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Jennifer Weiner broadens from best-sellers to TV

Jennifer Weiner is an overachiever.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Jennifer Weiner is an overachiever.

She's been a New York Times best-selling author since her very first novel, "Good In Bed," came out a decade ago. Now there are 11 million copies of her books circulating in 36 countries. Weiner just released her ninth novel, "Then Came You," two weeks after the premiere of her first TV show, ABC Family's "State of Georgia." While commuting between the show's Los Angeles set and her Philadelphia home, the 41-year-old writer started work on her 10th book.

And she still had time to talk with The Associated Press about writing, her creative inspiration and how she finds time to live-blog her favorite reality shows.


AP: Let's start with "State of Georgia." How did you like being an executive producer and writing for TV?

Weiner: We wanted to tell a story about two girls coming to New York City and trying to make big lives for themselves. I've always been interested in that moment and the woman in her 20s: You're not married, you don't have kids, you're sort of trying on different adult identities and there are so many possibilities, where the whole world is open in front of you. ... So I had this crash course in running a television show, and I was about three weeks into it when I realized that really everything I know about being an executive producer I learned from watching Liz Lemon on "30 Rock." Honest to God! It was like OK, here's the writers' room, and it was incredibly funny and a little bit filthy. ... It's much more of a collaborative experience than writing fiction is, obviously.

AP: You were finishing up "Then Came You" when you started on the show. What is the book about?

Weiner: "Then Came You" actually came from a New York Times Magazine article that ran a couple of years ago by a writer who'd been a reporter for the Times and she was married to this very wealthy older guy. They were struggling with fertility, so they hired a surrogate ... but it turned out to be very much a story about money ... and it made me think a lot. I've always been interested in the economics of reproduction, who gets what they want when it comes to childbearing and how these days, money is a tremendous advantage. Money is a tremendous advantage in just about everything, but in terms of reproduction, if you're a poor woman and you are infertile, it's like too bad, so sad. And if you are a wealthy woman, you can kind of buy whatever you want.

AP: What is the relationship like between writing for TV and writing fiction?

Weiner: When I wrote "Good in Bed," I was working full time as a reporter, so I was writing on nights and weekends and had the story going in the back of my mind. And that's what it was with "Georgia" with the book I started this spring. Having a day job again I found really kind of fueled my fiction, because it became almost this forbidden thing where I had to sneak off and do it in private.

AP: Between all this, and your two young kids, how do you have time to live-tweet "The Bachelor"?

Weiner: Generally the kids are in bed, or they're supposed to be. The 8-year-old, she'll get up and I'll be down there with the show on and my laptop open and I'll be like, 'Mommy's working,' and she'll go, 'Ugh. This is not work.' She's gotten very dismissive with me. I'm going to watch the show anyhow. I've just been devoted to the franchise since the very first airing of it, so it's actually not too hard to make time to watch two hours of really cheesy reality TV. I just prioritize.




AP Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen can be reached at .