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20 November 2014

Author Interview with Jill Knapp!

The second book in Jill Knapp’s fabulous series about dating in New York picks up after Amalia Hastings returns to Manhattan from her trip to Brazil – and finds that life has indeed gone on without her.

Fresh off the plane, Amalia’s feeling anxious and unresolved; left alone to pick up the pieces and deal with the repercussions of choosing her own path over Michael.

Without an apartment, without a job, and starting to wonder if she’s even without a best friend, she finds herself holding on tightly to the one thing she is familiar with, New York City.

Sometimes you have to let go of who you were to become who you will be… / / Goodreads

Today is the release date of author Jill Knapp's new novel 'We've Always Got New York', the second part of her Harper Impulse series about dating in New York. I'm really excited to have Jill on the blog today to tell us a bit more about her new novel, her future plans and her own favourite novels!
Can you tell us something about your new novel, ‘We’ve Always Got New York’?
My new novel takes place after my main character, Amalia, returns home from her trip to Brazil. She is left without an apartment, without a boyfriend, and possibly without a best friend. The book takes place over the next 6 or so months of her life. She is back at NYU, starting her second year in her graduate program, and finding school harder than ever.
What makes this book different from the first, is that the POV’s flip back and forth from chapter to chapter between Amalia and Olivia. The first novel was only written from Amalia’s POV. I did this because I really wanted the audience to see Amalia from every angle, not just her own inner monologue. 
Where did you get the inspiration for your novel? Is it in any way based on your own personal experiences?
I read a lot! Most of my favourite books are about New York City. Having said that, I realized I had never read a book before where the main characters were in graduate school. That’s not to say these books aren’t out there, just that I have yet to stumble across any. I have read countless books about students in law school, undergraduate, and even medical school, but never in a graduate program. 
I was living in New York when I started writing the first novel. I wanted to pick a school that I knew a lot about, so I chose NYU because my sister is currently enrolled there. Between my knowledge of the city, and her help with some of the in’s and out’s of NYU itself, I was able to create a realistic world that took place mainly in Manhattan’s West Village.
All of the characters are completely fictional, but that’s not to say that some of the situations they find themselves in haven’t been inspired by similar situations I, or some of my friends, have gone through in the past. No character is actually based on anyone in real life though. 
Can you tell us a bit more about the main protagonist, Amalia?
Amalia is, in a word, nervous. She is constantly worrying about everything in her life. She over-analyses and over-thinks everything. She has a good heart, and is very loyal to her friends, but not very smart when it comes to her dating life. She is definitely a flawed character with a lot of obstacles to overcome. She’s pretty, but not stunningly beautiful. She’s average weight, average height, but has beautiful, pale blue eyes that can grab any guy’s attention.
Her relationship with her parents isn’t a good one, but she is very close to her brother, Aaron, who attends college in Syracuse, New York. She is the type of person who would do anything for the people she loves, but also has a no-bullshit policy, and can only take so much before she snaps at you!
There’s a great cast of supporting characters in the novel as well. Which character did you most enjoy writing?
I had the most challenging time writing Olivia, so I am going to say she was my favourite to write. She isn’t a New Yorker by design, so just having her come from Rhode Island and become emerged in the social scene.
Did you do any particular research for this book?
Yes and no. Every place I wrote about in the book, I have been to. All of the bars and restaurants named are placed that I frequented when I lived in Manhattan. I have also been to Roosevelt Island (where Alex lives) and I am from Staten Island (like Amalia and Cassandra) however the area of Brooklyn that Olivia lives in I had never been to before. So I did have to do a bit of research on Park Slope, but not too much since Olivia is always in Manhattan anyway. And as I said earlier, my sister helped me fill in any of the gaps I had about NYU life. 
Can you perhaps tell us something about your future plans? Are you perhaps already working on a next novel?
I am currently working on the third instalment of the “What Happens To Men…?” series! A lot is happening in this novel, so I am taking my time writing it. I want to make sure I address any questions the readers may have about the previous books, and wrap up the story tightly.
Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
Don’t expect anything to just fall into your lap. You have to be aggressive when it comes to wanting people to read your work. Never worry about coming across as annoying. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take so take them all!
What is the last book you read that you’d like to recommend to others?
Lena Dunham’s “Not That Kind Of Girl”. I just finished it last week and it was one of the most compelling books I have ever read. I am currently reading “The Perfectionists” by Sara Shepard, who happens to be my favourite author.
Which book could you not live without?
“Siddhartha” by Herman Hesse
And last but not least, if you had to describe ‘We’ve Always Got New York’ in just three words, which words would you pick?
Realistic, Funny, and Eye-opening
Thanks so much, Jill!

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