Cover reveal!

jillian_cover_final

It’s fun, right?

Coming July 7, 2015 from Soho Teen.  Available for pre-order RIGHT NOW on Amazon!

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I used to suck at posting here. Now I suck more.

TCG

 

Apparently I’m Very Bad at this blog when I have an actual real person job at Grey’s Anatomy.  All I can say is sorry… and also that Season 11 is going to rock your socks off.  These people I work with are truly amazing and brilliant and fascinating.

That is all I have to say about that.

In other news, hey remember one time when I said we have an air date for The Choking Game, and that it was in June?  I lied.  It’s now airing this weekend — Saturday, July 26 — at 8:00pm on Lifetime.  Check it out.  You can also follow @ChokingGameFilm for live tweeting during the premiere.  I will be with director @LaneShefterBish and star @FreyaTingley at a special little viewing party (hoping @alexasteele and @GilpinPeri are joining too… haven’t heard yet).  But YOU should join us onscreen and on Twitter!

xo!

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We have an air date!

 

chokinggamepic

Saturday, July 26th.  Check your local listings for time.

 

 

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A new job.

 

1.     THE CHOKING GAME (based on the book CHOKE by Diana Lopez) will air sometime in June on Lifetime.  Specific date to come.

2.     Being in Winnipeg for the filming was something I will always remember and cherish.

3.     Guess what: actors can say the exact words you wrote, but somehow enhance the meaning.  That astounds me.

4.  I think I should probably say that nothing I post here reflects the views of ABC Studios or ABC Network or Shondaland or Patrick Dempsey, because…

5.  I am starting work as a staff writer on GREY’S ANATOMY.  Blogging will become even more sporadic (if such a thing is even possible).

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Books and movies and snow, OH MY!

 

new short hair = new pics

new short hair = new pics

I am playing with new headshots for book covers and what-not.  It is a severely humbling experience and, looking through them, all I can see is how my nose is crooked and I hold my mouth funny.  Luckily, my photographer is rock solid awesomeness so I’m trusting he will make one of these into the winner…

In other news, I’m heading up to Canada in a couple weeks to be on set for the filming of CHOKE staring Freya Tingley and Peri Gilpin.  So excited to have them both on board, and delighted that we will all be in such brilliant, capable hands with helmer Lane Shefter Bishop!  What I’m LESS excited about is freezing my ass off in the Winnipeg winter.  Seriously, I’ve been in California long enough now that anything below 65 makes me run for a sweater.  I talked to Lane a couple days ago and she said it’s BELOW TWENTY which is, of course, completely unacceptable.  Expect selfies of me completely bundled up.  Also, expect complaints.

In the wonderful world of books, I just wanted to say that I am in love with all the smart, funny, open and honest writers who are sharing the Fearless Fifteeners journey with me. So nice to be on the ride with them and to know that others have the same fears, the same questions, the same crippling middle-of-the-night doubts and shining moments of celebration.  This writing career… it might seem lonely to make a life surrounded by people you’ve dreamed up in your own head, but so often you come out of the haze behind your computer screen to discover you’re actually in the company of others who understand you and who Get It.  It’s nice to meet others who Get It.

Have a great week, everyone.

 

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Sometimes when it rains…

 

 

SHUFFLE, REPEAT coming from Random House Children’s in 2016.  A stand-alone YA contemporary romance.  As reported in Publishers Marketplace:

Jen Klein’s SHUFFLE, REPEAT, pitched as WHEN HARRY MET SALLY if Harry is a loner teen girl and Sally is the popular boy forced to drive her to school every day; when their epic battle over the music playlist develops into friendship and eventually love, no one is more surprised than these two opposites, to Michelle Nagler at Random House Children’s, with Chelsea Eberly editing, for publication in Spring 2016, by Lisa Gallagher at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates (World).

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So I wrote this movie…

choke_pic

Hey, remember like a zillion months ago when I said I had this writing project that I couldn’t talk about yet?  I was just given the go-ahead to spill my news… which is that I’m writing the screen adaptation to Diana Lopez‘s beautiful YA book, CHOKE!  It will shoot in Winnipeg in March (OMG, THE COLD!), and will air on Lifetime at the beginning of June.

So… that’s my news.  I’m really excited.

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Got a book coming out?

