Jill Knapp, a native New Yorker, is the author of the Chase series (New Adult/ Women’s Fiction) and a former adjunct professor of Psychology at her Alma Mater Kean University. A regular contributor to the Huffington Post, Knapp reports on entertainment, relationships and the differences between city and suburban lifestyles. She received a Masters in Psychology from the New School For Social Research in Manhattan.
Your novel is called ‘Chase’ please could you tell me about it?
Chase is about a young woman who moves from a suburban area of New York into the city to attend graduate school at NYU.
Chase is the first book, in a series of coming of age novels which revolve around 5 characters. The main character’s name is Amalia Hastings and her two close female friends are Cassandra and Olivia. Cassandra’s an old childhood friend, who doesn’t attend NYU but rather already works full time. Olivia is a new, but close friend that Amalia met at school. The other main characters are Nicholas (Amalia’s boyfriend), Alex (Amalia’s snarky classmate), and Michael (one of Amalia’s close friends from school who she realizes she has feelings for). The story is about her experiences living and getting acquainted with a new city, even though she’s technically been a New Yorker her entire life. She learns lessons in love, life, money, and friendships.
‘Chase’ is about Amalia Hastings, please can you tell me about her?
Amalia is constantly falling down and picking herself back up again. She’s one of those characters that you can really route for. She is currently a graduate student at NYU and a recent graduate of Rutgers University for undergrad. She smart and cute but not the hottest girl on the block. Her self-steem is low, but grows as the story continues on. She’s your average American Girl chasing her dream in the big city.
Are any of the characters in ‘Chase’ anything like you?
I think all of the characters are like me in some way. Except for maybe Alex. I don’t think I’m anything like him, at least not in the first book!
‘Chase’ is set in Manhattan, what inspired you to choose this setting?
I spent most of my life living in New York. I’m from Staten Island but I’ve also lived in Manhattan and Brooklyn, so I am pretty familiar with a lot of New York City. My parents are both native New Yorkers too, both from Brooklyn. Since it’s the place I’ve spent the most time in my life, I figured it would be the city I could best describe from memory, both mine from a few years ago, and mine from when I was a child. New York has changed a lot since I was a kid, but it’s still a very inspiring city.
What advice would you give to someone chasing love, anywhere in the world?
My best advice is – don’t. Be with the person who wouldn’t make you chase them, the person who’d always be by your side.
Writers put so much time and energy into their characters and I have been told in the past that a writer carries their characters around with them.
So my question is if you could go out for a day with any one of your characters: who would it be, what would you do and why did you pick this particular character?
I would have to pick Olivia. She seems like the most well rounded of my characters and I’d love to spend a day with someone neurosis free!
If you could choose one book that you think everyone should read, what would it be and why?
Siddhartha by Herman Hesse. I first read it in the 9th grade, and it changed my life. Since then I’ve re-read it about 5 times. It’s one of those books that really open your eyes about what life is really about.
If there was one saying that could sum up your life to date, what would it be?
“Enjoy yourself, it’s later than you think.”
What can we expect next, any future books in the pipeline?
Yes! I am currently working on the second installment in the Chase series. I will be writing either 3 or 4.
What or who in life inspires you?
Past experiences, friend’s past experiences, music, movies, television shows, and other novels.
What is your all time favourite book?
It’s a tie between Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse, and Everyone Worth Knowing by Lauren Weisberger. Everyone Worth Knowing is a fantastic read for anyone who likes books about NYC.
There is a cocktail in honour of ‘Chase’ what are the ingredients?
I joked with my husband about this, but this is what I came up with. Being that Chase is about New York City and how different it seems to native New Yorkers then to new comers, I would say the cocktail would be made out of Dom Perignon champagne, and $5 whiskey.
A big thank you to Jill for talking to ‘The Love of a Good Book’