Thursday, January 15, 2009

GCC Presents: Eileen Cook

Well, I meant to post this interview yesterday for Women Who Rock Wednesday, but yesterday was a pretty crazy day. My fiance (hee, I love saying that) and I were on a much-deserved vacation in Michigan for a couple days and had to drive back yesterday so I could work last night. Should have been simple. It's like an hour and a half away, maybe two hours in traffic.... But it took like four because there were blizzard-like conditions and we spent an hour stuck in the snow on the side of the highway waiting for a tow-truck. Yeah, it was scary. Scott saved us from hitting a truck or going completely off the side of the road into a ditch, but um, we were close enough to the ditch for me to be convinced that the car was going to slide and we were going to be badly hurt. So I spent the hour waiting for the tow truck having a total panic attack. It sucked. Needless to say when we got home, all I wanted to do was sleep until I had to go to work. So I neglected the blog. But I do have a fabulous interview for you today and I promise I won't be neglecting the blog anymore.

Whew. So now let's talk about Eileen Cook's awesome new book, WHAT WOULD EMMA DO? Here's the lowdown:

Thou shalt not kiss thy best friend’s boyfriend…again….

There is no greater sin than kissing you best friend’s boyfriend. So when Emma breaks that golden rule, she knows she’s messed up big-time. Especially since she lives in the smallest town ever, where everyone knows everything about everyone else….and especially because she maybe kinda wants to do it again. Now her best friend isn’t speaking to her, her best guy friend is making things totally weird, and Emma is running full speed toward certain social disaster. This is so not the way senior year was supposed to go.

Time to pray for a minor miracle. Or maybe, just maybe, it’s time for Emma to stop trying to please everyone around her, and figure out what she wants for herself.

About Eileen:
Eileen Cook spent most of her teen years wishing she were someone else or somewhere else, which is great training for a writer. When she was unable to find any job postings for world famous author, she went to Michigan State University and became a counselor so she could at least afford her book buying habit. But real people have real problems, so she returned to writing because she liked having the ability to control the ending. Which is much harder with humans.

You can read more about Eileen, her books, and the things that strike her as funny at Eileen lives in Vancouver with her husband and two dogs and no longer wishes to be anyone or anywhere else.

The Interview:

Q: Please list five songs that would be on the soundtrack to your book and explain how they relate to your story or characters.

Eileen: I blame you for the past two hours spent on I-Tunes. I didn’t have a soundtrack in mind so I’ve been searching (and downloading) various songs trying to figure out the best fit. I think this would be a question I would like to have answered by readers. I’d be interested to hear what they have to say.

Q: Name some of your main character's favorite musicians or bands.

Eileen: Emma lives in a small town with small views. If she hears the Best of the American Idol CD one more time she may scream. She likes listening to the college radio station and hearing new indie bands.

Q: Who are some of your favorite musicians or bands?

Eileen: Barry Manilow.

I joke- although let’s be honest- who doesn’t like Copacabana? I’m not sure I can pick a favorite because what music is playing in my house depends on my mood. Lately I’ve been splitting my time between Diana Krall who does jazz and The Killers.

Q: Even though music plays in so heavily into my storytelling, I rarely can actually listen to it while I'm writing. Can you? How does music fit into your writing process?

Eileen: I like to have music on when I’m writing, but it can’t have words. If there are lyrics then I start singing along and trust me when I tell you this is not a good thing for anyone. I sound like the American Idol rejects that they show in the beginning of the season that are sooooo bad it defies description.

I tend to download movie soundtrack music for my writing. They’ve written the music to evoke emotions (think of the Indiana Jones theme for an example) so it is perfect when I need to connect with the feeling in a scene.

Q: While music is my muse, I know other writers find their muse in theater, sports, art, the great outdoors, etc. What is your main muse?

Eileen: I’m not sure I have a main muse. I think I sub-contract to a multi-muse organization. Sometimes I need to be outdoors. I’m lucky enough to live within ten minutes to either the mountains or the ocean. The fresh air opens up new ideas. There are other times when I need to be in touch with things, to create something with my hands. When that happens I knit. The mix of color and texture works for me. My dog can be a muse- there are many times we have complete conversations. I could go on and on. Apparently I am not a one muse kind of gal.

Bonus Q: Since this (was supposed to be posted on) Women Who Rock Wednesday, tell us about your first album purchased and concert-going experience.

Eileen: The very first album I ever bought (oh the shame) was Shaun Cassidy. I think I was 8 and used my babysitting money. I would not call this a rock out album.

I grew up in a small town. Concerts weren't a regular event- but in high school I had a chance to see OMD (any Molly Ringwald movie fans out there?) they opened for Power Station. (Bang a Gong)

I totally know who OMD is because I am a big Molly Ringwald movie fan! Thanks for sharing all of this Eileen! The book sounds great. And blog readers, I promise I will be back with regular posts now including a Women Who Rock Wednesday blog next week!


Liviania said...

I'd be afraid in that situation too (if only because I've never seen a blizzard) - still, I know how dangerous ditches can be. I drive mostly on country roads which you do not want to go off of.

Who can resist the siren call of Barry Manilow?

Authorness said...

Glad you survived the blizzard, Stephanie. What a terrifying ordeal!

Excellent interview, ladies. I have Copacabana playing on repeat in my head now. I'll put 'What Would Emma Do' on my list of books to buy.

I loved those '80s Molly Ringwald movies when I was growing up, and I'd watch '16 Candles' every weekend if I had the chance!

~ Vanessa