Monday, June 11, 2007

The Jen Lancaster Interview


I wasn't sure when I posted my review below if Jen would have time to answer my interview questions, after all she is in demand. Book signings! Tours! Shopping! But lo and behold, The Bright Lights, Big Ass interview is here. Have you bought the book yet? Well what are you waiting for?

Jen, have you kept up with the workout routine and trainer? Are you doing a thousand squats a day and sporting buns of steel rather than cinnamon buns?

Yes and no. I thought I’d recommitted myself to health and fitness after the second book, but as it turns out, not so much. For my third book I’ve pledged to lose 50 pounds by any means necessary and now I’m training 3-4 times a week combine with a stringent eating program and it is TORTURE. (So please don’t mention melty, oozy, delicious cinnamon buns or I will cry.)

What are the latest tunes downloaded onto your ipod? Extra points if you know songs by Foghat and Golden Earring.

Between his night on American Idol and the opening theme to Deadliest Catch, Bon Jovi has finally won me over after 20 years and I just downloaded Wanted Dead or Alive, Blaze of Glory, Livin’ on a Prayer, and You Give Love a Bad Name. I also bought some more Creedence Clearwater Revival and Guns ‘N Roses. (But Foghat and Golden Earring are excellent suggestions…)

What is the last book you read? What is your literary taste?

I just finished reading And Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris and I absolutely loved it. He did something I’ve never seen before by telling the story in a first person plural narrative. My socks? Totally knocked off. As for my taste, it’s all over the place.
There are genres I wouldn’t normally buy, e.g. paranormal romances and science fiction, and yet authors like Mary Janice Davidson and Douglas Adams are among my favorites. Most of what I purchase is chick lit and women’s fiction but I guess I like anyone who tells a great story or has a distinctive voice.

You and Fletch make the perfect couple. Is it a case of opposites attracting or are the two of you a lot alike? How did you meet, was it love at first site?

Hey, thanks! For us, we had a lot of similarities when we met, but over the past eleven years we’ve merged together into one super-entity, with snarky retorts faster than a speeding bullet and able to quaff tall martinis in a single gulp. What’s funny is we had the same extended group of friends for a number of years and hung out in all the same places but we never actually met until we got jobs at a new restaurant together. Maybe it was kismet, or maybe West Lafayette, IN is just a really small town.

"That's nuckin' futs!" name the movie. You seem to be a big movie buff. And The Apple Dumpling Gang? Totally. What movies are your all time favorites?

OK, I cheated and had to Google the phrase, but I did actually see Dickie Roberts (in the theater, no less) so I should get partial credit. I’m probably most partial to smart comedies like The Big Lebowski and tend to favor stuff according to whoever directed it, such as anything by the Coen brothers, Judd Apatow, old Tarantino stuff – that is, before he lost his damn mind, ditto on Kevin Smith, etc.
If you want to get down to the granular level, how about my favorite scenes from my favorite movies, e.g. in Almost Famous when they’re singing Tiny Dancer on the bus or when John Cusack’s character holds the jambox up in front of Ione Skye’s window? Classic stuff here, people.


If you could sit Lindsay Lohan down and offer words of wisdom, what would you say? Jen, she –plus Nicole Richie and Paris Hilton- needs a friend- someone full of knowledge and good taste who knows how to consume a meal and keep it down, how about it?

I’d tell the girls there’s a time and a place for this behavior and it’s called college. (Nothing you do while enrolled in classes actually counts against you and in addition, when you’re a student, you are surrounded by an invincibility bubble. Drink for three days? Cross the street against traffic? Random hook-ups? Yes! Have at it!)
Sure, they’re idiots doing a lot of self-destructive stuff, but except for the whole no-underpants business, they haven’t done that much worse than many kids I knew in school and they all turned out fine. I think it boils down to a decision – do these girls want to be famous or do they want to have a good time while flying under the radar for the next few years? Because you can’t have both. Seriously, the paparazzi seems to leave celebs alone while they matriculate (e.g. Jodi Foster, Claire Danes, Natalie Portman, etc.) and there are worse things they could do than end up with a Philosophy degree, you know?

Bright Lights, Big Ass and Bitter is the New Black are great titles plus the cover art on both books is very eye catching. I'm expecting a twin set on the next book cover. What will your next book be about and what titles are you tossing around?

I couldn’t be happier about the covers I have on my books right now; the designers really knocked them both out of the park. I’m perpetually excited to see them displayed together because it’s starting to create a brand. The next one will also have an iconic cover and I’m interested to see where the art department goes with it. Number three, coming out May 2008, is called Pretty Fat: One Narcissist’s Quest to Discover If Her Life Makes Her Ass Look Big; Or, Why Pie Is Not the Answer and it’s about the aforementioned 50-pound weight loss. As long as they don’t put a giant butt on the cover, I’ll be happy.

