Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Marvelous May Masterminds: Jennifer Brown

Interview with Jennifer Brown, author of Bitter End

Bitter End, along with your first novel, Hate List, both deal with serious topics. As a humor columnist, what led you to want to take a different approach at writing?

I'm asked this question a lot! The truth is, I have always written humorous and serious work in tandem. It's just that the humor sold first. I was still always hoping for that "serious novel" to someday make it, was still reading serious novels, and was still writing serious work. This is why I think it's so important for writers to never put themselves in a tidy little genre box. I've heard a few times over the years that writers should find the genre they write best in and ditch all other genres and stick with that one, refine it, become an expert at it. I couldn't disagree more. I think, as artists, writers should always try out new genres and see which ones work. What works one day may not the next. What doesn't work one day may just need a little time.

Do you see any of yourself in Alex?

While I definitely saw myself in Hate List's Valerie, I don't see much of myself at all in Alex, with one huge exception, and that is that I fell in love very easily when I was a teen and would often see it as "forever love" when everyone around me knew that it wasn't. Sometimes that kept me clinging to unhealthy relationships. I think Alex falls for Cole in this way -- that she so badly wants it to be "forever," she is very easily taken by his romantic side, and holds fiercely to that even after it's time for her to let go.

Why did you choose to write a novel focusing on an abusive relationship?

It's an important subject. Teen dating violence is on the rise, and a lot of girls are silently suffering, keeping this horrible, dangerous secret of abuse and feeling like they're alone in the world. And it's so easy, whenever we hear of a girl or woman who is abused, to say, "I would never stay in a relationship like that! I would never let a man hit me!" But that's really easy to say...when you're not in it. Relationships are complex, and when you're in love, you never know what you'd be willing to "excuse away" and why.

What is your favorite quote?

"It's kind of fun to do the impossible." ~Walt Disney (who, by the way, is my hero on so many levels)

If your life was made into a movie what actress would play you?

Kathy Bates

Who's your favorite cartoon/Disney character and why?

I am a Disney freak! And I love Mickey Mouse, because he embodies Disney.

The food you can't live without?

Ice cream. Any flavor.

Have an interesting fact about yourself that not too many people know?

I can draw, paint, cartoon...but I really hate doing it.

Now for a little bit of "This or That":

Chocolate or vanilla?

Chocolate, unless it's a McDonald's milkshake.

Being behind or in front of the lens?

Oh, neither. I am the least photogenic person in the world. Also, the worst photographer in the world.

City-life or country-life?

Country life.

Black and white classics or new 3D movies?


Staying up late or waking up early?

Staying up late and getting up early. How else is a stay-at-home mom supposed to get any writing done?

Thank you so much, Jennifer, for answering my questions!



  1. I enjoyed your interview. I am also a night person.

    lizzi0915 at aol dot com

  2. I like country life also, I get too anxious. I get up early and stay up late too, mine is for reading reasons. I can't wait to read your book!!!


  3. Great interview! I love Walt Disney too, and I would love to believe in "forever love," though I'm not sure it exists... sigh.

  4. Id rather have books also & yes this is a very important issue thanks for the book jennifer

  5. interview was great
    i am also a disney freak love all the cartoon characters


  6. Ooh yay for Disney freaks! Can't wait to read Bitter End, it sounds great.


Thanks, I love what you have to say!