Interview: Jennifer Niven

Engrossed, absorbed and almost in a trance, All The Bright Places transports you to another reality. The author of this touching novel is one of the most talented writers I have come across and I am so thrilled to have been able to interview her. I read All The Bright Places earlier in the year and I read it in two days and sobbed for the entire novel. I’ve always found it interesting how you can connect with novel characters so much, and I think it is the author’s way of writing as to how people can relate to the story.

All The Bright Places is based on the two main characters, Finch and Violet. Their love begins when they meet on the top of a bell tower, contemplating whether or not to jump. The story follows them and the growth of their friendship and relationship, as well as all the encounters life can throw upon so many of us. All authors want to write good books, and Jennifer’s story is a lovely and utterly moving story of young, true and real love.


Ellie: What was your favourite scene to write in All The Bright Places?

Jennifer: I loved writing the scene where Finch leaves his car by the side of the road and starts running until he comes across a nursery, and then gathers flowers for Violet to bring her spring.

ES: Did you know from the start how the book was going to end (trying not to give away spoilers!)?

JN: I did because All the Bright Places was really inspired by the story of a boy I knew and loved, and I always knew the ending of the book would be like the ending I experienced in real life.

ES: I was so excited when I saw that Germ Magazine and Eleanor and Violet weren’t just in the book but also real-life webpages. Would you like to explain what the sites are about?

JN: In the book, Violet is the creator of two web magazines, one with her sister and the other she comes up with on her own. After I wrote the first draft of the book, I thought: What if Germ was real? What if EleanorandViolet.com was real? … Germ (www.germmagazine.com) launched in January 2014 and is part literary magazine and part lifestyle/journalistic mag. At this moment we have fifty-some staff members, counting our regular contributors, most of whom are between the ages of fourteen and twenty-six.  We began in Los Angeles, but we now have staff writers from all across the US, as well as England, Hungary, the Philippines, and the Ukraine. And two of our amazing Germ directors—Briana Bailey (Literary Editor/Copy Editor/Managing Editor) and Shelby Padgett (Social Media Director) created the content for EleanorandViolet.com, with Briana taking Violet’s voice and Shelby taking Eleanor’s. Their articles are hilarious—I go on the site every now and then and reread them so I can just laugh and laugh.

ES: I read the news that All The Bright Places is in the process of becoming a film. Congratulations! What are the movie plans so far?

JN: I’m not allowed to say much about it at this time, but Elle Fanning is attached to play Violet, which I’m SO excited about! She’s actually who I pictured when I was writing the novel, and now I get to see Violet come to life as I envisioned her. Now we have to find the perfect Finch…

ES: What is your list of top 5 novels?

JN: In Cold Blood, To Kill a Mockingbird, We Have Always Lived in the Castle, Dracula, and The Little Prince. (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Little Women tie for number six.)

ES: What is your favourite word and why?

JN: “Lovely.” Because you can use it in so many ways and it’s always positive. As Finch says, “lovely is a lovely word that should be used more often.”

 


You can follow Jennifer online at the following sites:

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