Fearless15LogoLargeWithTagline

Dear YA & MG* authors with a traditionally published book debuting in 2015,

Heads up!  Please consider joining the FEARLESS FIFTEENERS.**  We are a group of authors banding together to promote, support, and help each other… and we’d love to have YOU join us!

We are open for applications TOMORROW, and you can check it out right here.

Trust me — it’s going to be fun. ***

xo,

Jen

 

* YA = young adult; MG = middle grade

** In the tradition of OneFourKidLit and The Lucky 13s and the Apocalypsies and the Elevensies

*** You might want to stop by just to find out what freaks me out… and what doesn’t.

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Five Supremely Random Things

See, this is what happens when your kids are on summer vacation, and then you have a ton of travel and there’s family drama and you’re gonna owe someone a movie script and you do owe someone else a book draft and then you get some animation work and a bunch of meetings and next thing you know, there’s a wedding and some MORE travel and your husband has to work in France and you have to work in New York, and your kids go back to school and everyone has tons of homework, plus you’re responsible for getting small people to drum lessons and soccer practice and flag football practice and Odyssey of the Mind practice, and BTW everyone still has to eat and shower and occasionally do something social…

… which I recognize is not much of an excuse now that summer is WAY over and, even in southern California, it’s starting to get cold and my kids are trying to figure out what their Halloween costumes will be.

Side note: last year, the oldest one was “Zombie Elmo.”  It was great because adults got the irony but little kids just were excited to see Elmo.  The youngest one, however, wanted to be “hair.”  Yes, hair.  Like the hair on your head.  I bought a dozen headbands with attached locks of nylon hair at the dollar store and began sewing them to a sweatshirt and pair of jeans…

… and then the younger one went to the party store with his father and realized that what he REALLY wanted was a crown and a shield.  Thus, for Halloween last year, he was “The King of Hair.”  It was quite a sight (and resulted in a LOT of explaining to people).

But back to my poor, poor neglected blog.  I know, I suck.  In honor of my sucking and blog neglect, I present to you: FIVE SUPREMELY RANDOM THINGS.

  1. I have finally paid someone to clean my house, even though it makes me feel guilty and over-privileged and lazy.  That might tell you something about how bad it had gotten.
  2. Do you know about OneFourKidLit?  If not, you should.  It’s the official group of MG and YA debut authors whose books publish in 2014.  If that’s you – if YOUR first traditionally published book will come out next year – I strongly urge you to get involved with this group.  They’ll support you and invest in you and be your advocate and cheering squad.  BUT HERE’S THE RUB: they are only accepting applications for new members through 10/31/2013.  That’s right around the corner so if your book is coming out next year, GET ON IT!
  3. Since there’s a 2014 group, there must be a 2015 group… right?  Right!  The group is named the Fearless Fifteeners and I volunteered to be one of the admins.  This was either a brilliant move on my part (so many new friends! their books! camaraderie!) or the worst choice ever (the work! egads, all the organizing and work!).  We will open for membership soon… VERY soon… so watch this space for details.  Here’s what I can share thus far: already, I have learned that the other 11 admins are thoughtful and generous and friendly.  I can’t wait to read and support their books.
  4. Over the summer, during the great dearth of television, I watched three new (to me) series that were all freaking fantastic.  Thus, I present to you my latest recommendations:
    1. ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK on Netflix.  Yes, it’s about women in prison.  Yes, there are boobs and swearing and drugs and sex so it’s not going to be for everyone, but HOLY CRAP the writing is amazing.  It’s SO different and fresh, and like 90% of the actors are women and – get this – almost none of their storylines revolve around men!  I know, right?  As it turns out, women can be complex and interesting, with fascinating histories and choices and relationships.  World, I hope you’re paying attention!
    2. ORPHAN BLACK on BBC America.  Super weird, super smart, and like nothing you’ve seen before.  Plus, one actor – Tatiana Maslany – plays a whole bunch of different characters, and every single one is specific and genuine.  I can’t tell you much more without spoiler alerts going off, so just do this: check out the pilot episode.  You’ll be hooked.
    3. SCANDAL on ABC.  Somehow we missed it when it first came out, and then we had other shows to watch (be addicted to) so we never got on board UNTIL this summer (great dearth) when my husband said he wanted to check it out.  We ended up binging through the existing two seasons, finishing up right before the new season – season three – started just a couple weeks ago.  So now, although we’re thrilled to be appreciating the drama and politics and achingly painful love story at the same time as the rest of the world, we’re also bummed when an episode is over and we have to wait a WHOLE WEEK instead of just arrowing through to the next one.  I know… tough life, huh?
  5. It is KILLING me (although not LITERALLY killing me because that would be using the word incorrectly and I don’t do that… ahem!)… KILLING me that i can’t blab about this movie I mentioned about a zillion months ago.  It’s coming, I promise!  As soon as I can, I’m going to tell you ALL about it, and especially about the cool, smart, IMPORTANT source material it’s based on.  Special secret hint: it’s a YA book!
  6. I know, I know I said only five, but this just occurred to me: I cut all my hair off! New headshots coming soon…

