She earned herself a legion of loyal fans with her 2019 smash-hit bestseller, Daisy Jones & the Six, which is currently being adapted into a TV series. As Taylor Jenkins Reid's new novel, Malibu Rising, hits the shelves, we revisit an interview we did with the American author a few years ago.
What are you like when you’re writing? Are you focused or do you become grumpy?
It depends on the day. There are lots of days when I’m grumpy, for sure, because I have a certain amount of work that needs to be done and I really take a hard line with myself in terms of my own deadlines.
There’ll be times when I say, “Oh, if I don’t gett his done in the next hour I’m going to miss my deadline” and my husband will say, “Isn’t that a self-imposed deadline?” And I’m like, “Yeah, but it’s still a deadline.”
So I’m a bit punishing in my day-to-day work. I should probably lighten up and learn to breathe but I do take it seriously.
Did you always want to be an author?
No, I didn’t. I studied film and television at
college and always thought that’s what I’d do my whole life. So I got my degree, moved to Los Angeles, got a job in Hollywood and did that for a few years.
And then I started to get this sense that there’s something else I wanted to do, I just wasn’t sure what it was. I started to write in fits and starts and I thought, “Well, I like doing that but who’s ever going to pay me for it?”
It took me a while but by the time I got to my late twenties I got serious about it and I was able to admit to myself that’s what I wanted to do – I want to write books and I put all my effort into that.
What’s it like handing your book over to other people and seeing it adapted for the small screen as in the case of Daisy Jones?
It’s honestly great. I don’t have any reservations about it. I think part of the reason I’m able to feel so comfortable is because I have the privilege of being able to hand it over to Reese Witherspoon (whose production company is adapting it into a TV series for Amazon) who’s just so phenomenal at what she does.
It’s good to know that what you like about the book and are proud of is the same thing the person you’re giving it to loves about the book.
HEADING FOR THE SMALL SCREEN
In a canny move, even before Daisy Jones & the Six rolled off the printing press, actress Reece Witherspoon snapped up the production rights. Her production house, Hello Sunshine, is currently busy adapting Taylor's novel about the whirlwind rise of an iconic 1970s rock group into a TV series for Amazon.
Riley Keough is set to play Daisy - pretty shrewd casting considering the actress' grand-dad was the king of rock 'n' roll, Elvis Presley. Sam Claflin and Suki Waterhouse will join Riley on the star-studded cast. No release date has yet been announced.
WE REVIEW TAYLOR JENKINS REID'S NEW NOVEL
Ever since Taylor Jenkins Reid took the world by storm with her 2019 smash-hit bestseller, fans have been waiting to see what the author will do next - and her it is, her latest offering, Malibu Rising.
Set over the course of one day in 1980s Malibu, it revolves around the famous Riva siblings – supermodel Nina, champion surfer Jay, renowned photographer Hud and their baby sister Kit – as they plan their annual end-of-summer party. The bash is legendary and everyone wants to be invited and this year will be an occasion that people will never forget because by midnight everything will have spiralled out of control and come morning Nina's mansion - the venue of the party - would have burnt to the ground.
But before that happens, readers get to know each of the siblings and find out about their turbulent upbringing and the reason for their estrangement from their father, who is a famous singer. Some of them are hiding big secrets which have the potential to tear the family apart - and by dawn they will all come spilling out.
I really loved Daisy Jones & the Six, and while this latest offering isn't quite as good, it's still a totally absorbing read. Pure escapism of the best possible kind. If winter and lockdown is wearing you down then this is the perfect antidote - you can almost smell the suntan oil and feel the sand of Malibu's beaches between your toes. - JANE VORSTER