Monday, January 10, 2011

Eileen Cook

Today I'm thrilled to welcome of my good writer-friends, Eileen Cook. Her first novel, UNPREDICTABLE, was one of the funniest chick lit books I ever read. And her YA and Middle Grade books are fabulous, too.

If you don't believe me, (and why wouldn't you?), here's what major reviewers have had to say about her latest release, THE EDUCATION OF HAILEY KENDRICK:
"Cook effectively builds both Hailey's (justified) feelings of rebellion and the social dynamics of her ostracism, especially in her growing friendship with a challenging townie, Drew, who supervises her punishment working with the janitorial staff....Cook coaxes considerable empathy for the otherwise privileged Hailey as she abandons the achievement treadmill to explore her independence."
--Publishers Weekly
* "Hailey may be an A student headed to the Ivy League, but when it comes to taking a chance on life, she’s clueless. She’s also enormously appealing and great company throughout this breezy read. Yes, it’s chick lit, but of the highest quality—like a gourmet truffle. Cook has whipped up a real treat.”
--Kirkus starred review

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.


Hailey Kendrick always does exactly what's expected of her. She has the right friends, dates the perfect boy, gets good grades, and follows all the rules. But one night, Hailey risks everything by breaking a very big rule in a very public way...and with a very unexpected partner in crime. Hailey gets caught, but her accomplice does not, and Hailey takes the fall for both of them.
Suddenly, Hailey's perfect life--and her reputation--are blowing up in her face. Her friends are all avoiding her. Her teachers don't trust her. Her boyfriend won't even speak to her for long enough to tell her that she's been dumped.
They say honesty is the best policy--but some secrets are worth keeping, no matter the cost. Or are they?


Maureen: What’s your favorite movie of all time?
Eileen: How do people pick one? I love old classic movies like: Casablanca, It Happened One Night, The Philadelphia Story, Dial M for Murder, Gone with the Wind, The Maltese Falcon- heck I have a list and I’m already not even up to the 1970’s. Around Christmas I love watching Love Actually. It’s my favorite romantic comedy by a mile.

Maureen: What’s your favorite kind of story to get lost in?
Eileen: Whatever I am currently reading. I read nearly everything: mystery, YA, thrillers, literary fiction, women’s fiction, non fiction, you name it I’ll read it. I actually go through book withdrawal if I don’t have something to read. I’m happiest when I have a huge stack of books waiting for my attention.

Maureen: What’s the first book you remember reading?
Eileen: I was lucky because my parents were both huge readers. I remember going every week to the library and getting huge stacks of books. Two that stick in my memory are The Phantom Tollbooth and The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.

Maureen: I love those titles! And that you remember them. What’s your favorite fairy tale?
Eileen: Does The Princess Bride count?

Maureen: That totally counts! One of my favorites, too. What’s your favorite cartoon character?
Eileen: Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh.

Maureen: Where do you read and how often?
Eileen: I read anywhere and everywhere- planes, trains, beaches, bed, waiting in line. My favorite place is on my sofa with my two dogs. I read (even if it is just a bit) every day.

Maureen: Tulips or roses?
Eileen: I’ll take flowers in any form except lilies because the smell of them gives me a headache. I have a fondness for Gerber daisies. They seem like such a happy flower.

Maureen: Do you like to read books in the same genre you write in?
Eileen: I love to read YA and I think as a writer it helps to know what else is happening in your genre. Plus you can consider them to be a business expense.

Maureen: Nothing like tax-deductible books! What sound or noise do you love?
Eileen: The sound of a dog having a dream complete with snuffling, quiet woofs and the occasional snore makes me happy.

Maureen: What’s your favorite kind of cheese?
Eileen: Manchego. It’s a Spanish sheep milk cheese. Mmmm. However, I’m no cheese snob, I’ll also gladly take a pack of string cheese.

Maureen: What’s your worst guilty pleasure?
Eileen: Life is too short for feeling guilty. I love warm cookies, a new book I’ve been waiting to read, time with friends and family, great shoes, and rubbing dog bellies.

Maureen: What’s something you’d like to tell your fans?
Eileen: Thank you. There are so many great books out there (I should know I have a stack waiting for me) that I really appreciate people giving my books their time and attention. I’d take you all out for cupcakes if I could.

Maureen: If you couldn’t be a writer anymore, what profession would you take up?
Eileen: I love movies and how they’re made. I think it would be fun to be a movie director. Plus I could always cast the various actors that I find dreamy. It would be movie after movie with Colin Firth, Nathan Fillion and Johnny Depp.

Maureen: What do you do to unwind and relax?
Eileen: I love to knit. I’m a lazy knitter, the pattern can’t be too complex or detailed. I think I’m really in it because I love the tactile feeling of yarn. I’m a yarn fondler. I also love watching movies, which can be done while knitting so it’s a double whammy.

Maureen: Yarn fondler. **Snort.** Do you believe in alien abductions?
Eileen: No. I suspect that any alien life smart enough to build a space ship and travel light years would have better things to do then fly around giving anal probes to random people. Otherwise I am forced to believe that aliens are really nothing more than frat boys telling fart jokes on a galactic scale.

Maureen: LOL. Do you read reviews of your books? If so, do you pay any attention to them, or let them influence your writing?
Eileen: Yes. I tell myself that I shouldn’t, but I can’t help myself. I’m just so excited to know someone other than my family and friends have read the book I have to know what they think. I’ve gotten much better about not wanting to throw myself under a truck if the review is bad. I can think of plenty of books that other people loved that I didn’t like so taste is a personal thing.

