Los Angeles based Jen Parker has spent more time on stage than she has in the literary world – but that hasn’t stopped her from making a splash with the ironically named A MEH LIFE CRISIS – because, as any reader will agree, this great new book is anything but boring.
Parker has always been creative, but it’s only recently that she’s turned to telling stories through the more intimate pages of a book as well as on the stage and screen.
For more than a decade and a half, L.A residents and tourists would find Jen performing sketch comedy – and before that she was a fixture on the city’s globally known improv scene.
Her sense of humor is apparent even in her author’s bio, where, it says, “She has appeared as a regular on shows with “many fancy celebrities” as she puts it with a smile – (ACME/Hollywood Saturday Night was a weekly sketch show w/ guest stars; Scandal Crest was an improvised soap opera with soap stars) . She contributed various jokes to a company that made greeting cards, some of which were even used!”
Even if you haven’t seen Jen perform, you’ve likely seen her work – for years she has been a much respected teacher of improv, sharing her knowledge with students looking to learn with the best. And as her bio says, “Jen has helped make sitcoms funnier and wrote jokes for two video shorts for SNL (uncredited, but true).”
So after all this success on stage and screen, what is it that brought her to pen her first novel?
In a recent interview with The Table Read UK, Parker said, “I’ve been performing comedy in Los Angeles for 20 years and love to be on stage. I wanted to write a book so I could speak to more people directly and connect on a comedic level.”
Ultimately, it took 5 to 6 years to write. It started, she told the Table Read UK, when she was in a “post-breakup rut.” Everything bored her, and ultimately, she needed to do something. She almost feels like writing the book chose her, rather than the other way around (though she laughs, “Wow, who talks like that!?”
She was more used to writing “sketch comedy and punchy jokes,” than chapters, but she “had more to say,” and the novel seemed like the best form.
When Authority magazine asked her what’s coming next on the writing side, she said readers might have to wait a little while.
“Regarding writing, I don’t yet know what my next project is. I wrote the first book because I felt really compelled. That’s generally how I work- I go with my gut of what I feel like I absolutely HAVE to do next. It’s funny, because A Meh-Life Crisis is really a light, comedic read, but to write a book you have to face a lot of emotions head on, even if they don’t make it into the final draft.”
She told the Table Read UK that the book, while entertaining and funny, also has a message :
“What I wanted to say was “Hey, life can suck but you can change that and make it good. Probably not great, but pretty damn good.”
It turns out that the book that came out of it all, A MEH LIFE CRISIS, is not only pretty damn good – it’s actually a great all- year- round read – but if you’re looking for something to slip into your beach bag or to make the hours pass on the plane – this would be the one.
Amazon describes the book this way :
“Jane has gotten used to wading through life with zero goals and even less ambition. When her grandmother says that all she wants for her eightieth birthday is for Jane to track down a painting from her college days, it means she’ll have to re-join the art world she left behind and, even worse, find that bitch Ridgeley. Then again, Jane really could use an epic “hike the Appalachian Trail but still go to work”-type journey to get her off her butt. And she’s not the only one. Her best friend Elle (LGBTQ+) is sick of casual sex, longing to find “the one”, and (dare she say it?) ready to have kids. Jane’s big sister Christine is trying to balance a successful career, motherhood, and a possibly cheating husband who doesn’t even notice what her new workout is doing for her, though a junior associate seems to. Everything is just so…meh. At least, until these friends decide to do something about it and change their realities.”
Find it on Amazon at : https://www.amazon.com/Meh-Life-Crisis-Jen-Parker/dp/0578939525