Jennifer Niven

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Jennifer Niven divides her time between Atlanta (where she was named one of Jezebel Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People) and Los Angeles (where her film Velva Jean Learns to Drive won an Emmy Award and she once played the part of Shania Twain in a music video). Her first book, The Ice Master, was released in 2000 and named one of the top ten nonfiction books of the year by Entertainment Weekly.  Jennifer's second book, Ada Blackjack, released in 2003, was a Book Sense Top Ten Pick. When she isn't writing, Jennifer studies belly dancing, yoga, and electric guitar; and explores her inner bombshell.

Photo Credit: Stephen Hunton

Books by this Author

Jennifer Niven quit her job as a television producer to write the true story of a doomed 1913 Arctic expedition in her first book, The Ice Master, which was named one of the top ten nonfiction books by Entertainment Weekly, and won the Barnes & Noble Discover Award. She received high praise for her follow- up arctic adventure, Ada Blackjack, which detailed the life of one woman who overcame enormous odds to survive. Now, Niven tells a survival tale of a different kind; her own thrilling,...

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My Life in 8 Words

Author Revealed

Q. What is your motto or maxim?

A. Live out loud. Do unto others. Dream big. And there's nothing you can't do.

Q. What are your most overused words or phrases?

A. "Absolutely." "Snacks." "Fancy." "Sexy." "Groovy." "Right?" "Can you imagine?" "My eyes (are so wide)..."

Q. Who is your favorite fictional hero?

A. Alice in Wonderland, Scarlett O'Hara, and Amy March

Q. If you could meet any historical character, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?

A. I'd like to go to one of Carole Lombard's infamous parties and tell her not to get on that airplane. I'd want to lie on George Gershwin's piano while he was playing and sing a song with him. I'd like to dance with Mata Hari and exchange stories about men. I'd want to visit a film set of Charlie Chaplin's and talk to him about the creative process. I'd want to be on one of those trains robbed by Jesse James and then ask him if he ever lost sleep over his crimes. I'd want Jacqueline Cochran to teach me how to fly so I could be a WASP. I'd put myself on the ship Karluk, which I wrote about in my first book, and meet Captain Bob Bartlett, Bjarne Mamen, and William McKinlay and get to know them even better. I'd want to flirt with Houdini and Yul Brynner. I'd like to sit and just look at Lord Byron.

Q. What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?

A. Researcher and animal rescuer

Author Voices

June 23, 2009

  1. You must kiss your pride and dignity goodbye.
  2. There is no such thing as writing a memoir half-way.  You have to jump in with both feet, legs, arms, shoulders, hands, head, and heart.
  3. Everyone remembers the same event differently.
  4. It's fun to relive old memories.
  5. It's agonizing to relive old memories.
  6. If you have any doubt, change names!  Not only to protect the people you're writing about, but yourself.
  7. It's fine to leave things out.  In fact, it's better to leave things out.
  8. No matter how much they ask, your loved ones don't want to know the things you...
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Jennifer Niven on the Web