Ask Jennifer Weiner - Special One-Day-Only Group! discussion

Ask Jennifer!

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message 1: by Patrick (new)

Patrick Brown | 1 comments Mod
If you have a question for Jennifer Weiner, please ask it in this thread. Please do not start any new threads in this group.

Jennifer will answer questions on July 18!

message 2: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Sivilich | 1 comments Hi Jennifer,

I am a new reader of yours - i began with goodnight nobody, good in bed, and now i am onto best friend forever. I love the sarcasm and wittiness in your writing! I can see how far your writing has come from early 2000's to the present day. In Best Friends forever you really bring out characters backgrounds and scenery. Do you feel yourself talking in all of the main characters of your novels? Do you put yourself in some situations as "what would i do if was her?" Or do you try to jump into the deep-end and go into the mind of somebody else rather then your own? I always wondered this -- when i write i always feel my own thoughts, opinions jumping in the way, and sometimes i want to see what would happen to the character if she wasn't entirely "me".

I look forward to hearing from you!
Melissa S. -NJ

message 3: by Jencey/ (last edited Jul 18, 2011 06:21AM) (new)

Jencey/ (jencey) Hi Jennifer,
I continue to love your books. I was sad that you aren't coming to Atlanta this year. Jennifer what is writing process like? Is there any changes since writing a television series? How do you find topics that interest you in your writing.

Atlanta, GA
Writer's Corner

message 4: by Maureen (new)

Maureen Jennifer,

Your books have been a lifeline between my best friend and I during times we have been physically separated- I can't thank you enough for what your books have meant to us! Little Earthquakes resonated really strongly with both of much of your real life makes it into your books?

Can't wait to read your new book!

Maureen M. - Nebraska

message 5: by Mara (new)

Mara | 1 comments Where do the ideas from your books come from? Have they been sitting in your head for years, or do they came out of nowhere with a simple "what if?" Or is it a combination of the two?

message 6: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Perez Esper | 1 comments Hi Jennifer! Could you PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE write a sequel to Certain Girls? I feel empty inside and full of pain for one of my favorite literary characters. That novel moved me. In fact at the end I threw the book across the room and cried for a good while! I am sure I am not the only one who would love some closure!

Lauren P.

message 7: by Colleen (new)

Colleen Turner (candc320) Hi Jennifer! I have read all of your books and received my copy of Then Came You today (happy book birthday!). I would love to know what a typical day in the life of Jennifer Weiner looks like (if there is such a thing as a "typical day"). I know you are extremely busy and I am particularly interested in how you fit developing and writing your novels into your busy schedule. Thanks!

message 8: by Karyn Hall (new)

Karyn Hall | 1 comments Hi Jennifer,

You write such well-rounded characters. Do you base them on people you know? And do you outline or just let the story flow?

Karyn H.

message 9: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Kerr (lisakerr) | 1 comments Hi Jennifer,
I'm probably you're biggest fan! I've even blogged about you recently. Your books have such great structure, especially Certain Girls. How did you learn to structure your books and chapters? What are some suggestions for a new writer like myself?

Heaven is a bookstore (heavenisabookstore) | 1 comments Jennifer,
First of all thanks for taking the time to answer all our questions. We really appreciate your time. My question is simply this, Is there a book you have written that you wish to edit anything in it now that it has been published, read and reviewed?
PS Thanks for allowing people like me to read your fantabulous books!!

message 11: by Diane (new)

Diane Mcclure (dmccluredvm) | 1 comments Hi Jennifer,
I have enjoyed the new book release and new TV series promotions. Congratulations on getting double duty from TV appearances, etc. The Parade article with whoopee pie recipe was great way to bring out the Mom (and the foodie) themes! You are also active on social media. Really, I am following your example as a role model and not just as a stalker. Ha Ha! Since authors need to be smart about promoting their books, what is your advice to self-promotion by authors? How important is social media and connecting directly to fans?

message 12: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 1 comments Hi Jennifer,

First of all, thanks for taking the time to come on here and answer our questions. Second of all, thanks for writing such great books! I fell in love with you as a writer almost ten years ago with Good in Bed, and I've read everything since (can't wait to get my hands on the new one!) I was wondering about how you got started--did you walk around with a finished novel for a while before you took it to a publisher? Or did it happen right away? Did it take you longer to write and finish your first book than the ones since then? Did you always know you'd get published?

