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!
**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!**
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!