Author Taylor Jenkins Reid is giving us serious #lifegoals. On top of being an incredibly popular bestselling author, her first book, Forever, Interrupted, has been optioned for a film, with Dakota Johnson set to star. She co-wrote the Hulu series Resident Advisors, which was produced by Elizabeth Banks. And now she鈥檚 just released her fourth novel, One True Loves, about a woman who has to choose between two loves 鈥 鈥渢he husband she has long thought dead and the fianc茅 who has finally brought her back to life.鈥 We think it might be your new fave beach read in these last weeks of summer!

Taylor Jenkins Read One True Loves

We love Taylor because she writes about very real women and their issues of lost and new love, the struggle of making relationships not suck and even questions of fate and destiny. You know鈥 just the small stuff ;) Just before she gave birth to her newborn daughter Lilah a while back, she graciously sat down and answered some of our questions about books (other than her own), her inspirations (including Felicity), how her new motherhood may change her writing and so much more.

B+C: What is the last book you binge-read?

TJR: I just finished Curtis Sittenfeld鈥檚 Eligible, which is a retelling of Pride and Prejudice. It is great and I flew through it. I once stayed up until four in the morning reading Sittenfeld鈥檚 American Wife, so it鈥檚 not all that surprising that I was addicted to her newest one too.

B+C: Speaking of binging, how did binge-watching Felicity inspire OTL?

TJR: I watched the entire run of Felicity as I was writing One True Loves, specifically because I think 鈥淏en or Noel鈥 is the love triangle of my generation. I wanted to get some insight into how that show did such a good job of making the viewer torn between two men without losing sight of the fact that it was a story about Felicity, first and foremost.

B+C: Did any movies inspire the book?

TJR: It can鈥檛 be denied that Castaway played a big part. You can鈥檛 write about someone being stranded on an island without using Tom Hanks as a jumping off point. But I was much more interested in what it felt like to be Helen Hunt. That鈥檚 how I pitched the book to my editor before I even started writing. I said, 鈥Castaway from Helen Hunt鈥檚 point of view.鈥 We so often tell stories about the men that go out and have these wild adventures and I wanted to tell the story of what it is like for the people left behind. That鈥檚 an adventure too.

B+C: How has meeting Jennifer Anniston affected you?

TJR: I was so obsessed with Friends 鈥 and specifically Jennifer Aniston 鈥 as a teenager that when I actually met her, in my early twenties, I knew I had to tell my friends about it. Rather than call them all individually, I wrote a story about the day and sent it out. It was the first piece of creative writing I鈥檇 ever done, and I was surprised how much fun it was 鈥 and how many of my friends told me they actually enjoyed reading it. That was, quite literally, the beginning of my writing career. That was the seed that started the whole thing.

TJR Author Photo (1)

B+C: How do you incorporate books into your home decor? Would people be able to tell you鈥檙e an author just by walking into your home?

TJR: The first thing you see when you walk into my house is my bookshelf. And it鈥檚 coordinated in a way that makes perfect sense to me, but I鈥檓 sure appears entirely random to anyone that looks at it. I have sections like, 鈥淎uthors I love as writers and people,鈥 or 鈥淗ardcovers with gorgeous pastel spines.鈥滱nd then there is the cookbook section, which is ruled by martial law. I have a full-on cookbook addiction. So many cookbooks, so few recipes I鈥檝e actually attempted.

B+C: Which book could you read every summer?

TJR: The Lover鈥檚 Dictionary by David Levithan. There is nothing I love more than devouring a book in a day, and The Lover鈥檚 Dictionary manages to pull such intense emotions out of you in such a short span of time that it feels effortless but hugely satisfying. The perfect summer read.

B+C: All your stories have a love theme but always with a different twist. What inspired you to write this story?

TJR: I wanted to tell a story about an impossible decision. And I also wanted to delve into the idea of being replaced. Can you replace someone you love? How does it feel to be replaced? What are the hard truths that we don鈥檛 often face? From there, the story started to snowball, until I understood that it should be about a woman choosing between two different sides of herself. One True Loves is a love triangle but it鈥檚 also a story about self-actualization. That鈥檚 what made it so much fun to write.

