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Monday, June 22, 2009

Guest Star: Sheila Curran

Welcome Sheila Curran, this week's guest star author! She's just released a brand new novel, EVERYONE SHE LOVED and she's taken the time to answer some of my questions about her work.

Here's an overview of the book:

A wise and triumphant novel about powerful bonds among four women who’ve come of age together only to discover that – when it comes to the essentials – life’s little instruction book will always need revising.

Penelope Cameron, loving mother, devoted wife and generous philanthropist, has convinced her husband and four closest friends to sign an outlandish pact. If Penelope should die before her two daughters are eighteen, her husband will not remarry without the permission of Penelope’s sister and three college roommates. For years, this contract gathers dust until the unthinkable happens. Suddenly, everyone she loved must find their way in a world without Penelope.

For Lucy Vargas, Penelope’s best friend, and a second mother to her daughters, nothing seems more natural than to welcome them into a home that had once belonged to their family, a lovely, sprawling, bed and breakfast on the beach. This bequest was only one of the many ways in which Penelope had supported Lucy’s career as a painter, declaring her talent too important to squander. But now, in the wake of a disaster that only lovable, worrisome Penelope could have predicted, Lucy has put her work on hold as she and Penelope’s husband, Joey, blindly grasp at anything that will keep the girls from sinking under the weight of their grief.

With the help of family and friends, the children slowly rebuild new lives. But just when things start to come together, the fragile serenity they have gained is suddenly threatened from within and the unbreakable bonds they share seem likely to dissolve after all.

In this moving and uplifting novel, Sheila Curran explores the faith one woman placed in her dearest friends, the care she took to protect her family, and the many ways in which romantic entanglements will confound and confuse even the most determined of planners. A story about growing up and moving on, about the sacrifices people make for one another, about the timeless legacy of love, Everyone She Loved is, above all, about the abiding strength of friendship.

Order it on Amazon now!

Check out my interview with Sheila Curran:

1. How do you come up with the names for your characters?

Often I have the name as soon as I think of the character. I’m not sure why.

2. What’s your favorite part about the publishing process?

Working with my agent and editor to get the book ready and in shape and hearing from readers that they loved it. Your least favorite part? Worrying my novel won’t catch the eyes of readers. I know they’d like it if they picked it up, but how do you stand out in the crowded marketplace? I know that when I go to a bookstore, I’m overwhelmed by the choices and so I know that my prospective readers face the same obstacle.

3. When you got that first phone call announcing your had sold a novel, how did you react?

I called my husband, then my parents. My mom had had knee surgery that day.

How did you celebrate?

Oh, I believe there were festive beverages involved.

4. If your book were to be made into a movie, who could you see playing the lead role? Patrick Dempsey (McDreamy on Grey’s Anatomy) or Liam Neeson could play Joey Adorno. Jessica Sarah Parker or Kyra Sedgewick could play the interloping nutritionist. Penelope Cruz or Holly Hunter would be great as Penelope. Lucy, Kate Winslet, Scarlett Johannsen, or Catherine Keener, who played Harper Lee in Capote and the love interest in 40 YEAR OLD VIRGIN. Martha, Cameron Diaz or Ellen Barkin. Susannah, Sandra Bullock, Tea Leoni or Kate Hudson.

5. What was your inspiration behind the book?

For the full story, readers should go to my website and click on Backstory. But the short version is this: in some states, if a parent hasn’t named a guardian in an official will, their children can be taken into foster care if the parents die. I was talking to a friend about how difficult it is to make the choice of who, among my siblings and friends would be the best replacements for my husband and I. Suddenly, I said, “Oooh. You know what would be worse? What if I died and John fell in love with someone who was just awful?” I thought for a minute more and said, “I know. What if he couldn’t remarry unless my sisters and best friends approved?” I knew, deep down, that whatever happened, as long as my friends and family approved of the new wife, then she’d be good for my kids. So I began to imagine a character like me, except she’s really rich, has had even more reasons in her life to become a bit of a control freak than have I and she is so charming in her ridiculous catastrophizing that her husband and friends finally say, “Enough, already! You’re not going anywhere, but if it makes you feel better, we’ll sign the damn thing.” So begins the premise for my novel, the plot of which is set into action by my character’s codicil. It’s about motherhood, wifehood, childhood, and most of all, the sisterhood of great friends who’ve come of age together.

For more information, check out Sheila's website at:

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