Thanks to your book I learned a new phrase which prompted me to head over to Urban Dictionary and pick up some fresh lingo. Have you ever been given the cold nose treatment?
Ugh, and unfortunately, yes. (And I had to look it up, too.) I love my dogs, but damn, they are horrible sometimes.

What are you working on now? Can you finally quit temping?

I’ve got another couple of months to finish writing Pretty Fat and lose 25 more pounds which I’m doing while promoting Bright Lights, Big Ass. Essentially these tasks have taken over my entire life and my house is a wreck and I have 10,000 unanswered emails and my family hasn’t seen me in ages. But I’ve got to say I’m really thankful to my publisher and to the fans because I’ve finally been able to stop temping. I’ll take a blank page and a deadline over collating any day of the week.

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16 Comments:

Blogger Leslie said...
I read Jen's first book and loved it! (I even immediately figured out who her reality star landlord was - that part cracked me up, as did the rest of the book). Just bought her 2nd book and haven't started it yet. I'm glad to see she has a third book coming out. GO JEN!!
(And GO CINDY!) You gals rock =) @ 11:21 PM  
Anonymous Aimee said...
I read both of Jen's books, but in reverse. I found Bright Lights Big Ass and loved it...so of course I went looking for more and read Bitter immediately after finishing Bright. Now I'm going through withdrawals and reading everything I can find by her on the net. I can't wait for the new book to come out. Thanks for the great interview! @ 10:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...
I've felt embarrrassed for Jen Lancaster as all the reviews(other than yours) expressed how poorly written and trite her books were. Now i'm over it as she actually refers to readers as "fans"?! Fans?!! Maybe the 50 lbs she needs to lose isn't where she should start... @ 2:05 PM  
Anonymous Daphne said...
I've read both of Jen's books and cannot wait for #3. She is funny, honest, sharp, intelligent, and, knows how to work a twinset and pearls. I worked up the nerve to say hello to her recently in Chicago after a book fair, and she was more gracious and pleasant than I could have imagined. @ 2:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...
I LOVE Jen's Books! Rarely do I read books that make me laugh out loud!!! She is such a breath of fresh air. I am so excited that there will another book and I am so bummed that I have to wait almost a year to read it.
Aimee @ 11:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...
I think that Jen is an excelent writer with great wit and sarcasim! While reading Bright Lights Big Ass I laughed so loud I cried!!Jen wites from the heart with truth and humor. Her books are refreshing to read, I can't wait for the new book in May!
GO JEN!!! @ 10:16 PM  
Blogger janice said...
I thoroughly enjoyed both of your books, Jenn...and sent them to my own Jennifer in Washington,D.C. She called the other day and said I am half through book one and I love it! I think you are adorable and can't wait to read your next book.
Jan B. @ 9:49 PM  
Anonymous Kristen said...
I have not been able to put this book down! I can relate to everything she writes about-from the time she was docked a grade for telling someone that they chewed like a cow, to her Jen Commandments. She can't help it if she says all of the things everyone else is thinking outloud! @ 1:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Gail,
I am a new devoted fan and like Aimee I am looking for anything and everything I can on Jen Lancaster. Hence this "Interview". I want her to star in a reality series. It will be bigger then "Flipping Out", and "Top Chef" combined.
PS I haven't read two books in one week EVER! @ 8:25 PM  
Blogger monica said...
For those of you who though Jen's books are trite and not well written-lighten up!!! I could not put these books down. Jen is honest, witty, intelligent, and a very imaginative writer. I can't wait for her next. Kudos to her. @ 7:51 AM  
Anonymous Mary Anne said...
I'm a true crime reader but Such a Pretty Fat was recommended to me. I'm hooked, loved laughing to the snorting point and flying through the pages for more.
Can't wait 'til the subject is menopause, I hope she's still writing by then. @ 11:19 AM  
Blogger desaraev said...
I love how many authors have gone online. Cute interview. Bravo to you and to Jen. She is hilarious. @ 8:31 PM  
Blogger tlschaos said...
I was interested in Brights Lights ... until I read this in another interview: "That makes me want to kick them until they're dead, you know?"

I don't believe it, that she really feels like kicking a person (read "man") to death. But maybe you have to talk that way these days to sell to all the women who want to be more like men, apparently quite a large group. @ 12:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...
I cannot BELIEVE that anyone would have a thing negative to say about Jen's writing. Jealous, all of them!

She is a hoot and a half, as we say down here in the South. In fact, I am completely impressed by how she's one of the few writers publishing today who actually WORKS on her books and doesn't just recycle the same garbage over and over again.

Let me say it The Jen Way: Most authors? I read from the library, if ever. Jen Lancaster's books? I will deck anyone who steps in line between me and the check-out counter at the bookstore.

Jen, you rock the house! @ 8:11 PM  
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