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!
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.