Today we’re excited to be part of With Malice book tour!
This book was captivating and had my mind spinning at the end. With Malice was a delicious read I couldn’t put down! We’re very excited to be interviewing author Eileen Cook today!
But first let’s look at the With Malice!
About the Book
Title: WITH MALICE
Author: Eileen Cook
Pub. Date: June 7, 2016
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Format: Hardcover, eBook, & audiobook
A read about a teenage girl who wakes up in a hospital bed and cannot remember the last six weeks of her life, including the accident that killed her best friend–only what if the accident wasn’t an accident?
Eighteen-year-old Jill Charron wakes up in a hospital room, leg in a cast, stitches in her face and a big blank canvas where the last 6 weeks should be. She comes to discover she was involved in a fatal accident while on a school trip in Italy three days previous but was jetted home by her affluent father in order to receive quality care. Care that includes a lawyer. And a press team. Because maybe the accident…wasn’t an accident. Wondering not just what happened but what she did, Jill tries to piece together the events of the past six weeks before she loses her thin hold on her once-perfect life.
Where did you get the idea for With Malice?
Like many books a bunch of things came together to form the idea of this book. I’m fascinated with long-term friendships and how they survive and evolve, or don’t. I knew I wanted to write about two friends who had been in a relationship for so long that at times it was hard to tell where the good parts and the bad intersected.
I’ve also worked for years as a counselor assisting with people with injuries and illnesses. I’d done a lot of work with individuals with brain injury and was interested in the idea of how your brain can create it’s own reality.
While writing the book I was planning a trip to Italy and it occurred to me to set the book there. I felt it would give Jill an extra push to explore her friendship if she was out of her normal world. As I prepared for the trip I started to read more about the Amanda Knox trial and that motivated me to add the pressure coming from the media- where everyone else is deciding your guilt or innocence based on very little information.
The final bit of inspiration came from the first season of the Serial podcast by NPR. (If you haven’t listened- download it- you’ll thank me.) It’s a true crime story about a murder trial that happened in the 1990s. With each person that told their story I would shift my feelings. “He’s totally innocent! He’s guilty! Wait-he’s innocent!” I wanted to see if I could recreate that feeling for readers by providing them with new perspectives that might change how they felt about the storyline.
Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way, either growing up or as an adult?
How do people ever choose just one book?! This is a hard question because there are so many great books out there. As a kid I loved Ronald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, and anything by Judy Blume. Other authors that I like include Stephen King (he still scares the pants off of me) Gillian Flynn, Kate Morton and Donna Tartt. While I don’t have one favorite book- A Prayer for Owen Meany is one I have read multiple times.
From a really young age I became fascinated with the idea that people could make up stories, that I knew were made up, but still had the power to make me feel real emotion. Every time a book makes me scared, or cry, or feel a sense of wonder I am impressed all over again with the power of imagination.
Sometimes writing can take up your whole day so be honest, how often do you wash your hair?
Ponytails and the occasional hat is every writer’s best friend. : ) I usually go to the gym first thing in the morning so then I shower before writing. Having said that – weeks may go by where I wear nothing but yoga pants.
What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
No one likes to hear a bad review of her book. You’ve spent endless hours with those characters and the plot, writing and rewriting. When someone doesn’t like it, it’s difficult not to take it personally.
However, not every person likes every book. Sometimes there might be a book that is wildly popular that other people love with a white-hot passion that just didn’t work for me. It’s not that I’m right and they’re wrong- it is simply a case of different books for different people. The only criticism that I really hate to get is when someone says “meh.” I would almost prefer that they hated it versus having it have no impact at all.
The best compliment is “I told a friend they have to read this book.” I know how many great books are out there. (I have a stack sitting in my office right now.) I always appreciate when people use their reading time on one of my books and when they like it enough to tell a friend? Well- that’s the best thing ever.
What are you working on now?
If I’m honest I am the happiest when I have a book project underway. During the periods when I’m not writing I feel a bit adrift and purposeless. I love the day-to-day process of trying to get an idea from my head onto the page and seeing how it evolves and changes.
My current book involves a young woman who is a fake psychic. This has given me an excuse to do a whole bunch of random research including the fact that I am getting to be pretty good at reading Tarot cards. I can’t tell you too much about the book at this point, but it involves a missing girl and a bunch of lies that cause more trouble than the main character ever imagined possible.
Thank you Eileen for joining us!
Eileen Cook is a multi-published author with her novels appearing in eight different 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. Her newest book, WITH MALICE, will be out in June 2016. She’s an instructor/mentor with the Simon Fraser University Writer’s Studio Program.
You can read more about Eileen, her books, and the things that strike her as funny at www.eileencook.com. Eileen lives in Vancouver with her husband and two very naughty dogs and no longer wishes to be anyone or anywhere else.
3 winners will receive finished copies of WITH MALICE, US Only.
The Tour Hosts
5/30/2016- The Cover Contessa– Interview
5/31/2016- MEREADALOT– Review
6/1/2016- Such a Novel Idea– Guest Post
6/2/2016- A Gingerly Review– Review
6/3/2016- Twinning for Books– Interview
6/6/2016- Just Commonly– Review
6/7/2016- Novel Novice– Guest Post
6/8/2016- Wandering Bark Books– Review
6/9/2016- Literary Meanderings – Interview
6/10/2016- A Dream Within A Dream– Review