Can you describe Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood in four words?
Friendship, betrayal, revenge and funny.
Can you describe you main character Helen in one sentence? Also, are you similar to her in any ways?
Helen needs to let go of the past and other's views of her and embrace who she wants to be going forward. There is a bit of me in Helen. She has a very active imagination and comes up with some wild idea. Lucky for me, I tend to keep my imagination on the page. It gets me into far less trouble.
I got the idea for the book from the classic- The Count of Monte Cristo, so this created the basic outline of the story. The part that surprised me the most was the development of the Brenda character. She sort of showed up on the scene, but now I can't imagine the book without her.
How did the title Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood come to be?
Titles are hard! There were a lot of options to consider. When I was writing the book I called it Black and White. Then I thought about calling it Popularity is the Best Revenge. Then I considered the title Getting Revenge. Then the full title, Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood came up. I liked that the title would never be confused with another book and it had sort of a fun, indie movie feel to it like Forgetting Sarah Marshall.
Is there a specific message you hope readers of Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood take from it?
I hope readers first of all enjoy the book. If they take a message away from it, it would be that the only power other people have over us is the power we allow them to have. Lauren doesn't ruin Helen's life. Helen's inability to let go of the past is what is really getting in her way.
Unpredictable was the easiest to write because I hadn't really sold anything before and didn't really know what to expect. I wrote that book because I wanted to figure out if I could write a whole book. Now I am much more aware that there are readers and expectations. Oh- and deadlines. Now there are deadlines! On the upside I remind myself if I wrote a book before- I should be able to do it again. One word at a time.
Which aspect of the writing process do you find the most challenging?
I love writing. I love coming up with ideas and playing with it on the page. However, about 3/4 of the way through the book I have this huge crisis where I'm not sure if the book is working. I don't know how to end things. I'm convinced the whole thing was a bad idea to start with and no one will ever want to read it. I want to crawl under my desk and never come back out. Since this happens EVERY time I write a book I now remind myself that it will all be okay in the end and keep working. I do eat more chocolate during this time. I consider it to be medically required.
Was there a specific moment in your life where you went, “I want to be an author!”, or was it something that evolved over time?
I can remember the EXACT moment I knew I wanted to be a writer. I was always a big reader and would go to the library with my mom every week. When I was around nine or ten I wandered out of the children's section and into the adult. I picked up the book Salem's Lot by Stephen King. The librarian didn't want to let me check it out because it was a "nasty" book- which made me want to read it all the more. My mom said I could read it if I wanted, but warned me it would be scary. I remember thinking "pffft. How scary can it be? It's made up. It's just a story. This King guy imagined it. It's not like it's real." Then I read the book and slept with the light on for weeks. I knew it was fiction. I knew it was made up and it still scared the heck out of me. I remember thinking how cool it was that imagination could make us feel real emotions. I love when a book makes us want to yell at the main character to look out or to do something. I love when they make us cry or cheer. I knew I wanted to be a writer right then. I wanted to make imagination feel real.
How does it feel knowing your books are in bookstores?
Best Thing Ever! It feels like your dream guy looking you in the eye and asking you out. It feels like getting a college acceptance letter from Harvard or finding out your parents got you a car for your birthday. It's like finding the best pair of shoes ever, on sale, in your size.
Ever since I knew I wanted to be a writer whenever I would go to a library or a bookstore I would run my hands along the shelves until I found my letter in the alphabet. Then I would stick my hand in and shove the books on either side apart, just a bit, to make room for my future book that I hadn't even written yet. I've been planning for them to be there for a long time so this is a dream come true.
I get up and run around with my dogs for awhile and try and get some exercise to get my brain moving. After my shower I make a cup of tea and vow to get right down to writing. Then I usually spend an unbelievable amount of time looking at blogs, reading about celebrities, looking at cute LOL cats, and answering emails. When I realize how much time has gone by I yell at myself and then get down to work. I find in the morning I do more "business things" edits, marketing my books etc. I do more creative writing in the afternoon. Evenings I usually watch movies and knit (I make a lot of scarves and socks- I'm a lazy knitter, sleeves take concentration) while snuggling with my dogs and husband. I usually don't write at night unless I am in the middle of a really good part, or am behind.
What’s up next for you book-wise?
I am working now on a new YA that is about a girl, Hailey, who gets involved in a prank gone wrong. She has to decide what to do and who her real friends are. I'm having a lot of fun with it!
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Thanks so much for having me! I love hearing from readers, so if they like feel free to drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
Thanks, Eileen! Now, what are all you waiting for go check out more about her books or visit her on the web at the following address: http://www.eileencook.com/.