Interview: Emily Wing Smith

I fell in love with Emily Wing Smith’s Back When You Were Easier to Love last year. Like its cover, this book is touching, quirky, and full of some precarious situations. I’m excited to share today’s interview, which answers some of my burning questions about the author and her connection to the book.

In Back When You Were Easier to Love Joy often says, “I never had this. I miss it anyway.” What is one thing that you have never had, but miss anyway?

Sometimes it worries me how vividly I can recall friends from my childhood that, upon further recollection, I never actually had.  I wrote journal entries about them as though they were real, fought with them as though they were real, wore clothes I convinced myself I had borrowed from them.  These friends did not exist, but I still find myself missing them—wondering where they are now.  The line between what’s real and what isn’t is blurry for me.  Joy and I share that trait.

Zan wants nothing more than to escape his hometown. As a teen, what did you think of your hometown?

Because I moved when I was sixteen, I always think of myself as having two hometowns.  The towns were both suburbs of Salt Lake City, Utah, and although they were very different, I felt like an outsider in each of them.

Joy and Noah’s road trip starts out with a very specific purpose, but becomes more of an adventure than they might have anticipated. If you could take a road trip anywhere, where would you go?

I have a minor obsession with the 50 states, so I’d choose somewhere in the U.S for sure.   Maybe the Northeast, where I could stop every few hours and be in at a new destination—like start in Massachusetts through Connecticut ending in NYC?  Although I’ve always wanted to travel the Blue Ridge Parkway in the South.  Basically anywhere, as long as I don’t have to be the one driving!

The teens of Haven love their beverage nights and Disney movies. If you were planning your ideal evening of wholesome fun, what would it look like? What would you serve? What movie would you watch? What games might you play? Who would you invite to hang out with you?

First off, it would for sure be a fondue night. The key to a good wholesome fondue night is multiple kinds of dessert fondue.  Rock Band is great game-wise because people who aren’t into karaoke or dancing are usually okay with playing guitar or drums so there’s something for everyone.  Probably throw in a classic 80s or 90s teen movie.  As for the guest list, hmm… I guess anyone who thought it sounded like a good time!

The Way He Lived and Back When You Were Easier to Love were both set in Haven, UT. Do you have plans to write more books that share that setting? Can you share anything else about what you’re working on now?

My first two books lent themselves to a setting like Haven, so it just made sense to place them there. I’m not opposed to setting books there in the future, but the novel I’m working on now has a very specific setting that’s not Haven.  I haven’t finished it yet, but I will say that this story can only happen one place.  So I set it there.

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2 Responses to "Interview: Emily Wing Smith"

  • Fun interview! I love EWS – she’s a sweet person and an excellent writer. I had some issues with her first book, but I adored BACK WHEN YOU WERE EASIER TO LOVE. It’s such a sweet, honest, uplifting book.

    1 Susan (Bloggin' 'bout Books) said this (July 25, 2011 at 7:41 PM)


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