Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Interview with Sheila Curran and book giveaway!



Sheila Curran is the author of "Diana Lively is Falling Down" and the recently published novel, "Everyone She Loved." She has copies of both books to give to five lucky readers! She also took time from her busy schedule to answer a bunch of questions. I hope you'll enjoy her reading her answers as much as I did!

Your books/Writing
1. Who or what inspired you to become an author?
Though books were always my major love, I never saw myself as someone who could actually write them. I intended to go to law school but my husband was finishing his PhD and I was waitressing. Just so I felt I was accomplishing something, I decided I might as well work on a skill I would need as a lawyer. I decided I’d ‘practice’ by trying to imitate the murder mysteries I inhaled before, after, and between shifts at the restaurant. Twenty five years, two kids and several gigs as a grant writer later, I’m still ‘practicing’ and never quite believe I’ve been lucky enough to be paid to do it!

2. What do you do to combat writer's block?
I pace, make notes, try not to feel suicidal, take out poster boards and arrange post-its on them with the ideas and characters I’m thinking about. Mostly, I make myself sit in my chair and stare at the blank screen. When all else fails, I pray. At this point, I’m usually in tears. Amazingly enough, I eventually find my way back.

3. Did you see "Everyone She Loved" originally going in a different direction than how it eventually turned out?
Yes. I started out with this really light-hearted comedy in mind, as is evident by the premise of the book, but ended up touching on subjects like anorexia, grief, infidelity and loss. Many readers tell me they were extremely worried about my characters and had to stay up all night to see how things would turn out. I truly didn’t know how the book would end until I wrote the last chapter, and that was four years after I’d started.

4. Do you have plans to write a new book?
Oh yes. I’m working on a book set in a beautiful neighborhood in midtown Atlanta called Ansley Park.
Would you ever write a sequel to "Diana" or "Everyone?"
Sure. I still miss my characters from both novels and have gotten lots of letters from readers asking for more of them.

5. If "Everyone She Loved" were made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?

I picture Catherine Keener (who played Harper Lee on Capote, and the love interest in 40 year old virgin) as Lucy (who could also be played by Kate Winslet or Scarlett Johanssen.) Penelope should either be Penelope Cruz (who I’d love to see play a southerner) or Holly Hunter. Someone who can carry off imperious, charming, lovable and just a little bit over-the-top. I’m sure I’ve forgotten who else could play her. Martha should be Ellen Barken or Cameron Diaz.
The love interest? McDreamy on Grey’s Anatomy. Patrick Dempsey? Or Daniel Day Lewis, or Liam Neeson. A bad guy? Phillip Seymour Hoffman could play the meddling relatives, tweedledee and tweedledum, twins from England. And for the perfectionist dance instructor Siobhan? Ooh, I think Sarah Jessica Parker or Kyra Sedgewick could do her up just right.

Just for Fun:
6. If you could ask any author to review one of your books, who would you ask?
I adored Bridget Jones’ Diary, so I might ask Helen Fielding or Marian Keyes to review Diana Lively (since it has British characters and is a comedy of manners). For Everyone She Loved, I’d ask Kelly Corrigan, who wrote The Middle Place, both because her book is about how your community of friends can get you through anything, which the theme of my second novel, and because my husband (and kids) are Corrigans as well.

7. If you could live in any decade, which would you choose?
I like where I am, thank you very much. However, if I could time-travel back to the nineties, when we had a surplus, weren’t involved in a war and hadn’t missed the Al Qaeda threat, to say nothing of all the environmental regulations that were undone since 2000, well, it mighta, coulda been different for us now.

8. You mentioned in another interview that you waitressed for a long time while you were first writing. What is your craziest customer story?
Well, since it was announced today that Prince Albert is getting married, I have to say I waited on him in New York, at a restaurant in Tribeca. He was very sweet and acted like we were old friends. Second would be the sweet little old lady in Chicago who had her glasses taped to her forehead so they wouldn’t slip down.

9. What is your favorite TV show?
I adore the Home and Garden channel, also Entourage, Weeds, The Wire, Sex in the City, 30 Rock, House, Grey’s Anatomy and Californication.

10. What is your funniest quirk?
Oh honey, how long have we got for this interview? I’m a bundle of quirks from start to finish. My sisters call me Messy Cook, I tend to speak before I think and therefore embarrass my husband and children on a daily basis. I am terrified of frogs and getting on planes and making phone calls to people I don’t know. I LOVE to eat and tend to enthuse just a bit too much about my favorite recipe. I am also a hypochondriac and have a niche in my brain for deadly illnesses. I can’t remember important things but can gleefully tell you where I bought everything I own, how much I paid and how much of a discount I got off the full price. I also know the calorie counts for just about anything I’ve ever consumed.

To win both "Diana Lively..." and "Everyone She Loved" (each winner will get both books), please comment below with your e-mail address.

For additional entries (each as a separate comment including your e-mail address, as well):
1. In "Everyone She Loved," Penelope makes a pact with her husband and closest friends. Please tell us: Have you ever made a pact with someone?
2. Follow this blog and post a comment saying you are a follower (if you already follow, that's fine too).
3. Post this contest on Facebook or Twitter or in your blog, and leave a comment saying where you've posted it.

Winners will be picked at random on Monday, June 28th. Open to US/Canada residents only.

Good luck!

47 comments:

BRN2SHOP9 said...

I am a follower! and I am twittering it!O

Kathryn said...

I am a follower on Facebook, and I'll be posting this there as well.

