Friday, June 26, 2009

Jennifer Weiner's New BFF

Recently, I had the opportunity to interview best-selling novelist Jennifer Weiner about her new book, Best Friends Forever (debuting July 14, 2009). To say I was ecstatic would be an understatement. I have enjoyed reading Weiner's book since the very beginning. I can still remember a cross-country flight that was fun and relaxing because I was reading, In Her Shoes (now a major motion picture), the whole time.

1. The theme of female friendship is the common thread that all your previous books have in common. However, the opening to “Best Friends Forever” plays out like a suspense thriller. How is this book different from your others?

I wanted to weave elements of suspense and a highly compressed time frame in to a more traditional narrative about the way two girls came together and grew apart. There’s also a male main character, so that was new for me.

2. You write so often about long time friendship between women. Is there a friend you have that has been there for you through your lifetime?

Oddly, no. I was a weird, geeky kid who was more comfortable with books than people for many, many years, so I don’t have the kind of friendship described in the book (maybe that’s why I wrote it…wish fulfillment in reverse?)

3. The book “In Her Shoes” is now also a film. Did the movie version meet your expectations?

I tried very hard not to have any expectations about the movie. I told myself that the book was the book, and whether the movie was good, bad, or unwatchable, it wouldn’t change a page of what I’d written. I ended up being absolutely thrilled with the movie – with the screenplay, for starters, and the casting, and the fact that they shot the Philadelphia scenes in Philadelphia, instead of dashing up to Canada with a papier-mache Liberty Bell.

4. You were a novelist first and now you have a blog. Do you have any advice to bloggers who are aspiring novelists?

Don’t blog if it feels like work – you’ll be miserable and the readers will be able to tell. Find a voice that feels natural, whether it’s your own or the voice of one of your characters, and please, please, please, don’t make every single post promotional, or a paean to your own excellence. Even if you think you’re being self-deprecating (“Best-selling Author Spends Afternoon De-Pilling Twinsets!”) too much of it comes across as grating and smug. Particularly if your ever post includes the phrase “best-selling author.”

5. Do you have a ritual that you go through before you start each book?

Heh. I have kids. Who has time for rituals, other than opening a new Word file?

6. Who are your favorite authors?

Susan Isaacs, Stephen King, Peter Straub, Anne Tyler, Nicholas Christopher, Katherine Dunn, Tabitha King,

7. What book or books are you currently reading?

Kate Christensen’s TROUBLE, Julie Metz’s PERFECTION, and Christopher Buckley’s LOSING MUM AND PUP.

About the book, Best Friends Forever- "Addie Downs and Valerie Adler will be best friends forever. That's what Addie believes after Valerie moves across the street when they're both nine years old. But in the wake of betrayal during their teenage years, Val is swept into the popular crowd, while mousy, sullen Addie becomes her schools scapegoat.

Flash-forward fifteen years. Valerie Adler has found a measure of fame and fortune working as the weathergirl at the local TV station. Addie Downs lives alone in her parents’ house in their small hometown of La Prairie, Illinois, caring for a troubled brother and trying to meet Prince Charming on the internet. She has just returned from Bad Date #6, when she opens her door to find her long-gone best friend standing there, with terrified look on her face and blood on the sleeve of her coat. "Something horrible has happened," Val tells Addie, "and you're the only one who can help."

Best Friends Forever is a grand, funny, edge-of-your-seat adventure; a story about betrayal and loyalty, family history and small town secrets. It’s about living through tragedy, finding love where you least expect it, and the ties that keep best friends together forever. "

A big THANK YOU to Jennifer for allowing me to interview her and review her book (Coming Soon! over at Mummy's Product Reviews!)


  1. I am so excited for the new book. I too am a HUGE Jennifer Weiner fan! I have read EVERYTHING she has written. Thanks for the explorative interview. :)

  2. Thanks for the interview, found your blog from Jennifer's. Love all JW's books..........the best!

  3. I really liked the question about blogging and Jennifer's answer. Great advice.


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