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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Author Interview: Eileen Cook

Eileen Cook, author of Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood, 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.

For more info on Eileen, visit her site(s):
Good Reads:

Other books by Eileen:

What Would Emma Do?

Getting Revenge On Lauren Wood by Eileen Cook
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Release Date: Available Now
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 224

Summary: Popularity is the best revenge. In the final weeks of eighth grade, Lauren Wood made a choice. She betrayed her best friend, Helen, in a manner so publicly humiliating that Helen had to move to a new town just to save face. Ditching Helen was worth it, though, because Lauren started high school as one of the It Girls--and now, at the start of her senior year, she's the cheerleading captain, the quarterback's girlfriend, and the undisputed queen bee. Lauren has everything she's ever wanted, and she has forgotten all about her ex-best friend. But Helen could never forget Lauren. After three years of obsessing, she's moving back to her old town. She has a new name and a new look, but she hasn't dropped her old grudges. She has a detailed plan to bring down her former BFF by taking away everything that's ever been important to Lauren—starting with her boyfriend. Watch out, Lauren Wood. Things are about to get bitchy.

Book Trailer:

Author Interview:

1) Eileen, when was the first moment you knew you wanted to become a writer? When I was about nine or ten I was in the library and wanted to check out Salem's Lot by Stephen King. The librarian told me it was a "nasty book," which made me want to read it even more. My mom let me check it out, but warned me it would be scary. I figured how scary could it be? I knew it was fiction. The whole thing was made up. Vampires didn't even scare me. Then I spent the next two weeks sleeping with the lights on. I remembering thinking how powerful it was that someone could tell a story, that everyone knew was made up, and still make you feel real emotions. I had always loved telling stories and reading, but that was the first time I can clearly remember thinking- I HAVE TO DO THIS.

2) What inspired you to write Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood? There were two things that inspired the book. I was interested in writing a book that looked at how friendships can change over time and I had recently re-read The Count of Monte Cristo. I loved the revenge angle in that book. I wondered how the story would look if it was updated to a modern day high school. I combined the two ideas and was off and running on the book that became Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood.

3) Are the characters in the book based on someone you know? None of the characters are based on a single person, but I tend to steal bits and pieces from people I've met or conversations I've overheard. Then I mix them all together and start writing. Once the story starts going I find the characters take on their own lives and personalities.

4) What was the hardest part of writing Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood? The hardest part of the book for me was wanting the main character to be likable, even though she spends the majority of the book coming up with evil plans to seek revenge on her former best friend. I tried to make sure that even if the reader thinks she's gone too far in her effort to even the score, they still like her and understand why she's doing it. Once you've had a chance to read it you'll have to let me know if I made it work.

5) Has there ever been a time in your life where you wanted revenge? Heck yeah! I suspect most people have been in a situation where someone has hurt them and they want the chance to make someone pay. I had a "friend" who had a fling with one of my boyfriends. Guys may come and go, but I had assumed you could count on your friends. I remember plotting all sorts of hideous things I wanted to happen to her. Eventually, I realized she was obviously not really a friend and was able to move on. Having said that, if I ran into her today I wouldn't take her out for a coffee.

6) Out of all the books you've written, which one is your favorite? I always like the book I'm working on the best. Because it's not finished I can still see all the possibilities. Once it's finished I always start thinking of what I could have done differently. Having said that- I still love all my books (even those that never made it to being published.)

7) Are there any new authors that have sparked your interest? I really enjoyed Katie Alender's debut book, Bad Girls Don't Die. She's turning this into a series and I'm excited to see what she does next. Certainly not a new author, but newer to me is Ally Carter and her spy novels. A writer friend of mine, Joelle Anthony, recently sold her book, Restoring Harmony, which will be out in 2010. It's a great read.

8) What book are you currently reading? I'm reading Dismantled by Jennifer McMahon. It's the story of four friends and prank that goes very bad ten years ago. The story takes place in the present and the past and is keeping me guessing. I give it a big thumbs up. Next on my to-be-read pile is Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen. I love everything she writes.

9) Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? I want to say a huge THANK YOU. There are so many good books and authors out there I really appreciate anyone who gives my books a chance. One of the hardest things for new authors is to spread the word about their books so we always appreciate when someone likes our books and tells someone else. Feel free to email me and let me know what you think about the book:

10) Tell us something about yourself that no one knows about. I'm an international spy- but don't tell anyone else. Okay, I'm not a spy. In fact, I'm pretty boring, this is why I make stuff up all the time. One thing that most people don't know is that I absolutely LOVE to sing in the car. I have this great orange VW Bug and I crank the stereo and have my own mini American Idol going on in there. Tragically, I can't sing, which is why I only do this alone in the car.

**Thank you Eileen for this fantastic interview. Everyone go out and grab a copy of her book!**


Maria the Bookworm said...

Great interview! I think I have to check out her books now :D

Kirthi said...

My brother is reading The Count of Monte Cristo! I haven't read it yet, but I think I should now :D

I'm writing a story and making my character likable is somewhat challenging too!

Great interview, Getting Revenge sounds like an awesome book!

The Graef Family! said...

That was a great interview. I haven't heard of this book but it sounds really good. The cover is wicked funny. Thanks for the great insights into the book and the author.

Donna Gambale said...

I loved the premise of this book (and the cover!), but now that I know she was inspired by The Count of Monte Cristo, I'm even more excited to read it! Great interview.

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