B+C: Tell us, is there such a thing as ONE true love or could there be more than one?

TJR: I personally don鈥檛 believe in soul mates. So if there isn鈥檛 a pre-ordained person for you, I鈥檓 not sure there can be only one person on the planet that is right for you. I鈥檓 much more interested in thinking of it as, 鈥淲ho are your great loves?鈥 And I don鈥檛 think it always has to be romantic. I think those people can include current partners, past partners, best friends, family members, children, pets, etc.

B+C: Do you think your stories will change with a baby in the mix?

TJR: I鈥檝e written four books that feel unique to me but all within the same vein. And I started, last year, asking myself some challenging questions about how I see my work growing. Adding to that the fact that I鈥檓 becoming a mother, I think readers can expect new stuff from me that grows in scope as I grow as a person and a writer. I鈥檓 going to be shaking things up a bit!

B+C: Lisa Frank is coming back, Gilmore Girls is coming back鈥 what鈥檚 one iconic trend you鈥檇 like to see make a comeback?

TJR: I would really like it if NBC could pull off another Must See TV Thursday night lineup. Those were the days! I want four great comedies in a row, every week.

B+C: How much of your own love story makes it into your books?

TJR: Somehow the answer is 鈥渟ome and almost none.鈥 There is virtually nothing that has ever truly happened to me that I鈥檝e put in a book. But all I know about love is based on what I鈥檝e experienced and what I believe. So in some ways, the way I portray good marriages is what I aim for in my marriage. The way I portray unhealthy relationships is what I鈥檓 afraid of in my own relationships, etc. So emotionally, there鈥檚 a lot of overlap. But literally? Pretty close to zero.

B+C: There鈥檚 a lot of butter talk on Facebook in regard to OTL鈥 did you think it鈥檇 be one of the favorite scenes in the book?

TJR: Ha! I had no idea! I was just writing about two people moving in together. Admittedly, I, like Sam, am obsessed with French butter dishes and Kerrygold butter. So I鈥檓 thrilled that people like the scene, because it gives me even more opportunities to tell people to buy a French butter dish. If you value perfectly buttered toast, you need a French butter dish.

B+C: OTL is being called a favorite beach read all over the place鈥 what makes the perfect beach read for you?

TJR: I like a book that starts effortlessly, one that draws you in quickly. And it鈥檚 important that it keeps your attention. If you put the book down to go swim, you should be excited to get out of the water so you can keep reading. And double points if you鈥檙e so into reading that you really want your friend to stop interrupting you. That鈥檚 always been the fun of engaging with a story for me. You think about it when you鈥檙e not reading it and you can鈥檛 wait to get back to it. It has always been a dream of mine to create that excitement for other people.

B+C: Favorite destination for summer reading 鈥 backyard or beachside?

TJR: Oh, beachside! No contest! If there鈥檚 no sand in the spine of your books, are you living your best life?

B+C: Looking back over your four books, do you ever wish you鈥檇 ended them differently?

TJR: Once I鈥檝e finished a book, I make my peace with it. I think my brain protects me from regretting anything in a book by rerouting me every time I begin to think about it. Sort of a, 鈥淣o, no, don鈥檛 look over there!鈥 kind of a self-preservation. I鈥檓 proud of the books I鈥檝e written. They represent what I thought about the world as I wrote them. Some readers have disagreed with the endings almost every time, but rarely is there a consensus. So I think that鈥檚 a good sign. If people are talking and everyone鈥檚 saying something different, that鈥檚 a great conversation. And the only thing that holds a candle to a good story is a heated debate.

B+C: What鈥檚 next?

TJR: Next up is The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo 鈥 about a reclusive movie star and her juiciest secrets 鈥 out next summer. I鈥檓 finishing it up now and preparing to have a baby. I鈥檓 sure I鈥檒l be hibernating for a while, but when I pop back up, have no doubt, there will be another book to read!

What鈥檚 your favorite TJR read? And are you excited for One True Loves? Tweet us @BritandCo and let us know!