Thursday, April 12, 2012

Interview and Giveaway: Author Jane Green

Yesterday I reviewed Jane Green's latest (#13) novel Another Piece of My Heart. I was fortunate to have an opportunity to participate in a Q&A with the author and some other bloggers - Jane Green offered some great insights into the novel, her writing and what she enjoys to read. Read on for an excerpt from the interview:

Question: You wrote Andi's chapters in third person, and then you wrote Emily's in first person. And I enjoyed it and I appreciate it, but I wonder as an author how you came about deciding to do it that way.

Answer: Actually, it wasn’t my decision at all. I’d reached a point in the book where I think Emily was just so deeply irritating and Andi was a bit whiny . . . I was a little bit nervous because I didn’t think of myself as somebody who can write teenagers well. The dialogue, everything is different. And I have a lot of friends who write YA. It’s something that I couldn’t even contemplate. I can’t imagine writing anything that a 16 or 17 year old would actually want to read. But, as soon as I started writing from Emily’s point of view, I just felt that I knew her. I absolutely knew who she was and what she was about. And I felt enormous amounts of empathy for her.

Question: Which of your book characters do you think is most similar to you?

Answer: I think there’s probably a little bit of me in all of them. I don’t have any one character where I think, yes, that absolutely is me. But I certainly see myself in so many of them. Different books over the years have captured different parts of my life. Jemima J was about my own struggles with food and body image. In Second Chance, there were aspects of me in Holly definitely. I was married at the time and not terribly happy although not quite realizing it then . . .
Even in this book, in Another Piece of My Heart where it is so divided, I would say there are parts of me in Andi and possibly even more of me in Emily, actually. As soon as I started writing Emily, it felt like I was writing about my teenage self. I didn’t have a stepmother but feelings of just not fitting in, of not being good enough, of being different somehow.

Question: I wonder if you notice a difference in the book community or how readers respond to you specifically between the US and England?

Answer: I do very little touring in England. I haven’t done it for years. I’m doing a very big tour this summer in England. But, that’s really the first one I have done in a long time . . . Book communities are so different everywhere you go, and you never quite know what you’re going to get. One of the things that I love doing more than anything are events at libraries and events at independent bookstores, not that I am not a huge fan of the chains. But, when you go to a really wonderful independent bookstore that’s been there for a long time, they know their clientele, they love books, they’re doing this not because they want to make money but because they just love books. And they love people, and they’re bringing the two together.

Finally, here are some book/author recommendations from Jane Green:

Room by Emma Donoghue

Hooked by Catherine Greenman

This Beautiful Life by Helen Schulman

Reading My Father by Alexandra Styron

Slow Love by Dominique Browning

Admission by Jean Hanff Korelitz

Jonathan Tropper: “I think he is a wonderful author. And he’s one of the few where I know that I’m going to love pretty much anything and everything he writes” - A woman after my own heart!

You can hear more from Jane Green on her website or her Facebook page or by following her on twitter (@janegreen).  You can also see Jane on the Today Show yesterday talking about Another Piece of My Heart and blended families.

Thanks to St. Martin's Press, I have one copy of Another Piece of My Heart to give away. Please leave a comment with the question you would most like to ask this or any other author. Please also leave a way to contact you. The winner will be selected on Thursday April 19 at noon EST. US only please.  Good Luck!


  1. I always love to ask an author if they have had to overcome speedbumps on their way to being published?

  2. I really liked this book and didn't even notice the different points of view for Emily and Andi. Great interview. No need to enter me.

  3. Oh yay! Awesome to get recommendations from Jane interview. Thanks for the giveaway :)

  4. Always wanted to ask an author where do you get your ideas?how much comes from their own lives.

  5. If I had read a book by the author, I would ask who they envision playing their character in a movie adaptation of their book. If I hadn't read the book, I would ask how they feel about books being turned into movies in general.

  6. Interesting to learn which of the characters in her books Ms. Green thinks are most similar to her. I can see that many of the characters might be inspired by her at various stages/crossroads in her life.

    A nice interview Colleen - I also enjoyed the list of book/author recommendations.

  7. Hi,

    I would be fascinated to learn how/where most authors come up with the ideas for their books.

    BTW - new follower!