Eileen Cook is a multi-published author with her novels appearing in eight languages. Her books have been optioned for film and TV. She spent most of her teen years wishing she were someone else or somewhere else, which is great training for a writer. She’s an instructor/mentor with The Creative Academy and Simon Fraser University Writer’s Studio Program where she loves helping other writers find their unique story to tell.
Hi, Eileen! Welcome to YA SH3LF.
Thanks so much for having me!
Can you tell us 3 random things about you?
I’m a knitter, a dual citizen of both the US and Canada, and I have zero sense of rhythm.
Can you describe You Owe Me a Murder in 3 words?
Twisty, fun, and a touch creepy.
What do you want readers to take away from You Owe Me a Murder?
It can be easy to tell one lie to get out of trouble, which can lead to another, and before you know it, you can find yourself in a very challenging spot. Make sure you’re surrounding yourself with people who are there to support you and not make things worse. I also hope that they have a moment of “Wait, What? OMG” as the plot plays out.
How do your characters first appear to you?
My characters are a mix of real people and my imagination. They have strong opinions on the story and what they would, or wouldn’t, do. I used to work as a counsellor so I’m very comfortable with the idea that people are a mix of positive and negative traits. There is who we want the world to see, and the truth of who we really are when no one is watching. I love exploring the different depths of the characters as I get to know them over the story.
What’s the greatest piece of writing advice you’ve ever received?
The best writing advice came to me from Canadian writer/storyteller Ivan Coyote. I was fortunate enough to have them as an instructor and after a class Ivan turned to me and said: You’re good, you should be sending your stuff out.” I hemmed and hawed about how I wasn’t sure how I would cope with rejection. Ivan looked me straight in the eye and said: “You’re already not published. The worst thing that is going to happen is that you still won’t be published.” That was my lightbulb moment. I realized I might not ever reach my dream of being a published writer, but that if I didn’t try that it wouldn’t happen for certain.
How long does it take you to develop the average book?
It typically takes me a year to write a book, but a book may be rolling around in the back of my brain for years before the idea comes together. Not to mention the time wasted looking at cute puppy pictures online as a procrastination technique.
What is the hardest part of the publishing process, and how do you overcome it?
The hardest part of the publishing process for me is dealing with negative reviews. While I understand, and accept logically, that not every book is for every person, when someone doesn’t like one of my characters, I feel the overwhelming desire to defend them. I like to write characters that are complex and often make bad decisions, but I still love them.
Where’s your favorite place to write?
I absolutely love my office. I have a view of the backyard and the fireplace, so it feels very cozy. I’ve also trained my brain that if I’m in here it’s time to work. Not to mention I have my two full time assistants (my dogs) hanging around. They constantly compete for the employee of the month award by alternating between barking and sleeping on my feet.
What are you currently reading?
I am just finishing up Skin Deep by Liz Nugent. She’s an Irish thriller writer and I love how she creates such twisty plots with complicated characters.
About You Owe Me A Murder :
Seventeen-year-old Kim gets more than she bargained for when she is set up for murder. Perfect for fans of One of Us is Lying, E. Lockhart, and Gillian Flynn.
17-year-old Kim never expected to plot a murder. But that was before her boyfriend dumped her for another girl. Now, Kim’s stuck on a class trip to London with him and his new soulmate and she can’t help wishing he was a little bit dead, even if she’d never really do that.
But when Kim meets Nicki, a stranger on the plane who’s more than willing to listen to Kim’s woes, things start to look up. Nicki’s got a great sense of humor, and when she jokes about swapping murders, Kim plays along—that is, until Kim’s ex-boyfriend mysteriously dies.
Blackmailed by Nicki to fulfill her end of the deal, Kim will have to commit a murder or take the fall for one.
On Sale Date: March 5, 2019
Interview : YA SH3LF