Why are you so afraid to do the TNB Self-Interview?

Mmm, well, you know.  I’m afraid of sounding like a self-centered, self-serving arsehole.  I’m afraid of sounding stupid.  I’m afraid I really am stupid and people will find out.  There’s more, but I won’t bore you.


What else are you afraid of in life?

I’m afraid that a truck the size of an eight-story building on end will come barreling down the freeway and crush me in my little car.  I’m afraid of going blind and not being able to properly put on mascara.  I’m afraid I’ll get a tooth filled and the novocaine won’t wear off and I’ll be numb in half my face with a fat-feeling tongue and spit will run down my chin in thin needle-looking drops and I won’t even know it.


Anything else?

You really want to know?  You want to monopolize this interview with my litany of fears?


What else do you have to talk about?

I guess I could talk about face creams and lotions.  I’m obsessed with skincare products.



Yeah.  Like you know that fantasy where you’re really rich and you can buy whatever you want?  The fantasy you’ve been having since you were, like, six and first realized that you can’t buy whatever you want?  In mine, I just keep ordering face creams: Lauder, Clinique, Regenerist.  I try the “redness” ones and if I don’t like them I switch to the “laser look” ones, and then when I get bored with those I try the “lifting” ones.


So, you’re saying that if you ever have loads of money you’ll spend it in the cosmetics department at Nordstroms or at Sephora?

Yes.  Exactly.  I have painting and photo buying fantasies, too. But when I think of buying things like paintings and photos, I think of death.  I can’t help but spiral into the what is the purpose in owning something when in the end you die and there it is and what difference does it make that you owned it? See, with face creams it’s not like that.  They’re in the here and now.  You put them on, they smell good, your skin feels good.  It’s all about being alive just then.


Okay.  Anything else you want to say?

No.  Except that maybe I should confess that often when I’m looking at strangers, I want to lean into their ears and whisper the skincare regime I think they should use.


Do you?

No.  Duh.  Thinking about it is wacko enough.  I’m not going to walk around telling people they should be wearing Aveeno Calming Lotion or Clinique Redness Solution!


Well what about me? Can you tell me what to wear on my skin?

Yes, I already do that.  You read my mind on that one every single day.

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JESSICA ANYA BLAU's third novel, THE WONDER BREAD SUMMER, was selected as a Summer Read on NPR's All Things Considered, CNN's Book Chat, and Oprah's Book Club. She is also the author of DRINKING CLOSER TO HOME, and THE SUMMER OF NAKED SWIM PARTIES. For more information go to www.jessicaanyablau.com.

10 responses to “Jessica Anya Blau: The TNB 

  1. Zara Potts says:

    Oh, I am so excited for your new book!

    I love how you fear the effects of novocaine – me too. Although I discovered last week that one bonus of local anaesthetic in your gums for dental work is that you can see how botox would work. Half of my top lip was frozen and it was just like i’d had botox on my upper lip.

    Skin creams are heaven. If only I was rich enough to smother myself in La Mer or La Prairie. Are you listening, La’s? JAB and I are happy to write good things about your products in return for a free lifetime supply…

    Can’t wait to read your book, Jessica. Yay!

    • Jessica Blau says:

      Holy moly, I think you’re on to something, Zara! HOW do we work it out that we get free products in exchange for writing about them?!

      I splurged on La Mer once. It was nice.

      About the Botox, besides the expense (which is absurd!) I fear it in the same way I fear the novocaine. I’d be the person with the droopy eye who looks like they’d had a stroke! Also, I’ve been finding the Botox faces a little robotic and creepy. It’s good that I know a lot of Botox faces because my reaction to them is keeping me far, far away from the stuff!

      THANK YOU for being excited about my book–you’re too sweet! I want to come out to New Zealand and read and hang out with you and share face creams!

  2. zoe zolbrod says:

    I’ve never been remotely interested in face creams until, um, I passed the 40 yard line. Now I’m trying to catch up on a lifetime or research and trial and error. I wish you could see my face and prescribe for me.

  3. zoe zolbrod says:

    I’ve never been remotely interested in face creams until, um, I passed the 40 yard line. Now I’m trying to catch up on a lifetime or research and trial and error. I wish you could see my face and prescribe for me.

    Good luck with the release!

  4. Jessica Blau says:

    Well I was at your fabulous reading in New York when your book came out and SAW your skin and you look amazing!

    (Although I would hope that anyone over forty would use Aveeno Calming Cream with SPF 30 every morning, and Clinque Laser cream every night!)

    Oh, god, I’m completely insane recommending face creams, aren’t I?!

    • Simon Smithson says:

      For gentlemen, I would totally recommend the Body Shop’s line of maca-enriched products for shaving, cleansing, and moisturising the face.

      • Jessica Blau says:

        Ooooh Simon, I love that you’re equally skin-obsessed!

        And green tea. Let us not forget green tea! My daughter had a rash on her face and neck last week and I cooked up green tea, hit her with the wet tea bag and, sure enough, the rash went away.

    • zoe zolbrod says:

      I’m going to go read up on Aveeno Calming Cream with SPF 30. Thanks!

  5. Greg Olear says:

    Photos and paintings would be cool to acquire. Also first editions. And really good bottles of wine.

    And skin cream, of course. ; )

  6. Jessica Blau says:

    Okay here’s the dream: sitting in a beautiful apartment with sunlight flooding in while staring at your framed (FILL IN BLANK FOR YOUR PARTICULAR DREAM) and drinking a glass of (FILL IN AGAIN) while slathering your face and chest with Creme de la Mer. In fact, because it’s a dream, you’re even slathering your forearms with La Mer. And maybe even your toes.

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