Jill Kargman, creator and star of Bravo’s Odd Mom Out, has been called the Edith Wharton of contemporary Manhattan, specifically the Upper East Side. She’s a best-selling novelist with a sharp wit that is evident in her newest book of humorous essays, Sprinkle Glitter on My Grave: Observations, Rants and Other Uplifting Thoughts About Life. From bothersome behaviors to musings that keep her awake at night, Kargman puts it all on the table in her own unique, uproarious delivery. Get to know Jill as she answers questions about her latest book, the demands of television and life on the Upper East Side.
Between the Covers: Sprinkle Glitter on My Grave is absolutely hilarious and one of my favorite books of the year. How difficult is it to get your snarky voice on the page?
Jill Kargman: I basically just write like I talk! My dad told me to do that ages ago so it's really like breathing to me.
BTC: This book, complete with your doodles, seems almost like a diary or journal. How did it come about?
JK: I actually had a template from my last nonfiction book, Sometimes I Feel Like a Nut so I essentially redid that format but with new anecdotes, lists and rants.
BTC: The title is perfect and I believe your daughter is responsible for it. How else did your family influence this book?
JK: Yes! Ivy came up with it ’cause she thought flowers, which die quickly, are depressing in graveyards so she is going to sprinkle glitter on my grave because it's hard to clean up. My brother, mom, dad, husband and other two kids Sadie and Fletch plus my former sister-in-law forever friend Drew. Everyone in my life is part of my humor and my five bridesmaids 15 years ago are still my sisters.
BTC: I think the reason I love Sprinkle Glitter on My Grave is the many common irks we share, including the thunderous applause for certain dead celebrities at awards ceremony’s death roll calls which makes my blood boil! Sharing what’s in your head helps some of your readers know we aren’t alone, but how do the people/groups you are making fun of, especially the Upper East Siders, react to you and your writing?
JK: They weirdly don't care and always think it's other people — which it is, since no one thinks she's a bad mom or spends too much or hears herself when she does a humble brag. ("Ugh the traffic to Teterboro was a nightmare!")
BTC: Describe your writing process. Do you write every day? Do you have a go-to snack or beverage while writing?
JK: I have a huge iced coffee and work out and shower, then get an omelet, then work. I usually have two main meals a day so I'll work ’til my kids get home so like four hours — I can't be funny after that!
BTC: You finished college (Yale no less!) in three years, started your first job as a writer at age 20 at Interview magazine and had your first novel published at 27. To achieve such success at such a young age must have been a heady experience. How did your career and life experiences during your 20s shape your writing today?
JK: I was miz at Interview — the worst two years — I was basically a secretary BUT I got to write a ton of little articles and some features so it was all worth it but at the time I had NO idea how it would pay off. But each job was such a stepping stone including being berated by [jerks] because it built a crocodile skin and [lots] of appreciation for the people I love and observational skills.
BTC: Your hit Bravo show, Odd Mom Out, is now in its second season and it’s even better than the first. What is it like being the creator, producer and star of a hit television show and how has it impacted your life as a writer, wife and mom?
JK: I LOVE IT! It's been the most fun I've ever had. When my kids were little (I had three kids in five years) I thought I was losing my mind and needed to be alone and write my books which was like therapy. But now they're older so writing Sprinkle Glitter on My Grave was actually isolating so I was so psyched to get back into the writers room for Odd Mom Out where we laugh all day as a group.
BTC: Favorite episode?
JK: The ODD Couple, episode 205.
BTC: Our readers love reading! Can you share what you are reading now?
JK: The September issue of Vogue.
BTC: Favorite book of the year?
JK: A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara.
BTC: Favorite book as a child?
JK: Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume.
BTC: Any memories of hijinks in libraries?
JK: Uh....you don't want to know. Rated X. The stacks at Yale are legendary. ;)
BTC: You have so much on your plate, but what can we expect next?
JK: I'm doing a show at The Carlyle in January of 2017 called “Stairway to Cabaret,” which is heavy metal covers at the piano with standup. Come up to NYC and say hi!!!
Thanks for doing this! I love Baltimore! XOJK