Jennifer Gilby Roberts

Women's Fiction/Chick Lit Author

Author Interview at Fiction Dreams

on May 2, 2014

Part of the TDPP anniversary celebrations.  Posted at Fiction Dreams.

Do dreams ever inspire your writing? What did you last dream about?

Not so far. I don’t know that my dreams would inspire chick lit. Maybe children’s TV. They can’t be weirder than some of that.

When did you first start writing? And when were you first published?

I started writing as a child. My first major original work was The Dr Pepper Prophecies, which I wrote in 2002. I published it in May 2013. Bit of a wait!

What is it about ‘chick lit’ that appeals to you the most? Do you read other genres? 

I think it’s the humour aspect of chick lit that I like the most. Seeing the funny side of things going tits up.

I read a whole range of genres. I like a bit of Regency romance, sci-fi, historical fiction – usually from the early part of the 20th century. These days I seem to read more about book marketing than anything else!

Can you tell us a little about The Dr Pepper Prophecies?

TDPP is a modern version of Jane Austen’s Emma. Imagine that with Bridget Jones in the lead and written by Sophie Kinsella. It’s about a young woman who tries to help others – whether they like it or not – while making a right hash of her own life.

What inspired you to write it?

Sophie Kinsella’s Can You Keep a Secret? I remember laughing myself silly over it and getting a lot of strange looks. I wanted to write something that much fun.

Have you ever spotted anyone reading your books anywhere?

Not yet. But someone might have had them on their Kindle. That’s the bad bit of Kindle for authors.

Who designs your covers?

JelenaM at 99 Designs, except for Flights of Nancy and Early Daze, which I did with stock pictures.

If The Dr Pepper Prophecies was made into a film, who would you cast?

I was asked this a while back, but couldn’t decide on a Mel. I’m now convinced that Zoey Deschanel would be great as Mel. Paul Rudd is my first choice for Will, although I also think Mark Ruffalo would be good.

What’s your favourite Chick Lit book that made it to the big screen?

Bridget Jones’ Diary. They did a wonderful job on that. Perfect casting.

What were the last two books you read?

I re-read The Reasons for Marriage by Stephanie Laurens, one of my favourite Regency romance authors. That was the first book I read of hers and it’s still my favourite. Before that it was Thirty-Two Going on Spinster by Becky Monson.

Name one female author who you think deserves to be better known.

The afore-mentioned Becky Monson. She’s a new name in classic chick lit. I’m looking forward to reading her next book.

Where do you write?

Home, and sometimes baby group while my daughter is playing.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? And did you follow the dream?

I wanted to be a dancer. Not ballet, you understand – I wanted to be in Fame in the West End. I did dance for a long time, though not professionally. I still do Zumba, but it’s hard to carry on as an adult – at least where I live. Realistically, I couldn’t have done it as a career. I have the wrong body type, my knees are shot and I wouldn’t have wanted the lifestyle.

In the movie of your life, who would play you?

I actually act as well as write – with my local amateur dramatic society – so I’d like a crack at playing myself.

Speed Round…

Top drink to make you tipsy?

Teetotal.

Shopaholic or shopadon’t?

I’m not really into fashion, but I do seem to end up buying more than I meant to. Usually for the house or for my daughter. She’s so much nicer to buy for because everything fits! And it’s my only chance to buy skinny jeans.

Sky-high heels or closer to the ground?

On the ground. I should get into heels, because I’m only 5’3”, but I live in trainers.

E.L. James or Jilly Cooper?

Haven’t read either of them, I’m afraid. I was rather put off reading 50 Shades after I read that the relationship described had all the key features of an abusive one.

Cry baby or tough cookie?

I have thin skin, but a tough core. I cry easily and you can knock me down without too much effort, but you’ll never keep me there.

Exotic beach or enchanted forest? 

Beach. Can’t have too much sunshine (I so live in the wrong country).

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