Best wishes from Sarah, a maybe aspiring writer, maybe future lawyer . . . .

message 13: by Jen (new)

Jen | 1 comments Jennifer - this is Jennifer - I was totally rocked with your Good in Bed - totally could understand that - I have always been heavy - not so much obese, as heavy - like now I'm a tight 18 after being a loose 16 because I was out on disability and did not watch what I was eatins and though I started yoga, I fell out of it. This summer is my goal to get rid of the 30 + extra pounds I put on. Anyway - I love that your heroines are not "typical" - gorgous women who pick the wrong guy until their knight in shining armor comes along. I'm wondering - where do you get your story ideas? How did you get started as a writer? Have you ever thought of teaching a writing class?

Thanks for the writing you do!

Jen Sekella
Williamsburg, VA
8th Grade English teacher and hopefully future owner of an MFA and writer of short stories and YA novels!

message 14: by Pamela (new)

Pamela (atomicempress) | 1 comments Jennifer,
Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy life both professionally and personally, to answer your fans questions. I know I speak for most if not all of us when I say this is a dream come true getting to ask a question of you. I first read Good in Bed when I was a senior in high school, I've always been overweight but two years ago was officially classified as having a eating disorder. I just wanted to say Good in Bed really helped me with my growing acceptance of myself, so I just wanted to tell you thank you. Here comes my question, so far you have tackled short stories, novels, and now television (I'm so happy for you by the way!), would you ever consider screenwriting for Hollywood if the right project came along? I ask because, of course, In her Shoes was made into a movie which I loved, and I wondered if you were happy with having your material made into movies afterward or whether you would ever be interested in writing more cinematically.

Again thank you for answer our questions, and we will be eagerly awaiting any of your future projects no matter what medium they are in!

message 15: by Diane (new)

Diane (dianebarnes) | 1 comments HI Jennifer,

Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions and thanks for writing such entertaining books. I really enjoy them. If you can remember back to when you were writing your first novel, what was the hardest part?


message 16: by Julie (new)

Julie (jhaenisch) | 1 comments Hi Jennifer, My two children and I will be making your Whoopie Pies recipe this weekend, they look delicious! Have you ever worked in the food industry? Where do you get your inspiration to cook?

message 17: by Erin (new)

Erin (elk25) | 1 comments Hi Jennifer! I'm a huge fan. I am a librarian in Ohio and recommend your books to patrons all the time. Do you have a favorite among your books? Do you ever look back and wish you could have changed something or ended a story in a different way?

p.s. I love following you on FB and twitter!

message 18: by Louise (new)

Louise Hi Jennifer

I've enjoyed several of your books, so thanks for that :-)
Could you perhaps share with us some of YOUR favourite books by other authors?

message 19: by ☘KathyD☘ (new)

☘KathyD☘ hi jennifer,

i have been a big fan ever since i read good in bed! you have a beautiful voice and i'm so glad you have continued to provide wonderful reading for all of us fans! i'm not sure if this has been asked, but could you talk about how you became an author? where do you get your inspiration? how do you look at a blank page and create your stories? thanks for taking the time to "talk" to us! and i'm looking forward to all of your future endeavors! :)

message 20: by Joy (new)

Joy | 2 comments Hi Jennifer, I think I've read 7 of your books so far and I'm looking forward to the most recent one! My questions have already been asked here so I'll just wait for your replies. Thanks for doing this!

- Joy

message 21: by Natalie (new)

Natalie Korda | 1 comments Hi, Jennifer! So awesome to be able to "chat" a bit with you. I've been a big fan ever since my friend gave me "Good in Bed" when I was living in Philly.

My questions revolve around the movie/tv versions of your books.

1) With "In Her Shoes," how much of a role did you play in the selection of actor/actresses to play your characters?
2) How pleased were you with the movie adaptation? 3) What are your current plans on bringing your books to the big or small screen?

Thanks for the session! Can't wait to read more of your fabulous work!

message 22: by Christy (new)

Christy | 2 comments Hi Jennifer!
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer questions. The first book I read of yours was Good In Bed and I became hooked after that! I am an aspiring author and I would like to know your story of finding an agent. Thanks, Christy

message 23: by Pam (new)

Pam | 1 comments Hi Jennifer -
I just wanted to say the "Little Earthquakes" is inspiring. When I read it I was having a tough time, and your stories resonated with me, they felt authentic... and helped me put my life in perspective.
Thank you.

message 24: by Robin (new)

Robin | 1 comments Hi Jennifer,
I love your books, read them all. I met you in the San Francisco area when you toured for BFF. I was the fruit cake who came from OH. I've been following your discussions on attitudes toward Chic-Lit. How can readers stand up for our choices, other than buying books. Are there forums to defend our reading styles?