Maureen: Tea or Coffee? And how do you take it?
Eileen: Tea. This is practically a crime in Vancouver where coffee drinking is high art. I love chai tea with a bit of honey.

Maureen: It's a crime at my house, too, but I forgive you. Which era would you least like to have lived in fashion-wise and why? Most?
Eileen: I love the fashion on the TV show Mad Men, but the truth is it would be very hard for me to give up my stretchy yoga pants and sweatshirt to wear pearls and heels every day.


Maureen: You’ve written books for adults and kids. What’s the best thing about being a children’s author? Is there a worst thing?
Eileen: I’m often asked about the difference between writing for teens and adults. I feel as if I should come up with a smart sounding answer, but the truth is I don’t find it different. Everyone, no matter their age, deals with similar issues of trying to figure out who you are, what you want in life, and how to cope with the relationships you have and those you want to have. The one thing I particularly like about writing for teens is the intensity. The first time you fall in love, are betrayed by a friend or discover you had strength you didn’t know existed is hugely powerful because it hasn’t happened before- it makes it fun to write.

Since I’m always looking to build my reading list- what is a book you’ve read recently that you think everyone else should read?

Eileen is offering a copy of THE EDUCATION OF HAILEY KENDRICK to one lucky commenter!
Note: Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North America addresses only. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.

You can keep in touch with Eileen online here:
Twitter: @Eileenwriter

Readers: Make sure you come back tomorrow when Cat Schield interviews Mira Lyn Kelly!


  1. Thanks for doing such a great interview, Eileen. You always crack me up.

    As for great books... In the adult department, Meljean Brook's THE IRON DUKE. In the YA department, Julie Kagawa's THE IRON KING.

    No relation. (On the iron part, I mean.)

  2. Hi Eileen!! We have SO MUCH in common--tea, Johnny Depp, The Mixed-Up Files, WEARING JAMMIES OUT IN PUBLIC! (Oh, you really thought I wouldn't mention that??!!!) A book I think you'd absolutely LOVE: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon. Also, I think you'd love The Long Way Down by Nick Hornby. Eileen, congrats on your newest release!! xo

  3. I'm looking forward to reading this book. I loved Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood.

    I didn't know books were tax deductible in Canada if you're a writer. But I guess you have to be making money as an author for it to count. :)

  4. Barrie, I loved The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night, too. Great book.

  5. Thanks for being here, Eileen. The book looks fabulous! I love the cover too.

    Have you read The Help yet? If you haven't, you should!

  6. Welcome to GLIAS, Eileen.

    "Plus I could always cast the various actors that I find dreamy. It would be movie after movie with Colin Firth, Nathan Fillion and Johnny Depp."

    Eileen, you're a woman after my own heart (or guys). What is it about these guys that just make them dreamy and so darn attractive?

    I have to read more to get anything added to my list, but if you have time you should read Amy Atwell's LYING EYES. It's almost like a romantic caper. Fun, exciting, hot. (from Carina Press)


  7. Eileen -- always great to meet a writer new to me. Can't wait to get my hands on The Education of Hailey Kendrick. My daughter's friend just loaned me Shiver, by Maggie Steifvater - never thought I'd enjoy a shapeshifter story, but I've now discovered a whole new genre.

  8. Reading Laura Kinsale's FLOWERS FROM THE STORM at the moment. Can't believe I missed this one. There is something about the historicals written in the early i990's that I have a fascination for/with. What makes them so brilliant/special?

    The Education of Hailey Kendrick sounds terrific!

  9. Knitting and writing? Life doesn't get much better than that. :)

  10. My reading of Hailey Kendrick has been derailed by work-related reading, but now I'm even more anxious to get back to it. Go, Eileen!

    I already knew we had Nathan Fillion in common, but Love Actually and Colin Firth, too? Separated at birth!

  11. Hi Eileen! Welcome to GLIAS and thanks for being here with us today.

    Your book sounds fantastic...I'm dying to know what Hailey did to get herself in such trouble! (Little did I realize that being involved in the GLIAS blog would get so expensive! My TBR pile is towering now!)

    And yes, the Princess Bride ALWAYS counts :)

  12. Hailey sounds like an interesting character. Thanks for a great interview!

  13. Loved the interview! I also love to read and can't do without having a book handy for every chance to read. Can't wait to read The Education of Hailey Kendrick. Thanks for a great and funny interview!

  14. Eileen, love YA, and love your response that life's too short. Too bad I've given up warm cookies while on deadline. I'm doing interviews for two authors, Darynda Jones' First Grave on the Right and Kaki Warner's, Chasing the Sun. Thank goodness there's so many genres and so much talent out there. Love funny books, so Unpredictable is a must read for me! Good luck!

  15. Jillian, I just think Laura Kinsale had some kind of special magic in those books. My friends tried to get me to read them for years and I kept resisting... Then when I did, I got it. She's a master at evoking emotion and adding just the right interesting details.

  16. Just like Eileen Cook is a master at making me laugh!

  17. very realistic main characters, love her books

  18. Thank you so much for having me! Who knew I had so much competition for Nathan and Colin. I should warn you ladies- I will fight dirty

  19. Hi :)
    Thank you for the fun interview with Eileen.
    I enjoy the pedantic Eeyore also.
    Love Eileen's humor too.
    All the best,