Last weekend I started reading Jennifer Weiner’s new book, Fly Away Home. I’m already engrossed in the life of Sylvie Woodruff and her two daughters, Diana and Lizzie. With each page I’m learning more about the characters and watching their personalities unfold. As I do with each Jennifer Weiner book, I’ll lose myself in the lives of the characters she’s created. I’ll follow their stories, root for my favorite and be thoroughly entertained. I will also wonder if she’s plucked something from her real life and included it in the story.
I fell in love with Jennifer Weiner’s writing style after reading Little Earthquakes in 2004. At the time I had a newborn and a four year old. I was deep in the trenches of mommyhood and so were the characters. As it turns out, Jennifer was too. In Little Earthquakes she explored the exhilaration and exhaustion of parenthood from her own real perspective as a first- time mother.
Over the years I’ve devoured every book Jennifer has written. Along the way I noticed recurrent themes (Jewish customs, characters who struggled with weight loss, sibling rivalry, even lap pools) and wondered how much was simply coincidence or real life themes she purposely returned to. Even her beloved pooch, Wendell, makes an appearance in her first novel (Good In Bed) as Cannie’s dog, Nifkin.
I’ve always been fascinated by the writing process. I find myself particularly curious about which aspects of the story were researched and which were written from a well-known place in the author’s heart.
I love to blog, write articles for a local lifestyle website and chat about my favorite reads here at Book End Babes. Every now and then, a story idea or plot will come to mind and I’ll proclaim, “that’s it, I’m gonna do it, I’m going to write a book.” Then of course the dream bubble will burst over my head when I hear shouts of, “I’m hungry,” “the cat threw up again,” “I’m bored.” Currently, this glamorous life doesn’t afford me time to write more than a grocery list but you never know what the future may hold.
Fortunately life has blessed me with my own fantastic cast of characters. I’m surrounded by friends and family who are interesting, funny and some, downright insane. In addition to the voices in my own head, these real people may some day grace the pages of a novel. Maybe I’ll write about my half-blind grandmother who cooked like a Top Chef, saved used tin foil and washed dishes with her bare hands. I might devote a supporting character role to my brother who specializes in creating unique strings of curse words. In anticipation of my book, he’s already provided me with his preferred pseudonym, Jasper McCoykins. And of course what story would be complete without a Willie Nelson-loving, cancer-battling father who eats his weight in peanut butter-covered Oreos?
Now, if I can just get them to sign the release forms.