Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Getting to Know the Authors: Featuring Eileen Cook!

    Eileen Cook is a multi-published author with her novels appearing in eight different languages. Her books have been optioned for film and TV.  She spent most of her teen years wishing she were someone else or somewhere else, which is great training for a writer. Her newest book, WITH MALICE, will be out in June 2016. She’s an instructor/mentor with the Simon Fraser University Writer’s Studio Program.
    You can read more about Eileen, her books, and the things that strike her as funny at www.eileen Eileen lives in Vancouver with her husband and two very naughty dogs and no longer wishes to be anyone or anywhere else.

What she has written:
    With Malice, Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood, Unraveling Isobel, The Education of Hailey Kendrick, What Would Emma Do?, The Almost Truth, Unpredictable, Year of Mistaken Discoveries, Do or Di, Remember, Used to Be: Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood; The Education of Hailey Kendrick, Fourth Grade Fairy (Fourth Grade Fairy, #1), Wishes for Beginners (Fourth Grade Fairy, #2), Gnome Invasion (Fourth Grade Fairy, #3), How I Met My Husband, Ink Stains and Sassy Seven.

Bonus Giveaway!!!
    Heads up, there is an awesome giveaway of Eileen's With Malice going on at another part of the blog. To get there click the With Malice mini image or the link bellow! The giveaway is restricted to people living in the UK, US and Canada. Good luck with the giveaway!
Link here:  

Now on to the Interview!!
1) How old were you when you started writing, in your opinion?
      As far as I can remember I always wrote and told stories. I was lucky enough to come from a family of readers so I was surrounded by books. The first story I wrote was in second grade. We were given a picture and told to practice writing sentences about it. I linked all of mine together to make a story. The teacher wrote on it: I’m sure someday you’ll be an author. My parents saved it (because parents do these weird things) and when I published my first novel they had it framed and gave it to me.

2) What do you want a reader to gain from reading your works?
     Reading is what I do for fun, so the best thing I can do is give someone a good story that they have fun reading. The second thing I hope to do with any book, is raise an interesting question or issue they can discuss with a friend. For example, in WITH MALICE I’m curious how friendships change, and what do you do when they aren’t healthy anymore? And if you had no memory, who would you trust to tell you the truth? I love talking about books with friends so if I can give some people a jumping off point for a discussion I’m happy.

3) What are your three top suggestions on becoming an author, or being a pleasure writer?
      Writing for publication is a difficult business, as is any career in the arts. The best thing you can do is read a lot so that you’re learning from the books you enjoy. You also need to write a lot. Writing takes practice. And most of all remember that writing is supposed to be fun.

4) What is your favourite novel, why?
      I always find this such a hard question because what book I am enjoying at any given time often changes. One that I re-read recently and enjoyed was The Secret History by Donna Tartt. I like it because the characters are complicated. They aren’t all good or all bad, they are messed up and complex and in situations that put them way out of their comfort zone.

5) Who is your favourite author, why?
      Another hard question! I don’t think I have one favorite. I love Stephen King, Kate Morton, Gillian Flynn, and about a million more.  I find that what books and authors I like changes depending on the mood I might be in.

6) What are your favorite pass times besides writing?
      Reading is right up there. I also like to knit- if we’re friends eventually you’ll end up with a scarf, socks, or sweater.  I spend a lot of time with my two dogs and love having friend over. Several of us are board game junkies so we spend a lot of weekends doing that.

7) Who in your life do you credit your imagination to the most?
      My family. We were always big readers. I remember going with my parents to the library and checking out stacks and stacks of books. My grandparents always read to me when I was small and told me stories of when they were growing up. A love of reading is what led me to being a writer. I wanted to make up those books I so enjoyed reading!

8) What are the top five things on your bucket list?
-       Live in Italy for 3-4 months
-       Live in NYC for 3-4 months
-       Live in London for 3-4 months
-       Have more time to read
-       Be on the NYT bestseller list
      As you can tell travel is one of my favorite things. I love the idea of being able to spend a lot of time in one area. I was lucky enough to live in Europe a couple of times. Once for university and then after I got married we lived in Belgium for a year. When you have more time you see a different place than if you are visiting for just a few days.

9) What is your funniest childhood memory?
      I was a total klutz as a kid. Who am I kidding? I am still a total klutz. I was always falling over things, tripping, breaking an arm or a leg.  I suspect if there was a video of my childhood it would look like one of those slapstick black and white films.

10) To the youth of today, if you could tell them one thing, what would it be?
      Don’t let other people tell you what you need to do to be happy.  I spent a lot of wasted time in my teens trying to make other people happy. I can’t even believe how much I worried about what others thought of me (was my hair right? Was my outfit cool and different or just weird? Did anyone just notice what awkward thing I’d done?) Now I realize the best (and sometimes hardest) thing to do in life is figure out what makes you happy and then ensure you spend more time doing that.

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