Today we are very excited to share an interview with author Jennifer Weiner!
Read on to learn more about the author, the book, and a giveaway!
Meet the Author: Jennifer Weiner
Jennifer Weiner is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of twenty-one books, including The Summer Place, That Summer, Big Summer, Mrs. Everything, In Her Shoes, Good in Bed, and a memoir in essays, Hungry Heart. She has appeared on many national television programs, including Today and Good Morning America, and her work has been published in The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, among other newspapers and magazines. Jennifer lives with her family in Philadelphia. Visit her online at JenniferWeiner.com.
About the Book: The Bigfoot Queen
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Weiner comes the third and final book in the “cheerful” (The New York Times Book Review) and “charming” (People) trilogy about friendship, adventure, and celebrating your true self.
Alice Mayfair, Millie Maximus, Jessica Jarvis, and Jeremy Bigelow face their biggest challenge yet when exposure of the sacred, secret world is threatened by a determined foe, someone with a very personal reason to want revenge against the creatures who call themselves the Yare.
The fate of the tribe and its members’ right to live out peacefully in the open is at stake. Impossible decisions are made, friendships are threatened, secrets are revealed, and tremendous courage is required. Alice, her friends, and her frenemies will have to work together and be stronger, smarter, and more accepting than they’ve ever been.
But can some betrayals ever be forgiven?
YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write The Bigfoot Queen?
When my younger daughter was six years old, she was obsessed with a show called “Finding Bigfoot.” (After every episode, I’d ask her, “Did they find him yet?” And when she’d tell me they hadn’t, I would say, “I knew that already, because there’s another episode next week!” #bestmomever). I started talking about Bigfoots with my daughters, and what would happen if they were real – where would they live? How would they feel about humans? Would they be online? So that is where the LITTLEST BIGFOOT books came from.
YABC: Who is your favorite character in The Bigfoot Queen?
Alice has been the protagonist of all three books, and she will always have my heart. But for this book, I really loved writing Charlotte, and about how one wrong decision can have a cascade of bad consequences. Charlotte’s also a little older than the other kids, which made an interesting change. I really think teenagers see the world differently than kids who are eleven or twelve.
YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?
The book came first…but as soon as I figured out how it was going to end, I knew I had my title.
YABC: What scene in The Bigfoot Queen are you most proud of, and why?
The scene with Alice and Mark, the man who’s raised her, the man she’s always believed to be her father, is one I’m very proud of. Alice’s evolving relationship with both of her parents, and how she’s come to see them as multi-dimensional people instead of just villains, has been a thread running through all three books, and the scene where she’s saying goodbye to Mark is a moment where they’re both seeing each other completely – maybe for the first time ever.
YABC: Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you’ve learned as a writer from then to now?
That the most important difference between successful writers and people who spend their whole lives saying “I’ve got this great idea for a book” is the ability to make yourself sit in front of a blank page and do the work. And that the real work isn’t the writing, but the rewriting. And that it doesn’t get any easier! Every book I write still feels like my very first one.
YABC: What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2023?
I will read anything and everything Stephen King writes, and his new book, HOLLY, looks like a banger.
I’ve also been savoring Kelly Link’s short story collection, WHITE CAT BLACK DOG which came out in March. Every story is so weird and specific and unique, and it’s great to read them one by one and give them some time to marinate in my brain.
YABC: What’s a book you’ve recently read and loved?
I am currently on an Andre Debus III kick. I missed HOUSE OF SAND AND FOG when it first came out, and I couldn’t put it down. Which is a cliché but was also 100 percent true for me. I read it in a single day and night because I absolutely could not bear not knowing what happened to the characters. And I’ve missed them ever since I finished the book.
YABC: What’s up next for you?
I’m working on a new adult novel about two sisters who were in a very successful band in the early aughts. When the band broke up, one of them became a wife and mother, and the other one ran off to Alaska. I’m writing about what happens when the first sister’s daughter goes and tracks down the sister in Alaska and tries to convince her to perform again.
YABC: Which was the most difficult or emotional scene to write?
The end of the book was very hard, because I knew I was saying goodbye to characters I’d gotten to know really well after three books. I was happy that I was leaving them in a good place, but it was still sad to let them go.
YABC: Which character gave you the most trouble when writing The Bigfoot Queen?
Jessica was a bit of a challenge. I had to find the right balance between ‘mean girl’ and ‘unforgivably awful.’ So, making her the right amount of mean was tough…and then giving her a three-book redemption arc was also tricky.
YABC: What is the main message or lesson you would like your reader to remember from The Bigfoot Queen?
This is a book about characters finding their specific gifts and strengths, and learning to be brave. I hope the kids who read it think about their own gifts and strengths, and remember that kids can also be heroes.
YABC: What would you say is your superpower?
My joke answer is parallel parking. (Seriously, I can park a minivan in a tiny, tiny space. Twenty-five years of city living, baby!)
My serious answer is that I can write anywhere. Quiet room, loud coffee shop, train, plane, swim team meet…I’ve written in all of those places, and more.
YABC: Is there an organization or cause that is close to your heart?
I’m on the board of the Settlement Music School here in Philadelphia, where I resumed my piano lessons after a thirty-five-year hiatus. Settlement gives music lessons to any kid that wants them, regardless of their ability to pay. I think that’s great.
YABC: What advice do you have for new writers?
Read everything you can, and don’t wait for anyone to give you permission. Don’t think you have to have studied English in college or earned an MFA. Make the time, work as hard as you can, put your words out into the world…and if you’ve written something compelling or funny or sad or revealing or true, readers will find it.
Title: The Bigfoot Queen
Author: Jennifer Weiner
Release Date: Tuesday, October 24, 2023
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Ages: 8-12; Grades 3-7
Three (3) winners will receive a copy of The Bigfoot Queen (Jennifer Weiner) ~ US Only, No P.O. Boxes!
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