Whew!  Okay, I’m back in the game, people.  It feels good to be here.

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SUMMER VACATION: Here we go again.

Is it wrong to have a picture of wine in a YA blog?

I am writing this from a very hip and trendy wine bar in Los Feliz, which is a hip and trendy part of Los Angeles.  The friend I am meeting is a writer on a CW show and is finishing up what I can only assume is a day of sparkling conversation and hard-ass work.  Such is the life.

Such is my life that even when purportedly relaxing over a glass of crisp California rosé at a hip and trendy wine bar, I am working… if you consider blogging to be working, which I suppose one shouldn’t, really.

BTW, the last time I was here, the friend I met that evening was all hopped up because Jon Hamm was sitting at the bar.  I don’t watch MAD MEN (oh the shame!) so I’ve never fallen prey to Jon’s particular charms.  My friend, however, was all kinds of goo-goo about it.

What’s funny is that, months later, I realized that I should have been goo-goo too.  Since I know nothing about celebrity gossip (seriously, nothing; it’s amazing I’m aware of Brangelina), I had no idea that Jon Hamm’s girlfriend is Jennifer Westfeldt.

Wait, wha–?!

Okay, so she may not be the household name half of the couple, but I totally would have fan-girled out over her.  In case you don’t know, JW is this sharply insightful, brilliant and witty writer who just happens to act in her own movies.  I mean, who does that—and does it well?!  Her characters are beautifully defined and her stories are passionate and poignant.  And she’s not afraid to GO THERE.

Extra-awesomely, Jennifer Westfeldt just so happens to be currently onstage in New York City in a production called The Explorers Club along with one of my dearest friends in all the land.  If only I could rearrange life so I could make it out there during the run…

Speaking of rearranging life, you’ll notice that it’s summer.  Also known as Dead Baby Gerbil Season.  Also known as The Most Difficult Season Of My Year.  My ever-present maternal guilt means that I don’t like to plan too much for the kids because it seems like we’re SO over-scheduled and crazy during the school year.  In Dream Life, summer has the kids frisking about in grassy fields or happily collecting seashells at the beach.  Actual Life, however, has them squabbling over Legos at the kitchen table.  This particular summer brings with it a particular set of career-related circumstances: I have a book due at the end of it.  And a movie (yes, I sold a movie!).

I’m thrilled and excited and amazed (because, as my Jen says, it’s “champagne o’clock!”), but also a little overwhelmed.  Especially because, for those who don’t know, this is the way being a screenwriter/author works: you write constantly.  You come up with ideas and you go to meetings and you flesh out pitches and you revise pages and it’s ALL THE TIME and yet, get this: a lot of it—like a LOT—is for free.  Crazy, right?  Totally, until…

Everything happens at once, which is what appears to be going on right now.  Book sold, movie sold, going out with that TV pitch with a studio, going out with that other TV pitch with a different studio, working on anime project with producers and foreign partners, script due for a project at Scholastic, etc.  I’m so happy, in that way that you can be so happy while you’re also emotional and spinning and exhausted (kinda like when you have a new baby).

***

So.

My friend eventually arrived at the hip and trendy wine bar, meaning that I put all utensils of writing away and focused on her.  Thus, it is now several days later and I am finishing this blog post from the comfort of my house.  More specifically, from my own BED.  Yes, we are three weeks of summer vacation down (seven to go) and my husband is taking the kids out of the house for the day.  My plan is to spend these hours of solitude in heaven.  In this case, heaven = my bed, pajamas, computer on lap, coffee nearby.  The animation script can wait until Monday.  The housework can wait until someone cares enough to do it.  Today, I get to dive deep into my book.  This, my friends, is heaven.

What is your heaven?

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