March 1, 2021
Having worked mundanely as a lawyer for over 10 years of her life, romance and non-fiction author Jasmine Guillery missed the ingenuity that only a creative industry could provide. With a passion for life-long learning and novelty, Guillery broke free from the repetitive nature of her law career to explore the boundless world of writing.
“I had some friends that were writers who were really encouraging, so I just started writing in order to give myself something fun to do after work,” Guillery said. “I immediately fell in love with it. I looked forward to coming home and writing on my couch for two hours every night, so I just kept going.”
Although Guillery initially intended to only use writing as a creative outlet, she quickly flourished in the industry. Throughout Guillery’s love story with writing young adult romance and inspirational nonfiction, she has published six New York Times best-selling novels including “The Wedding Date,” “The Proposal” and most recently, “Party of Two.” Guillery has successfully channeled her devotion to learning into the art of storytelling.
While writing is a newfound passion for Guillery, she has always loved to read — so much so that if she could give only one piece of advice to aspiring writers, it would be to read more. She finds reading pieces of varying genres and topics to be the key to developing a writer’s mentality, claiming her lifetime of reading is what allowed her to be so successful.
Guillery fell in love with the experience of jumping into the pages of a book as the story consumes its reader whole. Wanting to provide her readers with a similar captivating experience, she aims to create a personal connection between the reader and her work, primarily through the novel’s complex characters.
“Every time I think of a story, it starts with a character,” Guillery said. “I think of some trait or even a relationship, and I think, ‘Who is that person and what’s more to them?’ Then, I create a story around that. I want the characters to feel like whole people and my readers to feel like they truly know them.”
Despite only getting into the writing industry later in life, Guillery found that having previous work and communication experience, even in a completely different field, had helped her navigate the new world of publishing. Due to the years Guillery had to focus on self-discovery before becoming a professional writer, she’s found herself to be much more adaptable to the often difficult and emotionally taxing field of writing.
“I’ve understood that my job as a writer is not who I am,” Guillery said. “Especially when writing novels, authors pour so much of themselves into their books. It’s easy to take everything others say about my writing personally. But, being older now, it’s nice to have created more personal distance from my work.”
Guillery hopes to share her own winding path to self-discovery and inspire students to view themselves as multi-faceted individuals.
“I have successfully reinvented myself in my life and I know many others that have as well,” Guillery said. “It’s important to keep yourself open to new opportunities and to continue learning throughout your lifetime. It’s also okay to change your mind and to try new things and fail.”
By talking to Los Altos High School students, Guillery aspires to help them realize that they can accomplish more than one major purpose in their lifetime and that their early chosen career doesn’t have to be set in stone.