“Oh my gosh! I’m in a synagogue!” joked the tweeter behind the #14 Best Twitter Feed according to Time magazine.Â Jennifer Weiner (pronounced Whine-r, not like Anthony’s last name, thank you very much) graced our presence at the historic Sixth & I Synagogue last Thursday evening in order to promote her latest published work of “fiction” – I write quotation marks because Jennifer admitted that “The Next Best Thing” was “loosely” based on her Hollywood/show business experience.Â I mean, if life can’t give you material as a writer, what can? Wait, Stephen King, don’t answer that.
The wife, mother of two daughters, bat mitzvah-ed accomplished author is also a fierce champion of women in the writing industry and has been traveling the country with her Crumbs cupcakes sponsored book tour. Crumbs BTW, is kosher, that is something I did not know.
After being introduced to the packed 99.99% young women-based audience, Jennifer took to the podium, wearing a wrap dress, with hair long and touchable (she had a habit of gliding her fingers through her tresses while telling her anecdotes), her voice clear and distinctive, her face bright and smiling.Â If you believe most writers are introverted beings who hide away in rented cabins for months on end, drinking Bourbon and chain smoking, you might be correct about many, for sure, however, Jennifer is quite the opposite and the exchange between her at-attention adoring fans in the audience and her exuberant self was palpable.
Extroverts feed off of others’ energy (I know, I am one of them) and it was a pleasure to hear her speak in her eloquent, warm, personal, self-effacing, yet clearly confident style that didn’t hold back on swearing.Â She even admitted that she writes best when there is noise around her, so if she’s not in her office/closet, she’s in a coffee shop.Â The picture that comes to mind is Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw, hopped up on lattes, typing furiously, the whirlwind world around her, the energy a feast for transferring thought to keyboard to screen.
Jennifer talked about everything from addressing the fact that she is SO NOT stylish and was shocked to hear that Glamour magazine wanted her to contribute to the September fashion issue, to her mom’s late-in-life-lesbian relationship complete with coming out of the closet, how her siblings dealt and most of all, how her Nana faced it, to the big topic at hand: “The Next Big Thing”.
Hollywood is one hell of a fickle place, and yes, we can all roll our eyes at how Washington is run, but for those who actually LIVE in our region and are not part of politics and lawmaking, we know how things get done and that they actually do in this small town. There are reliable, genuine people here who are intelligent, diligent and honest.Â The game of Tinseltown is played much differently.Â Granted people are people, we all have ambitions and vices, but let’s be real.Â Hollywood is a whole different ballgame.Â So with hilarity, she told us her ABC Family show whose main character was supposed to be an overweight Jewish girl, yet the network wanted Raven Simone, who, after they finally meet for drinks at 1030pm in LA, ends up dropping a ridiculous amount of weight.Â “She says to me, ‘I want to work in this town…” The funniest story is the tale of the head shots that were presented to Jennifer for a scene with a goat. Of. Goats. Yes, they showed her head shots of goats.Â
Ah, the ins and outs of show biz, there’s no biz like it.
She continued during the Q&A session sharing with us her favorite authors growing up were Susan Issacs and Judith Krantz, the late Nora Ephron, Fran Liebowitz, and Stephen King because he’s such a great storyteller.Â She loved Susan Issacs because her female characters were smart and funny, not the prettiest.Â Jennifer said she strives to be funny, frank, honest, and identifying with her female readers.Â Her book “Little Earthquakes” was really about her daughters and motherhood and perhaps, she might look into writing children’s books someday.
Then Jennifer got on the inevitable subject of her obsession with “The Bachelor” & “The Bachelorette” franchises.Â As an avid follower and opinionated tweeter on the what’s what, she had a lot to say, including that women who are on those shows just want to be on television (agreed), not to find the love of their lives.Â And smart women watch these reality shows (I call them “mindless madness” and “a slow sucking of your brain cells”) because they prop up and deconstruct all romantic ideals.Â She said, as a writer, she listens to the language of cast and if, we can suspend our disbelief for long enough, we can believe, but … we know the marriage won’t last.Â So, it’s something that can make us laugh and allow us to be cynical.
Buy Jennifer’s latest book “The Next Best Thing” and let us know what you think. Follow Jennifer @jenniferweiner.
Pamela Lynne Sorensen is the founder of Pamela’s Punch, a leading source of information for the “who, what, when, and where” of Washington, DC’s elite social, professional, and philanthropic scene, which she founded in November of 2006. In 2012 she launched Pacific Punch, based in Los Angeles. Pamela comes from an extensive background in sales and business development from a variety of industries, has been involved with charities and fundraising for a number of years and holds several Board and leadership positions. She currently resides in Arlington, Virginia and when she’s not out on the town, she’s reading or writing while sipping fine wine, or traveling the country and the world ISO adventures, beauty, fun, food, style, libations, music, and the good life. Follow her on Twitter at @pamelaspunch.