Interview with Jenny NelsonApril, 2012
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!
SS: What is your birthdate?
SS: What were your previous occupations?
JN: Web editor and producer, public relations
SS: What was/is your favorite job?
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