Thursday, April 16, 2009

GCC Presents: Jennifer O'Connell

Jennifer O'Connell is here via the Girlfriends Cyber Circuit today to talk about the anthology she edited, EVERYTHING I NEEDED TO KNOW ABOUT BEING A GIRL I LEARNED FROM JUDY BLUME, which was just released in paperback.

Judy Blume was one of my favorites growing up, so I know I'll definitely be picking up this book. Here's a little bit more about it:

Whether laughing to tears reading Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great or clamoring for more unmistakable “me too!” moments in Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, girls all over the world have been touched by Judy Blume’s poignant coming-of-age stories. Now, in this anthology of essays, twenty-four notable female authors write straight from the heart about the unforgettable novels that left an indelible mark on their childhoods and still influence them today. Drawing on their own experiences of feeling like a Fourth Grade Nothing before growing up to become Smart Women themselves, these writers pay tribute, through their reflections and most cherished memories, to one of the most beloved authors of all time.

Contributors include: Megan Cabot, Megan McCafferty, Cara Lockwood,
Melissa Senate, Laura Caldwell, Stacey Ballis, Shanna Swendson and 17 other acclaimed women writers.

Now, I'm lucky enough to have Jennifer here to answer my usual GCC questions!

Q: Please list five songs that would be on the soundtrack to your book and explain how they relate to your story or characters.

Jennifer: They would be terrible, horrible songs from the late 70s and early 80s, because that’s what Judy’s books remind me of. But I HATE songs from that era so I don’t even want to remember what they were.

Q: Name some of your main character's favorite musicians or bands.

Jennifer: The main character in my essay was… me! So this is easy: Alanis Morrissette, Suzanne Vega, Toni Childs, Pete Yorn, Guns ‘n Roses, Pink Floyd

Q: Who are some of your favorite musicians or bands?

Jennifer: Answer above, see I said this was easy!

Q: Even though music plays in so heavily into my storytelling, I rarely can actually listen to it while I'm writing. Can you? How does music fit into your writing process?

Jennifer: I don’t listen to music when I write but it’s a huge inspiration to me. I’ll hear a line in a song and it will spark an idea and get me thinking and send me down an entire path of ideas for my story or characters.

Q: While music is my muse, I know other writers find their muse in theater, sports, art, the great outdoors, etc. What is your main muse?

Jennifer: Deadlines. Music is huge, but so are other books, I’ll read something that just clicks and gives me ideas and gets my motor running.

Well, like Jennifer, deadlines are a huge inspiration to me right now too... so I'm off to try to meet one. But go check out the book if you love Judy Blume or any of the fabulous contributors!

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