This month, the author of nine New York Times best-sellers releases what will undoubtedly be her 10th, The Next Best Thing, about a dream-seeking girl who goes to Hollywood—with her 70-year-old grandmother tagging along. Here, the master of the beach read tells us about her $300 Target splurge and how she could have been Monica Lewinsky.
My name is … Jennifer Agnes Weiner. I was born on an Army base where there weren’t a lot of babies, and my parents thought “Jennifer” was original. Then I got to preschool with five other Jens.
I am a … mom and a writer.
I live in … Queen Village, in a house that used to be a school.
Women need to understand that … no one is judging you as harshly as you are judging yourself.
Men need to understand that … spitting on the street is disgusting. I really do not need to be hopscotching over your secretions.
People would be surprised to know that I … run. But I am the world’s slowest and saddest runner. When you sign up for a race, there’s always fine print saying that you must finish the course in x amount of time. That’s for me. I sort of shuffle ambitiously.
When I’m writing, I usually drink … water, tea or iced decaf coffee. I am not one of those writers who drink-drink. I save that for The Bachelor. When I live-tweet The Bachelor, I like to make up drinking games.
If you really want to get under my skin … send me an email marked urgent that is not urgent at all.
On the Fourth of July … I will probably be trying to convince my dog Moochie to come out from under the bed.
The best book I’ve ever written … is a little bit like asking a mom to pick one kid over another.
When I retire, I want to live in … some kind of situation where somebody makes my bed every day. I’ve often thought of retiring to a Four Seasons with turndown service.
I’ve never told anyone this, but … before I went to L.A. last year, I got eyelash extensions. They annoyed me so much I peeled them off after a day and a half. That was my sad little effort at Hollywood glamour.
If I could have one Philly cook be my personal chef … I would have Marc Vetri and Jose Garces do three nights each, then I’d just eat leftovers.
The most famous person I’ve ever met was … Bill Clinton. I was 18, and he was this young rising star. Had I known then that his tastes were what they were, both of our lives could have been very different. But all I did was shake his hand.
My shoe collection … is very disappointing. Everybody assumes if you write a book called In Her Shoes that you have an amazing collection, but I have 10 pairs.
The thing people misunderstand about me is … they think I’m angrier than I am about the way men’s fiction is treated differently than women’s. People think I’m walking around with a battle-ax, looking for heads to chop.
When I was 16 … I was hopeless. I had very short feathered hair and braces. Very unfortunate.
The one thing that Philly really needs is … a better waterfront. Everybody says it. But I go to Chicago and the Navy Pier, and it really breaks my heart that we can’t do something similar.
To celebrate my first best-seller … I went to Target and bought everything I wanted. I spent $300. I bought brand-name dog food—Iams.