Speaker Jenna McCarthy

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Jenna McCarthy is the author of five books including 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 (Berkley Books, October 2011). (Please note that it says the man you married, not the one she married. Her husband likes it when she points that out.) A former staff writer/editor with leading publishers in New York and Los Angeles, her work has been published in more than sixty magazines and anthologies around the world. Jenna also is the former host of Santa Barbara’s KTYD Early Show, and would like to make it known that she is not in any way related to (or the same person as) Jenny McCarthy.

Jenna was born in New York and raised in Florida. Thirteen years of overpriced private schooling paid off when she was admitted to the prestigious Florida State University. Industrious by nature, Jenna went to class nearly every time it was too hot or overcast to nap by the pool. Ultimately she earned a degree in advertising with a minor in French studies, the latter of which turned out to be exactly as useless as her mother had feared.
After graduation Jenna 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 her 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), Jenna yearned to work in the glamorous world of magazines and managed to secure an interview at Seventeen magazine. Dressed in head-to-toe white, she obviously stood out in Manhattan’s sea of black and was offered a staff writing position, which she accepted without having the vaguest idea of her salary.

Jenna spent several years analyzing the pubescent male psyche and pushing gruesome prom dresses before moving to Mademoiselle — which is now defunct, although she is almost positive this has nothing to do with her. At Mademoiselle she enjoyed the privilege of sharing an elevator with well-known, skeletal supermodels and legendary publishing icons on a daily basis. Eventually New York’s relentless winters and smelly and unreliable subways got to her, so she traded in her wardrobe of black suits for a bikini and moved to Los Angeles. Jenna thought it might be fun to juggle a full-time position at Shape magazine with her ongoing west coast editor duties for Mademoiselle. (She was wrong.) Unable to sleep without sirens and horns blaring all night long outside her window, Jenna spent countless all-nighters building a nice, fat freelance portfolio. One day, clearly intoxicated by the balmy Pacific breezes, she let the urge to work in her pajamas overtake her and quit both of her real jobs to freelance exclusively.

Over the next ten years, Jenna’s byline would appear in an array of national and international magazines and on dozens of web sites. She met and married a wonderful man who convinced her to move to Santa Barbara, something she has never regretted despite the fact that there’s no Target here. During one two-year period of possible insanity, Jenna decided to capitalize on her insomnia and accepted a position as co-host of Santa Barbara’s top-rated KTYD Early Show. When she wasn’t busy embarrassing her husband by broadcasting the details of their every disagreement to the tight-knit community, she continued to write and also managed to get pregnant. After pumping breast milk on the air, Jenna felt she had achieved her broadcast dreams and returned to writing exclusively.

Another pregnancy and many more articles ensued before Jenna turned to writing books. She writes on a variety of subjects, and her work contains no gratuitous profanity. (Oh, there’s profanity; it’s just not gratuitous.) She continues to live in and humiliate her husband from Santa Barbara. The couple has two beautiful daughters who can now read, so they’ve been blocked from Jenna’s website until they are twenty-five.

Visit Jenna McCarthy Online here.