TITLE: Adult Services Manager at the Southwest Regional Library
ORGANIZATION: Durham County Library
ADDRESS: 3605 Shannon Rd. Durham, NC 27707
PHONE: 919-560-8594; FAX: 919-560-0542
(Jennifer is also the author of three romance novels and is hard at work on her fourth.)
BORN AND LIVED: I’ve lived all over the place! I grew up in southern Idaho and Salt Lake City, went to college in Chicago, taught English as a Foreign Language in Shanghai, and then moved to Durham, North Carolina. My first three books are set in Chicago, a city I dearly love.
IN MY SPARE TIME: Between writing and working full-time, I hardly feel like I have spare time! I read a lot, both for work (I run two book clubs) and for fun. I like to cook and eat, so I like going out to restaurants and I read a lot of cookbooks. I run and enjoy hiking. I’m interested in quilting, but have only made two baby quilts (though I’ve bought fabric for several other quilts).
FAVORITE BOOKS: I’ve been telling everyone I meet to read The Black Count by Tom Reiss. I’m also a big fan of Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel. For romance novels, I love The Outsider by Penelope Williamson, anything Carla Kelly writes, Simply Love by Mary Balogh, and Jennifer Crusie’s Faking It. I’m sure if you asked me on a different day, you’d get a different list. Asking a librarian this question is a bit like asking a mother to pick her favorite child.
PHILOSOPHY: Perfect is the opposite of good. Anne Klinefelter, the director of the UNC Law Library, told me that my first year of graduate school. Honestly, if I waited for perfect, I would never get anything done (can you tell that I’m a big picture person, instead of a detail-oriented person?).
MOST MEMORABLE CAREER ACHIEVEMENT: I have two careers, so I’ll answer for both of them. Winning the Romance Writers Association Librarian of the Year award was fantastic. And getting the phone call from Megan Long for my first book was a wonderful feeling. I had been having a really terrible month of May. When Megan told me the production schedule and how quickly I’d have to turn the book over, she said, “Do you think you can do that?” My exact response was, “I’ve spent the past week force feeding a cat. I can do anything.” It took Megan a couple seconds to respond with anything more coherent than a “um, okay.”
HOW/WHERE DO I SEE THE INDUSTRY IN FIVE YEARS : Ebooks and self-publishing are changing the market a lot (which we all know). Even though libraries and publishers are fighting out the role of libraries and ebooks, with brick-and-mortar stores struggling and the number of books available online is skyrocketing, I think authors and publishers will start placing greater value on the unique role of the library and librarians in getting books into the hands of readers (there are many authors and publishers who recognize this already).