I am so excited to have Jennifer Brown hanging out with us today to discuss books and music. Jennifer is one of my top authors after her debut novel, Hate List, came out last year. (My review here.) And bonus she lives in the same state as me! Which I thought was neat because Missouri doesn't have many authors that I'm aware of.
I would love to have a lighter novel published! I've written a few of them, but with not a lot of luck. That doesn't keep me from continuing to try, though. Failure is just another learning opportunity! If I get inspired with another lighter novel idea and I fall in love with it, I'll write it!
You're walking down the street - what song is following?
Probably something completely goofy like "Mr. Blue Sky" by E.L.O., or "One Short Day" from Wicked. Unless I'm feeling particularly emo. In that case, "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" or "Jesus of Suburbia" (Green Day), of course!
I noticed some of the lyrics to Nickelback's 'If Everyone Cared' in Hate List. Were there any other songs that you listened to that fit the theme of the novel?
Oh, man, so many songs! I have my "unofficial play list" that I created for my Virtual Launch Party back in September. I swear, it's like the lyrics of "Haunted" (Kelly Clarkson) could have actually been written by Valerie! (You can view the playlist here.) But it's only a partial list. A couple of songs that aren't on the list that come to mind are "Bastards on Parade" by Dropkick Murphys, which played on a loop in my head while I was writing the novel, and "Broken" by Lifehouse.
Woah. After listening to "Haunted", I can completely see the Valerie connection! Who is your favorite band or artist?
Tough question. I have my "regulars" -- you know, the music I constantly listen to. Green Day, Pink, Daughtry. But I would have to say my all-time favorite band ever is The Beatles.
Do you have to have any 'essentials' so to say (music, snacks, etc) when you write?
I wouldn't call them "essentials," so much as "habits." You could take them away and I'd do just fine without them. Mostly I need something to drink (caffeine-free, as caffeine scatters my thoughts), and some sort of music. I fairly frequently raid the 99-cent bin at Vintage Stock, because it's full of awesome foreign music. I prefer to listen to music that I can't sing along to while I'm writing, and I love hearing music from other cultures. I also listen to Mozart while writing pretty often. And Enya, but I have to be careful not to sing along.
Have you had any 'rock star' writing moments?
I visited with a local book group not too long ago. It was a bunch of ladies, many of whom I recognized as moms of my kids' friends. All of a sudden, in walked two young teens, and they started freaking out when they saw me -- shaking and squealing and holding their hands over their mouths and going, "That's HEEER!" It made me laugh and totally surprised me. I kept saying, "Guys, I'm just a mom. No big deal." They stayed through the whole group and asked the best questions ever and were just so... starstruck. It still makes me laugh when I think about it, because they've probably walked past me at a billion school or city events over the years and haven't thought twice about it.
Can we ask what you're working on next?
I'm currently in revisions on my next YA novel, which I hope will be out sometime in spring 2011. It's a story about a girl who falls in love with the new boy at school... only to find out he has a very dangerous side...
Big thanks to Jennifer for taking the time to answer our questions and I'm really looking forward to reading her next book. If you want to learn more about Jennifer, swing by her website.