Hi everyone! I am pleased to present to you one part of a two-part interview with Jennifer E. Smith, hosted by me and Stefani from Caught Read Handed, about herself and her newly released novel Hello, Goodbye, and Everything In Between. Here's how this works: I have one half of the interview here, while Stefani has the other half on her blog. Stefani also has an AWESOME giveaway of three paperback copies of three other books by Jennifer so be sure to check that out and enter!
Without further ado, meet Jennifer E. Smith!
JENNIFER E. SMITH is the author of Hello, Goodbye, and Everything In Between, The Geography of You and Me, This Is What Happy Looks Like, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, The Storm Makers, You Are Here, and The Comeback Season. She earned a master’s degree in creative writing from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, and her work has been translated into thirty languages.
Connect with Jennifer: Website | Twitter | Tumblr | Goodreads | Facebook |
Buy Hello, Goodbye, and Everything In Between: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository |
Q: Are you a plotter or a pantser?
A: I definitely fly by the seat of my pants. I generally have a sense of where I want the characters to end up, and I usually know what’s going to happen in the next chapter or two, but I don’t outline at all, and most of my writing process is just taking a leap and feeling my way through and hoping for the best.
Q: What was your most memorable moment on your journey to becoming an author?
A: There have been so many milestones along the way that have meant so much to me – it’s hard to pick just one. Probably when I found out my first book was going to get published. After so many years, and so many failed attempts, finding out your biggest dream is coming true is just such a magical moment.
Q: What was your most embarrassing moment as an author?
A: Oh, there are probably a lot that I’m blocking out. Let’s see. One time I lost my voice in the middle of a school visit – it just gave out on me completely, and I was standing up in front of a hundred high school students opening and closing my mouth like a fish, but nothing was coming out. It took the principal a few minutes to realize that he needed to cut it short and finally came rescue me. That was pretty embarrassing!
Q: What are your favorite types of scenes to write, and why?
A: I love scenes with a lot of dialogue. For me, they’re quick to write, and it’s fun to get caught up in the back-and-forth as the characters are bantering. You’ll probably notice my books are very dialogue-heavy for this reason!
Q: Were there any scenes that you wrote for Hello, Goodbye, and Everything In Between that were removed from the final product that you wish that you could put back in?
A: Actually, no! I tend to write very light – which means my first draft is usually pretty short, and the work I generally tend to do in revisions is to fill it out by adding more scenes, more explanations, more descriptions, more dialogue. So it’s rare that I do any wholesale cutting of scenes. I know there are a lot of authors who are the opposite – they’ll write almost double what they need to, and then spend the whole revision process cutting it back. Just depends on what kind of writer you are!
Q: How do you deal with outside factors affecting your writing time? Such as friends/family wanting you to stop what you’re doing and saying, “You can write later?”
A: Until recently, I had another job as well – working as an editor – so I’d gotten pretty good at balancing my time. But now that I’m not working there and writing is my full-time job, it’s actually harder than I thought it would be to protect my writing time. People assume that you can always get around to it later, and though it is a very flexible job, you do have to draw some boundaries, which is something I’m still working on.
Q: If you could travel to anywhere in the world (in any time period) where would you go for inspiration?
A: Wow, that’s a hard question! Well, Scotland is my favorite place in the world, and I just finished watching Outlander, so maybe I’d go back in time there?
Q: What would make you stop reading a book?
A: I used to be really stubborn about putting down a book, and I always made myself finish even when I wasn’t enjoying it at all. But lately, I’ve started to feel like life is short and there are so many books I want to read, so if I’m really slogging through something, maybe that’s a sign that I should set it aside. But I do give most books a good chance, and after so many years of reading critically as an editor, I’ve found I’m actually a very open-minded and forgiving reader when I’m doing it for fun. So it’s still very rare that I don’t finish something…
Q: What fictional character (including one of your own) are you the most like?
A: I think there’s a little bit of me in each of my protagonists, which is why they’d all probably get along so well!
Q: What is your next project?
A: I’m in the middle of a new YA novel right now, but it’s a bit too soon to talk about it – more to come, I hope!
Thank you, Jennifer for doing this interview with me and Stefani! We both greatly appreciate it.
If you guys need more convincing to check out Jennifer's great new novel Hello, Goodbye, and Everything In Between you can check out my review of it HERE.