Welcome back to another installment of Meet the Editors! This week we’re going to learn about Brianna Hopp, one of our Fiction and Nonfiction Editors. Brianna is a sophomore at Lewis University, and a new addition to the Jet Fuel Review team. While she is majoring in biology to pursue a career in a healthcare profession, she is eager to work as a fiction and nonfiction editor for the Jet Fuel Review to satisfy her lifelong love of literature. While she’s studying at Lewis, she’s living at home with a pet bird who eats all her popcorn and a loving, but terribly loud family that has given her the unsurpassable talent of tuning out the world and losing herself in the pages of a good story. We hope you enjoy getting to know Brianna!
Who are you and what is your role in Jet Fuel Review?
My name is Brianna Hopp, I’m a biology major in my sophomore year at Lewis University. I’m planning to complete my Bachelor of Science in biology, then continue on to one of the Allied Health Programs at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. I’m volunteering as a Fiction/Nonfiction editor for the Jet Fuel Review because I’ve always loved creative writing and reading. I’m finding that volunteering with the journal has already taught me a lot about what it means to craft your style of writing and what aspects a piece of writing should have in order to really effect an audience.
What book might we find on your nightstand right now?
Right now you’d probably find Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier on my nightstand. It’s my favorite book so I love picking it up to read out of it every once in a while. I absolutely adore DuMaurier’s prose because her imagery is so vivid (and those vivid images are of grand, but lonely, seaside mansions and the fog-carpeted moors of Europe *swoon*). For any book to really strike a chord in me, it has to be atmospheric. The language needs to flow and the imagery needs to be honest so that I can fully submit myself to the point of view I’m reading through. Rebecca has both of these aspects, plus spectacular character development. I think it’ll always be a favorite of mine.
If you had the chance to co-write with one author who would you choose and why?
I would choose to co-write with Jhumpa Lahiri. Although I could never keep up with the vast amount of knowledge she has about middle-eastern culture (her primary subject), I feel we both place a priority on examination of human emotion through character development. I adore her collection of short stories titled, Interpreter of Maladies. Each story in that book beautifully communicates the complexities and contradictions in human relationships. Her honesty and accuracy in describing the multifaceted emotions we experience every day is almost startling. Those complexities and contradictions in human nature are concepts that I am always thinking about and noticing and observing in my own life. I feel I could learn so much from her, not only about writing, but also about human nature.
Describe your perfect reading atmosphere.
As long as there’s a cup of perfectly sweetened, just-hot-enough coffee in my hand, anywhere is a perfect place for me to read. But I do have this one spot in my living room I like to sit in if I’m reading at home. I nestle into the left corner of the couch with these huge pillows perfectly squished around me. Usually, I don’t like to have a blanket on me because blankets make me sleepy. I also love reading in the soft yellow light of a lamp (I detest overhead lighting).
What might your personal library look like?
I can’t believe I’m admitting this, but it would probably have a lot of romance stories in it. Not those short ones you can buy for 50 cents that have shirtless pirates on the front or anything, but classic-style romances like Rebecca and Wuthering Heights. I’m a sucker for a dramatic love story. I also love books set in the past. I think this probably comes from the fact that I love traditional concepts like royalty, palaces, and good ol’ chivalry. I just read two fantastic books that told wonderful stories of love and adventure, Under the Jeweled Sky by Alison McQueen and City of Jasmine by Deanna Raybourn. Of course, my personal library would also need to include my favorite authors like Jhumpa Lahiri and Markus Zusak who, in my opinion, expertly examine human nature and the complex emotions and obligations that drive our everyday lives. I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak is one of my all-time favorite books so my personal library would need to include several copies of that so I could give them away to all my friends.
If you could remake a poorly written movie that was based off a book, what would it be?
I’m going to get so many dirty looks for this but I would remake the Twilight movies. Those are so God-awful. The books weren’t even that bad (they were bad, but not as bad as the movies). Everything about those movies from the actors to the make-up to the special effects is just awful and I’m kind of disappointed that a book that was so entertaining to my eighth-grade self was destroyed by a movie like that.
What piece of literature could you reread over and over again?
I actually can’t stand re-reading books. I mean, I can pick up a favorite and read parts of it every now and then, but to re-read a book from start to finish drives me crazy. Every time I read a book, it’s an irreplaceable experience. I live the life of the protagonist, I feel her excitement, her fear, her frustration. I get to know the people she takes with on her adventure. I see her faults and her quirks and the meaning of her whole life. I don’t mean to be corny, but it’s something I can only fully experience once. Every other time I go back to revisit it, it feels like a memory.
Give us a quote from your favorite book.
“I realize that nothing belongs to her anymore and she belongs to everything.”
― Markus Zusak, I Am the Messenger
If you were invited to have coffee with any fictional character who would you most like to meet and why?
Sherlock Holmes. Hands down, my favorite fictional character. If we went out to coffee, chances are I would probably get dragged into some kind of mischief. And who doesn’t want to get dragged into mischief if it involves watching Sherlock Holmes’s all-powerful deducing skills in action?
Top five favorite pieces of writing:
–Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
–I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
-“Like Real People Do” by Hozier
–Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier
–The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Thanks for joining us this week! We’ll be back next Friday when we introduce more of our fantastic editors.
– Jet Fuel Review Assistant Blog Editor, Kelly Lyons