Interview with Jenny Nelson

April, 2012
Jenny Nelson

Quick Start


SS: What is your motto or maxim?

JN: Be your own girl (or boy)! I'm constantly saying this to my twin six-year-old daughters, but it's something we should all try to remember.

SS: How would you describe your life in only 8 words?

JN: Happy, hectic, rewarding, hopeful, funny ... and sometimes not


What Readers want to know...


SS: How would you describe perfect happiness?

JN: My entire extended family (dogs included, of course) together on a sunny, summer day enjoying a delicious al fresco meal that we've all helped to prepare. There'd have to be a selection of amazing cheese, a bottle or two of rose, grilled fish, a bunch of salads made with veggies from the garden, and my favorite dessert: my mom's angel food cake with mocha filling, whipped cream frosting and dark chocolate shavings. Oh, and berries, too, because every dessert tastes better with berries.

SS: What’s your greatest fear?

JN: Not my greatest, but a fear nonetheless: getting stuck in an elevator -- seriously, I'm a big fan of stairs.

SS: If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?

JN: Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia, at sunrise.

SS: What are your most overused words or phrases?

JN: "Do you know what I mean," "exactly" and/or "totally."

SS: If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?

JN: Playing piano and being able to pick out tunes by ear.

SS: What is your greatest achievement?

JN: Writing a novel and getting it published.

SS: What’s your greatest flaw?

JN: Procrastination -- the internet is not always my friend.

SS: What trait is most noticeable about you?

JN: People routinely describe me as "petite" a.k.a "short."

SS: What is your biggest pet peeve?

JN: People who clip their nails on the subway.

SS: What’s your fantasy profession?

JN: Film director

SS: What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?

JN: A sense of humor, honesty, compassion

SS: If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?

JN: Grilled chicken ceasar salad -- it's the perfect meal in a bowl

SS: What are your 5 favorite songs?

JN: Let it Loose, Rolling Stones; Either Way, Wilco; Rock and Roll, Velvet Underground; Embraceable You, Billie Holiday; Stardust, Willie Nelson

SS: What’s your best quality?

JN: I'm a good listener.

SS: What do you regret most?

JN: Not taking full advantage of college -- what I would do to take all those amazing classes now!


Questions About Books and Writing


SS: Who are your favorite authors?

JN: Jhumpa Lahiri, Alice Munro, Jennifer Egan, Jane Austen, Michael Cunningham, Michael Chabon

SS: What are your 5 favorite books of all time?

JN: Unaccustomed Earth, Jhumpa Lahiri; In The Time Of The Butterflies, Julia Alvarez; The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald; Empire Falls, Richard Russo; The House Of Mirth, Edith Wharton

SS: Is there a book you love to reread?

JN: The Great Gatsby

SS: Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?

JN: Sit down, turn off your email and write!


General Questions


SS: What is your birthdate?

JN: 7/9

SS: What were your previous occupations?

JN: Web editor and producer, public relations

SS: What was/is your favorite job?

JN: Writing

SS: Where did you go to high school and/or college?

JN: Mamaroneck High School; Wake Forest University, St. Louis University in Madrid, University of Colorado at Denver (I liked moving around!)

SS: What is your favorite movie?

JN: Lost in Translation

SS: What is your favorite television show?

JN: The Wire

Get more on Jenny Nelson at SimonandSchuster.com

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