Meet Jessica Knoll: Best-Selling Author and Screenwriter of Luckiest Girl Alive

Welcome toSecond Life, a podcast spotlighting successful women who’ve made major career changes—and fearlessly mastered the pivot. Hosted by Hillary Kerr, co-founder and chief content officer at Who What Wear, each episode gives you a direct line to women who are game changers in their fields. Subscribe to Second Life on Apple PodcastsSpotify, or anywhere you get your podcasts to stay tuned.

New York Times best-selling author and screenwriter Jessica Knoll is an anomaly. She exceeded all expectations with her very first novel, Luckiest Girl Alive, as itbecame an overnight sensation with over one million copies sold during its debut in 2015. In addition, the book was optioned for film before the novel’s release date, and Knoll secured the credit as the sole writer on the film adaptation—an impressive feat that even the most seasoned screenwriters rarely achieve. And today, the novel has reignited the fan flame with its release on Netflix starring Mila Kunis. 

Knoll’s sophomore novel, The Favorite Sister, debuted three years later in 2018, producing yet another suspense-filled page-turner. Knoll is currently in the process of adapting her second novel, and it was also recently announced that she’s adapting the Reddit short story “I Think My Mother-in-Law Is Trying to Kill Me” for Sony. And she’s not stopping there. She’s also written and sold her first original script, Til Death, to Amazon, making history as the first-ever original script purchased by the streamer.

Writing has always been a part of Knoll’s career DNA; however, writing books was not always a clear path for her. In fact, during her time as a magazine editor at Cosmo, a friend she had worked with at her very first job at Paradigm Talent Agency urged her to put pen to paper for a long-form project of her own. Listen to the latest episode of Second Life to hear how Knoll made the decision to focus her full attention on writing a novel and what led her to eventually pursue the path as a screenwriter. And, spoiler alert: She reveals that she is currently writing her third book.

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