‘If you have a chance to say something, why not say something supportive.’
The brunette mother-of-two, who hails from Philadelphia, added: ‘She’s young, part of me wants to give her a pass, God knows I probably said stupid things when I was 26, but I was disappointed, I was bummed.’
While admitting that she’s not exactly Lena’s demographic , Jennifer laughed: ‘I don’t think my little viewership is going to get the show cancelled!
However, she insisted: ‘With someone like Lena, I feel like I’m such a supporter and fan of women literary writers and women comics, I would have been out there carrying a poster for Lena’s show if she hadn’t said that stupid thing.’
‘Women were very generous with me when my first book came back and I always want to be generous and supportive. We jump through hoops that men still don’t have to jump through. I always want to support other women.
‘If you’re going to complain about some genre of writing or some particular writer, think for a minute about how much harder every single women who’s been published had it than some guy, even someone whose work you thinks sucks.
‘And maybe if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all!’
Jennifer’s success has seen another of her novels, In Her Shoes, take to the big screen with Toni Collette and Cameron Diaz starring as sisters – and all her other books have been ‘optioned’ by movie studios.
However, it was an ill-fated stint in Hollywood while producing her recent series, State of Georgia, starring Raven Symoné, that prompted Jennifer to write her latest novel, The Next Best Thing.
Her protagonist Ruth Saunders is a talented screenwriter who heads to Hollywood with her grandmother in tow – only to see her debut show canned and her dreams fade away.
Not so coincidentally, Ruth’s show stars an overweight actress who turns up on set after losing monumental amount of weight just before filming – which mirrors real life and Raven’s own surprising 70 pound weight loss.
And Jennifer admits her Hollywood experience ‘wasn’t brilliant, it wasn’t perfect…it was heartbreaking in a lot of ways, but I’m really, really glad it happened and I think if I ever have chance to do TV again I’ll go in knowing a lot more and knowing when to compromise.’ Hollywood hit: Jennifer Weiner based her new book, The Next Thing, on her time in Hollywood.
Hollywood hit: Jennifer Weiner based her new book, The Next Thing, on her time in Hollywood.
The ABC Family series was meant to follow a young hopeful who dreams of making it big on Broadway and Jennifer said: ‘I wanted a bigger girl, a plus size girl, I ended up with Raven.
‘She’d lost a lot of weight and I didn’t find that out until literally the night before we were due to start shooting the pilot
‘They kept saying ‘she’s travelling, she’s busy’ - I kept saying ‘I just want to have coffee with her, I just want to see her!’ because I’d heard that she’d gotten thin.
‘When I saw her, she was not that thin yet, but by the end of shooting the show she was that thin and the truly maddening part was I kept saying ‘Guys, she’s tiny’ and they were saying ‘oh she’s not!’.
They kept saying ‘ You're looking at her with Philadelphia eyes and she might be Philadelphia skinny but she’s not Hollywood skinny! Which is so wrong on so many levels!’