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Inspired Correspondent
Bethanne
Posts: 495
Registered: ‎10-24-2008
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Re: Jennifer Weiner, July 20-24


Mary_Lewis wrote:
I just finished it yesterday, BethAnne.  I liked it.  It was a fun "escapist" read.  I'm interested to see what Jennifer has to say here today. :smileyhappy:
Hi, Mary_Lewis, thanks for joining us. BEST FRIENDS FOREVER ended much differently than I thought it would...but I'm being hasty. Have you read other books by Weiner, too? 

 

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Jennifer-Weiner
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Re: Jennifer Weiner, July 20-24

I get most of my inspiration from real life: marriage, friendship, motherhood, just watching the world around me. These days, I'm inspired by -- or at least very interested in -- political wives. What's it like to stand by your man through a press conference where he confesses his infidelity with a call girl, or an Argentinian mystery woman (who is, by the way, his soulmate?) I think there's fertile ground for a novel there...
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LizFenton
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Re: Jennifer Weiner, July 20-24

Bethanne,

 

I loved Goodnight Nobody too!  Very sassy.  Jennifer, do have any other mystery-based novels in your future?

 

Liz

 

www.chicklitisnotdead.com

Inspired Correspondent
Bethanne
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Re: Jennifer Weiner, July 20-24

Hi Jen! Great to have you here, and thanks so much for taking the time despite your very busy tour schedule. 

 

I love what you said about giving Cannie a happy ending (no double entendre intended either on my or Jen's part!). I think that's a pretty fun reason to write a novel.

 

I'll let you "catch up" before I ask more questions...

 

Bethanne 

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Jennifer-Weiner
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Re: Jennifer Weiner, July 20-24

For starters, I'm a swimmer...and the daughter of a mom who swims. One of the most beautiful pieces of writing I've ever seen was Kurt Vonnegut's description of his sister swimming -- she was awkward and ungainly but, he wrote, "in the water she is beautiful."

 

I've always loved the idea of water, the way it makes us all weightless, the ease with which you can move, the way it can carry you up and disguise you. Usually, when you see a character swimming in one of my books, it prefaces some kind of rebirth or re-awakening (a la Kate Chopin!) 

 

You will sound very smart if you lay this on your book club. 

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LizFenton
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Re: Jennifer Weiner, July 20-24

Jennifer,

 

Thanks!  It seems like most authors use a lot of their life experiences in their first novel.  Besides GOOD IN BED, from which other novels did you draw on your life experience from most?

 

Liz

 

Inspired Correspondent
Bethanne
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Re: Jennifer Weiner, July 20-24


Jennifer-Weiner wrote:
I get most of my inspiration from real life: marriage, friendship, motherhood, just watching the world around me. These days, I'm inspired by -- or at least very interested in -- political wives. What's it like to stand by your man through a press conference where he confesses his infidelity with a call girl, or an Argentinian mystery woman (who is, by the way, his soulmate?) I think there's fertile ground for a novel there...
That's it! 'Fess up, please; are you working on a novel about political wives?
OK, OK, just kidding -- you don't have to answer that! However, very interesting, and makes me think of AMERICAN WIFE. Have you read that novel?
That reminds me; one of the things I definitely want to ask you tonight is what you read for fun. You've given us so many delicious reads; what do you dive into when you want to escape?
Bethanne 

 

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Jennifer-Weiner
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Re: Jennifer Weiner, July 20-24

First of all, thanks so much for coming to see me in NYC last week (I think my poor editor's still blushing!)

 

 I've never personally known someone with TBI, but there was a boy who lived on my block who was in a terrible car accident -- an accident that killed the other kids in the car -- who ended up much like Addie's brother. It seemed to be the cruelest kind of injury -- physically, he was fine, and he looked just the same -- but he was just a totally different person, with a totally different personality. 

 

 

I was interested in thinking about how that would work for a family -- to have someone survive an accident, but emerge physically intact but completely transformed. I was especially interested in the guilt that could go along with it -- after all, their son didn't die, he was walking around among the living, and what right did THAT family have to complain?

 

So that's where Jon came from. 

Author
Jennifer-Weiner
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Re: Jennifer Weiner, July 20-24

Yep, it's Arnold's....right down to the dads in whale-print shorts and sunburns waiting to pick up the food!
Author
Jennifer-Weiner
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Re: Jennifer Weiner, July 20-24

You can't ask me to pick a favorite! My books are like my children! Except they don't wake me up by puking in my bed in the middle of the night!
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msdramatic
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Registered: ‎07-21-2009
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Re: Jennifer Weiner, July 20-24

Dear Jen,

I wanted to say thank you, because several years ago, right after Good in Bed came out, I sent you an email about writing. You must have written back 3/4 of a page, and I could not stop talking about it for weeks. You helped me to make it through Freshman English when my creative writing professor told me in not so many words that I would never make it. I wanted to ask you 2 questions. 

