Tag Archives: Jillian Conley

Bad Ass Babes: Jillian Conley Dishes on Sex, Love & Timing

c177f2_450bf14e27824953995ec731a4e3cc27.jpg_srz_234_352_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srz“My career is where it is because of the lessons I’ve learned. I failed English and that inspired me to become a writer. I failed a relationship and that inspired me to write about love, dating, timing and sex,” said author Jillian Conley as we sat at Rise Sushi, sipping on pinot grigio, shaking off the fall chill.

And write about those things she did. In her latest book, Loving Mr. Wright, Conley wraps up the novella series of Audrey Buchanan, a spunky woman who’s on the search for love.

Failing high school freshman English was a true turning point in Conley’s life. When she returned sophomore year, Conley had determination that turned into passion. “We had to read The Great Gatsby, and I decided I was going to actually read it–not just use the Cliffs Notes,” Conley said. She wore her signature black beanie cap over her long, chestnut hair. Her eyes smiled as she talked. “I absolutely fell in love with the book. There’s something about Fitzgerald’s writing and that twisted love story. And that’s when I thought, ‘I want to write something like that.'”

Conley’s Love, Sex, & Timing series could be described as twisted, but it’s more the journey of Audrey Buchanan–and her racey details–that have created such a loyal fan base.

“Audrey represents a lot of me. And so I didn’t want the series to end, which made me a hot mess finishing the book,” she says, laughing. “But I’m very confident in the ending I chose. Some fans weren’t thrilled with it. But I wanted to really let go. And give a happy ending…with a twist.”

Such a literary decision makes sense, as it reflects Conley’s own journey–one of twists and turns but ultimately leading to a life she’s carved out on her own. After working at a nine-to-five job right from college, Conley chose to make a go as a writer and published her first book, Maid of Honor. Shortly thereafter, she got into a serious relationship, which took away from her focus on writing, as she put all of her energy into building her boyfriend’s company.

“I realized I was getting depressed because all I was doing was living his dream,” she said. “Our relationship ended, and I wrote Dating Chase Walker in just over a month.”

She paused, clearly deep in memories from a lifetime ago. “I allowed myself to get lost in his world. And I think women do that a lot and they don’t realize it’s going to be the demise of the relationship.”

It’s lessons like these that Conley credits to her success. In addition to her success as an author, Conley is also the co-host of Social Chicago, a show that features the restaurants, fashion and culture of Chicago. After a solid run this past year, the show was picked up by the FAD Channel, with a scheduled December debut and national launch in early 2015.

“Our goal is to show those true Midwestern values and really bring that sweet home Chicago feel to the show,” Conley said. Between Conley and co-host Jeff Conway, the show is certain to capture that. The two have a reputation for being some of the nicest people in Chicago media.

“I wouldn’t be where I am today if I wasn’t working with Jeff. He’s so incredible. Such a professional and the most patient man you’ll ever meet,” Conley said.

But Conley’s endeavors don’t stop there. In November, she and fellow writer Ana Fernatt launched HerMonthly, a radio show dedicated to talking about “all things women.” Conley makes it very clear that the atmosphere is casual and the topics are random. “We want it to be a girl sitting at home in her bathtub, having a glass of wine and laughing with us.”

So what’s next for the multi-talented Jillian Conley?

“Everything I do is because of writing. It all comes back to that,” Conley said. She took a deep breath, “So that’s what will lead me.”

 

For a chance to win an autographed Jillian Conley series, click on the following link: Autographed Set of Sex, Love & Timing by Jillian Conely

Loving Mr. Wright can be purchased at Amazon.com.

Be sure to check out HerMonthly radio show, which airs every third Monday of the month from 8:00-10:00 P.M.


Bullet Point Tuesday: Singles Awareness Month

kraft-singlesSo last week I was walking down Halsted on my way to one of my fave bars–Marquee–and right at the Halsted and Armitage intersection, I saw this guy on his bike totally get nailed by a car.

