Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Interview: Jennifer E. Smith (author of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight)

Jennifer E. Smith is the author of The Statistical Probability of Love at First SightThe Storm MakersYou Are Here, and The Comeback Season

She earned a master’s degree in creative writing from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, and currently works as an editor in New York City. 

Her work has been translated into 28 languages, and her new young adult novel, This is What Happy Looks Like, is coming out in April 2013.

When I first started blogging, I never thought that I'd ever be interviewing authors, yet here I am today, interviewing Jennifer E. Smith, the amazing lady who made me laugh and cry with her wonderful contemporary novel-- The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. :)

So, hello, Jen, I can't tell you how happy I am to have you here at Bookcase to Heaven™! I thought the statistical probability of that would be near zero, but here you are and I'm going start with my first question about...

MATH. Were you good at Math in middle school?

I've always been more of a words person than a numbers person. I guess I held my own at math while in school, but I never liked it very much, and embarrassingly, I still count on my fingers sometimes. I'm sure my old math teachers would find it amusing that I've written a book with the words "statistical probability" in the title...

I guess they would *grins* So what was your inspiration for writing a novel about the probability of fate?

I wanted to explore the idea of fate, and I was interested in the notion that something as little as missing your flight by four minutes could change your entire life. 

And how did you come up with the title?

It actually came from a line of dialogue near the end of the book. We’d tossed around a few other titles before that, none of which quite seemed to fit, and once we decided to go with that one, the whole book sort of came into focus. At one point, we almost scrapped it because we were worried it was too long, but I’m so glad we decided to go with it! 

I'm glad too ;) The title was what that drew me to the book in the first place! Now, do you believe in true love and soul mates?

I do!  But then, I'm a hopeless romantic…

So how did you envision yourself falling in love when you were young?

I was always a sucker for romantic comedies, so I guess I probably dreamed of those types of scenarios when I was younger. And that's probably why I write the sorts of books I do now. There's something deeply hopeful in these kinds of stories, and I've always been really drawn to that.

Then, do you prefer books that make you smile or books that make you cry?

I love both, and I certainly don’t think they’re mutually exclusive. I love books with big hearts, and those always seem to be the ones that manage to make me smile and cry in the span of a single page.

Why did you choose to become a novelist for the teenage/young adult audience?

First of all, there’s no better or more enthusiastic audience out there. But beyond the readers, I also really enjoy writing these characters. I think a lot of adults tend to underestimate teens, so it’s great to have an opportunity to give voice to sixteen or seventeen year old characters who are real and honest and emotional, but also incredibly bright and savvy and intelligent.  

And I enjoying reading about them! I see that you've written four books so far. Which book was the hardest to write, out of the four?

Actually, it was my one middle grade novel, which isn't so much because it was middle grade, but because it required world building. It gave me a whole new appreciation for other genres! But I really enjoyed the challenge.

Anything in particular that you want to say to the aspiring writers out there?

The only way to figure out if you can write a book is to actually sit down and attempt to write one. You learn by trying and failing and then trying again. You bounce back from the rejections, and you celebrate the successes both big and small. Writing is not at all the same thing as publishing, and it’s the much more important of the two. If you want to be a writer, you’re the only one who can make that happen. You just have to keep putting words down on the page. It’s the easiest and hardest thing in the world.  

Thank you for the advice! 

But, one last question before we end, and I just have have have to ask it. Do you have a special fondness for British boys (i.e. Oliver)? *winks winks*

I have to admit that I do. I've lived in both Ireland and Scotland, and I've always loved guys with accents. Who doesn't? ;)

Indeed, who doesn't?

I think we all love her a little more after this honest and insightful interview!

Read why I love her here ;)

And let's rush to the bookstore when her new Young Adult novel, This is What Happy Looks Like, comes out in April!

Thanks, Jen, for taking the time to answer my questions! You're a real sweetie :)

Don't ever stop writing! (And same goes to the rest of you aspiring writers out there ;)



  1. Great interview! I really want to read this book!


    1. Go read it! *urges*

      When the author believes in true love, her book will make you believe in it too ;)

  2. I love STAT, so thanks for interviewing her!

    1. Thanks, M.C.! Your comments always make me smile :D I'm happy to meet a fellow ASEAN too ;)

      As for interviewing Jen E. Smith, it was a great experience for me too! Glad you enjoyed it :)

  3. Great interview Sel....i really need to read this book.

    Le' Grande Codex


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