Interview with Jennifer E. Smith + Mid-Month Check in!

Our Book Of The Month Author!

I’m so excited to share with you another AMAZING author interview with the ever lovely Jennifer E. Smith! Jennifer is the author of this month’s Ashley Brooke Book Club selection, Field Notes on Love!

But have no fear, if you haven’t finished the book or scooped up a copy yet we made sure there are no spoilers in this one. So feel free to read without anxiety! 😉

Just like me, I know you will really enjoy this interview with Jennifer! It’s so much fun to get a peek inside her process.

 

Lightning Round Q&A:

What are you reading right now?

JENNIFER: Normal People by Sally Rooney, which is fantastic. I’m also listening to Daisy Jones and the Six, and it’s probably one of the best audiobooks I’ve ever heard. The performances are incredible. 

What was your last Amazon purchase?

JENNIFER: A globe for my nephew’s birthday present. Trying to make a world traveler out of him!

What’s your Starbucks order?

JENNIFER: Just a cup of tea.

What is your guilty pleasure?

JENNIFER: Would it be too general to say TV? I’m not a huge believer in guilty pleasures – I think it’s okay to like what you like – but I definitely watch too much TV!

Who is your favorite celebrity or fictional character?

JENNIFER: Hermione Granger

What is your current online obsession (website, Instagram account, etc.)

JENNIFER: Humans of New York

What is next in your Netflix queue?

JENNIFER: At the moment: Knock Down The House, Schitt’s Creek, Queer Eye, Derry Girls

Where did the idea for this story come from?

JENNIFER: There was a story that went viral a few years ago about a guy who bought a round-the-world plane ticket for him and his girlfriend, and when she broke up with him, he had to find someone with the same name to take the ticket. I remember six or seven different people sent the article to me and said it sounded like one of my books, which made me laugh at the time. But it’s such a fun idea for a story. And since I’d already written a book set on an airplane (The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight), I thought a cross-country train trip would be the next best thing.

Have you ever taken a train trip?

JENNIFER: Yes, I’ve always loved trains. There’s something so soothing about them, and it’s such a beautiful way to see so many different landscapes. While writing the book, I did part of the journey that Mae and Hugo take – from Denver to San Francisco overnight, and then down the coast to LA – and it was incredible, especially the first leg, when you go through the mountains. But some of my favorite train trips have been abroad: the bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto, the journey from London up to Edinburgh, traveling through the French countryside or up the Italian coast. It’s such a wonderful way to see the world!

The backstory on Hugo and his siblings was so interesting to us, we loved the tie in to modern day parenting and parents who blog about their kids. Would you ever consider a story about another one of Hugo’s siblings?

JENNIFER: I’d love to write more about the sextuplets! They were so much fun – especially their text exchanges – and I only wish I could’ve spent more time with them in this book. I think Poppy would probably be the most interesting one to explore more. Or maybe Alfie.  (We all know who he would vote for, anyway!)

Field Notes on Love hits all the right notes and the ending is hopefully ambiguous…was this story ever going in a different direction? Were there any big plot points that were edited out?

JENNIFER: I always joke that my books conclude with an ellipsis instead of a period or an exclamation point. I like to end things on a hopeful note, but at the same time these characters are young and life is long, and I always want to leave some of it up to readers as well.  I don’t usually know what’s going to happen when I sit down to write a book. So much of the process is feeling my way through the story. In this case, not much got edited out along the way. But I did have a sense of where I wanted these characters to end up, both emotionally and geographically. And I just wrote my way toward that. 

Where is your favorite place to write?!

JENNIFER: I’m lucky to be friends with a lot of other authors, so it can be fun to write with them – in coffee shops, restaurants, offices, and even on writing retreats (where we often do as much chatting as writing!). But the place I most often work is just my desk at home in New York City, which gets lots of sunshine in the afternoons, and looks out over a beautiful park, and where my all-time favorite writing buddy – my little beagle – snoozes at my feet. 

Field Notes on Love, May Book of the Month on www.ashleybrookedesigns.com
Field Notes on Love, May Book of the Month on www.ashleybrookedesigns.com

What Page are You on?

Okay, now that you’ve read the interview… spill it! What page are you on?! Have you started, finished, or ordering today? I’m dying to know your thoughts. I fell in love with this book, and I hope you did too!

And for those of you who are literally devouring books left and right, this is for you! Below are three of our favorite books that are similar to this month’s selection. So if you are enjoying Field Notes on Love, you will most likely enjoy these three as well…

Bonus! Gift For The Book Lover

Book DARTS

We took an informal poll at our last team ABBC meeting and found out most of us dog ear our pages (Ryan is our lone hold out). We talked about how we lose bookmarks and they can be too thick and dog earring a page just seems easier. 

That got us thinking about other types of markers and lo and behold we came across book darts and are IN LOVE. They are so versatile! You can mark not only your page but literally the line where you left off. You can also use them to mark those passages you want to come back to later or that you might otherwise highlight or underline. And I don’t know about you but writing in my books makes me nervous, haha!

I think this would make the perfect thing to add to cart when you pick up books from our Summer Reading Guide or as an add on the next time you gift a book to your bestie.  For $10 it makes the perfect bookish purchase!

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10 Comments

  1. Heather Hughes
    May 18, 2019 / 10:07 am

    Great interview! I loved the book and finished it last week. It was a one day read! 🙂

    • May 20, 2019 / 10:36 am

      Heather! Yay!! So thrilled you loved it! And yes, it was the perfect Saturday read! xx – AB

      • Betsy Storey
        May 20, 2019 / 9:11 pm

        Such a quick read because it’s so good!! I wish I could read it again for the first time.

  2. Cristina
    May 19, 2019 / 9:32 pm

    Loved the book! Already finished

      • Betsy Storey
        May 20, 2019 / 9:11 pm

        Yay! So, so glad!

  3. Amelia Allen
    May 20, 2019 / 9:49 am

    I LOVED Field Notes on Love! I’ve recommended it to all my family and friends asking for book recommendations. I devoured The Coincidence of Coconut Cake afterward and that was amazing too!!!! I started utilizing my local libraries for both of those books and still plan to, but now I wish I had bought them like I did my first two book club books because those are fantastic beach reads (my favorite thing!) Thanks for the amazing selection!

    • May 20, 2019 / 10:34 am

      Amelia! THRILLED you loved the book, honestly I thought it was so good!! Also, I’m with you, I have to buy the book! xx – AB

      • Betsy Storey
        May 20, 2019 / 9:10 pm

        Amelia! I love that you’re recommending these books to your friends! Glad you’re enjoying all the selections!

  4. Stacey
    May 24, 2019 / 8:47 pm

    To be honest I skipped this blog post before I got to the no spoilers part!! I just finished the book and am in love. The book was amazing. I was afraid it’d be redundant since it seems they would be on a train the while time. I’m happy to say it was interesting with the back story on both. I like that it was from both perspectives.

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