Author Instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/p/CYiaX-GJ8lG/
Thanks for this interview, Jennifer. Would you say it’s been a rocky road for you in regards to getting your book written and published or pretty much smooth sailing? Can you tell us about your journey?
It started when my ex-husband contacted me after 20 years from America and told me that he was writing a memoir. Of course, I was to be in it, so I began helping him with research for a few years, going back and forth to America.
When I did finally read the chapters that I was in, it showed me in the darkest time of my life. Unlike himself saying where he came from and where he ended up, he didn't explain where I began or where I ended up or why any of this really happened, or why I chose to do the things I did.
After reading his chapters about me, I knew that I needed to tell my story myself. Perhaps I could leave a legacy for my family, as well, telling them what I was actually doing over in the States for 20 years and how it all came to be. My side of this story, so to speak. So, I started out writing a journal. As I read snippets to friends and family they said, “oh this is really good! You should write a book.” And that's what inspired me. It was a very cathartic experience and my stories just poured out.
When not writing, what do you like to do for relaxation and/or fun?
I’m not a full-time writer – not yet, anyway. These days I’m a yoga instructor, and a licenced civil wedding celebrant.
What makes your book stand out from the rest?
Kiss My Boots is my life journey, from overcoming family tragedy in Australia to drug addiction and domestic violence in 80s and 90s Los Angeles, with crazy twists along the way. It’s a tale of a young woman with an uncanny survival instinct which kicked in to revel in the hedonistic pursuits of the LA lifestyle of its time, and then stumbling into a career in the niche world of a Dominatrix.
This was not easy to write as I was totally honest and I did not hold back at all. It's what happened to a fearless, brave, beautiful young girl with a few stars in her eyes. It’s a decidedly unvarnished and, in some respects, pretty damning account of my life in the dark side of Tinseltown. It's not a success story; it's a survival story.
Having said all that, even with all the darkness, there is still so much love in here. It’s heartwrenching, heartbreaking, funny, scary and ultimately uplifting.
Kiss My Boots is my story.
Can you give us the very first page of your book so that we can get a glimpse inside?
I woke up early this morning just like I do most mornings and stretched my body, inhaling deeply and slowly expelling a relaxed breath; a new day was beginning.
After practicing some yoga and drinking a glass of freshly squeezed juice, I headed fur Burleigh Beach and my usual hike around the headland.
Burleigh Heads is one of the glorious Gold Coast beaches in Queensland, known for its tall majestic pine trees and great surf break. Visitors find the trendy village atmosphere unique.
As I make my way around the headland, through the lush canopy of trees and shrubs, I come to an opening where I can gaze out over the ocean, back towards the beach. Many surfers are catching waves. There are a few boogie boards and the occasional brave body surfer. I keep walking, quickening my pace, anticipating a cool swim in Tallebudega creek, a spectacular safe swimming spot at the end of my hike. I pass other happy people, some jogging, others walking; they all smile. Finally, after shedding my t-shirt, shorts, and joggers, I plunge headfirst into the cool blue water. The water here is so clear I can see the bottom where tiny fish are swimming around. This is my haven, my special place.
After my hike and swim, I decide to grab a coffee at one of the little cafes, sit down and watch the surfers. As I sit there, I start to realise how lucky I am to be back home in Australia. Several young, beautiful people pass by. One girl in particular, probably only seventeen, with long dark hair, smiles at me. I smile back. I don’t know why, but something about her reminds me of myself, maybe the sparking green eyes that shine in the sunlight. She is a picture of good health, and that is what I’ve always strived for. My commitment to eating healthy was only equalled by my desire for cocaine, a habit I picked up whilst living in Los Angeles for two decades. The US has always been my second home.
Sipping my coffee, I contemplated maybe it was time to share my journey with my family. Could I do it? Could I lay bare everything that had happened. What would they think?
I finished my coffee, and suddenly feeling brave, I spoke out loud to myself, “Yes! I’m going to start at the beginning and tell it as it was.”
If your book was put in the holiday section of the store, what holiday would that be and why?
Oh, any party holiday. Christmas, 4th of July, Australia Day (26th of January.)
Would you consider turning your book into a series or has that already been done?
Yes!!! Hello, Hollywood?!
When you were young, did you ever see writing as a career or full-time profession?
As a child I want to be a singer, perhaps even a rock star. I came from a family full of musicians. My mother and auntie, grandmothers were all opera singers, so it was all about the music in my family. My brother was also a great Blues guitarist.
What’s next for you?
I'm working on a follow up book which starts in Hollywood and goes more in depth into the extremely colourful characters along the way, and maybe more of the Dominatrix world as well, I'm really excited about this project.
My commitment to eating healthy was only equaled by my desire for cocaine…
Setting out on an adventure to the USA with my best friend, we had no plans, no rules and no limits. It started in the wild 80’s in Hollywood, LA and the spread across the ’90’s, fueled by drugs, sex, rock n roll. We met the people who later became famous actors, musicians, singers. I took some risks, made mistakes and lived through them; I was one of the lucky ones.
For 14 years I worked as a Dominatrix in Hollywood.
I was a natural and loved the work. My clients included a US General, Top Surgeons, Politicians, High Court Judges and VIPs. There is a grey side to my work, and no one really knows what goes on behind the dungeon doors.
I married a charming, captivating Italian/American criminal and lived a dangerous life, involved in crime, drugs and crazy choices where I almost lost my life. My turning point came the day I walked into the Sanctuary of an Interdenominational Church. I loved it so much I joined the gospel choir and took up yoga.
Now I was a dominatrix, yoga student singing in a gospel choir.
Eventually, and exhausted, I returned to Australia permanently to set up my own yoga studio and started to build a new life away from a blurred past. I was a wild and fearless child with a kind compassionate heart and a determination to live my life to the full, regardless of any cost.
“A spectacular life journey of a woman filled by verve and passion for life and who found her place far from where she thought it was going to be…sensitively written and thoughtful reflection of an explorative youth…wonderful…” Tara, Indiebooks reviewer
Publisher: Shawline Publishing, March 15, 2022
Formats: Paperback, 170 pages, $7.42; E-Book/Kindle, 240 pages, $5.99; ISBN-978-1922594709 and ISBN-13-978-1922594709. Available for purchase at: https://www.amazon.com/Kiss-My-Boots-Jennifer-Learmont-ebook/dp/B09S9Y7JX7 as well as Walmart, barnesandnoble.com, abebooks.com, Alibris, booktopia.com.au, thriftbooks.com and bookshop.org
Publisher web link: https://www.shawlinepublishing.com.au/search/?query=kiss+my+boots