About Pam Jenoff
Q. Previous occupations
A. I was the Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Army at the Pentagon and a Foreign Service Officer (diplomat) with the State Department. I am presently an attorney, as well as an author.
Q. Favorite job
A. Being a novelist, of course!
Q. High school and/or college
A. Cherokee High School, Marlton, NJ; George Washington University, Washington, DC; Cambridge University, England; University of Pennsylvania Law School, Philadelphia, PA.
Q. Name of your favorite composer or music artist?
A. Mandy Patinkin
Q. Favorite movie
Q. Favorite television show
A. A tie between The Office and Lost
Q. How would you describe your life in only 8 words?
A. Magical, chaotic, exploding symphony of love and laughter.
Q. What is your motto or maxim?
A. I'd say that my motto is, to succeed you have to put your muscle behind your passion and push. But if I can also include a maxim, my favorite quote comes from Shakespeare, "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." It reminds me to be open to the vast possibilities of the universe and I find that inspiring.
Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?
A. A good morning of writing, a satisfying run, a meal with my family and a nap. To me perfect happiness has nothing to do with possessions or material things, it's all about having the time to do the things I enjoy with the people I love.
Q. What’s your greatest fear?
A. Fire, lightning, water, flying, I'm not at all brave! I also have a very strange phobia involving patterns...
Q. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?
A. Probably right here, at home, surrounded by family. I have always been split between homebody and world traveller, and right now I think it's a 51/49 percent split in favor of homebody. But there's always a part of me that's dreaming of London, Krakow...
Q. What are your most overused words or phrases?
A. "Suddenly." My agent is forever chiding me for overuse of the word "suddenly" in my writing.
Q. What do you regret most?
A. I don't believe in regrets. But there are certainly times I wish I'd handled a particular situation or interaction differently. And I do wish I had more time, both to get things done and to savor moments.
Q. If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
A. Singing. I have the world's worst singing voice.
Q. What is your greatest achievement?
A. Right now I would say becoming a published novelist. But can you ask me again after February? (I'm expecting my first child so the answer could change!)
Q. What’s your greatest flaw?
Q. What’s your best quality?
A. I'm very driven and motivated.
Q. If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?
A. Myself. I don't think I'd trade.
Q. What trait is most noticeable about you?
A. I speak quickly and lots.
Q. What is your biggest pet peeve?
A. People who are self-absorbed and/or narrow minded.
Q. What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?
A. Does napping count as an occupation? I'm a huge napper, but spending time with family, outlet shopping with my mom, running, and going to Philadelphia Eagles games are also high on the list.
Q. What’s your fantasy profession?
A. Writing children's books/young adult novels. Popular adult novelists are popular, but popular children's authors are deities! I wish I had it in me, but I don't.
Q. What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
A. Loyalty, compassion, integrity.
Q. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
A. Pasta, either with pesto or my husband's carbonara recipe.
Q. What are your 5 favorite songs?
A. Nightswimming by REM, Time of Your Life by Green Day, A Long December by The Counting Crows, See The World by Gomez, Incommunicado by Jimmy Buffet
On Books and Writing
Q. Who are your favorite authors?
A. Tracey Chevalier Anita Shreve Pat Conroy Anne Tyler Kate Atkinson ...to name a few!
Q. What are your 5 favorite books of all time?
A. A Soldier of the Great War by Mark Helperin Air and Angels by Susan Hill The Winds of War by Herman Wouk Mila 18 by Leon Uris Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien
Q. Is there a book you love to reread?
A. Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg
Q. Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?
A. I believe to succeed as a writer the most important factors are discipline, tenacity and the ability to revise.
Q. What comment do you hear most often from your readers?
A. That my books transport them to another time and place, and make them see people and situations in a new light.