New York Times bestselling author Jen Lancaster chats with SheKnows about her latest novel Here I Go Again, a charming book about a former mean girl who gets a chance to travel back in time to when she was in high school. We learned that in addition to writing eight books in 10 years, she’s got a TV show in the works and she bakes. Is there anything this woman can’t do?
SheKnows: Okay, so the premise of your book, Here I Go Again, begs the question: What were you like in high school?
Jen Lancaster: The best word to describe me in high school would be “average.” There wasn’t anything about me that drew the popular kids’ attention, positive or negative. I was fairly cute, but not gorgeous. I made decent grades, but I wasn’t a brain. I never partied or caused trouble. I basically just blended in. I figured since I was never going to break into the A-List’s social stratosphere, I’d create my own, so within the tiny, nerdy universe of drama club/speech team/yearbook/newspaper, I was a big deal. To quote The Breakfast Club, I was King of the Dipsh*ts. And that was fine with me.
SK: Love your book trailer. What’s the story behind it?
JL: Thanks! I love it, too. Up to now, I’ve appeared in all my book trailers, including the one for my first novel. However, the characters/circumstances I wrote [about] in If You Were Here were so similar to my husband and me that I ended up confusing loyal readers. This time I wanted to be crystal clear that this book isn’t about my life. I wasn’t a high-school mean girl, I’ve never time traveled, and until I wrote this book, I wasn’t a fan of Whitesnake. That being said, 20 years after the fact, I’ve finally discovered the glory that is hair metal. When I was working on this book, my husband would walk past my office and be all, “Are you listening to Pantera?”
SK: Are you pro- or anti-high-school reunion?
JL: Profoundly anti-high-school reunion. High school was simply a way station for the 11-year fraternity party that was my undergrad career. (I know, I know.) I didn’t love high school enough that I cared to go back, and I didn’t hate it so much that I was compelled to do so. I had no scores to settle or glory days to relive. My high school best friend’s still in my life and I’m in touch with a few other classmates on Facebook. For me? That’s enough. I certainly don’t begrudge anyone who relishes reunions, though; it’s just not of interest to me.
SK: We enjoy the pictures you share with your followers on Twitter (homemade cake pops, really?). What photos can we expect to see this year?
JL: Hey, those Oreo pops were amazing! They’re in my Top Five list of awesome stuff I made in 2012. Although, honestly, I’ve really flown under the radar for the past year. I just finished a memoir where I spent 2012 following Martha Stewart’s dictates, so I’ve kept much of what I’ve been doing under wraps as to not spoil the book. But now that I’m done, I imagine I’ll be back to photographing my dogs, successful recipes, roses and whomever is my nemesis for the day. (Obnoxious lady wearing men’s jeans who couldn’t decide between skim or soy and ultra-tanned jack*sses hogging up the stairs into the pool? Be advised my camera is always ready.)
SK: What’s up next for you?
JL: I’m excited to say that I’m not sure. I have one more novel due in April and after that, I’ll have written ten books in eight years and I’ll be off book contract. This will be my first break in a very long time. However, I’m interested in writing for film and television, so I might put my energy towards that. My memoir The Tao of Martha was optioned by Imagine Entertainment and sold to FOX (starring Martha herself!), so I’m delighted to finally be on Hollywood’s radar. I had so much fun consulting with the screenwriter who turned the Martha concept into a real sitcom that I’m curious to see if I can adapt some of my other books. Or maybe I’ll be inspired to go back to print. I kind of love not yet knowing. All I can say for sure is that whatever I do next, I’ll be writing.