. Have you read the Ms. Cheevious blog? Some of my stories are extremely strange, funny, and crazy… Most of the time the inspiration comes while sitting around (usually with a glass of wine in hand) with friends, laughing and making jokes about life and love. Some of my ideas are way out there, and if you don’t follow the blog weekly, you could seriously miss something. But it’s all fun and interesting. One of the oddest, but still funny posts was from this past Thanksgiving. My beau and a good girlfriend of ours were having some pre-Thanksgiving dinner. (Our friend is one of those quintessential “Burning Man” people, who loves to wear costumes and feathers and such to events. She is a hoot). We had some wine and were talking about the upcoming holidays. The conversation meandered to the subject of ice-skating at an annual outdoor rink in Santa Monica, and we all decided we would go this year, but that we would dress up with funny hats or something when we do. I said to my friend “I have wigs! We could do wigs! I’ll show you” – – and thus the Pulp Fiction Thanksgiving post was born and the wigs came out.
A book release event in San Diego and possibly in Los Angeles are in the early planning stages, so there are no dates or information to share about those as of yet. I have no in-person appearances planned as of yet, but be on the lookout for radio and other interviews on the web, as well as in the mainstream media! Fingers crossed!
As an author, what inspiration or advice would you give to a writer who is working to make the transition to Author?
Write every day that you possibly can. Even if you think you are capable of writing something really great… the greatness comes in the writing and in LOTS OF IT. And…. NEVER.GIVE.UP.
Who is your favorite author? Tell us what makes this author stand out in your mind, and what book would you recommend to someone new to that author?
Oh – I hate that question. I love authors of all types and genres. There are far too many… It’s like asking my favorite quote. I used a quote at the front of Ms. Cheevious by Louisa May Alcott “I’m not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship” but I wanted to use several, so at the end of the book, I provided a slew of other quotes that inspire me. It’s so difficult. I think that is why author Cheryl Strayed used two quotes at the beginning of each chapter of her book “Wild”! I really can’t name just one author, and to start to list them here would not be truly representative of who I love, because my favorites change like the wind. I love certain authors for certain subject matter and others for their own niche… Sorry, I can’t give you more!
Also check out Lisa’s segment on “The Doctors” for important information on the BRCA2 gene and her own journey (similar to Angelina Jolie’s).