Friday, April 20, 2012

Jennifer Miller answers our TOP FIVE.

Jennifer Miller is the Brooklyn-based author of the novel The Year of the Gadfly (which I totally loved, review TK), coming May 8th from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. We'll be hosting her at the bookstore on Thursday, May 10th at 7pm.

1. What's on your nightstand right now?

The New York Times Sunday Style Magazine, New York Magazine, The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova, You Remind Me of Me by Dan Chaon, and Rosebud Lip Balm. There is also quite a bit of dust, because it is impossible to keep a New York apartment clean no matter how many times a week I swiffer.

2. How do you write?

I write full time and split my day between fiction and journalism. I try to get in about five hours of writing time a day, but if I'm in the middle of a revision I'll end up sitting at my desk until eight or nine pm. I often need to get out of the house in order to motivate, so I'll circulate through a handful of coffee shops in my neighborhood. Being around other people who are also working helps keep me focused. There are two pitfalls in working away from home. First: I generally eat my way through the day (also to keep myself motivated!) and coffee shops get expensive. Second: people don't seem to realize that a coffee shop is NOT an actual office and when they take extended business calls, I have to start giving them the stink eye.

3. Name the first time or moment you realized you were a writer.

Probably when I was in the third grade and I wrote a book of poetry with my best friend. One of our poems was about purple underwear. So, basically, I was a child writing prodigy.

4. What are you working on now?

I'm writing a second novel about a young woman who runs away from her fiance when he returns from Iraq with PTSD. She ends up on a cross-country motorcycle trip with her Vietnam Veteran father. The book was inspired by reporting I did for The New York Times on motorcycle-riding vets in 2005.

5. Favorite recent find?

I'd love to recommend the book Missing by Lindsay Harrison. It's a gripping memoir. Also, the Lincoln Memorial, and specifically, Lincoln's second inaugural address, (which is on the wall at the Memorial) and is one of the most moving and powerful pieces of writing I've ever encountered.

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