Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Interview with YA author Eileen Cook...and a GIVEAWAY!

Melissa here! I'm thrilled to welcome Eileen Cook to Honestly YA for our very first author interview. Eileen has a brand-new book out from Simon Pulse, (UNRAVELING ISOBEL), and I'm giving away my copy to one lucky reader. Just follow the simple instructions following the interview. Good luck! 

About our guest: 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  Eileen lives in Vancouver with her husband and two dogs and no longer wishes to be anyone or anywhere else.

Melissa: Welcome to Honestly YA, Eileen! Tell us a little about your teen years. Were you the outgoing cheer captain? The lovable band geek? The student council president with dreams of world domination?

Eileen: Technically, there would be two answers to this question: my view of myself and how I suspect everyone else saw me.  I thought I was a bit of an edgy drama geek. I wore what I saw as sort of funky unique style and entirely too much eyeliner.  I listened to The Smiths and The Cure and had heated discussions about Apartheid. Alas, in reality I suspect I was one of those people that others thought was a bit quirky and quiet.   

Melissa: Which fictional character did you most identify with in high school?

Eileen: I was absolutely convinced that The Breakfast Club was the best movie of all time. I secretly wanted to be Molly Ringwald. 

See? That's Eileen, kickin' it Molly Ringwald style!

Melissa: What inspired you to write for teens?

Eileen: I love reading YA fiction so there is no surprise for me that I also wanted to write it. Teens are in the process of figuring out who they are and what they want from life. I love that intensity and passion. Things matter more at that age. I also think YA readers are willing to push boundaries. They’re interested in reading a wide variety of things. They push me to be a better writer, by wanting better and better books. 

Melissa: What’s the most rewarding part of your job as an author? The most frustrating part?

Eileen: I love the process of writing.  There are few things more fun than unearthing a story idea that is really exciting and getting to dive into it every day.  Although I tend to outline my books before starting, there are still plenty of things that I discover as I write. It’s like an archeological dig without having to leave home.  Also, hearing from readers who liked the book is magical. 

For me, the most frustrating part of being a writer is the amount that is out of my control. There are so many great books out there, but it can be hard to get your book in front of readers. As the author you can’t control a lot of the marketing or timelines.  I try and remind myself to focus on the writing where at least I do have control. 

Melissa: Tell us about the main character in your new release. Would you have wanted him/her for a best friend in high school? 

Eileen: I love Isobel.  She’s a bit quirky (we have that in common.)  She’s not popular, but she’s not unpopular either.  She loves art, values friendships, and is funny.  I think what I admire most is her courage.  It isn’t that she isn’t afraid.  There’s plenty to be afraid of, she thinks she might be seeing ghosts, her step-dad may be trying to get rid of her, and then there’s the fact she may be going crazy.  Despite being afraid, she faces things. To me that is real bravery, being scared, but doing the right thing anyway. 

Melissa: Where can readers stalk—er, follow—you?

Eileen: I spend entirely too much time on Twitter:  Eileenwriter

I have a blog on my website:

And since I still haven’t spent enough time online, I’m also on Facebook:

Melissa: Thanks for stopping by, and congratulations on your newest release!

Now for the fun part. I'm giving away one hardcover copy of UNRAVELING ISOBEL. What’s the book about, you ask? Read on…

Isobel’s life is falling apart. Her mom just married some guy she met on the internet only three months before, and is moving them to his sprawling, gothic mansion off the coast of nowhere. Goodbye, best friend. Goodbye, social life. Hello, icky new stepfather, crunchy granola town, and unbelievably good-looking, officially off-limits stepbrother.
But on her first night in her new home, Isobel starts to fear that it isn’t only her life that’s unraveling—her sanity might be giving way too. Because either Isobel is losing her mind, just like her artist father did before her, or she’s seeing ghosts. Either way, Isobel’s fast on her way to being the talk of the town for all the wrong reasons.

So how can you win?

1. Be a follower of this blog. (Click the blue button on the upper right-hand side of the page that says "Join this site.")

2. Leave a comment to this post and include your contact information. (yourname (at) email (dot) com).

3. Due to the high cost of international shipping, this giveaway is only open to US residents. By participating, you agree to the rules set forth on our contest disclaimer page.

4. That's it! The contest closes tomorrow, Thursday, January 12th, at 5pm EST. At that time, I'll assign each comment a number and use to choose the winner. If the winner doesn't respond within 48 hours, I'll choose another winner, and so on.

Good luck!


CareyCorp said...

Hi Eileen - you had me at Smiths! I loved What Would Emma Do and Unravelling Isobel sounds fabulous. Thanks for being our guest.


Lorie Langdon said...

Hi Eileen! Thanks for sharing with us! What is it with us drama geeks turning into writers? There seems to be an amazing percentage. Can’t wait to read Unraveling Isobel!

Erin said...

Hi Eileen. Your book sounds amazing! Isobel sounds like a great character that I can't wait to meet.


Jennifer McAndrews said...

Thanks for sharing with Honestly YA today, Eileen. And, oh, mercy, how I loved Molly Ringwald's Pretty in Pink fashion....*sigh* A worthy style to emulate.
Best of luck with UNRAVELING ISOBEL! I'll be picking it up on my weekend excursion to the book store : )

Ginger Calem said...

Unraveling Isobel sounds marvelous! Love your website. I clicked straight over there to check it out, join you on FB and follow you on Twitter. Yay!

appletat said...

Would love love love to win a copy of this book. As a teacher, any opportunity to find new literature for kids is a gift.

Jen Hilt said...

Just started reading "Isobel" and I love it! But I'm not above wanting to win a free copy:)

I did try to make my own prom dress out of some vintage finds aka Sixteen Candles. The result? Trip to the dress store.

Christa Desir said...

Great interview, Eileen. I wish I was as cool as you as a teenager...alas, not so much. I listened to Cat Stevens and wore long flowy skirts as if I were in the 60's. Sad.

Eileen said...

Thanks for having me!

Kimberly said...

Unraveling Isobel sounds like an amazing book, and I can't wait to read it! Good luck with it!
I, too, loved Molly, especially in TBC and Pretty in Pink.
Thanks for a great interview!

Jessica Love said...

I've heard so many great things about this book! at gmail

ncsuloges said...

ncsuloges(at) yahoo(dot) com

I have read Unpredictable and it was fantastic. Would love to read another of Eileen's books