Jeanette Hurt is a Milwaukee-based writer and author of 14 books, with her most recent book being Wisconsin Cocktails. The just-launched book introduces a new generation of cocktails that offer a spin on standard concoctions. Learn about Jeanette Hurt…
Hometown: My hometown for the past 20 years has been Milwaukee, WI, but I grew up in the western suburbs of Chicago (Villa Park and Lombard, IL).
First job: Babysitting my next-door neighbor’s kids, but first jobs with a paycheck were K-Mart cashier and lifeguard for the Lombard Commons pool and water park. My next job was as a part-time reporter for the Villa Park Review.
Favorite ways to spend your free time in WI: I love, love walking along Lake Michigan with Lyra, my chihuahua-Great Pyrenees mix, but I also enjoy traveling with my husband and our son to new and interesting places in Wisconsin and beyond. I love developing recipes, both food and drink. I also enjoy visiting cocktail bars (when it’s safe to do so). Our 10-year-old son is a gymnast and diver so I enjoy watching him compete, too.
Your biggest accomplishment and why: Being a mother. It’s the hardest job you’ll ever love.
The biggest obstacle you overcame: Getting my first book deal. I wrote 40 different book proposals–and that doesn’t include all the different agents and publishing companies I shopped them to–before I sold my first book. Then, a week later, my agent sold my second book so I was writing two books at once (which I don’t recommend for your first book, but something I’ve done twice since!).
Someone who inspires you and why: St. Teresa of Avila and St. Teresa of Calcutta–both held onto their faith in spite of challenges and in spite of the dark night of the soul each experienced. After her death, we learned that for much of her life, Mother Teresa, experienced an absence of God, but she kept on with her mission, in spite of her doubts and her negative feelings. Mother Teresa once said “Do small things with great love,” and she kept doing that in her own life.
Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: Learn your craft. Learn and write all you can, and make sure to actually write–don’t just talk about writing–sit your butt in a chair and write. Then, learn to brush off rejections and keep going. If you stay persistent, you will get published. If you stay persistent, eventually your book will find a home.
Favorite quote: “When someone presents you with the opportunity for adventure, you don’t turn it down.” –Amelia Earhart (I named a cocktail for her–Amelia Takes Flight–in my book, Drink Like a Woman.)
Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: I used to do synchronized swimming.
What makes someone fabulous: Kindness. Kindness never goes out of style.