Q&A with Jennifer Manghisi

Today DeeSWhite.com welcomes author Jennifer Manghisi who is promoting her title, A Sarcastic Guide to Beating Breast Cancer. Jennifer has graciously taken a moment to converse with us about the experience of reliving the process while writing this memoir:


A Sarcastic Guide to Beating Breast CancerTitle: A Sarcastic Guide to Beating Breast Cancer
Author: Jennifer Manghisi
Publisher: BookTango
Release Date: October 26, 2012
Category: Non-Fiction / Memoir
Kindle Edition: $4.99


Author Jennifer Manghisi was diagnosed with breast cancer at the very early age of twenty-four. Sitting in the doctor’s office listening to the diagnosis, Jennifer and her parents were shocked. Jennifer’s life had only just begun. A recent college graduate, she had only just launched her career in the fashion industry. Now, before her life had truly begun, Jennifer was faced with the prospect of losing a breast.

But she was strong. Though the diagnosis was bleak, Jennifer found the strength to be grateful that the prospects were not worse. Death as a result of breast cancer is on the decline, and she was thankful for that. Even so, there is more to deal with when facing breast cancer than mortality, as Jennifer has since learned. In her motivational memoir, A Sarcastic Guide to Beating Breast Cancer, Jennifer Manghisi shares what she learned on her journey to survival. From coping with the diagnosis to managing chemotherapy to managing the depression and becoming healthy again, Jennifer shares important and insightful advice on becoming a breast cancer survivor that only experience can teach.

In this inspiring true story of will, determination, and perseverance, Jennifer shares the highs and lows of her intense battle for her life. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with breast cancer, Jennifer’s story can be a source of inspiration to you.

jennifer manghisi

DeeSWhite: What inspired you to write your first book?

Breast cancer has never been so prevalent in our society, yet even still with breast cancer awareness owning the month of October there is still such a shortage of literature for young women who have been diagnosed with the disease. I wanted to be the voice of the 2 percent of women under 35 years old that are diagnosed with breast cancer every year in the United States.

DeeSWhite: Why this subject matter…why now?

It’s the same reason people say you just know when  you’ve met the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. I guess I just knew now was the time. I had tried several times before to write this book but I felt like I kept making it too wordy and too much about myself.  This time around I wanted to relate to the reader a bit more and write with emotion and less with facts. When I sat down to write it, it took me less than a week to complete from start to finish; that’s how I knew it was time.

DeeSWhite: What did you learn about yourself while writing this book?

I learned that I had been bottling up so many emotions that I had brushed to the side over the passed few years and it scared me. I’ve always thought myself to be an excellent communicator but talking and writing about a topic that is so personal is extremely challenging. I discovered that underneath the tough fearless exterior that inside I was really a weak little girl crying for help. When I was writing this book, I had to write it in peace and quiet with no one around. Not only was that so I could really think about what I wanted to say, but I didn’t want anyone to catch me crying or wiping tears from my face. It was definitely an emotional rollercoaster and at times I wanted to stop and save writing the rest for a rainy day, but then the survivor took over and told me I needed to finish it. Oh yeah, I learned I’m a survivor too.

DeeSWhite: How did you come up with the title?

I’m sure many people will like to know the answer to this question as cancer is a serious topic that affects millions of people all over the world. I wanted to name the book, “A Sarcastic Guide To Beating Breast Cancer,” because I didn’t want people to be afraid to read it. I thought, “Hey, if the book is sarcastic it can’t be too miserable to read.”  Sarcastic was also the best adjective I could use to describe how I felt when I had cancer. Every time someone asks you something you want to reply with a sarcastic answer because nothing is great or cool about having cancer. Being sarcastic about the situation helped me get through the rough patches when I was sick and I met many women in the waiting rooms who felt the same exact way.

DeeSWhite: Who designed the cover?

My best friend, Mario and I designed the cover. I wanted it to be simple and inviting and go with the breast cancer theme so we chose pink for the horizontal stripes. Mario thought it should be reminiscent of New York City and nothing says NYC more than 5th Avenue shopping so we decided to go with something that looked similar to a Henri Bendel shopping bag.

DeeSWhite: Guilty Pleasure?

My guilty pleasure is cheesy sitcoms that I am probably too old for. When I’m alone I can’t get enough of Gossip Girl, Desperate Housewives, and The Office.

DeeSWhite: What was your favorite children’s book?

The Peter Rabbit series were my favorite children’s books. I remember as a toddler flipping through the pages and being completely fixated on the pictures. I thought the character of Peter Rabbit was the coolest thing ever.

DeeSWhite: What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you?

I remember one of my first job interviews was for the fashion designer Marc Echo and the executive interviewing me knew that I was wearing a suit to the interview because I was taught in business school that you always wear a suit to an interview.  He said to me, “I don’t think that suit is really your style. Whether you get this job or you keep interviewing, always be yourself.”

DeeSWhite: Name the top 3 items on your bucket list.

I’ve been trying to cross things off of my bucket list more and more as I’ve gotten older. However, currently the top 3 items are 1) move to London for a year or two 2) open my own bakery 3) go back to school to get my MBA.

DeeSWhite: If you got a TV/movie deal for your book, what would the names in your cast line up look like?

Haha. I would love to see Zoey Deschanel play myself, Fran Drescher play my mother, Harrison Ford to be my dad, Taylor Kinney to play Mario, and Taylor Lautner to play my brother.

I would definitely want to see the TV/movie with that cast line up…lol. Thanks Jennifer for sharing with us. I know that your openness will be helpful to many.

If you would like to learn more about Jennifer,  follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

You may also purchase a copy of A Sarcastic Guide to Beating Breast Cancer on Amazon, Book Tango, or Ebay today! View the Free preview available on scribd!

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