message 25: by Ellen (new)

Ellen | 1 comments Jennifer---A quick thank you for your brilliant and hilarious presentation last night for Cook Library in Vernon Hills IL!! (And for the yummy Whoopie Pies, the leftovers of which we are sharing today with out patrons.)

message 26: by Kelly (new)

Kelly Weston | 1 comments I've loved your novels since reading "Good in bed"!! I also wanted to let you know how much i'm enjoying "State of Georgia" and also your Bachelor/Bachelorette recaps. Your wit makes the show that much more fun!!! :) Keep it up!!!

message 27: by Joy (new)

Joy | 2 comments The article in Parade with the whoopie pie recipe had a good picture of you! The pies look yummy!

message 28: by Colleen (new)

Colleen Hopwood | 1 comments Hi Jennifer,
I'm a big fan and really enjoyed your stop in Denver last summer. What are your thoughts on where e-books and e-publishing will take you and other authors in the future? I just downloaded your new book to my e-reader and can't wait to get started.

message 29: by Kathy (new)

Kathy | 1 comments Ditto to all the above. My question, with State of Georgia going full speed, are you still able to write novels as before or is more time devoted to TV What does your daughter think about mommy writing for TV? Your family?
I know starting out you worked in Lexington, any plans in the near future doing a book tour in Kentucky, preferrably Louisville?
I love your sense of humor. What makes you laugh?

message 30: by Frank (new)

Frank Labaty | 1 comments Dear Favorite Author/Fellow Foodie,
Thank you for writing books that make me laugh like a gleeful 13 year old.
I notice a lot of the people in your work have a highly developed sense of aesthetics and incredible wit. I was wondering if you have ever considered writing a story incorporating gay male characters so we could get in on some of that verbal vivacity. I often get the feeling I'm having drinks and laughing with my "Fairy Princess" over cocktails when I read your work. I think Gay Best Friends are a dynamic you would have a blast exploring.
Thanks for reading this,
Frank (The Joyce Maynard guy from Scranton)

PS I've been dying to give you this recipe!

Mascarpone Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
4 oz of Mascarpone cheese, room temperature
4 oz butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup (115 grams) confectioners' (icing or powdered) sugar, sifted
1 1/2 (360 ml) cups cold heavy whipping cream (double cream) (35-40% butterfat)

Cream Cheese Frosting: In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese, mascarpone cheese and butter until smooth. Add the vanilla and confectioners sugar and beat until smooth. Using the whisk attachment, gradually add the heavy cream and whip until the frosting is thick enough to spread. Add more sugar or cream as needed to get the right consistency.

message 31: by Linda (new)

Linda (wonderwoman) | 1 comments Hello, Jennifer. Thank you for participating in this event - it's nice to have the opportunity to "virtually" chat (sort of) with an author I'm reading!

I first started reading your work after seeing the film adaptation of "In Her Shoes", which remains one of my favorite movies. I think the story captures the love-hate dynamic of a close sister relationship beautifully well. I read the book only after seeing the film, and I was surprised that there was so much of Ella's perspective in the book. I mean, obviously, I understand that things inevitably need to be cut and reworked for film -- there's a reason they call it an "adaptation", after all -- but in the end, while I enjoy the film and book equally well for different reasons, one of the things I appreciated most about the book was the exploration of the different generations' perspective on things. So my question is about that: What's your feeling on that particular change/difference between the book and the film? Do you feel that the film "lost" Ella's voice at all? Or perhaps it gained something else?

Congratulations on all your success, and I look forward to reading more of your oeuvre. (Couldn't resist ;o) )

message 32: by Brandy (new)

Brandy Coffee | 1 comments Hello and thank you for taking the time to participate in this Q&A. I'm just curious about the movie adaptation of "In Her Shoes." Did it bother you that they did not cast a "heavier" person to play Rose? I think that Toni Collette did a great job with her personality, but I just thought that she should have been "plus-sized."

message 33: by Mollie (new)

Mollie | 1 comments Hello Jennifer,
I have read all of your books and am currently reading Then Came You and love it so far! In all of your books, I really enjoy the delicious descriptions of food--"food porn" as I call it. One thing I have noticed though, is that, for the most part, the characters who love food--eating it, cooking it etc are generally very happy and others who are described as 'picking at their food' or not allowing themselves to eat what they want--are generally very unhappy. For example, in Fly Away Home Sylvie rediscovers her happy self--along with wonderful food; Cannie can't eat when she is in the depths of despair in Good in Bed when Joy is in the hospital. My question is I guess, is eating good food a metaphor for embracing all the wonderful things life has to offer? Or do you simply feel people who don't deprive themselves are happier? Or am I completely off-base?

