Welcome to MarieClaire.com's Q&A; author series—the spot where we ask the #ReadWithMC author-of-the-month five burning questions about her latest book. In April, we're reading Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid. If you're interested in the novel and looking for some friends to talk about it with, find out how to participate in MarieClaire.com's interactive monthly book club here.
Before writing Daisy Jones & The Six, Taylor Jenkins Reid didn't know much about music—let alone music production in the 1970s. "I had to teach myself a lot, which was actually the most fun part of writing this book," she explains. "I did about six weeks of just research, then I continued it as I went along. I was very much an outsider into the world of rock. I came to this with fresh eyes, and most readers are too."
Daisy Jones reveals the truth behind a fictional '70s rock band's breakup, and the way Jenkins Reid tells the story via oral history will make you wish that somehow, some way the group could come together in real life. (Spoiler alert: It does. More on that later.)
"It was difficult, but it was the only way I could tell the story. I wanted to feel like you were reading nonfiction and be like, Oh is this a real band? I did a lot of research to find out the process of the art they make," says Jenkins Reid. "How does a song go from a melody in your head to a song you hear on the radio? I tried to find the moments of that process, then created the drama within that."
Here, Jenkins Reid discusses what drew her to the '70s rock scene and what's next for Daisy Jones fans.
Marie Claire: What inspired you to write Daisy Jones & The Six?
Taylor Jenkins Reid: It was a lot of things. First, I was really taken with how often in culture there are these men and women who write incredible songs together, but also have somewhat complicated personal relationships. The most obvious example is Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham in Fleetwood Mac, but there's a lot of them—The Civil Wars, who broke up in 2014, and other group bands who have had difficulty in their relationships and broke up very abruptly. Take Beyoncé and Jay-Z for example (even though it's hip-hop and not rock), who have this incredible relationship. They take their personal life and make art from it. I'm fascinated by it, so I wanted to create a band to explore that further.
MC: Why should people read this book now?
TJR: This is very much a story about navigating the world as a woman in a man's world. There are a lot of women in this story who are fighting for their right to be exactly who they are without judgement or control. That's something I'm really proud of.
I wanted to tell this story in Los Angeles, and I wanted to tell it during a period of time we know of as being a great time for rock. L.A. was a wild place in the '60s, '70s, '80s...even the '90s. I was trying to figure out what felt like a place I wanted to get lost in that time—the southern California sound: Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles, Jackson Browne, the people coming out of Laurel Canyon in the '60s, like Joni Mitchell and David Crosby. That just got me really excited, and I wanted to spend more time there, which is normally a pretty good sign.
MC: If you could be any character in the book, who you would be?
TJR: I'd be Daisy...because who doesn't want to walk through a world with that level of ease? Everyone wants to be Daisy for a day. Realistically, I'm much more of a Karen or a Camila.
MC: Daisy Jones & The Six will be turned into a limited series produced by Reese Witherspoon. [Editor's Note: We'll keep you posted on premiere date.] What excites you the most about this?
TJR: Who doesn't want to see their world come to life in three dimensions? It's incredibly exciting anytime you think your book is going to become a TV show. The thing about this project that got me even more excited? On top of the fact that they're going to cast all of the characters and create this world, they're also going to create an album. The Aurora album is going to be a big part of this show—the music that I've created in my head and that hopefully feels real to you as you're reading the book is going to become real music.
Reese Witherspoon is so good at understanding how to tell women's stories. I'm thrilled about the TV show—not just because of the actual show, but because she's paying attention to the right things. I feel very confident that I'm handing over a book to someone who's going to make it truly great.
MC: What's currently on your nightstand?
TJR: I'm reading Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams. It's very funny. I'm at the beginning, so I'm not quite sure where it's headed yet, but I'm loving it.
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Rachel Epstein is a writer, editor, and content strategist based in New York City. Most recently, she was the Managing Editor at Coveteur, where she oversaw the site’s day-to-day editorial operations. Previously, she was an editor at Marie Claire, where she wrote and edited culture, politics, and lifestyle stories ranging from op-eds to profiles to ambitious packages. She also launched and managed the site’s virtual book club, #ReadWithMC. Offline, she’s likely watching a Heat game or finding a new coffee shop.
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