Jessica Anya Blau's books include The Summer of Naked Swim Parties, Drinking Closer to Home, and The Wonder Bread Summer.
Her new novel is The Trouble with Lexie.
From Blau's Q&A with Jacob Budenz at jmww:
Jacob Budenz: Lexie is uncannily lifelike and relate-able even in the most absurd moments. Without incriminating yourself, or anyone you know, can you talk a little bit about where your inspiration for Lexie came from? Or your process for getting into the head of the character?Learn more about the book and author at Jessica Anya Blau's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.
Jessica Anya Blau: Oh, I’m always incriminating myself in everything I write! My characters are all flawed in many of the ways I’m flawed. Lexie does some stupid things, and so have I. It’s interesting to me that the best reviews I’ve gotten for my books have almost universally come from male readers. Female readers can be much more critical and they are often critical about the same thing: the fact that my characters fuck up in big ways. But if our fictional characters aren’t behaving poorly, or aren’t getting in trouble, or aren’t making poor decisions, where is the story? We read books to live other people’s lives. That’s the joy in reading—to feel what it would be like to be someone else even if that person’s a fuck up. Or maybe, for me, there is more joy if they’re a fuck up, if they’ve done worse than I have.
I haven’t made any mistakes (yet, knock on wood!) as massive as a couple of the mistakes Lexie makes, but I certainly have thought about doing most of the things she does. In writing about Lexie, it was sort of an act of letting ideas and impulses inside me play out without having to let them play out in real life (where there would be major consequences). There are some ways in which Lexie is me exactly: the...[read on]
Coffee with a Canine: Jessica Anya Blau and Pippa.
The Page 69 Test: The Wonder Bread Summer.
My Book, The Movie: The Wonder Bread Summer.
The Page 69 Test: The Trouble with Lexie.
My Book, The Movie: The Trouble with Lexie.
Writers Read: Jessica Anya Blau.