The Hate List
1. What is the most interesting thing you’ve ever sent through the mail?
To celebrate Hate List’s release, I sent my editor a Zac Efron mug and a string baby. I also sent him a signed copy of the book, swaddled in a receiving blanket with a bib, pacifier, and birth announcement.
2. How many accessories do you wear on a normal basis?
My wedding ring, my St. Francis de Sales (the patron saint of writers) medal, and a blue stud in my left ear that I’ve never taken out since I got it pierced (to celebrate selling my first novel).
My favorite accessory, though, is permanent. It’s a tattoo around my right wrist that says “Once upon a time…” in Disney font, with a contrail of colorful stars weaving in and out of the words. On the inside of my wrist is a castle on a cloud (of course, it’s the Cinderella castle). I gaze at it several times a day, every day. It reminds me to keep dreaming.
3. If you could choose any restaurant to start a delivery service, which would you choose?
There’s a Greek restaurant in Kansas City called Tasso’s. They’ve got the best dolmathes in the world. But they’re kind of a long drive from here. I wish they delivered.
4. What is your favorite breakfast food?
I eat Greek yogurt with honey and two hardboiled eggs for breakfast every day.
5. When is the last time you drove more than five hours in a day?
In August I drove to Yukon, Oklahoma, about six hours away, to visit a rehab as part of ALA’s Great Stories Club program. The next day I drove from Yukon to Tecumseh, Oklahoma (about an hour) to visit a juvenile detention center, and then drove all the way home again. I ended up driving around 13 or 14 hours in two days!
About Perfect Escape:
Kendra has always felt overshadowed by her older brother, Grayson, whose OCD forces him to live a life of carefully coordinated routines. The only way Kendra can stand out next to Grayson is to be perfect, and she has perfection down to an art — until a cheating scandal threatens her flawless reputation. Behind the wheel of her car, with Grayson asleep beside her, Kendra decides to drive away from it all — with enough distance, maybe she’ll be able to figure everything out. But eventually, Kendra must stop running and come to terms with herself, her brother, and her past. With undeniable grace and humor, acclaimed author Jennifer Brown explores OCD, the pressure for perfection, and the emotional highs and lows of a complex sibling relationship.
I never wanted to be a writer (I was going to be a teacher), even though I was always writing. My first story was a short story, written in 4th grade. It was two pages long, hand-written, and my characters had names like Donna Schlieigermeigssterkks. I showed it to my grandma, who loved it so much she called my aunt on the phone and read it to her. Even though Grandma was cracking up while reading it, I was hooked by the celebrity of it all. Since then, I’ve always written, even when I thought nobody would ever read any of it.