Saturday, November 7, 2009

Author Uncovered: Jennifer Brown (Author Interview)

Hey people! Here at TUBL, we have Jennifer Brown joining us! YAY! She's the author of Hate List, a stunning book that I loved! Here's a quick glimpse into her life:

Her Books:

Did you always want to become an author?
Actually, no. I wanted to be a teacher, and then when I got to college, I changed my mind, majored in psychology, and planned to maybe be a counselor someday. It wasn't until I was in my late 20s that I began to seriously consider writing for a living. And even then... I thought I'd mostly be a humor columnist.

Who or what was your inspiration for Hate List?
There were a lot of things that came together all at once to inspire Hate List. But mostly it went like this: I was sort of randomly thinking about school shootings -- wondering some things -- and then I went to bed. The Nickelback song, "If Everyone Cared" was just getting popular at the time and was on the radio a lot, and for whatever reason it got stuck in my head while I was sleeping. Usually I'm super-annoyed when a song gets stuck in my head while I'm trying to sleep, but in this case it was all right because I woke up with the plot for Hate List in my head.

How does it feel like, knowing your books are going to be on those bookshelves in a bookstore?
A little surreal, very scary. I'm kind of shy and tend to hide from attention. So I'm nervous, of course, but I'm also in awe. I've always, even as a little kid, really really looked up to authors. And now... I'm one of them. Weird.

Did you base any of your characters on real people?
Actually, yes. My husband is a psychologist, and he really was the basis for Dr. Hieler, Valerie's awesome and lovable therapist.

Any nicknames we might come across if we delved into your past?
Well, I went by "Jennie" all the way from birth until college. My mom called me "Deenie" when I was a kid, and an old friend called me "Jennicup" in high school. My sister calls me "Jennis," and my husband has always called me "Angel."

If you weren’t an author, what would your dream job be?
Well, if I'm getting all dreamy like, it could never EVER happen in a billion years... I'd be an archaeologist. And not just any archaeologist, either. An archaeologist like Indiana Jones, all adventurey and with cool theme music and a leather hat and stuff. But if we're being realistic and I had to get another job other than writing, I'd probably go back to college, get my teaching certificate, and teach.

What authors do you like to read?
You know, I really like to read anything and everything. I have a few authors that I guess you'd call "favorites" in that I read everything they write -- Kent Haruf is one. Marian Keyes is another. Sarah Dessen, of course. I've read all of Janet Evanovich's books and all of Stephen King's books. But I like to sort of discover books without knowing much of anything about them or about their authors. I'm constantly in the library, and I love to pick a book at random and take it home to read it without reading any of the jacket copy or knowing anything about the book at all. I also like to choose a theme or subject and read everything in the library on that subject. For example, when I was in my 20s I decided I was going to read the entire section on the Vietnam war in my local library, so I did (it took me a loooong time). Another year I decided I was going to read nothing other than debut novels. That was the year I read The Time Traveler's Wife (one of my all-time favorite books). I went through a summer-long phase of reading nothing but classics, too. As you can tell, I'm a constant reader. I may even enjoy reading more than writing.

What's the best piece of advice you like to give to aspiring, young authors?
Don't give up! There are a ton of writers out there who will tell you the dream is dead... publishing is dying... you will never be noticed unless you know someone... you can't get in through a slush pile. It's all crap. I'm proof. Don't listen to those people. If you want it and you work at it, you will have it. Not you "can" have it; you "will" have it. Believe that.

Do you have any upcoming books apart from Hate List?
*grins* There may be an announcement about something along those lines coming up in the next few weeks (hint: watch my blog!)

That's it! Hehe! I can't wait for Jennifer's next book!

Peace, Love, and Love Lists,
my signature


Unknown November 7, 2009 at 11:06 PM  

Cool interview. I love the honest answers. I also love the advice as I struggle with my NaNo novel. Thanks Reggie and Jennifer!

Stephanie November 8, 2009 at 7:46 AM  

Terrific interview! I love the way she described how she came up with the idea for The Hate List. Sometimes things just come together that way.

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