06-21-2009 08:19 PM - edited 07-20-2009 08:57 AM
Let's give a warm Center Stage welcome to Jennifer Weiner, author of the brand-new and highly anticipated BEST FRIENDS FOREVER.
Jennifer Weiner was born in 1970 on an army base in Louisiana. She grew up in Connecticut and graduated with a degree in English literature from Princeton University.
She is the author of the novels GOOD IN BED (2001), IN HER SHOES (2002), which was turned into a major motion picture starring Cameron Diaz, Toni Collette and Shirley MacLaine; LITTLE EARTHQUAKES, (2004), GOODNIGHT NOBODY (2005), the short story collection THE GUY NOT TAKEN (2006), CERTAIN GIRLS (2008), the sequel to GOOD IN BED, and BEST FRIENDS FOREVER, which will be published in July of 2009.
There are more than 11 million copies of her books in print in 36 countries. Jen is a frequent public speaker who has appeared on The Today Show, The CBS Early Show, The Martha Stewart Show and a number of defunct national talk shows that she suspects she killed just by showing up. She has been published in Seventeen, Salon, Redbook, Glamour, Good Housekeeping, and Elle. She writes occasionally for the Huffington Post and on her own blog right here.
She likes sunsets, sushi, reality TV and long walks on the beach and dislikes fake people, humidity, and entrenched sexism in the literary world. Her last name is not pronounced exactly the way it's spelled. She can be found on Facebook,on Twitter, and, in real life,in Philadelphia, where she lives with her husband Adam, their daughters Lucy and Phoebe, and her rat terrier Wendell.
07-17-2009 05:39 PM - edited 07-17-2009 05:40 PM
Jennifer, I have enjoyed all of your books, and just wanted to stop by and say hello to one of my favorite authors. I haven't gotten my copy of Best Friends Forever yet, but I'm sure it's great. I especially loved Certain Girls where we got to catch up on our favorite characters from Good in Bed.
I wanted to ask you, in Certain girls, was it a hard decision to have Peter die?
Thanks for taking time out of your very busy schedule and talking to us.
07-17-2009 11:08 PM
I'm a huge fan, and not just because you are a fellow potty-mouther!
My question is: How long did it take you to write your first novel, GOOD IN BED? And what inspired that story?
Thanks so much!
07-20-2009 08:55 AM
Jennifer Weiner was kind enough to answer our Center Stage "Five Questions:"
Center Stage: Tell us about how your new novel fitsin with OR stands out from your body of work/previous work.
Jennifer Weiner: There are things that will feelfamiliar-the funny, relatable, slightly lost-in-her-own-life woman, theglamorous, drama-queen character who sweeps in to try to reinvent her or savethe day...but this book has a guy! A guy as one of the main characters! A guydoing guy-like things, such as eating red meat and singing Bruce Springsteenand developing an unhealthy crush on a children's television personality! Soyes, new things.
CS: What's the mostinteresting thing a reader has ever asked you?
JW: "Is Jennifer Weineryour real name?" Once I stopped laughing, I said that yes, it was reallymy name, and that if I was going to pick a pen name I could do a LOT betterthan what I'd been born with.
CS: What's the one thing noone has ever asked you that you are dying to make known?
JW: I'd love it if someone asked about the swimmingand water imagery in my book. So far, though, I'm more likely to get askedabout the kind of lipstick I'm wearing in my author photo. Which is also okay!
CS: Whose books would you like to have written ifnot your own?
JW: Susan Isaacs' books. Smart, funny, fast-moving,totally, addictively readable. If you haven't discovered her, you are totallyin luck.
CS: If you weren't a writer, you'd be?
JW: A failed writer. Also known as a lawstudent.
07-20-2009 09:03 AM
07-20-2009 09:25 AM
First, thank you for the books you've written. They're entertaining, thought-provoking and unique.
Q: There's a lot of swimming in your books. What inspires you to write about water and swimming?
07-20-2009 10:33 AM
07-20-2009 11:56 AM
I read BEST FRIENDS FOREVER in just two sittings; it was moving and funny and the characters are so unforgettable. You nailed how most people feel about their high school experience. It's such a time of insecurity.
I have a cousin who has a traumatic brain injury as the result of an accident, much like in your book. You really captured how something like that changes the lives of everyone in the family. My question is, do you know someone to whom this happened? You write from such a place of honesty.
I was lucky enough to meet you at BN Lincoln Triangle NYC last week. It was a fun experience, everyone made friends with everyone else there. You are delightful!
07-20-2009 04:20 PM - edited 07-21-2009 09:45 AM
I'll announce this again tomorrow, but I want to be sure everyone knows that Jennifer Weiner will be here on Center Stage LIVE tomorrow from 2:30 p.m. - 4.:30 p.m. Eastern time.
NB: The Live Chat with Jennifer Weiner will be from 2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. PACIFIC Time, NOT Eastern as previously stated.
If you don't show up, poor Ms. Weiner will just be a sitting duck for all of my pesky questions; please save her from this fate...
Looking forward to hearing from some of you and to chatting with Jennifer!
07-21-2009 10:13 AM
I've just started Best Friends Forever and I must know if you had Arnold's in Eastham in mind when you wrote about Addie's lobster feast on the Cape. Your descriptions of the awning and onion rings have convinced me it is!
I'm loving the book so far--thanks so much!
07-21-2009 05:14 PM
Just wanted to let you know I'm here, whenever you sign on! Can't wait to talk about your new book, your old books, your blog, and much more.
Join us! Jennifer Weiner will be chatting live on Center Stage from 5:30-7:30 p.m. EST (2:30-4:30 PST).
07-21-2009 05:38 PM
I know Jennifer Weiner is traveling today, and she may have been unavoidably delayed. I'm sure she'll join us shortly.
Who has already read BEST FRIENDS FOREVER? I'd love to hear what you think.
07-21-2009 05:40 PM
Just as I suspected: Jen has just gotten through baggage claim. She'll be joining us shortly!
Jen, glad you landed safely; talk to you soon
07-21-2009 05:45 PM
07-21-2009 05:46 PM
It actually was hard...but I knew, before I sat down to write the first word of CERTAIN GIRLS, that it was going to end the way it did (it was one of those things I just knew).
I think Cannie's story is always going to be about finding courage and grace and resilience under trying circumstances, and building a non-traditional family in conditions that are less than ideal...and isn't that the story for most of us?
I will also tell you that my mother called me SCREAMING after she read that book. "How could you?" Not a fun night!
07-21-2009 05:46 PM
Hi Liz, thanks for joining us; I hope you'll be able to "ask" Jen directly in a few minutes, but no matter what, we'll get this question answered.
I really liked GOODNIGHT NOBODY, and while it might not be the author's favorite, I wonder if she had particular fun writing it. There's a brightness of tone that made me believe she did. Jen?
07-21-2009 05:48 PM
GOOD IN BED was occasioned by a bad break-up -- the kind of thing that, God willing, you only have to live through once, in your twenties. After six months of driving around, moping and miserable and singing "My Heart Will Go On" in a bad French-Canadian accent, I decided to do the thing I knew how to do: write a story.
So I wrote a story about a girl kind of like me, and a guy who was a lot like Satan, and I gave the girl a happy ending. The whole thing took about a year to write, start to finish. Then another three months to find an agent, another three months after that to revise (the book was initially five hundred pages long), and then a really quick sale.