Kerry Cohen Dishes Dirty Little Secrets, An Excerpt & More!
Kerry continues to amaze me with her honest, bold and riveting memoirs. It’s simple. You can’t put Kerry’s books down. I fell in love with her writing style when I read Easy. Her books Seeing Ezra and Loose Girl have been runaway hits. Dirty Little Secrets is being released tomorrow and I am happy to have Kerry here on Laurasmagicday to celebrate!
L.A.H.E : What book did you fall in love with as a teenager?
Carson McCuller’s The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. Simply put, it was the first book I’d ever read in which I could deeply identify with the feelings of the protagonist. I found myself inside it. It was when I knew I wanted to do the same for people someday.
L.A.H.E. : What’s one of your favorite scenes from Dirty Little Secrets?
Well, as you know, Dirty Little Secrets isn’t really a story – rather, a series of girls’ stories. I think one of the more moving scenes for me is about the young woman who was raped during Hurricane Katrina. I often think of her.
L.A.H.E. : Who/what provides your greatest writing inspiration?
The girls and women (and some men) who write, or who I speak with through counseling, to tell me their own stories. No question. Also, other people’s excellent books.
L.A.H.E. : What struggles did you have to overcome in writing Dirty Little Secrets?
I sold Dirty Little Secrets as a proposal, and once it sold I froze. I thought, “Good God, now I have to write this?” I had a fantasy about what the book would be, but I realized when it came down to it I honestly didn’t think I’d be able to. My editor was amazingly supportive. I’d send her sorrowful emails saying things like, “Listen, I thought I could do this, but now I’m not so sure,” and she’d write back, “There is no doubt in my mind you’ll do this. It’s going to be awesome!” Ha. She somehow made me believe her. I don’t know to this day how she did that. I’m not kidding – I still don’t know how I got that book done.
L.A.H.E. : Who would be cast in the movie of your book?
I like to imagine Loose Girl, my memoir of the same theme, which inspired Dirty Little Secrets, as the movie….but I have no idea about cast because I don’t know any young actresses anymore. I haven’t watched a movie in ages since having children. I’d definitely want some hot men in it though.
L.A.H.E. : Do you have any advice for new writers?
Write a lot. Read a lot. Build a practice for yourself. Think of yourself as a writer. But also understand that you have to pay your dues, that it’s an awful struggle, and you should definitely not do it unless you absolutely have to.
L.A.H.E. : What are you working on now? Can you share a blurb from your new book?
I’m working on my first adult novel….
Here is my favorite paragraph so far. Makes me nervous to share here!
This is when the dead animals came. I found them by the back sliding doors, by the edge of the trail heading to the lake, on the front walkway. Most were field mice, their tiny rounded bodies still, eyes closed, blood in their ears or mouths. Twice I found coiled garden snakes. And once, in the middle of the yard, a chipmunk, its head eaten halfway through, dried blood clotted on its fur. I was afraid I would find Hannah Reid next, curled and naked in a pool of blood. I was afraid that all things would slowly die or go missing in this town, and would somehow be returned, a bloody, lifeless rebuke.
L.A.H.E. : What fuel flavors your prose? [chips, popcorn, chocolate, etc....]
Percocet. No, I’m kidding. Just coffee, I guess.
L.A.H.E. : If you could take a trip anywhere in the world, where would you most like to go?
That’s a hard one! I think Spain. Or South America. Somewhere warm and beachy and where they speak Spanish
In the provocative hit memoir Loose Girl, Kerry Cohen explored her own promiscuity with brutal candor and stunning clarity. Dirty Little Secrets is the eye-opening follow-up readers have been clamoring for, a riveting look at today’s adolescent girls who use sex as a means to prove their worth. Cohen lays bare the hard truths about this dangerous life that reveals itself in girls you wouldn’t expect and in ways you might not see – and that can seriously damage and hurt these girls. Featuring stories from self-admitted loose girls across the country, Dirty Little Secrets is an unforgettable wake-up call for our culture, ourselves, and our vulnerable daughters.
For everyone who was that girl.For everyone who knew that girl.For everyone who wondered who that girl was.Kerry Cohen is eleven years old when she recognizes the power of her body in the leer of a grown man. Her parents are recently divorced and it doesn’t take long before their lassitude and Kerry’s desire to stand out—to be memorable in some way—combine to lead her down a path she knows she shouldn’t take. Kerry wanted attention. She wanted love. But not really understanding what love was, not really knowing how to get it, she reached for sex instead.
Loose Girl is Kerry Cohen’s captivating memoir about her descent into promiscuity and how she gradually found her way toward real intimacy. The story of addiction—not just to sex, but to male attention—Loose Girl is also the story of a young girl who came to believe that boys and men could give her life meaning. It didn’t matter who he was. It was their movement that mattered, their being together. And for a while, that was enough.
Thanks for sharing your excerpt Kerry! Looking forward to reading your adult novel.