Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Jennifer Weiner, Best Friends Forever

This is going to shoot straight up the best selling lists, mark my words. Everyone I know loves Jennifer Weiner's books and I'm happy to say Best Friends Forever does not disappoint. From page one I was hooked!

The book tells the story of best friends Addie and Valerie, two very different girls who become best buds in high school. A single event tears the two apart for years, until Val blows back into town and needs the help of her steady, reliable pal. Drawn back into the drama that is Valerie, Addie ends up helping her friend and learns about herself in the process.

I don't want to give any more away but you have to read it. There are some funny moments, some sad and some pretty gut wrenching but I promise it all works out in the end.

My favorite book of yours is In Her Shoes, I love the sisters and their story line. Which of your books is your favorite and which character are most like you?

I could never pick a favorite! My books are my children! (I guess in that case, I love the one that's best behaved and sleeps past five a.m.).

In terms of characters, there's sort of the "me" character in each of my books -- Cannie in GOOD IN BED, Rose in IN HER SHOES, Becky in LITTLE EARTHQUAKES. Addie is a much more alienated and extreme version of me, but I think that some of the things she thinks and says are things that I would think (but maybe not say!)

Best Friends Forever was written from a few different view points plus past and present tense, did you outline the entire book to keep it straight? How prepared are you when you sit down to write a book?

I do outline before I start, but the finished book diverges wildly from the outline -- there was a version where one of the main characters died, and clearly, that didn't happen! I use the outline as a very rough road map -- one that tells me where I'll begin and where I'll end -- but I try to leave myself a lot of leeway in terms of how I get from one to the other.

Addie had a tough time in highschool as did I and so many others. I was more of an observer than a participant because I felt like an outcast. How was the highschool experience for you?

High school -- at least the first two years -- wasn't easy. I was fairly awkward and bookish and I grew up in a suburb of Connecticut that perfected the preppy ethos -- popped collars and layered Izod shirts and chinos and the right kind of sneakers, which my parents were rarely willing to spring for. Eventually I figured out where I fit in, made some friends, had some dates, etc., but I remember the very vivid sensation of each day being like Thunderdome, where someone was going to say something or do something that would make me feel horribly inadequate and alone.

Of course, I am now Facebook friends with many of my classmates, and we're all struggling with the same stuff, so it all turned out okay.

How do you choose the names of your characters?

I actually give that a lot of thought, because I like to have a name that alludes to or evokes some aspect of the character. Sometimes it's as simple as having a cheerful-sounding name for a character who's generally happy, like Becky in Little Earthquakes, or a name that evokes another character -- Cannie in GOOD IN BED was a homage to Candide, who was also on a journey of self-discovery (but I hardly ever mention that, because I don't believe Voltaire had naked legs and cheesecake on his cover).

With BFF, I wanted Addie to have a sweet, old-fashioned name -- she's a little bit of a homebody, and a throwback, who's not comfortable with a lot of modern life, and I wanted her name to reflect that. Valerie always struck me as more of a glamour-girl name, but the nickname Val is nice and economical and good for a life of crime.

I love beauty products and want to know what are some of your 'can't live without' items?

I'm into the Olay Regenerist face stuff -- it's got SPF, and I can usually remember to slap some on in the morning. Oh, and Lancome Juicy Tubes -- not only do they look good, they taste delicious.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Hopefully getting a lot more sleep!

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Blogger kelliegonzo said...

i can't wait to read this! i heard about it a few weeks ago and have been anticipating it's release on the edge of my seat :D

1:17 PM  
Blogger MaNiC MoMMy™ said...

great interview! I love JW too!

12:17 AM  

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