Random Chitchats

Shop Talk Tuesday with Jennifer Bradbury

Hey, all! In the hot seat today is Jennifer Bradbury, a Class of 2k8 member and author of the young adult novel, SHIFT!



You and your best friend head out West on a cross-country bike trek. The two of you get into a fight—and stop riding together. You reach Seattle, go back home, start college. You think your former best friend does too. He doesn’t.

Imagine your world shifting.

“This is a great realistic mystery. Jennifer Bradbury tells a totally believable, totally engrossing story. You will keep the pages turning.” –Chris Crutcher, Margaret A. Edwards Award winning author of Deadline and Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes

Click here for the behind the story scoop on SHIFT!

Welcome, Jennifer! Grab some coffee, get comfy in the beautician’s chair, and let’s get down to the gossip.

When’s the last time you’ve treated yourself to a manicure?
Fall of 2005. We were living in India and you could get a full spa day for about fifteen dollars—including threading (don’t ask), pedicure, skin treatments, massage and manicure. Trouble was, there were only a handful of Caucasian people in the city of almost 1,000,000, so the spa I visited didn’t have any nail polish colors on hand that really went with my skin tone. I had to rush out to the chemist and buy nail polish remover on my walk back to my apartment.

Hey, Jennifer, what’s treading? (Sorry. Couldn’t help it.) Okay, what beauty product can you not live without?
The only thing I wear every day is my Oil of Olay complete moisturizer with sunscreen. I love that stuff. I think I’d put it in my coffee if I thought it would help. Burts Bees lip balm and Clinique mascara are tied for a very close second.

How long have you been with your current stylist and what are your appointment conversations like—chatty and personal, or quiet and professional?

I just started seeing Hilda, my current stylist. I ended up leaving another sylist recently, which always feels weird. But I like Hilda (who talked me into my first highlights!) and she’s a friend from my church home group so we have lots to talk about.

Here’s your Hypothetical Questions of the Week:

HQ #1: You magically find a $100.00 bill in your box of cereal. In what frivolous way would you spend it?
Probably on the pair of NAOT sandals I tried on a couple of days ago, or maybe on a prepaid gift card to my favorite Espresso place. If I were smart, I’d spend it all on more boxes of the same cereal, betting there’s more cash in there. But I’m not. Or I like shoes and coffee too much.

HQ #2: If I asked the members of your critique group who you’re most like when critiquing manuscripts, would they choose Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul or Simon Cowell?
Somehow I ended up in a critique group with two women who do not have televisions either. So they would mostly say “Huh?” in response to this question. But I think I have Simon tendencies when talking about my own work, and a little Randy Jackson when addressing others.

HQ #3: If you followed the career path you chose for yourself in high school, what would you be doing for a living now?
I’d be a journalist, hoping for an assignment with some foreign press bureau. Basically, I wanted to be Rory Gilmore before there was a Rory Gilmore.

The Lightening Round—no more than two words per answer!

Do you . . .
Outline or wing it? OUTLINE!
Talk about works-in-progress, or keep your trap shut? Hint around . . .
Sell by proposal or completed draft? Completed draft.
Love to edit or cringe at the thought? Love it.
Prefer writing a new book or marketing the old? Writing new.
Write better at home or in a coffee shop? Both (I usually write at home, but if I can sneak out . . . )
Read your released book or no thanks? All done.

And finally, what’s your favorite . . .
Time to write?
Movie? Rear Window.
Book? Jane Eyre.
Author? Jane Austen.
Song? If I Had a Boat by Lyle Lovett
Pair of shoes? Dansko clogs. (I was a teacher, so yeah . . .)
Guiltiest pleasure? Gummi Sweet Tarts.
Line from a movie? “Step aside, homeschool,” from Blades of Glory, mainly because it’s the only one I can think of that I’ve quoted recently.

Thanks, Jennifer, and best of luck with SHIFT! Around my house, there’s quite a bit of quoting from Will Ferrell movies as well, especially Talledega Nights. Oh, and I still want to know what threading is. Okay, okay, I’ll let it go. 😉

You may also like...

Popular Articles...


  1. Great interview! Very fun. I love reading interviews with different, quirky questions. I really want to read Shift at some point…I’m sure I’ll get too it.

    Will Ferrell movies are just SO easy to quote from, but it’s all good! 🙂


  2. Great interview! I love your questions!

    Beth Fehlbaum, author

    Courage in Patience, a story of hope for those who have endured abuse



    Chapter 1 is online

Leave a Reply