About Jennifer Niven
Q. What is your birthdate?
Q. Previous occupations
A. Actress; assistant bookstore manager (Harvard-Westlake); writer, editor, celebrity interviewer (House of Blues); website producer (abc.com)
Q. Favorite job
A. The one I have right now-- writing, writing, writing
Q. High school and/or college
A. Richmond High School (Richmond, Indiana); Drew University (Madison, New Jersey); The American Film Institute (Los Angeles)
Q. Name of your favorite composer or music artist?
A. ABBA (followed distantly by Goldfrapp, Led Zeppelin, Doris Day, the Doors, Johnny Cash, Ann-Margret, George Gershwin, Peggy Lee, the Jonas Brothers, Mozart, Cheap Trick, Loretta Lynn, Aerosmith, Chopin, and the yeh-yeh girls of 1960's Paris...)
Q. Favorite movie
A. The Magnificent Seven, My Man Godfrey, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, The Awful Truth, City Lights, Sweeney Todd, The Thin Man series, You Can't Take it With You......
Q. Favorite television show
A. Supernatural, Flight of the Conchords, Mad Men, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Charlie's Angels, The White Shadow, Extras, Bones, Medium, Vampire Diaries...
Q. How would you describe your life in only 8 words?
A. Big, bold, colorful, and happy
Q. What is your motto or maxim?
A. Live out loud. Do unto others. Dream big. And there's nothing you can't do.
Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?
A. A wonderful day of writing. Sunshine. Movie popcorn. Friends. Family. Cats. Good hair. Laughter. Everything right in my world.
Q. What’s your greatest fear?
A. To be eternally separated from loved ones after death
Q. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?
A. Right here at my writing desk. Or traipsing through Dracula's Transylvanian castle with my best friend, exploring the ABBA Museum in Stockholm with my mother, or dancing in the streets of Havana with my boyfriend.
Q. With whom in history do you most identify?
A. Carole Lombard and Scarlett O'Hara
Q. Which living person do you most admire?
A. My mother. She's a total rock star and the most loving, inspiring person I know.
Q. What are your most overused words or phrases?
A. "Absolutely." "Snacks." "Fancy." "Sexy." "Groovy." "Right?" "Can you imagine?" "My eyes (are so wide)..."
Q. If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
A. Singing. If only I could carry a tune... And moving objects (including myself) with my mind!
Q. What is your greatest achievement?
A. My human relationships; never being afraid to take chances in life; and my books, especially my first novel, Velva Jean Learns to Drive.
Q. What’s your greatest flaw?
A. Wanting to please everyone and have them like me, and not speaking up for myself as a result
Q. What’s your best quality?
A. Spreading joy, love, and good cheer
Q. If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?
A. I'm happy being me, but I would love to have a day to be: a spy, a Rockette, a movie star from the 1930s, a Bond Girl, a go-go dancer, a Bronte, an outlaw, Kobe Bryant, a Charlie's Angel, and a rock star
Q. What trait is most noticeable about you?
Q. Who is your favorite fictional hero?
A. Alice in Wonderland, Scarlett O'Hara, and Amy March
Q. Who is your favorite fictional villain?
Q. If you could meet any historical character, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?
A. I'd like to go to one of Carole Lombard's infamous parties and tell her not to get on that airplane. I'd want to lie on George Gershwin's piano while he was playing and sing a song with him. I'd like to dance with Mata Hari and exchange stories about men. I'd want to visit a film set of Charlie Chaplin's and talk to him about the creative process. I'd want to be on one of those trains robbed by Jesse James and then ask him if he ever lost sleep over his crimes. I'd want Jacqueline Cochran to teach me how to fly so I could be a WASP. I'd put myself on the ship Karluk, which I wrote about in my first book, and meet Captain Bob Bartlett, Bjarne Mamen, and William McKinlay and get to know them even better. I'd want to flirt with Houdini and Yul Brynner. I'd like to sit and just look at Lord Byron.
Q. What is your biggest pet peeve?
A. False promises and lying
Q. What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?
A. Researcher and animal rescuer
Q. What’s your fantasy profession?
A. I'd be a rock star by night, a spy and private detective by day. Like a Josie and the Pussycat.
Q. What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
A. Honesty, humor, joy in life
Q. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
A. Movie popcorn
Q. What are your 5 favorite songs?
A. "Dancing Queen" (ABBA), "Cocaine Blues" (Johnny Cash), "The Unclouded Day" (hymn), "In the Mood" (Glenn Miller), "O Mio Babbino Caro" (from "Gianni Scicchi" by Puccini; sung by Kiri Te Kanawa)
On Books and Writing
Q. Who are your favorite authors?
A. Flannery O'Connor, Harper Lee, Anne Bronte, Jane Austen, Ellen Gilchrist, Ernest Hemingway, Zora Neale Hurston, Erica Jong, Louise Rennison, Lord Byron, Truman Capote, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and my mother, Penelope Niven
Q. What are your 5 favorite books of all time?
A. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, In Cold Blood, Little Women, To Kill a Mockingbird, and The Letters of Vincent Van Gogh tied with The Little Prince
Q. Is there a book you love to reread?
A. My Wicked, Wicked Ways by Errol Flynn; I'm With the Band by Pamela des Barres; and the Georgia Nicolson series by Louise Rennison
Q. Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?
A. Writing takes soul stamina-- work hard, write hard, have fun with it, and don't give up.
Q. What comment do you hear most often from your readers?
A. "What's a girl like you doing writing books about men in the Arctic?" and "I have this idea for a book..."