Friday, April 6, 2012

Interview with Jill Conner Browne

Yesterday I reviewed Fat is the New 30 by Jill Conner Browne and today I have the opportunity to share an interview I had with her.  Without further ado . . . 

1.  What do you find yourself rambling about?

Me, rambling?  snort!  I KNOW you've read my books--I challenge you to find more than a half dozen sentences in all of 'em put together that are NOT run-on sentences!  If I am talking about anything ever, I am rambling.  My sister Judy, who is six years older than I (by the way, just thought I'd throw that in since she's not here) and a crafter of elegant, succinct sentences herownself describes my "style" as "nattering" and or "blathering."  I describe her as "six years older and meaner."

2. When becoming an author, did you have any speed bumps along the way?  If so, how did you overcome them?

Since I am an accidental author, there have been no speed bumps really.  I never set out to BE an author--all I REALLY wanted to be was 5'2", have long red hair, green eyes, large breasts, little feet and be able to sing.  When NONE of that worked out, I pretty much gave up. The author thing is OK, I guess--but...sigh...

3. Which book (of yours) do you hold particularly dear?  Which one - out of 9 - was the hardest to write?

There are things about each one that are precious to me--The Book of Love--because it was the first and such a surprise and delight.  The ending of the second one, God Save the Sweet Potato Queens--if you listen to the audio, you can hear me SOBBING through the ending, that's true on this new one, FAT IS THE NEW 30, as well--sobbing.  Raising Children for Fun & Profit--that's my very own baby girl on the cover--when she was 9 months old--she just turned 24!     By far, the hardest was The Sweet Potato Queens' First Big Ass Novel--because it's, duh, fiction and I don't write fiction!  VERY hard--plus it was co-written and that is extremely difficult.  I might try it again--alone--sometime--but, to me, it is very difficult--fiction is like LYING--you always have to be remembering what you said before!  Where non-fiction is more like gossiping--who doesn't love that?

4. What is your favorite part of the writing process?

FINISHING.  I very much enjoy Having Written--but Writing, eh, not so much!  I do love watching other people read my work--and when they laugh, asking them what tickled them.  When I first started writing on a regular basis, my friend Paul would read my stuff and I got such a kick out of watching him because he has this really Large Nose and when he would get to a funny part, his nostrils would do this DANCE before he actually laughed--cracked me up every time.

5. What's next on your plate?

We're trying to raise at least $100K for Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children with this year's Zippity Doo Dah Parade--that's the most immediate thing--and the most fun, of course.  I am INCREDIBLY excited that I have read--and listened to--the first draft of the book and the rough cut of the songs for the SWEET POTATO QUEENS' MUSICAL--by Melissa Manchester, Sharon Vaughan and Rupert Holmes.  That has always been my DREAM for it.  Cannot wait for OPENING NIGHT! Keep you posted on that!  I hope to start another book this summer--been kicking some ideas around in my noggin but I'm so lazy, who knows when I'll get it done.  I'm frequently asked, "When do you write?" and I always answer truthfully, "When I have a deadline!"

6. Is there one thing everyone asks you about life as THE Sweet Potato Queen?

EVERYBODY ALWAYS asks, "When you started the Sweet Potato Queens in 1982, did you have ANY IDEA it would get to be such a Huge Deal?"  And I always say, "Why, YES--IT WAS MY FIVE-YEAR PLAN!"  bwahahaha!  Complete Lie.  Do I LOOK like I have a Five-Year Plan?  I had/have NO Plan--for anything.  As I said, when the opportunity to be the tiny, stacked, red-headed singing sensation didn't materialize, I just sat down in the middle of the road.  The whole Queen thing was purely to entertain myself--at that particular moment--and everything that has happened since then--or that may happen in the future--is more of the same:  purely to amuse ME.  That it has also turned out to entertain a whole bunch of OTHER PEOPLE (namely, 6200+ Chapters of SPQ WANNABE(tm) groups in 37 countries)--well, that's just gravy and I believe you do know how I feel about gravy, yes?

Thank you so much to Jill Conner Browne!  I may just be speaking on behalf of myself, but your books just keep me giggling long after I have read them!  

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