Author Interview with Jill Knapp

Today on Becca's Books, I'm thrilled to be welcoming the wonderful Jill Knapp to the blog, to take part in an author interview. I'm excited to get to know Jill a little more, so without further ado, let the questions commence!


Jill, first thing’s first. You are the author of What Happens to Men When They Move to Manhattan? ,We’ve Always Got New York, and You’ll Find Me In Manhattan-  all of which are published by HarperImpulse, and all of which sound gorgeous! How did your writing career start?


 Thanks so much for wanting to interview me! My writing career really didn’t begin until about 3-4 years ago. I self-published my first book which I entitled Chase (That book is now published by HarperCollins and known as ‘What Happens To Men..”’

            Originally, I went to school for Psychology. It was during graduate school that I began writing my first novel. Believing that I was going to be applying for Doctoral programs once I finished my Master’s Degree, I took my time writing the novel. However, once I graduated with my M.A, I realized that going for a Doctorate was not going to make me happy in the long run.

 A lot of changed took place in my life about a year later (2011). I ended up moving around a lot, worked at a college professor teaching Psychology and also worked as a figure skating coach (I skated competitively for 10+ years in my youth). When the moment came to make the big move from NYC down south to North Carolina, I realized that a career in writing was my true passion and began to focus solely on that.

How did HarperImpulse get in touch with you, when the big moment arrived? Can you remember how you felt when the news was delivered?

This is kind of a funny story because it was Harper that got in touch with me; it was who hounded my Publishing Director until she gave me a chance! It took about 8 weeks, but I finally got her to send my manuscript over to my editor. I was thrilled when I got the news. There may have been a bit of singing in the shower!

Manhattan and New York are featured in the titles of your books and I see that you’re originally from New York, which is pretty exciting seeing as it’s a dream destination for most people. Did you live in New York from birth, and what made you want to make the move to North Carolina?

I don’t think I’ve ever actually said this on a site before, so you may be getting an exclusive here, but I was actually born in Mississippi. For my friends in Great Britain, that is considered the Mid-West portion of America.

I only spent about two days in Mississippi because I was adopted essentially straight from birth. My family is from New York and that’s where I lived for most of my life. I have been living in North Carolina now for nearly three years, but will probably always identify as a New Yorker.
I wanted to move down here because I needed a different kind of life. I wanted to slow down a bit and get to know myself better without the chaos and constant pressure of NYC.

When it comes to writing, do you plan strategically, or are you a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants type of writer?

I’m a planner in life. My books are essentially planned out in my mind before typed onto the page.

How have you found your experiences, now having three books out there in the world? Is it everything you thought it would be?

I would love to do a book signing or reading, that’s one thing I always hoped for!

How do you celebrate your publication days? Are they big affairs, or do you keep it low-key?

I keep everything pretty low key. I am not a big fan of a lot of attention being on me. I actually have never properly celebrated a book release, come to think of it. I definitely need to next time one of my books come out!

How do your friends and family take to your writing?

My family is very supportive. My sisters helped a lot with sculpting the world of NYU in my books because she herself attended NYU.

I have a few friends who are loyal readers and have definitely supported me tons over the years! But at the same token, some people can definitely assume that just because you are a “writer” that you don’t actually have a job. This can cause a lot of tension with people, because you feel like you constantly have to justify your choice to become a writer.

Bad reviews come to us all! If and when you receive any, how do you handle them?

When I first started writing, they made me feel absolutely terrible. When I wrote for Huffington Post especially, people would put the cruellest remarks in the ‘comments’ section. I can remember honestly crying over them and nearly quitting writing all together. But as I continued I had to grow a thicker skin. Honestly, I don’t read every bad review. I read a couple and see if what they’re saying can be used as constructive criticism for my next book. And at the end of the day, good writing is subjective. If you wrote something that everyone loved, then you wouldn’t truly be relatable to those who are looking for a specific type of story. Who wants to be completely basic?

What are your thoughts on book bloggers and reviewers?

I love them! You have all helped me so much and I honestly wouldn’t have a fan base if it wasn’t for you all.

Are you now working on your next book? If so, could you possibly tell us about it?

Yes, I am currently working on a book but I haven’t gotten the green light for it from my editor yet. So I unfortunately can’t talk about it.

What is your most prized possession?

I don’t even have to think about this. Everyone who knows me knows my dogs are my prized possessions! Cupcake and Brownie.

What is the one thing you have to have on hand while writing?

Coffee!

Do you have a favourite writing snack?

Again, coffee.

What sort of things inspire you?

I am inspired by great writing on television shows, actually. More so than I am in books. Kevin Williamson (Dawson’s Creek/ The Vampire Diaries) has inspired me more than anyone else.

If you could describe the editing process in three words, which three words would you pick?

Long, frustrating, and necessary.

What are the ups and downs of the writing life? Have you came across any hurdles?

The hurdles would definitely include anxiously awaiting your editor’s notes. I think we are all on the edge of our seats waiting for feedback.

Could you tell us a few themes that feature in your books, Jill?

The themes I feature are strength, friendship, and love. There is a pretty heavy theme of passion among two of my main characters. I want my readers to see the difference between great sex and a great love.

How do you want readers to feel while reading them?

I want them to feel like they can relate to my characters. I wanted to try my best to write characters that were “everyday” girls. At least everyday city girls. I also want them to recognize that Amalia is flawed and that the books are about her journey of growth.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?

You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. Corny, but true.

And lastly, when can readers look forward to your next release? And where will your next story be set?

I can’t say when the next book will be released- but I can tell you it won’t take place in Manhattan! There will be a beach.

Jill, I really can’t thank you enough for stopping by Becca’s Books today. It’s been an absolute pleasure having you here, and I wish you every success in your writing future!
Becca’s Books xox 

Author Bio


Jill Knapp, a native New Yorker, is an author of  New Adult/ Women's Fiction novels with HarperImpulse, a United Kingdom division of HarperCollins Publishers.
Originally called "Chase", her novel "What Happens To Men When They Move To Manhattan?" was acquired by Harper, moving her out of the "self-published" scene, and into the word of traditional publishing.

She has currently written two novels in her series about New York City; "What Happens To Men When They Move To Manhattan?" and "We've Always Got New York".

Before publishing her first novel, she received a Masters in Psychology from the New School For Social Research in Manhattan.

You can find Jill Knapp on Facebook | Twitter | harperimpulseromance.com

You can find What Happens To Men When They Move To Manhattan, We've Always Got New York and Meet Me In Manhattan on -


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