Hopefully you have read my review that I posted earlier today on The Seven Year Switch by Claire Cook. I had a fun little story about how I discovered the book and broke land speed records to get to the book store before the last copy was snatched up.
Today I am enjoying an iced coffee because its summer and it sounded good, while I prep for my chat with Claire Cook. Claire has already turned out to be an amazing author and I really have just met her through her book I just read and through a couple emails. I am so excited not to get to learn a little bit more about this author so please welcome, Claire Cook.
Claire: I take it right up to my office as fast as I can and get to work! Oh, wait, I get it. One percent milk, no sugar.
We are chatting over coffee today to discuss your book Seven Year Switch. I simply adored this book and you really brought out the “foody” in me with all the foods you describe from different parts of the world. What was the idea behind putting this side job for Jill in the book?
Claire: Thanks so much, Sheila! I’m so glad you enjoyed Seven Year Switch and I’m thrilled to be having coffee with you. All seven of my novels are about women reinventing themselves in one way or another, and readers always tell me how much they enjoy my characters’ jobs and how these jobs often given them ideas for their own lives. Jill’s life didn’t turn out quite the way she planned, so I knew that instead of jetting all over the world as a cultural coach, she’d be doing something much less glamorous. Teaching Lunch Around the World classes just seemed like something she’d do, and I thought my readers would enjoy both the cultural info and the food!
I really did enjoy the cultural references! In Seven Year Switch, Jill works for a company called Great Girlfriend Getaways, which of course is totally where I want to work when I grow up! Do you like to travel or prefer to leave that to your characters?
Claire: I know, too bad GGG doesn’t really exist — I want to work for them, too! I went to Costa Rica for research for Seven Year Switch — tough work but somebody’s got to do it! I also went to a fabulous lavender festival in Washington state as research for The Wildwater Walking Club. I love to travel, especially for my novels, and I try to pick places I think my readers would enjoy!
I am a total cover snob and LOVE LOVE LOVE this cover. Do you have any say in the covers chosen for your books?
Claire: Thank you! I love the Seven Year Switch cover, too! I have a wonderful publisher, Hyperion Voice, and they’re very open to my input. As soon as I saw this cover, I knew it was perfect!
What is coming up next in your world? (another book, life happening…)
Claire: The revisions for my next novel have just arrived via FedEx, so I am about to disappear into author land again. I can’t wait till everyone can read it — it’ll be out in the summer of 2011. I’ll post more about it at http://ClaireCook.com and do some fun giveaways, as soon as it gets a little bit closer!
You currently have seven novels that are published. Out of all of your characters that you have created, which one would you most likely be friends with and why?
Claire: I would totally hang out with all of my characters! Otherwise I wouldn’t have let them into one of my books. And I’d never be able to pick a favorite – I’d worry too much about hurting the rest of their feelings!
Claire that is an awesome answer – it sounds like something I would say! I hate to admit this, but this is the first book I have read written by you. I have seen and own the movie Must Love Dogs, but have not read this book. Since I am now excited to read something else you have written which one of your other books would you recommend to me start with and why?
Claire: That’s okay! I’m always thrilled when a new reader (and a talented blogger!) discovers my books! I find that if someone enjoys one of my books, they usually like them all, so you can jump in anywhere. But if I had to pick one, I’d say The Wildwater Walking Club – it’s about a group of neighbors who start walking together as they figure out their lives, and I think it’s a fun and inspiring summer read.
Claire: I’m giving away a beach bag filled with all 7 of my novels, plus a beach towel! Head over to http://ClaireCook.com for more info. I love doing giveaways, so make sure you sign up for my newsletter while you’re there, so you stay in the loop for the next one!
I am so on that! I love fun giveaways! It is tradition for me to ask every author I chat with to share a little known fact about themselves. Spill it Claire!
Claire: A zillion years ago, I was one of the country’s first certified aerobics teachers!
Thank you so much Claire for your time! If you ever come Minnesota way give me a shout!
Thank YOU, Sheila — and thanks for the coffee! I’ll definitely look you up if book tour (or research!) takes me to Minnesota!
Readers, I hope you will find time to stop by and check out Claire’s Lovely Website as well as the fun giveaway she is having!