Welcome to Swoon Sunday where you get to meet some of our swoon-worthy heroes. Today we have a visit from Jason Cooper from A Messy, Beautiful Life by Sara Jade Alan!
Jason, why don’t you describe yourself for us.
Uh, I don’t know. I look like a regular guy? Brown hair, brown eyes like my dad’s, and a smile with one dimple that reminds me exactly of the smile/singular-dimple combo my mom had. For that reason, I have to avoid looking at pictures of myself people post online…or it’s all Grief City all over again.
Where do you call home?
Winnetka, Illinois—it’s a northwest suburb of Chicago, close to downtown and Lake Michigan. Mom and I used to go to the art museums in the city all the time, or we’d grab our paints and canvases and find a spot along the lakeshore to make our own art. I miss that.
What kind of music do you listen to?
I listen to all sorts of music, but right now I’m obsessed again with First Aid Kit. Their harmonies are ethereal.
Do you have a special skill?
People have told me I’m a good singer. But I don’t do that anymore…since my mom died.
What’s your favorite pastime / hobby?
Improv comedy. There’s nothing like seeing what my friends and I can come up with together in an instant. And if it makes people laugh? That’s the best. I also like the part where you get to escape and pretend to be someone else for a while.
What is the one thing you refuse to share?
Not trying to sound self-righteous, but I can’t think of anything. Materially speaking, I have everything I could ever ask for. But I lost the most important person in my life, and there is no ‘thing’ that matters in comparison. I’m happy to share what I have.
Froot Loops or Lucky Charms (or both)?
Marshmallow Mateys, which is exactly like Lucky Charms, but the cheaper, pirate-themed version. Argh.
Early bird or night owl?
Night owl. It comes with the territory of being a performer—late-night gigs.
Chunky peanut butter or smooth?
Smooth. If I want to eat a peanut, I’ll just eat a peanut.
What’s your favorite sports team?
Sports teams aren’t really my thing. But my favorite improv group to watch is Improvised Shakespeare at the iO theater in Chicago. It’s amazing. They get a suggestion from the audience, which inspires a full-on, three-act play in the style of Shakespeare. They even start off the set with a monologue in iambic pentameter that’s made-up on the spot. Patrick Stewart jumps in to play with them sometimes.
Liked this interview with Jason? Now check out a swoony moment between him and Ellie:
My hand rested on my right leg, lined up with Jason’s hand, our pinky-electrons leaping back and forth, sharing space for fractions of seconds at a time. My heartbeat was so loud and fast it was all Edgar-Allen-Poe-obvious in my head. Everything was intense tonight.
About A Messy, Beautiful Life:
Life is funny sometimes.
And not always the ha, ha kind. Like that one time where a hot guy tried to kiss me and I fell. Down. Hard. And then found out I had cancer.
I’m trying to be strong for my friends and my mom.
And I’m trying so hard to be “just friends” with that hot guy, even though he seems to want so much more. But I won’t do that to him. He’s been through this before with his family, and I’m not going to let him watch me die.
So, I tell myself: Smile Ellie. Be funny Ellie. Don’t cry Ellie, because once I start, I might not stop.
Want to read more? Pre-order your copy of A Messy, Beautiful Life by Sara Jade Alan today!
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Sara Jade Alan wrote her first comedy sketch during second-grade recess, then cast it, directed it, and made costumes out of garbage bags. Since then she’s performed in more than a thousand improvised and scripted shows. Currently she’s one half the comedy duo The Novelistas, who perform about the highs and lows of writing and publishing. When she’s not writing or performing, she gives My Life Online presentations in schools to teach kids how to create a positive online footprint, and she’s an educator with Girls Leadership. Raised in a suburb of Chicago, Sara now lives in Colorado with her husband and daughter. A Messy, Beautiful Life, Sara’s debut YA novel with Entangled Teen, is inspired by her personal life story.