TTBF Q&A 2019: Author Jennifer Donaldson — 2019

A #TTBF Q&A with Author Jennifer Donaldson

Who is your biggest literary crush?

OK, do we mean crush like, an author I crush on, or like a character I crush on? Because if the former, no one; I have met too many authors. But if the later, Gambit from X Men. I love a redeemed scoundrel and a (melo)dramatically obstructed love story.

What is one book death you are still not over? (RIP Hedwig, #NeverForget)

I know I should probably pick something more contemporary or edgy, but I will never be able to read the end of Charlotte’s Web without sobbing. Probably because it’s what every writer hopes for—to die having changed someone’s life with their work—but also because her friendship with Wilbur is such a simple and true thing.

You are one of our talented local authors– what does your perfect Austin day look like?

First, I’d go with my family to the Wildflower Center to check on the butterflies and owlettes. Then we’d take a mid-day swim. Then I’d get to hand off my three year old to some other responsible adult so I can sit in my hammock and read for the rest of the afternoon.

I Know You Remember is your second YA thriller. What drew you to this particular genre? Are there any books that inspired you when you were starting out?

Good crime writing gives writer and reader both a chance to poke at some of the most uncomfortable features of the human psyche, which I’ve always loved. And a big part of why I’ve gotten the opportunities I’ve had is that there’s been such a boom of remarkable female-centered thrillers and mysteries in the last decade, in both YA and adult markets. Megan Abbott, Gillian Flynn, Lynn Weingarten, Kara Thomas, Alex Marwood, just to name a few, are some of the writers I always head back to.

What’s your wackiest/most shocking story or book premise you’ve thought of? Did you/will you ever write it?

I’m not one of those writers who has ideas queued up for years on end. I kind of look around when I’ve finished a project and take stock of what’s going on around me, try to see what interests me in that moment. That said, I could see myself trying my hand at horror if I had an idea that excited me and I could persuade my editors. 

If you could choose three books to include on our official “Read Everything” book list for 2019, what would they be?

Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson

Last Woman Standing by Amy Gentry

The Lies They Tell by Gillian French