Sep 12, 2012

Posted by in Giveaway, Interview, New, Teen Publisher Extravaganza | 7 Comments

Teen Publisher Extravaganza: Author Interview with Jennifer Brown

 Teen Publisher Extravaganza: Author Interview with Jennifer Brown

authorinterview 300x69 Teen Publisher Extravaganza: Author Interview with Jennifer Brown

Today I have the lovely Jennifer Brown for an interview. I hope you enjoy!

You are so good at writing such realistic stories that make the reader emotional. How do you do this so well?

I think it’s the connection that I have with my characters that makes my stories’ emotions seem so real. I spend a lot of time getting to know my characters before I ever sit down to write, sometimes filling up half a notebook or more with character sketches and pre-writing notes. The more fully I understand my characters, the more I can relate to them, the more I can pinpoint exactly where their emotions are coming from, and the more I can reach down into myself and my past and dig up a time that I felt a similar emotion. So in a sense, the emotions I’m writing are very real! And that’s probably why they translate realistically into the story.
Have any of your life experiences influenced your books?

Oh, definitely. A little bit of me ends up in everything I write. Like I said above, I strive to really be able to relate to my characters, so it would be impossible to keep me out of their stories. The bullying I endured in junior high and high school influenced HATE LIST. I definitely looked back on some unhealthy relationships that I clung to (and why) for BITTER END. And PERFECT ESCAPE may have more of me in it than the other two combined, as I was inspired by relationships with my own siblings to write that novel. 
What is your favorite book cover out of all your books?

I really love the BITTER END cover. There’s just something about the color combination on that one that is so soft and eye-pleasing. I love the downward cast of the model’s face, and the arm snaking around her shoulder, suggesting something more is going on. I love the way the sun is setting behind her, and I love the poem handwritten faintly behind the title. 

But the cover of my latest book, THOUSAND WORDS, might just give BITTER END’s cover a run for its money. The colors are gorgeous, it’s somewhat mysterious, and the model could not look any more like the main character “looked” in my mind if she tried. I cannot wait to see that cover on bookshelves!
What was the most difficult book for you to write and the easiest one?

HATE LIST kind of wrote itself, and I don’t even remember writing a lot of the first draft. It very much just…flowed, so I would say it was the easiest in terms of mechanics. I struggled a bit more with BITTER END, because the character I wanted to create, and the character that I felt would be the most realistic, didn’t match up in my head so well. 

But in terms of which book emotionally gutted me the most, it would definitely be HATE LIST. It brought back a lot of very painful memories for me, and then after it published, I realized…I was going to have to start talking about those memories in public! That was incredibly frightening for me, and at first I really struggled with standing in front of large groups of teens and pouring my heart out. But it ultimately turned out to be one of the best things I’ve ever done. I’ve found a lot of peace in the knowledge that sharing my most vulnerable moments has helped some teens feel validated in what they’re going through, and has possibly even given them hope.
Where is your favorite place to write?

The Plaza branch of The Kansas City Public Library, facing the big windows that look out onto the city. It’s a busy, bustling library and a beautiful view. I don’t get to work there very often, but when I do, I’m at my happiest.
What has been your favorite Little, Brown book that you have read in the past?

Oh, hands down SORTA LIKE A ROCKSTAR by Matthew Quick. It’s one of my favorite books, period.

 Teen Publisher Extravaganza: Author Interview with Jennifer Brown
About the author:

When not writing about serious subjects, Jennifer Brown, a two-time winner of the Erma Bombeck Global Humor Award, is a columnist for the Kansas City Star. She lives in Missouri with her husband and three children.


giveaway 300x69 Teen Publisher Extravaganza: Author Interview with Jennifer BrownThanks to the lovely people at Little, Brown I have a giveaway for you! They have generously provided a copy of Perfect Escape by Jennifer Brown to one lucky winner. You must be 13 years or older and a resident of the U.S. to enter. Fill out the Rafflecopter form below to be entered to win. icon smile Teen Publisher Extravaganza: Author Interview with Jennifer Brown More about the book:

Perfect 200x300 Teen Publisher Extravaganza: Author Interview with Jennifer BrownKendra has always felt overshadowed by her older brother, Grayson, whose OCD forces him to live a life of carefully coordinated routines. The only way Kendra can stand out next to Grayson is to be perfect, and she has perfection down to an art — until a cheating scandal threatens her flawless reputation.

Behind the wheel of her car, with Grayson asleep beside her, Kendra decides to drive away from it all — with enough distance, maybe she’ll be able to figure everything out. But eventually, Kendra must stop running and come to terms with herself, her brother, and her past.
With undeniable grace and humor, acclaimed author Jennifer Brown explores OCD, the pressure for perfection, and the emotional highs and lows of a complex sibling relationship.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  1. Haven’t read any of Jennifer Brown’s books, but after this interview they’re on my TBR!! It’s obvious she loves to create wonderful characters that deal with issues we must all learn more about.
    All those covers are beautiful:)

    Thank you:)

  2. I haven’t read any of Jennifer’s books, but every time I go to the library I almost get Hate List. I almost bought it at B&N the other day too. Perfect Escape is on my TBR list too. I think it’s really cool that she does character sketches and stuff too. Though I haven’t read any of her books yet, I do plan on it very soon!! Great interview!

  3. Thanks for the great interview! I haven’t read any of Jennifer’s books yet either, but I’ll be adding them to my TBR list now as well! I think it’s so great that she gets to know her characters before she even writes so that she knows them really well. I will definitely be reading these soon : )

  4. I love how she is so much a part of her characters. It really makes me want to read her books! Perfect Escape has been in my TBR pile for a while… bumping it to the top!

  5. I’ve read and enjoyed Brown’s books in the past. They deal with the tough issues which we don’t always immediately think of. Love her writing style.

  6. I like Bitter End’s cover the best, too :)

  7. I think that her way of going about writing is really unique and inspiring. She can’t write about her characters until she gets to know them, so that’s exactly what she does! If she can connect with them amazingly, imagine how well we can connect with them as a reader. I can’t wait to check these out thank you for sharing!

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