1. Do you write your books from beginning to end or in scenes that you piece together?

2. What are some methods you use to get to know your characters and make them as round as possible? 

Inspired Correspondent
Bethanne
Posts: 495
Registered: ‎10-24-2008
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Re: Jennifer Weiner, July 20-24


Jennifer-Weiner wrote:

For starters, I'm a swimmer...and the daughter of a mom who swims. One of the most beautiful pieces of writing I've ever seen was Kurt Vonnegut's description of his sister swimming -- she was awkward and ungainly but, he wrote, "in the water she is beautiful."

 

I've always loved the idea of water, the way it makes us all weightless, the ease with which you can move, the way it can carry you up and disguise you. Usually, when you see a character swimming in one of my books, it prefaces some kind of rebirth or re-awakening (a la Kate Chopin!) 

 

You will sound very smart if you lay this on your book club. 


I recently spoke with another novelist about swimming (something she'd taken up much later in life), and the way her face lit up when she talked about the peace of being in the pool -- marvelous! Do you swim regularly, Jen? 

 

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Jennifer-Weiner
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Re: Jennifer Weiner, July 20-24

GOODNIGHT NOBODY was my attempt to write a Susan Isaacs-style mystery (Susan Isaacs being, of course, one of my all-time favorite writers). I wanted to write about the suburbs and their discontents, about the inner life of a marriage, about what it's like to be responsible for small children, and yearn for even just five minutes to be in the bathroom by yourself.

 

I'm not sure how well I pulled off the mystery aspect -- looking back, I suspect the answer is "not very" -- but I dearly loved living in that world, even though poor Kate Klein wasn't very happy there. 

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LisaSteinke
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Registered: ‎07-20-2009
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Re: Jennifer Weiner, July 20-24

Hi Jennifer!!!

 

What is best advice you would give to an author trying to get their start today?

 

Lisa

 

www.chicklitisnotdead.com

www.chicklitisnotdead.com
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Jennifer-Weiner
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Re: Jennifer Weiner, July 20-24

I was actually one of the early readers of AMERICAN WIFE, and I adored it -- I thought it was wonderful entertainment, and also had some smart things to say about the nature of being a wife and woman in these United States. 

 

But that was a book about a happy political marriage -- or a happy marriage between a politician and an observer. I think I'm more interested in the kind of marriage that was at least intended to be the marriage of equals -- say, a couple who met in law school, a la Hillary and Bill -- and for whom things didn't go as well. What happens when a smart, ambitious woman winds up living the life of a political prop...and what happens when her husband betrays her in the most flagrant way a wife can be betrayed?

 

Dun dun DUNNNN....

Inspired Correspondent
Bethanne
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Re: Jennifer Weiner, July 20-24

You've made my night... :smileywink:

 

Also, totally agree with you about the difference between a book about a successful political marriage (or alliance?) and a marriage in which a woman winds up being a "prop."  

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Jennifer-Weiner
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Re: Jennifer Weiner, July 20-24

Yay! I'm glad my email helped!

 

Okay, to answer your questions....I generally write books straight through, start to finish, although sometimes I'll jump around a bit to get to a scene that I really want to write (or, alternately, to start working through a scene I think might be difficult).

 

In terms of getting to know my characters...hmm. I think it's just a question of imagination, of listening, of trying to think about myself, or people I know, and how they'd respond in a given situation: how they'd act, what they'd wear, what they'd say. I was a reporter for 10 years before GOOD IN BED was published, and I like to think that helped me with the whole observation thing. 

Author
Jennifer-Weiner
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Re: Jennifer Weiner, July 20-24

I do swim regularly -- at least twice a week. Right now I'm training for a sprint triathlon (or at least I was training, until this whole book tour kicked in), so I'm doing most of my swimming in open water, which I especially love.
Author
Jennifer-Weiner
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Re: Jennifer Weiner, July 20-24

This sounds hoky, but the best advice I have is to write the best book you can write. Don't worry about trends of fads or putting vampires in the fourth act...just write the best book you can write, make it as good as you can, and then know that it's still going to get rejected. GOOD IN BED was rejected by twenty-four agents, and by a bunch of publishers. It's just the nature of the game.
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LizFenton
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Registered: ‎07-14-2009
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Re: Jennifer Weiner, July 20-24

okay, okay.  If you won't name a favorite, maybe tell us which one was the most fun to write? 

=)