Bookish People: Colleen Oakley **Plus a Giveaway!!**

Contest closed–winner is Robin Ruiz!

This month’s Bookish People interview features Colleen Oakley, author of Before I Go and Close Enough to Touch.


I was lucky to meet her a few months ago at The Book Exchange in Marietta, GA. She has a kindergartener and a second grader, like I do, so I’d imagine we’re on the same page as far as trying to fit writing/editing/promotion in around the edges of parenting and life!


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**GIVEAWAY ALERT: To celebrate this week’s paperback release of her most recent book, Close Enough to Touch, Colleen has generously offered one lucky reader a copy of the book! See details about the giveaway after her interview!**

Welcome Colleen!

1. Give us a quick overview of the book(s) you’ve written.

My debut, Before I Go, is about a young woman dying of breast cancer, who decides, in the time she has left, to find a new wife for her husband to take care of him after she’s gone.

My latest, Close Enough to Touch is about a woman with a rare and potentially deadly medical condition—she’s allergic to other people.

2. What’s the hardest or best criticism you’ve received, either after your book was published or as you were editing, revising, or getting feedback?

Tough question! Hardest criticism is pretty much any review that pans your book in a mean way. A blogger once wrote a one-word review: “Don’t”. I understand that not every book is for everybody, but after working so hard on something, it still stings!

3. Funniest (or best or worst) thing that happened during a book signing or book tour?

I love enthusiastic fans! The best moments are always the people who are excited to meet you and love your work—it’s such a great feeling to see that something you’ve written has had such an impact on someone.

4. Describe your writing process. Is it orderly, scheduled, daily? Erratic, middle-of-the-night, gimme-a-piece-of-paper now? Or something in between?

Definitely something in between. On deadline I write every day, but there’s nothing organized about me or my writing. I’m an OCD person’s worst nightmare.

5. Is there a topic/theme/setting you’re particularly interested in that you’d like to write about in a future book?

There are so many! I have a list of book ideas that I can’t wait to tackle. As far as setting, I’d love to do a book set in Italy, just so I have the excuse to go there.

6. What’s the strangest/most inappropriate place you’ve ever brought a book? (Example, a family dinner, a baseball game, etc.)

The carpool lane picking my kids up from school. I know I’m meant to be paying attention to make sure I don’t accidentally take out any children, but it’s a long line and a book helps pass the time.

7. Tell us a few recent books you’ve read that you really liked.

Commonwealth by Ann Patchett, Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng, The Weight of Lies by Emily Carpenter, Windy City Blues by Renee Rosen, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

8. Can you name a book you liked that you didn’t think you would? Maybe because of the subject matter, or an author you didn’t think you enjoyed, or a genre you weren’t used to reading.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. I LOVE Taylor Jenkins Reid, but this book was a step out of her typical genre and I wasn’t sure I was going to like it when I started reading, but then I literally couldn’t put it down. It’s such a great page-turner with a fascinating— and multi-faceted— main character.

9. What are your pet peeves as a reader—something you read in books that really bugs you?

I don’t like clichés, predictable endings or boring dialogue—three things I work really hard as a writer to try and avoid (even though I don’t always succeed!)

10. Books: print or e-reader? Similarly, calendar: paper or electronic?

Books— always print. Calendar— electronic

11. Chocolate or vanilla?


12. Coffee or tea? Or something else?

Coffee! And vodka.

13. Tell us what you’re working on now.

I’m halfway done with a book about dream telepathy— and whether true love is fated or a choice.

**To enter the giveaway for Colleen’s book Close Enough to Touch, leave a comment here and tell us what you’re reading now! Contest ends at 7pm CST Tuesday 8/15.

Thanks for reading and thanks Colleen for the interview and for the giveaway!




  1. Danielle Feliciano on August 14, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    I agree with Colleen re: Seven Husbands but for the opposite reason. TJR isn’t an author I enjoyed previously but I fell is LOVE with Evelyn and her story!!!
    I finished reading The Alice Network yesterday and it was incredible. I’m not sure what I’m picking up next but The Resurrection of Joan Ashby is near the top of my pile! 😊

  2. Marti Wilson on August 15, 2017 at 12:07 am

    Sounds like a great read. I am reading My Life With Bob- Pamela Paul. I think I am writing a book while reading it by adding books to my to be read list. ❤️📚❤️📚Thanks for the chance.

  3. Verna Gass on August 15, 2017 at 12:42 am

    Would love to read Colleen’s new book she is a new author for me.
    Just finished The Hangman by Mary Burton and haven’t started a new book yet.

  4. Cynthia St. Germain on August 15, 2017 at 1:00 am

    I would love to read Colleen’s book, they look very interesting and draw you into the storyline. I am currently reading Ascension of Larks by Rachel Linden.

  5. Lisa murray on August 15, 2017 at 2:48 am

    I’m reading an arc of the woman who couldn’t scream by Christina dodd

  6. Lisa on August 15, 2017 at 2:51 am

    Currently reading: Peak Performance, Why Not Me (Mindy Kaling), and In Cold Blood. Have book ADD. And just realized what a strange combo of books that is.

    • Lauren Denton on August 16, 2017 at 2:05 pm

      It’s not book ADD–you’re just well-rounded!

  7. Shelly McPhatter on August 15, 2017 at 10:19 am

    I just started the 3rd in a Lowcountry Summer series by Mary Alice Monroe. The Summer Girls, The Summer Wind, The Summer’s End, & A Lowcountry Wedding. It’s about 3 sisters who are joined together again after many years and the bonds they have. I’m really enjoying them. Great summer reads.

  8. Lynn on August 15, 2017 at 10:27 am

    I just started It’s Always The Husband by Michelle Campbell. And I’m reading A Prayer for Owen Meaney by John Irving. That one is a book club read so the pressure is on! So many books, so little reading time. Thanks for the chance at winning a copy of your book. <3

  9. Kayla on August 15, 2017 at 10:51 am

    Currently reading Sunsets at Seaside by Addison Cole (Melissa Foster)

  10. Holly on August 15, 2017 at 2:07 pm

    I’m reading City of Women by David R. Gillham

  11. Anna Russell on August 15, 2017 at 7:03 pm

    Thanks for chance I’m reading The Red Field by Jason Taylor Morgan

  12. Bube on August 15, 2017 at 9:51 pm

    Reading Leo by Mia Sherida 🙂
    Thank you for the lovely interview,enjoyed reading and Thank you for the amazing opportunity to win such a fantastic book gift 🙂

  13. Margie Shaw on August 16, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    Just finished an ARC of Ashley Farleys’ Magnolia Nights.
    It was amazing!

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