Today's guest: Claire Cook Why we love her: Not only is she one of our favorite authors, but we just love her--she's incredibly kind & supportive!
Her latest: Time Flies (Out June 11th!)
The scoop on it: Years ago, Melanie followed her husband, Kurt, from the New England beach town where their two young sons were thriving to the suburbs of Atlanta. She’s carved out a life as a successful metal sculptor, but when Kurt leaves her for another woman, having the tools to cut up their marriage bed is small consolation. She’s old enough to know that high school reunions are often a big disappointment, but when her best friend makes her buy a ticket and an old flame gets in touch to see whether she’ll be going, she fantasizes that returning to her past might help her find her future…until her driving phobia resurfaces and threatens to hold her back from the adventure of a lifetime. Time Flies is an epic road trip filled with fun, heartbreak, and friendship, and explores what it takes to conquer your worst fears…so you can start living your future.
Our thoughts: A summer must-read, you will love this escape!
Giveaway: 1 signed copy! Just leave a comment to be entered to win. We'll select the winner on Sunday, June 9th after 3 pm PST.
Fun fact: You have until midnight on June 10th to enter the TIME FLIES Sweepstakes! You and one of your oldest and dearest friends could win an all-expense-paid weekend including airfare at the amazing Lake Austin Spa Resort in Austin, Texas July 26-28 - worth over $4,500! You'll get a chance to reunite with your friend, relax, and attend a party with Claire! Enter on Facebook or at ClaireCook.com.
CHICK LIT IS NOT DEAD PRESENTS...CLAIRE COOK'S 5 FIRSTS & LASTS
First: We were six. I was a good girl, all about impressing the nuns, which in parochial school basically meant posture, penmanship, and memorization. And then I discovered the lure of the bad boy. We kissed and I think he knocked out one of my front teeth, though I'm pretty sure these were two separate incidents.
Last: My husband and I just received a notice from the IRS saying we'd underpaid our taxes by an amount of money so big that I can’t even type it. I mean, we were seriously going to lose everything we owned. Major, major panic. I scanned and emailed all ten pages of the notice to our accountant at 8:30 at night, and he emailed back about five minutes later saying that it was a mistake. "We don't have to move in with our kids!" my husband and I yelled. And then we kissed.
2. Risk I took
First: My father had taken the training wheels off my bike. My sole training wheel-less experience at that point had been going back and forth across the driveway with him casually resting one hand on the back wheel. But we’d just moved and I wanted to impress my new friend who lived at the very top of the street. So I walked my two-wheeler up the steep hill to her house. When it was time to leave, I thought I’d just ride until I was out of sight, and then jump off and walk my bike the rest of the way home. I could picture it so clearly in my mind, which to this day I still find is the curse of having the brain of a novelist. Things got out of control pretty quickly, further complicated by the fact that I couldn’t find the brakes. Wipeout!
Last: After two decades living in a little beach town between Boston and Cape Cod, my husband and I sold our 1890 Victorian, got rid of almost everything we owned, and moved to the suburbs of Atlanta. Every day is a new adventure, and it’s been great to shake things up.
3. Book I read
First: The Nancy Drew Mysteries were the first books that I fell completely in love with. I can remember telling myself I’d go to sleep after I finished this chapter, but I just couldn’t do it, and would have to keep reading into the night.
Last: The last book I read was my eleventh novel, right before I sent it off to my literary agent. It’s such an odd thing to read your own manuscript at this stage, because you’re so close that you just can’t tell what works and what doesn’t. And you’re on pins and needles waiting for the verdict, doing productive things like trying to come up with Plan B for your life if you find out that between novel #10 and #11 you’ve somehow forgotten how to write.
4. Hell ya! moment
First: Maybe not the first, but the one I’ll never forget is walking the red carpet at the Must Love Dogs premiere and doing thirty-five interviews with everyone from Access Hollywood to Extra. It was the year I turned fifty, and in that moment I knew that midlife could totally rock.
Last: When our 1890 Victorian sold in two weeks. (I give full credit to the home stager heroine of my novel, Best Staged Plans, for the quick sale in a down market!)
5. Aha! Moment
First: I had my first story published in the Sunday newspaper when I was six. It was about Hot Dog, our family dachshund, even though we really had a beagle at the time. I loved the attention. I loved that I’d discovered a way to make things up and not get in trouble.
Last: I should probably pretend this one came from a loftier place, but the truth is it came from American Idol. Keith Urban quoted some music producer as saying, “When you have a hit, you have a hit. But when you have an audience, you have a career.” I think it’s so, so true for authors, and I’m incredibly grateful to my readers, my audience, for giving me the gift of my career.