Jill Smolinski, Author Interview and Book Giveaway

Tonight our book club had the privilege of speaking to Jill Smolinski, author of The Next Thing On My List, reviewed HERE. Jill was warm and funny, and she patiently answered all of our questions.  We had a great time talking with her!  And is it just me, or does she look a lot like Courtney Thorne Smith?  Anyway, she generously offered to send a book to be given away here at Books on the Brain (BOTB) and agreed to answer a few questions about her best-selling book, which just recently came out in paperback.

BOTB:  Where did the idea for The Next Thing on My List come from? 

JS:  I knew I wanted to write about a woman doing a “life list” ever since I started one of my own before my 40th birthday.  I set out to write a story about a woman who was doing a list that she herself had come up with, but as June developed as a character, I knew she’d never really do a list of her own.  She was too passive about life.  It would take something really big to force her out of her rut, which is how the idea of her trying to complete someone else’s list came about.

BOTB: Were any of the characters or events based on real people or situations?

JS:  June’s job at the rideshare agency is based on a job I used to do – running carpool programs in Los Angeles.  A few of the characters started out very loosely based on people I know, but as I progressed, they took on personalities of their own.  Strangely enough, sometimes they’d do or say things that surprised me!

BOTB: You started your own Life List on your blog, with a twist-trying something new each day for a year. What was your experience with the list?  Did it change your outlook on life? 

JS:  It was harder than I expected to come up with something new to do every day – but that’s part of what made it such an incredible experience.  I did little things (like trying new foods or treating myself to a bubble bath) and things that scared me (holding a snake) and things I’ve always meant to get around to doing (get my ears pierced).  Like a lot of people, I have a tendency to put off things I really want to do because of all the things I “have” to do – this made me put a priority on getting more out of everyday life.

BOTB: Are you a list maker in every day life (to-do lists)?  How important is it, do you think, to write down your goals, big and small?   To set deadlines for your goals, the way Marissa did?  To try new things? 

JS:  I’m a big believer in writing down goals.  It takes something from being a mere idea and makes it concrete.  I’ve talked to so many people who’ve done life lists since my book came out, and I’ve learned that it’s the ones who’ve put their dreams in writing who tend to be actually making them happen.

BOTB:  I read that TNTOML was picked up by NewLine to be adapted to film.  Congratulations!  How did you feel when you got the news?  Can you tell us anything about when the movie might be coming out?    

JS:  I couldn’t be more thrilled about the movie – especially since it’s being produced by Wendy Finerman, who did Devil Wears Prada.  It’s in the screenwriting phase now so it’s still in the very early stages.

BOTB: Are you a member of a book club?  

JS:  Yes, for 18 years now!   It’s great because when you’ve finished reading a really good book, you’re dying to talk about it, so this gives me a chance to do that.  I also often call in to book clubs that have read my novels – I love talking to readers & also learning how other book clubs do things.

BOTB:  What is the message you’d like readers to take away from The Next Thing on My List?

JS:  At the risk of sounding corny – live life to the fullest every day.  Amazing things can happen.

**For a chance to win a copy of The Next Thing On My List, leave a comment on this post by May 15th!**


39 Responses

  1. […] it! Jill Smolinski, Auth… on Review: The Next Thing On My L…Kristen on Guest Post: In Praise of Book…Patti on […]

  2. This book sounds very interesting. I would love a chance to win a copy. Count me in!


  3. I’m fascinated with Life Lists, thought my own isn’t very big… anyway, I’d love a chance to win this book!

  4. I’ve read several good reviews for this now. Count me in!

  5. I would love the chance to win the book as well.

  6. Ooo! I’d love to win this. Sounds fun!! Thank you darling

  7. I believe I’d enjoy reading this. 🙂

  8. Great interview! I’d love a chance to win – thanks 🙂

  9. I added this book to my TBR last week after your recommendation. I would love to win this!

  10. Please enter me–sounds like a good read. Thank you.

  11. Please put my name in the basket for this book!! I also love that the authors are taking time to communicate through your blog to us! It’s fantastic!!!

  12. I love life lists. I’ve made several of my own and can’t tell you where a single one is located. Maybe I should make one and put it in a safe spot so I can actually, you know, use it. Anyway, count me in! I’d love to read it.

  13. I have to admit I’ve never heard of this book but the author sounds so personable I would love to win this book and attempt to make up my own list!

  14. I’d love to be entered, I’ve been wanting to read this book forever! Thanks for the giveaway!

  15. Please throw my name in the hat. 🙂
    Sounds like a great book!

  16. […] win a copy of The Next Thing On My List by Jill Smolinski, click HERE by May 15. You can contact Jill at her website about setting up an author chat. Possibly related […]

  17. This is not USUALLY the type of book I’d read, but something about it has really captured my attention! I’ll be adding it to my TBR list as soon as I post this comment. 🙂

  18. The novel sounds sweet, and Ms. Smolinski seems down-to-earth. Count me in for the giveaway!

  19. Thanks!

  20. It sounds like an interesting read. Please enter me. Thank you!

  21. Oh my gosh! I’d love to read this book! I’ve had one of those lists since I was 18. It never seems to get any shorter though, as I continue to add to it each year….

  22. Oh, a list. We have a short one on the fridge – things to do before we die… but nothing has been done on it yet ~~ been up there 2 years now — UG. I’d love to read this book.

  23. that sounds like a good read! sign me up. 🙂 thanks.

  24. No need to enter me in the contest since I have a copy on my shelf, but I did want to say that I loved this interview! I like this author and enjoyed getting to know her better.

  25. Interesting interview. Would love to read the book.

  26. Please include my name in the giveaway – it sounds like a great read!

  27. Looks great!

  28. I love trying new books! Sign me up.

  29. Enter my name, pretty please! Sounds like a good book–and i love the questions asked of the author. 😉

  30. Always like to try a new author

  31. Sound like a great read! I think that my book club should do more author chats. We did one (facilitated by my friend, who had gone to school with the author’s sister), but I’m not sure how to arrange them!

  32. This sounds like a great book and even if I dont win your contest its one I’ll look for at the library. Life list, to do list, lists of any kind are a must. How else do you get anything done?

  33. Your book sounds very intriguing. Please enter me.

  34. […] Post: In Praise of Book…curlywurlygurly on Guest Blogger: Author Joshua H…Linda F on Jill Smolinski, Author Intervi…trish on Guest Post: In Praise of Book…lisamm on Guest Post: In Praise of […]

  35. I would love a shot at this book. Thanks for the review, interview and give away!

  36. […] forget about my giveaways:  The Next Thing on My List by Jill Smolinski and Matrimony by Joshua Henkin.  Leave a comment on the above posts by Thursday, May 15th for a […]

  37. I’d love to read this. Please enter my name in the drawing. Thanks!

  38. Count me in for a chance to win. Thanks so much.

  39. […] lucky winner of a signed trade paperback copy of The Next Thing on My List by Jill Smolinski is commenter #27- […]

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