I'm thrilled to welcome my good writer-friend from Vancouver to the blog today, Eileen Cook! My total-rock-star editor saw me tweeting a couple of weeks ago about how much I wanted to read Eileen's latest book, THE EDUCATION OF HAILEY KENDRICK, and she sent me a copy! So I'm in the midst of it right now, and I can tell you that it is full of all of the awesomeness I've come to expect from Eileen and it certainly deserves all the praise it's been getting!
About the Book:
Hailey Kendrick always does exactly what's expected of her. She has the right friends, dates the perfect boy, gets good grades, and follows all the rules. But one night, Hailey risks everything by breaking a very big rule in a very public way...and with a very unexpected partner in crime. Hailey gets caught, but her accomplice does not, and Hailey takes the fall for both of them.
Suddenly, Hailey's perfect life--and her reputation--are blowing up in her face. Her friends are all avoiding her. Her teachers don't trust her. Her boyfriend won't even speak to her for long enough to tell her that she's been dumped.
They say honesty is the best policy--but some secrets are worth keeping, no matter the cost. Or are they?
"Hailey may be an A student headed to the Ivy League, but when it comes to taking a chance on life, she’s clueless. She’s also enormously appealing and great company throughout this breezy read. Yes, it’s chick lit, but of the highest quality—like a gourmet truffle. Cook has whipped up a real treat.” --Kirkus starred review
"Cook effectively builds both Hailey's (justified) feelings of rebellion and the social dynamics of her ostracism, especially in her growing friendship with a challenging townie, Drew, who supervises her punishment working with the janitorial staff....Cook coaxes considerable empathy for the otherwise privileged Hailey as she abandons the achievement treadmill to explore her independence." --Publishers Weekly
About the Author:
Eileen Cook is a multi-published author with her novels appearing in six different languages. She spent most of her teen years wishing she were someone else or somewhere else, which is great training for a writer. You can read more about Eileen, her books, and the things that strike her as funny at www.eileencook.com. Eileen lives in Vancouver with her husband and two dogs and no longer wishes to be anyone or anywhere else.
1. Welcome, Eileen! Tell me about your book in seven words or less.
Like I don’t have enough problems trying to get things to fit into a Twitter length. I’m going to go with: Risk, Identity, True Love, and Funny.
2. Other than your main character, who's a favorite character of yours in your novel and why?
There is a character named Drew who I have a bit of a crush on. He’s a bit of philosopher and I love his approach to life which is very carpe diem (seize the day). I love people who jump into life with both feet. As someone who can be a bit risk adverse, I admire those who go after what they want full speed ahead.
3. What's one piece of writing advice you would give to aspiring authors?
READ! Books are the best writing teachers. The more you read the more concepts such as how to structure a story become easier and natural. My second piece of advice is to go for it. When I was starting out and reluctant to send any of my work in because it might be rejected a writing mentor told me “I hate to tell you this, but you are already not published. The worst thing that is going to happen is that you still won’t be published.” That was exactly the kick in the rear I needed.
4. What did you write when you were a teen? Did you journal? Write poetry? Write overly literary or emotional stories? Or avoid writing altogether?
I’ve always written. I had zillions of stories that I started but never finished (I was great at the beginning part, but then didn’t know how to see it through to the end.) I also kept a diary on and off for years. When I re-read it now I realize I was pretty boring. There were a few really bad poems, but even then I knew poetry wasn’t going to be my skill.
5. What's the last book you read that you really loved?
I loved a book called Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Bradley. It’s a murder mystery set in 1950’s England where the sleuth is a young girl. I’ve just started Revolution by Donnelly and it seems great so far.
If you haven't yet had a chance to pick up one of Eileen's books, what are you waiting for??? THE EDUCATION OF HAILEY KENDRICK releases today, in bookstores everywhere!