Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Interview with Eileen Cook

Hey all this is me again and i'm after much hassles I finally found the email that had the interview question and answers with one of my favorite author.....give it up for EILEEN COOK....Ain't she a wonder???

Q. Tell us something about yourself.
I always want to make up something really exciting when I'm asked this question, how I love paragliding, used to work as a archaeologist in Egypt, and how I spend my weekends hanging out at swanky Hollywood parties. I'm actually pretty boring. I'm an American who now lives in Canada, I read a lot, and although I've visited Egypt, I never dug anything up. I spend my weekends walking on the beach with my dogs or curled up with a good book.

Q: It is often said that if you can write a short story you can write anything. How true do you think this is and what have you written that either proves or disproves this POV?I would disagree with this statement, I think there are writers who are great at story stories, or novels, or poetry, or songs, or screenplays. I think trying all the different formats is great for a writer, it gets you to push your comfort level and learn new things, but I don't think you have to be in short stories in order to write other things. Passion has a lot to do with it, although I like short stories, I read way more novels, that's the form I find more interesting.

Q: How to you research for a book before you begin the writing process?
Research depends on the book. I tend to start with a library search, librarians know the most wonderful things and you can ask them anything. (Trust me, I called our library up once and asked what was the best poison to kill someone if you didn't want to get caught and they answered me!) I head home with a big stack of books on subjects related to the book and read up on anything that might be useful, other's I'll skim and then return right away. I also enjoy talking to people who have experienced whatever I am researching. For example, right now I am writing about a character who is adopted. I've set up some interviews with teens who were adopted so I can talk with them about the experience.

Q: What is the best part of writing for you?
I love the first draft. The story feels new and exciting, I haven't screwed it up yet. Although I have an outline before I start, I find during that first draft I am still surprised at what might happen. Those twists and turns are exciting for me.

Q: Did you always have in mind to be a writer or it just happened?
I've wanted to be a writer as long as I can remember. I was always a big book junkie. I was one of those kids who always had a book with them. However, I went through a period of time where I thought being a writer was a nice idea, but just a fantasy, like saying you want to be a princess. I focused on getting a "real job," but I couldn't give up writing. Eventually I realized I might not ever make it as a writer, but I wouldn't for sure if I didn't try.

Q: Now since this Q&A is based on your latest book UNRAVELING ISOBEL, so the questions will be based on that book only. How would you describe UNRAVELING ISOBEL in a sentence?UNRAVELING ISOBEL is part ghost story, part love story, a bit creepy, and hopefully a lot funny.

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about your book?
Unraveling Isobel is about Isobel who when her mom remarries finds herself living in a creepy old house in the middle of nowhere. Her very first night in the house she sees a ghost and she spends the book trying to figure out if she really saw the ghost, if she's going insane (like her father), or if someone is trying to make her appear insane in order to get rid of her.

Q: How did the idea of writing UNRAVELING ISOBEL sprang up in your mind?
I was talking with a friend about ghosts. I was saying that if I actually saw a ghost I wasn't sure what I would think. Would I think it was real? Would I think someone was pulling a trick on me? Would I worry that I was having some kind of hallucination? Then I started thinking about a teen who saw a ghost and how she might respond, especially if there was a history of mental illness in her family. Those thoughts and questions were the start of the book.

Q: When you sit down and write do you know how the story will end or do you just let the pen take you? ie Do you develop character profiles and outlines for your novels before writing them or do you let your idea's develop as you write?I used to write completely by the seat of my pants, now I tend to outline before I start. I think it is the same amount of work, you either do it before you start by figuring out the outline, or you do it as you write and get stuck. I don't do a huge outline, but I do have the rough idea of what happens, what the characters want (and what they need- which may not be the same thing as what they want.) I leave some blanks so that there is room to explore things as the book develops.

