Friday, April 23, 2010

Interview: Jennifer Richard Jacobson, author of The Complete History of Why I Hate Her

Please welcome Jennifer Richard Jacobson, author of The Complete History of Why I Hate Her. You can read my review here. Jennifer is the author of picture books, stories for beginning readers, and middle-grade novels. Stained is her first book written for young adults. Born and raised in New Hampshire, she attended Lesley College and Harvard Graduate School of Education. She lives in a cottage, built in 1802, in Maine.

1. Describe your new book in 50 words or less.
Nola, whose life has been overshadowed by her sister’s illness, travels to Maine to experience a summer of independence. There she meets Carly – a dynamic friend who breaks all boundaries and threatens to steal Nola’s fragile identity. Ironically, it’s through confrontation with Carly that Nola learns who she truly is.

2. What inspired you to write The Complete History of Why I Hate Her? What was the writing process like?
I wanted to write a friendship book. For some reason, we allow ourselves to be trapped in friendships that are fraught with difficulties. If a girl breaks up with a guy who’s bad for her, we applaud. But if a girl wants to end a female friendship that’s toxic, we label her petty or mean. We often don’t give ourselves permission to do what’s best for us.

The writing process was hard for this book. I put so much energy into creating the sly, manipulative Carly that I often felt completely drained by the end of the day.

3. The Complete History of Why I Hate Her deals with what I like to call "frenemies," a common relationship nowadays. Did you draw from personal experience or from other people's experiences with these kind of relationships?
I drew from personal experience. When I was younger, I met a women who I thought was the perfect friend. What I didn’t realize was that she had been stalking me. Not only had she been following me, watching me -- she was slowly becoming me. Carly is primarily based on that experience.

4. Do you have any necessities while writing?
All I require is my laptop. I’ve learned to write anywhere.

5. Everyone's forced to read classics in high school English. Which ones did you love? Which ones should students never be forced to read?
I loved anything written by Jane Austin. No high school student should be required to read Moby Dick. (I’ve tried many times and given up.)

6. The one book everyone should read?
If you like my book, The Complete History of Why I Hate Her (and you’re interested in writing) read Truth and Beauty: A Friendship -- a memoir by Ann Patchett.

7. Are you working on anything at the moment? If so, please tell us a little about it.
It’s 3:00 am. A seventeen-year-old girl calls her best friend: “Come get me! Please!” Apparently her boyfriend had crawled through her bedroom window. Or did he? It’s a story told from several points of view and each telling or retelling gives an entirely different perspective.

Thank you so much for joining us Jennifer!

1 comment:

  1. Nice interview! I really want to read this now :)


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