Jessica Militante is a writer from San Jose, California. She is also one of the students in University College Cork’s 2019/2020 Creative Writing Master’s Program.
She has a poem in Ó Bhéal’s Five Words Volume XIII;
A short story in The Quarryman Volume VI;
An article about her Choctaw heritage and being the first recipient of the Choctaw Ireland Scholarship in Cork, Ireland’s newspaper The Echo;
And a feature in The Half Moon Festival (organized by students at University College Cork “to showcase new artistic partnerships, collaborations and events that cross art forms as well as revisiting collaborations and innovations that have forged new creative beginnings and connections between communities in the past”).
Starting today, she also has a BRAND NEW Summer Soap all about the perils of dating in the 21st century posted on The Echo Live. “In its fifth year, Summer Soap is a daily fictional serial run over 12 parts, which begins today and runs for a fortnight. Called Cork’s Quick Coupler, this story, set in the world of speed dating.”
I had the opportunity to read the full serial early because Jessie and I are friends and classmates.
[For Jessie Only: BEST FRIENDS uwu owo Miss you forever <3]
I even had the privilege and honor to ask the author herself about the serial, as well as writing in general.
This is what she had to say:
Bri: What made you want to write about dating?
Jessie: Dating is a mystery to me. Throughout high school and college, I was too focused on getting good grades, and was honestly a bit insecure, so I didn’t really date all that much. Then once I got out of school and I was no longer meeting new people through classes or clubs, I tried online dating…and hated it. I wanted to meet people more organically but felt like I missed my chance. So dating has always interested me because I truly don’t understand it.
Bri: What interested you about the dating scene in Cork, Ireland specifically?
Jessie: When I was in Cork, I saw an advertisement for speed-dating, which I didn’t realize people still did. I started thinking about what that might be like and the idea for this serial came from that.
Bri: What authors/stories inspired you in writing this story?
Jessie: I am always inspired by Lorrie Moore and Mindy Kaling. I think they are both so witty but unafraid of showing vulnerability. I find their work so easy to relate to and that is what I hope people feel when they read my serial
Bri: Anything you want anyone to know about dating or writing?
Jessie: In both dating and writing, you are putting yourself out there for other people to react to and that can be terrifying. Just thinking about doing either can be nerve-racking. But there is something so satisfying about saying fuck it and doing it anyways. I think having a strong support system is vital for both dating and writing. You need the support and encouragement from others to keep going when you are feeling low. Don’t let your mind build up reasons to not do either. Go for it and see what happens.
Bri: What’s your favorite thing about writing?
Jessie: I love telling stories and I really enjoy thinking about how people might react to different situations. Writing allows me to sink into the mind of someone else, to play out a life that isn’t my own. But it also helps me understand myself better. A lot of my characters are pieces of myself and when they experience something, it forces me to consider how I would react to it. Then when someone else reads one of my stories and they feel like they understand themselves better as well, that is my favorite part of writing.
Bri: Anything else you wanna say?
Jessie: I think the only thing that I would mention is how grateful I am to our MA cohort for fostering a community of love and support and enthusiasm. It is so important and incredible to have a group of fellow writers who are so eager to celebrate each other rather than view each other as competition. I love them and I owe everything to them.
(Bri: I second this sentiment to INFINITY AND BEYOND. Our MA class has allowed me to meet some of the best people in the world. I miss them every day. But I know we’ll all get to meet up again. <3)
And let me tell you, Cork’s Quick Coupler is hilarious, well-written, and emotional in all the right ways. It will have you thinking about your relationships (romantic or otherwise) and the ways you go about cultivating them. It also gave me some much needed feelings of hope in this soul-suck of a year.
Jessie is a writer you NEED to read and keep an eye on because she just keeps getting better with each and every sentence she writes and if the world is smart she’ll be the next big hit in the literary world.
You can find more of Jessie on a day to day basis on her twitter (where she was recently given a shout out by Ireland’s previous Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar!!).
The picture above is of Jessie and myself at the Kindred Spirits Sculpture in Middleton, Ireland
Hi All, I’m really hoping to be able to spotlight all of my classmates from UCC here if I can. They’re all extraordinary writers and deserve all the praise and attention the world has to offer. So keep an eye out for more incredibly talented poets and writers.
Thanks for Reading!