About Jenna McCarthy
I am an internationally published writer and the author of If It Was Easy They'd Call the Whole Damn Thing a Honeymoon: Living With and Loving the TV-Addicted, Sex-Obsessed, Not-So-Handy Man You Married. (Please note that it says right there the man you married, not the one I married. Ahem.) My past books include The Parent Trip: From High Heels and Parties to Highchairs and Potties and Cheers to the New Mom/Cheers to the New Dad, as well as the upcoming companion books Big Rigs for Moms and Tea Parties for Dads. Over the past twenty years my work has appeared in more than fifty magazines, on dozens of websites and in several anthologies including the popular Chicken Soup series (for which I was never paid but I’m not bitter because I have met Jack Canfield in person and he is very lovely and I am sure it was just an oversight).
Although I have grown to feel like a native California girl, I was born in New York and raised in Florida. Thirteen years of overpriced private schooling paid off when I was admitted to the prestigious Florida State University. Industrious by nature, I went to class nearly every time it was too hot or overcast to lay by the pool. (I suffered from horrible tanorexia in the ’80s. Honestly, I’m lucky it didn’t kill me.) Ultimately I earned a degree in advertising with a minor in French studies, the latter of which comes in extremely handy when I am craving a croissant or someone wonders aloud what the hell that catchy little ditty Alouette is all about. (A bird. Specifically, the sick songwriter’s intent to mercilessly pluck a poor, innocent skylark until it is nothing but a bloody torso. But I digress.)
I worked for a bit in advertising sales before landing a job as a copywriter at one of the largest ad agencies in the Southeast. A painful lay-off on my twenty-fifth birthday launched an accidental freelance writing career, not to mention a nasty hangover.
Although Sex and the City wasn’t even a column yet (let alone a TV show), I yearned to work in the glamorous world of magazines and managed to secure an interview at Seventeen. Dressed in head-to-toe white, I obviously stood out in Manhattan’s sea of black and was offered a staff writing position, which I accepted without having the vaguest idea of my salary.
I spent several years analyzing the pubescent male psyche and pushing gruesome prom dresses before moving to Mademoiselle — which is now defunct, although I am almost positive this has nothing to do with me. At Mademoiselle I enjoyed the privilege of sharing an elevator with well-known, skeletal supermodels and legendary publishing icons on a daily basis. (I would like to point out that amazingly, I managed not to develop an eating disorder or allow my obsessive-compulsive tendencies to morph into destructive habits during this time.) Eventually New York’s relentless winters, smelly and unreliable subways and one particularly aggressive panhandler got to me. On a whim I traded in my wardrobe of black suits for a bikini and relocated to Los Angeles, where I became an editor for Shape magazine. In my exhaustive free time I continued to serve as a west coast editor for Mademoiselle. When I had settled into a comfortable California routine—perhaps intoxicated by the balmy Pacific breezes—I let the urge to work in my pajamas overtake me and embarked on a full-time freelance career.
Over the next ten years, my byline would appear in an array of national and international magazines and on dozens of web sites. I met and married a wonderful man who convinced me to move to Santa Barbara, home of the "newlywed and nearly dead." During one two-year period of possible insanity, I decided to capitalize on my insomnia and accepted a position as co-host of Santa Barbara’s top-rated morning radio show. When I wasn’t busy embarrassing my husband by broadcasting the details of our every disagreement to our tight-knit community, I continued to write and also managed to get pregnant. After pumping breast milk on the air, I felt I had achieved my broadcast dreams and returned to writing exclusively.
Another pregnancy and many more articles ensued before I turned to writing books. I continue to live in and humiliate my husband from Santa Barbara. We have two beautiful daughters who can now read, so they’ve been blocked from my website until they are twenty-five.