I actually have not made a pact with anyone. But I should make a pact with myself that I will make my health and getting fit a priority.

karenk said...

thanks for the chance to read these fabulous books...

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

karenk said...

no, i don't recall making a pact w/ anyone.

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Jonita said...

I love the cover of "Everyone She Loved" and would love to read these two books this summer!

jonitathebookchick(at)gmail(dot)com

Jonita said...

I think the last time I made a pact with someone was when I was in public school. I think it was one of those "we'll be friends forever" things, but since we're not in touch now, that didn't do a lot of good, LOL!!!

jonitathebookchick(at)gmail(dot)com

Jonita said...

I'm already a follower of your fabulous blog!!

jonitathebookchick(at)gmail(dot)com

Jonita said...

I've posted this on my giveaways sidebar at http://book-chic.blogspot.com. I'll be posting on Facebook and Twitter later as well.

jonitathebookchick(at)gmail(dot)com

BRN2SHOP9 said...

twittered it! and facebooked it!

ChristyJan said...

Fun interview ~ please enter me

hawkes(at)citlink.net

ChristyJan said...

I follow via GFC

hawkes(at)citlink.net

Meg said...

Enjoyed reading the interview, and the books sound great! Please count me in :)

writing.meg [at] gmail.com

Meg said...

Regarding pacts: I can't remember a time I've made a pact with anyone, though I know I've done the whole "we'll be friends forever, promise!" route with some kids when I was young! That probably doesn't count, especially since we're not still friends (haha!), but that's the closest I've come! :)

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

No need to enter me, babe. I'm dropping in to say thanks for the e-mail. I've got this posted at Win a Book for you.

AmandaSue said...

I'd love a chance to read these books thanks for entering me into this generous giveaway.

unforgetable_dreamer_always(at)hotmail.com

JHS. said...

Please enter me.

JHS
Colloquium

jhsmail at comcast dot net

JHS. said...

I've made lots of pacts over the years, but can't tell you about them. That's privileged information.

JHS
Colloquium

jhsmail at comcast dot net

JHS. said...

Google follower.

JHS
Colloquium

jhsmail at comcast dot net

holdenj said...

Great Q&A! Thanks for the chance to win and read these books.
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

tetewa said...

I'd like to be included! tWarner419@aol.com

Laura Rachel Fox said...

I'd like a chance to win. lostlibrarygirl@sbcglobal.net

Laura Rachel Fox said...

I'm also a follower!! BONUS!

Laura Rachel Fox said...

Third times the charm: I posted a link on facebook.

lostlibrarygirl@sbcglobal.net

A big thanks to Melissa for sharing this link with me.

Renee G said...

Would love to read these.
rsgrandinetti@yahoo(DOT)com

Debs Desk said...

I had a pact wiht a friend once that no matter what we would also be best friends. Please include me in your giveaway.
Thanks
Debbie
debdesk9(at)verizon.net

Debs Desk said...

I am a follower.
Thanks
Debbie
debdesk9(at)verizon.net

Anonymous said...

I am a GFC follower of this blog.


CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Anonymous said...

Yes, I made a pact with my friend, Suzie when I was about five or so. We also became "blood sisters".

Melissa said...

Would the last anonymous post on here please identify themselves?

krystal_lynn said...

Hi, new to blogs but I'm now following here on blogger. :)

miss_kris_11@yahoo.com

krystal_lynn said...

I made a pact in high school with my best friend to marry each other if we were still single by forty. Actually, he remembers it being 30 but I'm sure he's wrong. So I've still got a good 16 years to go before resorting to marrying my gay high school friend..

miss_kris_11@yahoo.com

LABBOO said...

labboo.gc@gmail.com

MrsMelissaT said...

Yay! mrsmelissat@gmail.com is now a follower :)

Bonnie said...

This book sounds really great and can't wait to read it! I am a facebook follower and posting there as well.
intrepid9923@yahoo.com

krystal_lynn said...

miss_kris_11@yahoo.com

Entered! Thanks.

krystal_lynn said...

Shared this link and blog via twitter! (@thekrystallynn)

miss_kris_11@yahoo.com

CherB said...

I'm a Chick Lit Central member on FB and as to a pact, hmmm, I am sure I did when I was younger but nothing springs to mind even though I'm still in web-touch with two of my oldest friends. I'll have to query them and get back with an answer! cherbason@cox.net

Tiffany said...

schlarmette@gmail.com. I am a member of chick lit central on facebook! thanks for the chance!

I make pacts with my kids all the time! ( :

Tiffany said...

schlarmette@gmail.com Follower/fan on facebook.com

Jennifer said...

thanks for this this special offer...I would love to read both books!

Jennifer
jenjendown@yahoo.com

Colleen Turner said...

The books sound wonderful! I would love to read them, so please enter me in the contest!
Thanks,
candc320@gmail.com

Colleen Turner said...

I can't remember ever making a true pact with someone, but I am sure I made some sort of pact when I was young ("let's swear we will always be friends" sort of thing). Making a pact with someone can be great, but if you take it seriously it can also be quite a responsibility to keep it up!
Thanks,
candc320@gmail.com

Colleen Turner said...

I am a GFC follower.
candc320@gmail.com

Gaye Alexander said...

Following on Facebook and Google. Looking forward to reading the books!

nae said...

Love the introduction to new authors.

jdubois_16 at ymail.com

nae said...

I'm following your blog too.

jdubois_16 at ymail.com

Melissa said...

The giveaway is now closed. I have asked Sheila Curran to pick 5 numbers. I have already matched up every entry to a number.
Thanks for participating!