Sunday, July 01, 2007


Today, bestselling author, Jane Green visits Potpourri of Writing during her month long tour of the blogosphere. Her latest novel, Second Chance, was released June 19 and made#15 on the New York Times bestseller list within its first week. Congratulations, Jane!

Jane, a native of Britain, now lives in a lovely old home in Westport, CT with her four children.(You can see a picture of her home on her web site and more about her nine best selling novels.)

I'm pleased to have you here, Jane, to share with Potpourri readers. (Click here for a preview of Chapter 1 of Second Chance.)

MEA: A question many people often ask me is, "Where did you get the idea for your book/story?" Since this seems to be of universal curiosity among readers/fans, Jane, I'll ask you that about Second Chance. Where did you get the idea for this book?

JANE: Initially the idea came when a friend of mine died in the Tsunami. I wanted to write a book about grief, but then my marriage started unravelling and it became a book about a group of old friends who reunite after one of them dies, and each of whom are having a mid-life crisis of some description.

MEA: Do you plan your books by using a general outline and sticking with it? Or do your characters take over and sort of "run with the story."

JANE: I always have a general message or theme, but the best advice I was ever given was to spend the time with the characters because then they will tell their own stories, and I have always found that to be true.

MEA: I like that advice, Jane. It sounds like a good technique to concentrate on. Do you have a favorite character, either in this novel or one of your previous ones, that you really enjoyed writing about and didn't want to see leave your life?

JANE: I loved Lucy in Bookends - she was the ultimate best friend/big sister, and felt so real to me I was truly saddened to finish the last page.

MEA: Finding time to write is a challenge for moms, and they have to develop strategies to meet their deadlines. (For instance, when my daughter was small, I often wrote in the bathtub after she was in bed. More recently I've worked at the computer with a grandchild on my lap.) With your busy life and four children, how/where do you find time to write?

JANE: I work in the mornings while they're in school, and these days I write at the local library. It does me good to get out of the house and to feel as if I have a routine, plus I'd be far too embarrassed to be caught spending hours surfing gossip websites at the library. I actually manage to accomplish three hours of pure writing there, something that's impossible for me at home.

MEA: That seems like great advice, Jane, especially for writers who have difficulty getting into a routine or who have many distractions. Now thinking of your readers, what would you like them to take away from Second Chance?

JANE: The idea that we only get one life, and that being stuck is a terrible thing, that even one small step in a different direction can make wonderful changes, and it's never too late to find your happiness, in whatever form it takes.

MEA: Is there anything else about your writing or your life you'd like to share with us?

JANE: Just that I'm thrilled to be here. Thank you!

MEA: Thank you, Jane, for visiting Potpourri of Writing today and sharing with us. May you have much success with Second Chance and all your books.

Jane's web site:
Jane's My Space URL:


Dorothy said...

Wow, wonderful interview, both of you! I may have questions tomorrow for Jane, so I'll be back!

Mary Emma Allen said...

Thanks, Dorothy, for visiting. I'm pleased you enjoyed the interview and learning more about Jane.

Cheryl said...

Great interview ladies. Lots of wonderful advice from a seasoned writer!

Cheryl M.

Mary Emma Allen said...

Thank you, Cheryl, for visiting Potpourri of Writing and "meeting" Jane. Yes, doesn't Jane have some great advice!