Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Where Writers Write: Jennifer Spiegel

Welcome to another installment of TNBBC's Where Writers Write!

Where Writers Write is a weekly series that will feature a different author every Wednesday as they showcase their writing spaces using short form essay, photos, and/or video. As a lover of books and all of the hard work that goes into creating them, I thought it would be fun to see where some of TNBBC's favorite authors roll up their sleeves and make the magic happen.

Photo by Anastasia Campos 

This is Jennifer Spiegel. She has an MA in Politics from New York University and an MFA in Creative Writing (Fiction) from Arizona State. Also the author of the story collection The Freak Chronicles, She lives in Phoenix with her husband and two children. She reads a lot, tries to buy mostly organic food, and drinks strong coffee with cream. She may stop coloring her hair soon, but there’s no guarantee. Love Slave is her debut novel.

Where Jennifer Spiegel Writes

 Hemingway and Jennifer in Cuba,
where she tried to learn to write on
paper napkins on barstools

It’s complicated. In a beginning creative writing class, I heard that real writers can write anywhere, at anytime.  I wasn’t supposed to need props or special music to get into the right mood. Paper napkins on barstools or laptops in train stations: I should just write like a mofo.

coffee, taken by
 Anastasia Campos

Here’s the deal. I write fiction in cafes. I write nonfiction at home. No music for fiction. Background noise is okay; actually, I like it—unless it’s my own children making the noise. Music is fine for nonfiction. The constant for any writing:  coffee.

 Jennifer's desk at home
(yes, that appears to be an issue
 of Ranger Rick on her desk)

I’m afraid to say this aloud, but I think I will. I value my fiction more! I need to remove myself from my home and its demands. I can’t know I need to put in a load of laundry or the dishwasher needs to be emptied. I can’t get stuck listening to the lyrics of a Bob Dylan song. If there’s music playing in some café, that’s okay; I just don’t want to think too much about it. In that café, over my coffee and laptop, I am artiste—responsible only to my art!
I love writing nonfiction too. I do. But it comes from somewhere else, somewhere less precious, less pretentious, more responsible. That nonfiction writer may need to change the cat litter soon. She accepts this.


Now that you've seen her writing space, get to know her writing!! 

Unbridled Books has generously given us 5 copies
to give away to celebrate its release!!
 (US residents only, sorry guys!)  
What it's about: 

It’s 1995. When she can, Sybil Weatherfield works as an office temp. But in her jobless hours she may be her generation’s Dorothy Parker, writing a confessional column for the alternative weekly, New York Shock. Her friends include a paperpusher for a human rights organization and the lead singer of a local rock band called Glass Half Empty. Together they try to find a path from their own wry inactivity to something real and lasting that can matter to them. Richly funny and wincingly specific, this cunning debut novel is a bittersweet and ironic look at what it means to be enthralled by an idea—by even the most ragged possibility of love.

And check out Unbridled's cool pin board for the book!

Here's how to enter:

1 - Leave a comment stating why you would like to win a copy.

2 - Your comment must have a way to contact you (email is preferred), and you must be a US resident. 

That's it! No strings attached!

Good Luck!

Giveaway ends September 11th.
Winners notified on September 12th here and via email.


  1. I would like to win a copy because I like to read and besides, LOVE SLAVE is such an intriguing title for a book!

    My email is fancymike1 AT gmail DOT com

  2. This book sounds exactly like my cup of tea, and now that we've seen how Ms. Spiegel writes, I would love to read her book! On another note, Sept. 11 is my birthday and this would be a great present ;)

    My email is

  3. I would love to win a copy because I love books and I love discovering authors. Love Slave sound like just the type of book I'd like. My email is

  4. I am clearly late to the party so I should finish dead last in this contest. But with 5 copies of the book to give away and only three comments so far, I hope I might still be considered. I want to win a copy of Love Slave because I have been there (slave to an idea of love), done that (temp in Manhattan), and a lead character named Sybil, who isn't an obvious schizophrenic, can't help but be interesting.

    I am reachable at:

  5. Congrats to you all! You've landed a copy of Jennifer's LOVE SLAVE!
    Email confirmation is on its way!