Thank you so much for writing such wonderful books. Have a wonderful summer!


message 34: by Tiffany (new)

Tiffany (cozyreaderscorner) | 1 comments Jennifer,

How do you balance writing career with your TV career. Do you find it hard to write a book while working on the show?

How do you feel about bloggers? Do you feel they are a helpful source for publicity?

I love your books! Thanks so much for being here!


message 35: by Linda (new)

Linda | 1 comments Thank you so much for giving of your times to contact with your fans. Is there any favorite charity that you give to?
Thank you so much

message 36: by Stacy (new)

Stacy  Alesi (stacyalesi) | 1 comments Hi Jennifer,
Long time fan here. I was a bookseller for Borders when Good in Bed came out, and you signed some copies at my store in Boca Raton, FL when you were passing through. I moved down the street to the Palm Beach County Library, and we'd love to have you visit us! What can I do to make that happen? Thanks!
Stacy Alesi
Writers Live! Committee
Palm Beach County Library System

message 37: by Cara (new)

Cara | 1 comments Congratulations on all your success. I'm a librarian and always put your books front and center so others will know to pick them up and enjoy!

message 38: by Li (new)

Li (wellpainted) | 1 comments Hi Jennifer

I started reading your books when I was in high school and your books have always been my favorites to re-read when I'm feeling down. I love the way your heroines manage to come back stronger than before. I have always started watching your TV show, State of Georgia! What is different for you, in terms of the writing process, for books and TV? I feel that the character Georgia is a little bit different from most of your characters, but she's really adorable.

Also, thanks for writing! Really :)

message 39: by Mishka (new)

Mishka Hi Jennifer!

I absolutely love how your books are so relatable, and realistic. I've read In her Shoes & Good in Bed. And I'm looking forward to your new book.

For me, Good in Bed, was a completely new story line.I have no questions, only appreciation for writing about such an untouched topic; you showed your readers that being overweight doesn't make your life any different from a skinny person. We all still have the same issues. Bravo!


message 40: by Mary Ellen (last edited Jul 18, 2011 05:44AM) (new)

Mary Ellen | 1 comments Hi Jennifer!

I just want to start by saying how much I love reading your books. The first book I read was "Good in Bed" and from then on, I was hooked! I instantly became a Jennifer Weiner fan!

Although I've read all of your books, the ones that stood out the most to me were "Good in Bed", "In Her Shoes", and "Certain Girls". In reading these books, I really felt that I could relate to Cannie and to some extent, Rose. In this society where thin is in, it's refreshing to be able to relate to a character that has flaws and isn't th"in". Later, when you wrote "Certain Girls", I again could relate to Cannie, being a new mom myself with the birth of my daughter, A.J. Having my daughter has not only opened my eyes to the kind of mother I hope to be, but has also made me delve into the relationship I share with my mother and view her from the point of view from a daughter as well as a mother. As a result, it has made me appreciate the things my mom did for me when I was younger, but didn't quite understand. With Rose, it reminded me of my relationship with my sister, where once we viewed ourselves very different, but in growing up, we realized how alike we are, but more importantly, how much we really need each other. (My sister is also getting married next fall and has asked me to be her Matron of Honor, which I am so excited for!) So, thank you for writing books that aren't too out there, where readers could say, "You know, it's okay to be me."

I have two questions for you:
1) Which heroine can you relate to the most?
2) In some of your books, you emphasize the different types of relationships between sisters. Do you yourself have any sisters and if so, do any of the sister-to-sister relationships from any of your books reflect your views on your relationship(s) with your sister(s)?

Thanks for your books and keep on writing!

Mary Ellen M.
Avon, CT

message 41: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer | 22 comments Good morning everyone!I'm here, and I'm going to start answering questions now.

message 42: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer | 22 comments Great questions, Melissa. I'd say that it depends on the character -- if I'm writing someone who's a lot like me, like Cannie (who was the 28-year-old version of me in GOOD IN BED, only funnier), or Becky in LITTLE EARTHQUAKES, I can go on my own instincts: what would I say or do in this situation, if I was fast on my feet? But with characters who aren't like me, it's more of a stretch. With Sylvie in FLY AWAY HOME, who's older than I am, and much more constrained, I had to think a lot about her reactions, her choices, and especially her language. One of my first readers flagged lots of passages and said, "This sounds like you, not her." I think it's part of growing as a writer. In a first novel, it's natural to have the "you" protagonist, but as your career progresses and you (hopefully) mature, you start taking on characters who aren't thinly (ha!) veiled versions of yourself.

