Need Inspiration? Meet Claire Cook
Note From The Tarts:
Mega bestselling author Claire Cook is a spunky wundergal who is proof that positive thinking and great writing can fulfill your dream at any age. A "late starter," Claire hit it big with MUST LOVE DOGS, a story about a woman who places a personal ad only to find the opposite of what she expected. Her books are delights, peppered with real (but funny) middle aged women, great characters and sparkling dialogue. They're the kind of books to read with friends and share at a beach house. Her newest, SUMMER BLOWOUT, follows that line and comes out...TODAY!
We are so fortunate to have her here to launch our summer. Please give a warm welcome to CLAIRE COOK!
What's YOUR Buried Dream?
By Claire Cook
A huge thanks to Sarah and the rest of the Book Tarts for letting me celebrate today's release of SUMMER BLOWOUT, my latest novel, by guest blogging here at The Lipstick Chronicles. Surely there is no more appropriate place in all the world for me to be on publication day, since Summer Blowout is a story of a woman with a serious lipstick addiction.
Bella Shaughnessy is addicted to lipstick with names like My Chihuahua Bites and Kiss My Lips, an occupational hazard, since she's from a large faux-Italian family of Boston Irish hair salon owners. It's a close family, so close, in fact, that Bella's half sister has moved in on her husband.
The family also does hair and makeup for local television shows. When my second novel, Must Love Dogs, was made into a movie starring Diane Lane and John Cusack, I found myself doing lots of television interviews for the first time. I made friends with some of the hair and makeup artists, because we were both traveling from show to show and I'm the kind of person who always ends up hanging out with the caterers at a party. One day I thought, What if they were a family? (The stylists, not the caterers.) A couple of books later, it just started coming together into a novel. I don't question these things - I just start writing.
Every novel gives its writer the opportunity to discover a new world, and I have to admit hair and makeup are not my things, so this one was a challenge. I spent a lot of time shadowing some very generous stylists while they were working, asking tons of questions like, If you were going to put highlights in a dog's fur, exactly how would you do it?
It's so great to be able to tell them, and you, that this is the career I almost didn't have. I wanted to be a writer from the time I was a little girl, but I totally chickened out. Decades passed, and one day I found myself in my forties, sitting outside my daughter's swim practice in my minivan at 5 AM. It just hit me: I might live my whole life without ever once going for it.
Long story short, I wrote my first novel in that minivan, and it was published when I was forty five. At fifty, my family and I walked the red carpet at the Hollywood premier of the Must Love Dogs movie. My kids turned eighteen and twenty one that year, and for about two weeks there, I'm pretty sure they thought I was almost cool. And now, my fifth novel, Life's a Beach, is just out in paperback, Summer Blowout is making its way into the world today, and I'm just so glad I FINALLY DID IT!
I think we all have that place where our urge to create and our ability intersect. For some, the trick is finding it. For others, like me, it's all about having the courage to live the dream.
I love the idea that someone reading this right now might take a minute to think about dusting off her own dream. Come on, if I can do it, you can do it!
To that end, More Magazine and my wonderful publisher, Voice Books, have partnered to send me on the road to teach some free workshops, part of a series called, Getting Better All the Time: Women and Writers in Conversation. If you, or anyone you know, are in Massachusetts, Maine, New Jersey or Georgia, I hope you'll check out my book tour schedule at ClaireCook.com. And the rest of you can find me at voice.gather.com, where I'm teaching a free online workshop for aspiring writers - and anyone with a dream.
Thanks again, Tarts!
P.S....This is Sarah just checking in to say that THE SLEEPING BEAUTY PROPOSAL, a Romance Writers of America® (RWA) finalist for the 2008 RITA Awards® , comes out in paperback today. Please check out an excerpt here. Thanks...Uh, sorry to butt in, Claire.