**Giveaway is now closed**
Claire Cook joins us today to celebrate the release of her ninth novel, “Wallflower in Bloom” (due out June 5th and which I have the pleasure of reviewing in the near future!), just in time for beach season. Ms. Cook has proven that it’s never too late to start doing what you love, as she wrote her first novel at the age of 45 and has enjoyed nothing but success since. Perhaps her best known novel is “Must Love Dogs” which was adapted into a major motion picture featuring John Cusack and Diane Lane. Ms. Cook is a wonderfully charming woman and one of the most down-to-earth, approachable and accessible authors. She is on Facebook, Twitter, and of course has her own website, which includes book club questions (and she is willing to meet with your book club or Skype with your group) as well as tidbits of information that she has learned about writing throughout the years and shares with fans. Ms. Cook is known for her humour and quirky characters that come to life in relatable stories. It’s no wonder she is a fan favourite and no doubt will continue to please chick lit audiences for years to come!
Thanks to Simon & Schuster we have THREE copies of "Wallflower in Bloom" to give away to some lucky readers anywhere in the US.
Must Love Dogs, of course! It was such a fun experience, and every time the movie plays on TV, which is a lot, it's like a stroll down memory lane for me. I've had several other novels optioned for movies, but it's so rare when one of them makes it all the way. I have high hopes for "Wallflower in Bloom" though!!
Where do you find inspiration for your novels? Was there something in particular that inspired "Wallflower in Bloom?"
Every novel is different! "Wallflower in Bloom" began in kind of a crazy way: GalleyCat asked its Facebook readers which author they’d most like to see on Dancing With the Stars. Amazingly, I was one of the authors nominated, along with David Sedaris and Jodi Picoult!
I have the best readers ever, and they got all excited and started voting like crazy – and I won the vote! GalleyCat sent the petition off the DWTS producers. Everyone started asking me if I’d really do it. “Of course, I would,” I said, my knees shaking. “Not just for me, but for midlife women everywhere.”
I totally would have done it, shaky knees and all, if Dancing With the Stars had ever called, which they haven’t - yet! But I have to admit it was a lot less stressful to turn the experience into the jumping off point for "Wallflower in Bloom."
What was intriguing to me was the thought of a non-celebrity suddenly dropped into a celebrity world. And then I started thinking what if the heroine was the personal assistant to her famous brother, who was the family star. And what if she somehow used his connections to find her own fifteen minutes of fame?
Favorite movie director:
Gary David Goldberg, who directed Must Love Dogs! (He’s my hero and has earned my lifelong loyalty!) He created Spin City, Family Ties and Lou Grant. I think my comic timing has gotten better just by hanging around with him!
What's your favorite movie theater snack:
Movie theater popcorn. And if I’m home, Trader Joe’s Organic Popcorn with Olive Oil. Seriously delicious.
Favorite movie musical:
I love them all, but because "Wallflower in Bloom" has me in dance mode, I’m going to say what I really love are all the old Busby Burkeley dance numbers in so many of the old musicals. The choreography is fabulous!
What do you do when you experience writer's block?
It took me until I was 45 to write my first novel, so I don’t have time for writer’s block. I just refuse to believe in its existence, and I sit down at the computer every day and stay there as long as it takes to get my pages done.
What's your favorite movie based on a chicklit book?
I bet you don’t even need to ask! Must Love Dogs!
What's on deck for you?
"Wallflower in Bloom" comes out today – so check the events page at ClaireCook.com to see if I’ll be in your neck of the woods! And make sure you’re following me on Facebook and Twitter – there's lots of fun stuff planned. I’ll also be calling and Skyping with book clubs this summer. You can find out about scheduling a visit for your book club at ClaireCook.com too.
Special thanks to Claire for chatting with us, and we hope to see some of her other books on the big screen soon. Thanks also to Simon and Schuster for sharing "Wallflower in Bloom" with our readers.
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US only. Giveaway ends June 10th at midnight EST.