Q: What is your guiltiest pleasure that few know about?
I love to knit. I'm not very good at it, but I like to buy really nice yarn like silk or cashmere because I just like the way it feels.

Q: In your opinion, what are the best and worst aspects of writing for a living?
The best thing writing for a living is having other people read your books. I love writing and would do it even if no one paid me, but having other people respond to your books is amazing. The biggest downside is that there is a lot of the business that is out of your control. You might write a great book, but readers may never find it, or people may be sick of that topic. Why one book becomes popular and another book doesn't can be a mystery.

Q: How similar to its principle protagonist and the main cast are you?
There is always a little bit of me in every character. Isobel and I have the same sense of humor, a tendency to be sarcastic when we're nervous and a very active imagination.

Q: Do you ever encounter writers block and if so how do you overcome it?
When I have writers block it is usually because I am trying to force a scene to work. I see block as the characters way of telling me that I am trying to make them do something that they don't want to. When it happens I step away from the computer and do something else, take my dogs for a walk or go to a movie. I give my brain a chance to turn ideas over and come up with a better solution.

Now some simple questions and more fun^^

-Your favourite books and author?
Argh, how do you ever pick a favorite? I read everything from paranormal, to historical, to non-fiction, to mystery, to contemporary, and even a bit of science fiction. My favorite depends on my mood.

-Your favourite band/singer?
I love jazz music, Diana Krall is a favorite.

-Twitter or Facebook?
I like both, but I spend more time on Twitter

-Favourite place in the world?
London! I could spend forever in that city and never be bored.

-Last movie you watched at the cinemas?
Tinker, Tailor, Solidier, Spy. It's the kind of movie you need to be paying attention to the whole time.

-The last book you’ve read?
I THINK I LOVE YOU by Allison Pearson. I thought it was a lot of fun.

-Have you ever googled yourself?
I want to say no, that I don't ever wonder what people say about me, but the truth is I do all the time.

-If you wouldn’t be a writer, what you would be?
I worked as a counselor, but if I could do anything I would love to direct movies.

-And last one....print or ebooks?
Both! I love print books, I like to see them all lined up on my bookshelf, but I find ebooks fun too. It's nice to be able to travel with a whole stack of books without having to cart all that weight around. 

Q: The cover of UNRAVELING ISOBEL is really awesome. Did you have any inputs in it?
Thank you! I love the cover too, I like how the vines wrap around her wrists. My publishing team is great. They usually talk with me before they start the design process and ask me what type of feeling I want the book cover to convey and then send me drafts as they come up with different ideas.

Q: If it ever gets turned into a movie then who would you like to see on the cast?I'm terrible at this because I would want to cast Colin Firth, not because there is a particular part for him in the movie, but because I'd love to meet him. Johnny Depp too. I might cast unknown actors, I always find with popular actors you spend the whole movie thinking about how they compare to other parts they've played.

Q: What next after this?
I am putting the finishing touches on a book called THE ALMOST TRUTH. It's about Sadie, a teenage con artist. When she discovers that she looks like the age enhanced photo of a missing child decides to pull the ultimate con, until she begins to suspect she may actually be the missing girl. It will be out in December.

Q: What advice would you like to give budding authors or those who want to start writing?
Read a lot. Books are the best teachers. Take a book you love and explore how the author put the story together, when does the story start? Who's the main character? How would the story be different if it was from someone else's point of view? What made you hooked on the story? Were there places when you couldn't put it down? What was happening in those scenes?

Check out her amazing list of books here :- CLICK HERE

Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood What Would Emma Do? The Education of Hailey Kendrick Unraveling Isobel Unpredictable Fourth Grade FairyDo or DiWishes for Beginners (Fourth Grade Fairy Series)Gnome InvasionThe Almost Truth


  1. Great interview! I NEED to get my hands on one of her books– they all sound fabulous :D I'm a new follower!

    I currently have a giveaway going on my blog if you want to check it out HERE

    Confessions of a Readaholic



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