Isn’t it every over-achiever’s dream to just not over achieve for once? To do the wrong the thing? To be the bad girl? Well, that’s exactly what GCC Member Eileen Cook explores in her new novel, THE EDUCATION OF HAILEY KENDRICK out this week through Simon Pulse.
Hailey Kendrick always does exactly what’s expected of her. She has the right friends, dates the perfect boy, gets good grades, and follows all the rules. But one night, Hailey risks everything by breaking a very big rule in a very public way…and with a very unexpected partner in crime. Hailey gets caught, but her accomplice does not, and Hailey takes the fall for both of them.
Suddenly, Hailey’s perfect life–and her reputation–are blowing up in her face. Her friends are all avoiding her. Her teachers don’t trust her. Her boyfriend won’t even speak to her for long enough to tell her that she’s been dumped.
They say honesty is the best policy–but some secrets are worth keeping, no matter the cost. Or are they?
Here’s what Eileen had to say:
Q: In AMIGAS AND SCHOOL SCANDALS, Mariana takes a road trip to Cornell. What’s your funniest road trip story?
Eileen: I somehow got involved in taking a road trip to Memphis Tennessee to see Graceland. It was completely spontaneous. You meet a lot of really interesting people at Graceland. Trust me when I tell you there are people who take their Elvis VERY seriously. I would encourage you not to laugh. Not even at the giant purple poodle wall paper in the bathroom (it was his mom’s favorite) or the collection of sparkly jumpsuits.
Now Graceland is a roadtrip. In fact, that might be the ultimate road trip destination, up there with the World’s Largest Ball of Twine (Darwin, MN).
Q: I often talk about how I didn’t always “know” I wanted to be a writer. Did you? Or did you have other plans when you were little?
Eileen: I grew up loving books and always wanted to be a writer. However, I was also open to careers as a gold winning Olympic figure skater, famous actress, singer or royalty. It’s a good thing the writing panned out.
Q: Throughout the AMOR series, Mariana and her friends celebrate their Sweet 16s (and 15s). What did you do for your Sweet 16 or Quinceañera?
Eileen: I can’t remember! That means I either had such a wild and crazy time that I blocked out the memory, or more likely that I did something small like have some friends over for a slumber party. I do remember that I went the very next day to get my drivers’ license and I couldn’t wait to borrow the car. (This despite the fact that I lived in a small town and there really wasn’t anyplace exciting to go.)
Q: I wrote the AMOR series organically, no outlines. My new manuscripts, I’ve outlined extensively. How about you? Are you an outliner?
Eileen: I am also an organic writer who now uses an outline. There’s nothing like deadlines and editors wanting to know what you are doing to motivate you to come up with an outline. I’m a firm believer that you have to put the work in somewhere. Either you write it organically and spend more time in revision, or you spend more time in the beginning in the outlining stage- either way- it’s work.
Q: Where were you when you found out that your book was going to be published? Tell us the story.
Eileen: I was walking the dogs when my agent called my cell phone to tell me the news. I had worked with my editor in the past on two other books so I was fairly confident she would publish this book, but it was still this HUGE relief and excitement. The dogs got extra cookies and I bought champagne for myself. (Not being a big fan of liver jerky like they are.)
Thank you, Eileen! Now, everyone go out and buy books, lots and lots of books!