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Jenni Hendriks Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Unpregnant (2019) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Author Jenni Hendriks’ mother complained often that she was a real smart ass, so she made the decision to make a career out of it. She moved out to Hollywood and worked from coffee-fetcher to a writer on “How I Met Your Mother”.

As a graduate of film school, she knows how to wrangle a cable, rack focus, and knows exactly what a best boy does.

Jenni is also a cartoonist whose feminist works have gotten published in Ms. magazine.

She met her writing partner, Ted Caplan, while they were both going to film school at Loyola Marymount University. The two find that having somebody to yell at or even have them do the work for you makes life so much easier when writing something. Bouncing ideas off one another allows you to not get too stuck and stay inspired. She finds there is nothing better than having the other person kill your bad idea before it has taken up an entire week. The two have similar tastes, although Jenni is more into cosplay and show tunes.

The idea for “Unpregnant” came in the year 2012, as Jenni was driving home and listening to NPR. It made her start thinking about how tough it is to get an abortion in many areas of the country, how tough and lonely it can be to make that journey and just who you would bring with you for the ride. She messaged Ted, saying that she knew what their next project would be. Abortion road trip, she called it. He thought it sounded sad, but she said they would make it funny. Then they spent five years working on it.

Jenni and Ted had originally written this story as a script in the year 2012, and attempted to get the movie made, but realized the world was not ready for it, or that was what they had told themselves at the time. They kept working on it, however, as they just believed in the story that much. It took many years to convert the story into a novel, as it was their first time writing prose. It also required a large change in the political climate for the tale to seem at all viable.

The pair knew they wanted to spend time on other aspects of Veronica’s character and not just make the story about her getting an abortion. Much of her growth comes from the interactions she has with Bailey. It is because of her that Veronica becomes a better human and changes. She is much more than a girl looking to get an abortion. Jenni and Ted felt that it was important to show young readers that people are more than this single choice they are making.

Jenni and Ted both are big on coming up with outlines and spend a ton of time getting the characters, dialogue, structure, and scenes how they like it before they write any prose at all. It is mostly done in person, usually over a bowl of tomato soup at Panera.

During the process of writing the book, they probably lost Panera some patrons after shouting “fetus” too much. Because of the subject matter, they saw this as a big opportunity rather than some kind of a hindrance. Bailey was the character that allowed them to have some fun with the story without at all making light of this situation.

They could have her poke at Veronica in the same way that only somebody who knows you far too well is able to. They believe it is humor is one of the greatest ways to make a subject a lot less scary. And that by the end of the story, the reader is a lot less nervous about the topic and would then see that getting an abortion is not something that has to be clouded in a lot of shame.

Finding the right tone for the novel was key for them. They wanted to write a funny novel about a girl getting an abortion, something they would get weird looks from people when they say this. Their goal was never to belittle the issue at all or the choices their characters were making. They also never wanted to make the novel to ever be a preachy downer. After months of trial and error, they were able to write a scene that was able to balance the two, and it wound up being downhill.

“Unpregnant” is the first stand alone novel and was released in the year 2019. Veronica Clarke, age seventeen, never believed she would fail a test until she is holding a thick piece of plastic in her hand and is looking at two solid pink lines. Using condoms consistently does no good to prevent pregnancy when your boyfriend secretly pokes holes in all of them in order to keep you from going to college out-of-state.

Veronica really needs an abortion, but the nearest place she is able to get one legally is nine hundred miles away. Veronica doesn’t even have a car. Too ashamed to ask either her family or friends for help, she turns to a person she thinks isn’t going to judge her. Her former ex-best friend, Bailey Butler, Jefferson High’s little black cloud of snark and anger.

Once they get out on the road, Veronica soon remembers that nothing with Bailey is a simple matter. It means two days of shotguns, truck stop strippers with their pro-life agendas, stolen cars, crazed ex-boyfriends, and some limo-driver named Bob. The betrayal and the pain of their busted up friendship are something they is unable to outrun. Their fighting leads to a rather brutal moment of truth, Bailey up and leaves Veronica. Veronica has to risk it all so that she can repair the hurt she has caused.

Readers found this book to be poignant, hilarious, and beautiful. Fans adored these two main characters-who have some fantastic chemistry with each other, and enjoyed the way the novel takes on heavy and serious topics but still finds ways to be funny. You just get lost in the journey they are going on, forgetting along the way why they are traveling, and just enjoy the ride.

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