Friday, January 07, 2011

FF - The Education of Hailey Kendrick by Eileen Cook

The Author:

I'm pleased to welcome back GCC Sister, Eileen Cook to the blog. Eileen 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 .

The Book:

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?

The Praise:

"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

"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


The Interview:

What inspired you to write The Education of Hailey Kendrick?

The inspiration came in part from coming across a copy of The Scarlett Letter. I’m very interested in how the process of what everyone thinks of us shapes how we view ourselves. If your identity was suddenly taken away- how would you respond?

Have you ever done something your main character does in your book?

While in school I pulled a prank involving a school mascot. I can’t give details because I secretly fear the police will come for me. I would look very bad in a prison orange jumpsuit

Do you have any special writing rituals or totems to connect with your muse?

I like to play movie soundtrack music when I write. The music often doesn’t have words so I don’t find myself singing along, and it’s designed to invoke emotions so it works well when I need that extra boost.

What's one thing most people don't know about you?

People are often surprised to discover I’m an introvert. When I need to be I can be quite outgoing and I do a lot of public speaking. However, I am way more comfortable in my yoga pants on the sofa with my dogs. Being social takes energy for me. I’m socially awkward by nature. If you are really lucky sometime you can hear my snorty laugh that happens when I’m nervous.

What's your favorite quote?

I’m a total quote junkie too! I can think of zillions of favorites, but my current is “Well behaved women rarely make history.” Eleanor Roosevelt. It reminds me that playing it safe all the time doesn’t get you very far.

What are you working on now?

I have a middle grade series coming out for young readers (ages 8-10) in the Spring called The Fourth Grade Fairy. I’m also hard at work on my new YA novel. I’m working on a gothic story with the working title of Haunting Isobel. It has a creepy old house, a family mystery, a brooding handsome man and a possible ghost. It’s been a tremendous amount of fun to write so far.

What is an interesting writing quirk of yours?

If I can’t tell if a scene is working I need to read it out loud. I’m not sure why my bad acting makes a difference, but it does.

What kind of chocolate best describes you?

I’m not sure if it describes me- but dark chocolate is my favorite by a mile. I can actually pass up milk chocolate. This never happens with dark.

The Freebie:

Since Eileen doesn't have her author copies of TEOHK yet (sadly, this happens more often than you would think), she is generously offering a signed copy of her phenomenal GETTING REVENGE ON LAUREN WOOD to this week's winner.

To be entered to win, leave a comment below, telling us the most rebellious thing you've ever done (as long as you can tell us and still keep it PG-13.) This drawing will remain open until Wednesday, January 12.

Please note: As always, please be sure to check back. Winners must respond within two weeks or their prize may end up back in the pot for another winner - and you wouldn't want that to happen, would you??

ALSO: Don't forget the DEATH BY BIKINI MYSTERIES freebie, going on right now. You can find it here. (Or... scroll down to the post below...)