Thursday, August 28, 2014

On the "Road" to Reinvention with Claire Cook...plus a book giveaway

It was Thanksgiving 2010.  I couldn't sleep because I had a million things on my mind.  Most of them revolved around where my life was (or for that matter, wasn't) going.  In lieu of sleep, I went into my kitchen to get something to eat while I figured out a solution to my immediate issue - insomnia.  Within moments of entering my kitchen I decided I needed to create a map of where I wanted my life to go and before I knew it my kitchen walls were covered with what I now fondly refer to as "my life road map."

It's now almost four years later and I have stopped following that road map as religiously as I did in the beginning, however it doesn't mean I don't still have some kind of structure that guides me where I wish to take my life.

Today's Chick Lit Central guest, Claire Cook, is also a supporter of having a "roadmap" to take your life in the direction you want it to go.  It is for this reason she is her to celebrate the release of her first non-fiction book, Never Too Late: Your Roadmap to Reinvention. She even has one signed and personalized copy to give away! (US/Canada only.) And as a FREE gift to all readers, if you sign up for her newsletter, you can download the Never Too Late workbook!

Prior to writing her first novel, Claire was also a teacher for 16 years where she worked with children in preschool up to middle school.  She is also the author of the popular novels Wallflower in Bloom, Time Flies and Must Love Dogs, which was adapted for the big screen in 2005. You can find her at her website, Facebook, and Twitter.

So, buckle your seat belt and get ready for the ride of your life with Claire Cook!

After writing so many novels, why did you journey into non-fiction writing?
In all eleven of my novels, reinvention is essentially the theme—the heroine is stuck in some way and has to reinvent her life to get unstuck. I wrote my first book in my minivan when I was 45 and walked the red carpet of the Hollywood premiere of the film adaptation of my novel, Must Love Dogs, starring Diane Lane and John Cusack at 50, so reinvention is also the story of my own life. Because of that, it has always been the thing readers want to hear about when I'm on book tour, and I've also spoken about reinvention at conferences and festivals internationally.

So it was a pretty natural progression to this book. At one point it just hit me that even if I traveled and traveled, I wouldn't get to meet everybody who needs some encouragement in person, so I decided it was time to share everything I've learned on my own journey might help other women in theirs.

In Never Too Late, I share my own stories, successes and failures, as well as those of other women who have reinvented their lives, plus tips for digging up your buried dream, finally figuring out what you want to be when you grow up, getting a plan, staying on track, pulling together a support system, building your platform in the age of social networking, dealing with fear and the inevitable ups and downs, overcoming perfectionism, and tuning into your authentic self to propel you toward your goals. I also tell the story of how the Must Love Dogs movie really happened as well as the story of my journey to becoming a hybrid author.

This book was such a labor of love for me, and the response has been amazing. Never Too Late is a #1 Amazon Bestseller in Women's Personal Growth, and I'm getting tons of email from women saying how it has inspired them and also given them the kick they needed. So I'm really glad I decided to write it!

Which part of non-fiction writing did you struggle with the most and which part did you find the easiest?
I didn't really struggle. I went into it wanting to help other women, so that's what I focused on. When I started writing it, I figured if it didn't feel right, I could always turn it into a blog post and write another novel. But it took on a life of its own right away, so I just kept writing. The interesting thing is that everybody is telling me Never Too Late reads just like a novel, so maybe that's why it felt so natural.

Why the term “Roadmap?"
If there were a secret to personal success, we'd all be following it. But the truth is that nobody really knows how to achieve it. What works for you might not work for me. What works tomorrow might not work the next year, or even the next day. If it were easy to be successful, we'd all be doing it. So you have to create your own roadmap. You have to designate your starting point, figure out your destination, work around the inevitable potholes and traffic jams. It's a huge leap of faith. It's a ton of work. But it feels awesome when you get there.

What is the life lesson you hold dearest to your heart?
"It's never too late to be what you might have been." It's my favorite George Eliot quote and it inspired the title of my new book. And it's just so true! Back when I was afraid to go after my lifelong dream of writing a novel, I wish I'd known that. So if you're reading this now and wondering if it's too late for you to do what you've always wanted to do, take it from me, it's not!

What do you want your legacy to be?
I brought two amazing kids-turned-adults into the world. My twelve books—and counting—have been translated into fourteen languages and read by women all over the world. I think that's a pretty good legacy!

If I had 24 hours to do anything I wanted (money isn't an issue), I'd:
Do exactly what I'm doing. That's how you know you've found the thing you were born to do!

Thanks to Claire for the new lease on life and for sharing her book with our readers!

~Introduction and interview by Tracey Meyers

How to win:  Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


US/Canada only. Giveaway ends September 3rd at midnight EST.

16 comments:

Janine said...

If I had 24 hours to do what ever I wanted and money was not an issue, I would love to get all of my internet friends together in the same place for a big party. There are so many that I would love to meet in person.

donnaing said...

If I had 24 hours and money was not an issue, I would spend the day with my family. We would have a great day together making memories. I would include watching the beautiful sunrise and lovely sunset.

Bonnie Franks said...

Buy nice homes and cars for both of my children and their families, then go out to dinner at the Jersey shore and walk on the beach in the dark.

rhonda said...

Spend day with family's .fly everyone in to beach resort relax &enjoyntheblast day,

Krissy said...

I would spend the day on the beach with a bag of books. Nothing like relaxing by yourself on the beach with great books

Linda Kish said...

I'd take my kids and go to Vegas for some serious gambling.

Connie said...

I would spend the day on a cruise ship with all of my family enjoying all of the fun to be had and the camaraderie of everyone.

Claire Cook said...

Thanks for the great intro and interview, Tracey! And thanks for entering, everybody! I can't wait to see who wins!

Carol Fragale Brill said...

Like you, I'd do what I'm doing, spending every minute with my husband

Carl Scott said...

If I had 24 hours to do anything I wanted. I'd fly to Nova Scotia and take my sisters and my brother out for a great meal and a movie.

Anita Yancey said...

I would take my family and go on a big shopping spree that would include houses and cars. Thanks for having the giveaway.

bn100 said...

have a big party

traveler said...

Travel with my entire family to a beautiful beach and rent a large house. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Robin Driscoll said...

I would go somewhere secluded with my husband to spend some quiet time alone with him where we didn't have to worry about the bills, electronic distractions and have time to talk and enjoy our surroundings.

Katherine Ivan said...

I'd buy a vacation home in Santorini so I could spend future vacations there with extended family

Kathy LaMaster said...

Go to Ohio to see my mother who is recovering from a massive stroke.