Taylor Jenkins Reid: ‘I don’t want writing to be punishing anymore’

The author of ‘The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo’ is back with a moving novel set in 1980s Malibu. She tells Clémence Michallon about creative risks, how meeting Jennifer Aniston changed her career, and feeling like Forrest Gump

Tuesday 08 June 2021 06:33
<p>Taylor Jenkins Reid has just released her seventh novel, ‘Malibu Rising’</p>

Taylor Jenkins Reid has just released her seventh novel, ‘Malibu Rising’

Taylor Jenkins Reid’s writing career began with Friends. She had relocated to Los Angeles from Massachusetts and was working in casting when Jennifer Aniston stopped by her office. Excited to have met the Friends star in person, Reid recounted the anecdote to her friends in an email. That email earned her “a lot of support” and made its way to a TV writer, who praised it. And just like that, Reid caught the writing bug.

“It’s little things like this that indicated to me that if I tried this, it might work and I might belong,” she says. “It gave me the confidence I needed to sit down one day and say, ‘OK, I’m going to try to write fiction.’”

Reid’s first novel, Forever, Interrupted (the tale of a young widow whose husband dies just nine days after their elopement), was submitted to publishers in the spring of 2012. After a few anxiety-filled weeks, she signed a two-book deal with Simon & Schuster, one of the most prestigious publishing houses in the US. As Reid established herself as a character-driven author who respects her protagonists’ integrity and lets their personalities drive the plot, so her critical and commercial success grew. She writes with heart and is a master at seemingly innocuous scenes that carry deep meaning. Nine years later, she has just released her seventh novel.

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