Aurora: What was your inspiration behind your most recent novel?
Jennifer Weiner: Initially, I wanted to write a fun, frothy, summery book that unfolded in one of my favorite places. As I got into the writing, though, Big Summer became more than just froth. It turns out the characters had some things to say about friendship and envy and how social media has impacted the way we live now. (But it’s still lots of fun!)
What character in this novel do you most relate to and why?
Daphne Berg, the plus-size Instagram influencer who’s the protagonist of Big Summer, is very close to my heart. She’s sort of a version of a younger me, if I’d had the luck or misfortune to be that age in a world where Instagram existed.
Why do you feel novels with powerful and unique characters are so popular and have such a voice right now?
I think that even on the best days everyone is busy and there’s a lot of noise in the world. We’re all looking for an escape, for characters who feel relatable and stories that grab you and don’t let go. I never imagined I’d be publishing this book in the midst of a pandemic, but I hope that Daphne and her life will give readers the escape we all need.
Please describe the content of your latest read and what can readers expect from it.
Big Summer is about a young woman named Daphne who’s putting her life back together after surviving a humiliation that went viral. When her former best friend re-appears and asks Daphne to be part of her wedding in Cape Cod, Daphne’s reluctant…but, she figures, at least she’ll get some pretty shots for use as an Instagram influencer. Then the wedding goes sideways, and Daphne has to uncover the truth of her friend’s life, and make some decisions about her own future, and how she wants to be, both in person and online.
What’s next for you in the book world?
I’m finishing up the third book in my LITTLEST BIGFOOT trilogy, and just starting to think about my next novel for adults!