November 5, 2012

An Author a (Mon)day: Jennifer E. Smith

I'm very honored to be able to welcome Jennifer E. Smith on to the blog today. It's been a while since I've been able to do this feature, and I'm pleased to have one of the authors I love being featured this week! I think Jennifer's writing is beautiful and fluid, and I love the characters she's managed to create in the two novels I've read from her so far. See my reviews of her amazing books The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight and You are Here!


Alexa: How did you come up with the characters of Peter and Emma (in You Are Here)? I'm especially curious to hear how their personalities (quirks and all) came to be.

Jennifer: Usually, the female protagonist comes to me first, but for this book, it all started with Peter. I loved the idea of this guy who's kind of an oddball - obsessed with maps, fascinated by Civil War battlefields - and who, on the surface, is completely wrong for Emma, the girl next door. She's hasty and impatient and impulsive, and he's quite the opposite - very reserved and maybe a little too cautious. On the surface, there's nothing about them that should fit. But when you put them in a car together, and the hours and miles start to add up, they realize they're a lot more similar than they might have imagined. And even more than that, they bring out the best in each other. I really enjoyed writing them because there's kind of a slow build to their relationship; it's not instant love or anything remotely close to that. He's been in love with her forever, but only the idea of her. And she's always readily dismissed him without quite understanding why. It takes them some time to realize why they make sense. And the reader gets to sort of discover that alongside them...

Alexa: Who are your top three fictional book characters?

Jennifer: Hermione Granger from Harry Potter, Jo March from Little Women, and Auggie from Wonder

Alexa: If you could slip into any character's life for a day, who would it be and why?

Jennifer: I love the idea of being inside the world of Harry Potter. I mean, who doesn't want to spend a day at Hogwarts? But while Hermione is one of my all time favorites, I think I'd want to go as Harry. Or maybe Dumbledore!

Thank you so much for sharing your answers with us Jennifer! I loved hearing more about Peter and Emma (from You are Here), and it was certainly great to hear about other characters that you've loved from other fictional books as well. (And I would totally want to visit Hogwarts too!)


You Are Here Jennifer E Smith book cover
You Are Here by Jennifer E. Smith (my review)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: February 23, 2010
Other Books: The Comeback Season, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

Emma Healy has grown used to being the only ordinary one in her rather extraordinary family. But when she finds a birth certificate for a twin brother she never knew she had, along with a death certificate dated just two days later, she realizes why she never felt quite whole. She sets off on a trip to visit her brother’s grave. Peter Finnegan, her neighbor, comes along for the ride. Emma thinks they can’t possibly have anything in common, but with each passing mile, they find themselves learning more and more about themselves and each other.

Why I loved this book

It's a road trip book, for one thing, and it's a road trip that leads to a transformation of a character. I loved the quirkiness of Peter and Emma, and thought they were incredibly unique. It's slow-paced, but I found that utterly lovely and enchanting.


  1. Love this new feature! So want to read You Are Here!

  2. I absolutely love Jennifer E. Smith and must read You Are Here soon! Thanks to you and Jennifer for the interview :)

  3. So fun! I know E loves JES! Love reading author interviews and especially where their inspiration comes from. :)


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