I’m very excited to have Girlfriends’ Cyber Circuit sister Eileen Cook here with me today, talking about the writing process and her new book UNRAVELING ISOBEL. I might also be a teensy, weensy bit jealous about this incredible quote for it from Lisa McMann, bestselling author of the Wake trilogy, calling it “Thrilling and creepy, super sexy, and so very hilarious.” Kirkus Reviews likes it as well, saying,“This blend of paranormal romance, murder mystery and quirky, coming-of-age narrative offers tasty moments….Cook gives readers a fast-paced plot, a likable narrator, and interesting characters.”
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.
INTERVIEW with Eileen Cook:
What is your writing process like? Are you a plotter or a pantser? Do you schedule time to write each day or are you a spree writer?
My writing process has changed. I used to lean more towards being a pantser, but I find I do more and more plotting. I still need to leave some holes in the plot to be discovered as I write, but I find it easier now to head off with a clear direction of where I’m going. I’ve become a big fan of film writing books like Save the Cat and use their techniques to help me plot out where I’m going.
I want to have a writing schedule, but my life seems to involve too much chaos. I try and write a bit each day. If I go more than a day or two without writing I find I lose track of the story, especially if it is early in the book. The initial relationship with the characters feels fragile to me at that point, if I don’t check in regularly I feel I could lose them. I like to set weekly word count goals rather than daily. This gives me the option to write only a few words one day and on another write for hours.
What is the hardest part about the publishing process for you and how do you get through it? (For me, it’s copyediting and barbecue chips.)
The most difficult part of the publishing process for me is accepting the things that are outside of my control. There are times when I catch myself focusing on things like sales, or timelines, and have to remind myself that I can’t do anything about it. I try very hard to keep my focus on the writing, which is very much in my control. The best way to cope is liberal consumption of chocolate and spending time on the sofa with my dogs and a good book. It’s hard to stress when rubbing a dog belly.
We drop your hero or heroine on a deserted island. Quick, what are the three things he or she can’t live without?
Isobel couldn’t live without her sketchpad, pencils, and a book.
If your story were a film, who would you cast?
I am terrible at casting because I want to cast Colin Firth. Not because there is a role for him in the film, but because I’d love to meet him. I would be tempted to cast unknown actors. I like when you can lose yourself in a movie without comparing how the actors were in a different movie.
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.