Naturally, I did what anyone in my situation would do. I checked his left hand for a wedding band.

He didn’t have one, so it was game on.

So I get this guy and his bike out of the street–you know, like a lady–and we’re sitting on the curb and it’s totally first date conversation. I’m like, “How many how fingers am I holding up?…Do you know where you are?….What’s the last thing you remember?”

It. Was. Magical.

Aaaaaaand then his girlfriend showed up. Who was non-too-pleased to find me soothingly rubbing her boyfriend’s back as she came upon the scene. But as soon I realized what was going on, I put an appropriate amount of distance between her man and me, even putting my arms up like I was being arrested as if to say, “I’m sorry, girl. I didn’t know. He didn’t have a band.” (Which is something sister friend might want to work on….)

It’s so weird–the wedding band thing. Because I’ve realized that when I’m out in the real world, I’ll look at a guy’s left hand before I even look at his face.

I wasn’t always this way, though–hunting for bare left ring fingers with the type of dedication reserved for Nordstrom Rack deals and bars that have Brooklyn Brown Ale on tap. I noticed that this behavior only recently picked up in the last month or so, and I couldn’t quite pin point why.

Then I read author and co-host of SoChi, Jillian Conley’s, blog post from last week, in which she described this as a time when men and women instinctively look for a partner. It’s something Jillian refers to as the “rutting period.”

Ooohhhhhhhhhhhh. So THAT’S why I restarted my OkCupid profile and put on make up to go to Trader Joe’s. I, apparently, am also on the fall hunt.

See, being single during the holidays is never something that’s bothered me. There’s so much joy and fun and alcohol from Thanksgiving to New Year’s that I don’t take note of not having a plus one while mowing down on Aunt Chele’s homemade chicken wings. The same goes for January through March, since I don’t leave the house or put on make up. And we all know that spring and summer in Chicago is one, long bender season. Who has time to be locked down?

It’s this interim time, when summer sets and fall begins, that I think we feel our soloness hit.

The other day I grabbed coffee with a girlfriend I hadn’t seen in over a month. Her first question for me was, “So–anything new on the dating front?”

This question annoyed me for two reasons: 1. I’m pretty sure my blog serves as a weekly newsletter on this exact subject. 2. It’s the one time of the year that this question feels like a sucker punch.

So since this is a critical time for your local singles, I’ve made a list of DOs and DON’Ts (and things you can request if you’re one such single) in honor of Singles Awareness Month:

Singles Awareness Month DOs and DON’Ts

  • DO NOT SEND THEM FLOWERS. Your local single will think it’s from a romantic connection, only to read the card and learn that yay, my friends pity me, and drown him or herself in Chips Ahoy and a bottle of wine. Hypothetically speaking, of course.
  • DO send them take out food. There’s nothing we love more than food in…especially when we don’t have to pay for it. [Note: This single in particular loves Pequods pizza, thin crust, extra sauce, Canadian bacon, and basil.]
  • DON’T ask them to go to one of those places where you paint pottery/canvas and drink wine. Just. Don’t.
  • DO ask them to go to places and just drink.
  • DON’T flag down a cute guy or girl at a bar, and say, “Oops, I have to go now. Ok, you two talk.”
  • DON’T send inspirational quotes found on Pinterest about love. Unless you want to be ruthlessly made fun of by singles everywhere. Behind your back, of course. We have manners.
  • DON’T let them walk out of the house pulling something like this: (And expect a completely irrational fight about it.)

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  • DO support them in whatever odd endeavor he or she has recently picked up. (i.e. knitting, beer brewing, blogging,* Ancestry.com, leaf collecting, bowling league, taxidermy, or Sims).

If you don’t have the time to dedicate, singles will also accept donations. Most in the form of ChasePay.

*Yes, I see the coincidence in that this blog was born and then reborn from my singledom. You’re welcome.