message 43: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer | 22 comments Thanks, Joy! My friend Andrea took that picture, and all of my author photos. I find you get a much better result when you're comfortable with the person behind the camera.

message 44: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer | 22 comments Maureen wrote: "Jennifer,

Your books have been a lifeline between my best friend and I during times we have been physically separated- I can't thank you enough for what your books have meant to us! Little Eart..."

message 45: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer | 22 comments Colleen wrote: "Hi Jennifer! I have read all of your books and received my copy of Then Came You today (happy book birthday!). I would love to know what a typical day in the life of Jennifer Weiner looks like (if ..."

A typical day? Hmm. In Los Angeles, when I was working on "Georgia," I'd go to work at about 9:30 and split my day between the writers' room, where we'd be working on script, and the stage, where the actors would be rehearsing and/or pre-shooting scenes. On Tuesday nights the fabled live studio audience would arrive at 6 p.m. for show night, and we'd be there until 10 or 11 shooting each episode of "Georgia." I started working on a new novel, believe it or not, stealing time on the weekends, when my girls weren't with me, or at night after dinner. Now that I'm back home for the summer, I'm writing for a few hours each day, while my girls are in camp or at swimming lessons...and I think my life looks a lot like the life of any other mom with a job. Get up, get dressed, get kids dressed and fed and sunscreened, take kids to camp, go home, work out, work, pick up kids, supervise snacks and naps, work some more, dinner, baths, bed, "Bachelor!"

message 46: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer | 22 comments Jencey wrote: "Hi Jennifer,
I continue to love your books. I was sad that you aren't coming to Atlanta this year. Jennifer what is writing process like? Is there any changes since writing a television series..."

Hi Jencey,

Sorry about no ATL. I try to mix it up every year! My process isn't fancy: sit down in front of the laptop, either in my closet (seriously!) or in a coffee shop, write for a few hours. When I was working on the show I'd do my fiction nights and weekends, just like when I wrote GOOD IN BED when I worked at a newspaper. Now that the show's wrapped, I can work in the morning while my kids are at camp.

message 47: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer | 22 comments Lauren wrote: "Hi Jennifer! Could you PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE write a sequel to Certain Girls? I feel empty inside and full of pain for one of my favorite literary characters. That novel moved me. In fact at the end..."

When I sent my mother an early copy of that book, she had the same reaction: how COULD you!?! All I can say is that writers aren't always completely in control of what happens with their characters, and sometimes their actions surprise you as much as anyone else. I think there could be a sequel some day. Cannie meets menopause?

message 48: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer | 22 comments Kathy wrote: "hi jennifer,

i have been a big fan ever since i read good in bed! you have a beautiful voice and i'm so glad you have continued to provide wonderful reading for all of us fans! i'm not sure if thi..."

Hi Kathy,

If you go to my website -- it's, because I'm just that creative -- and click the "for writers" link, there's the whole story of how I came to write GOOD IN BED and how I found an agent and got published. Long story short -- I was a reader my whole life. I always loved telling stories, and was lucky enough to grow up in a home full of books, and to have teachers who encouraged me. I was an English major in college, then a newspaper reporter, where I learned to write on deadline, every by the time I was twenty-eight, dumped and broken-hearted, I finally had a story to tell and, after years of reading and writing, the skills to tell it.

message 49: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer | 22 comments Robin wrote: "Hi Jennifer,
I love your books, read them all. I met you in the San Francisco area when you toured for BFF. I was the fruit cake who came from OH. I've been following your discussions on attitudes..."

That's a great question. I'd say, any time you see chick lit being trashed -- whether it's the New York Times saying, "this book transcends mere chick lit," when it's clear that the reviewer hasn't read any, or a la-dee-da literary writer telling aspiring writers that they should "shoot higher" than mere stories about girls and love, say something. Write a letter to the editor, post a comment, tell them that you enjoy the books they're so gleefully insulting, and that writing a funny, entertaining, meaningful story that just happens to concern a young woman is a lot harder than it looks!

message 50: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer | 22 comments Cara wrote: "Congratulations on all your success. I'm a librarian and always put your books front and center so others will know to pick them up and enjoy!"

Thanks so much, Cara. I heart libraries -- I spent a lot of time in my local library when I was a kid, and I'm very proud now to sit on the board of the Free Library of Philadelphia!

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