I’m very excited to be touring Eileen Cook and her latest book Unraveling Isobel
Isobel’s life is falling apart. Her mom just married some guy she met on the internet only three months before, and is moving them to his sprawling, gothic mansion off the coast of nowhere. Goodbye, best friend. Goodbye, social life. Hello, icky new stepfather, crunchy granola town, and unbelievably good-looking, officially off-limits stepbrother.
But on her first night in her new home, Isobel starts to fear that it isn’t only her life that’s unraveling—her sanity might be giving way too. Because either Isobel is losing her mind, just like her artist father did before her, or she’s seeing ghosts. Either way, Isobel’s fast on her way to being the talk of the town for all the wrong reasons.
Now for the usual questions:
What inspired the plot for your book?
I work as a counselor and am interested in mental health issues. I think one of the most difficult things about having mental illnesses is that you can’t trust your own perception of reality. How do you cope when you aren’t sure what you see and hear is real? I decided I wanted to write about Isobel who struggles with trying to figure out if she’s seeing a ghost, if she’s going crazy, or if her step dad is trying to make everyone think she’s crazy so he can get rid of her.
Why did you decide to write in this genre?
I’ve always loved gothic novels. I love creepy old houses, buried family secrets and the potential for a ghost or two. Not to mention a cute boy in the picture.
What is your writing process like?
I love the idea of having a daily schedule, but I never seem to stick to it, my life is too chaotic. I do try and write every day, even for just a few minutes, so that I can stay in touch with the story while I’m writing. I set weekly word count goals that let me write just a few words on one day or a whole bunch on another.
What are you working on now?
I am working on a book that we’re currently calling Shady Sadie (stay tuned I suspect the title will change!). It’s the story of Sadie, who is a teenage con artist. When she realizes that she looks like an age enhanced photo of a missing child she decides to pull the ultimate con… until she begins to suspect she may actually be the missing child.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
I love reading, knitting and watching movies. I also like to walk on the beach near my house and watch while the dogs roll around in dead stinky things they find on the shoreline.
Who do you like to read?
My reading tastes are so wide. I love mystery, contemporary, paranormal, non-fiction, historical fiction and science fiction. I tend to choose what to read next based on my mood. I recently read The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson and couldn’t put it down.
What they’re saying about Unraveling Isobel:
“Thrilling and creepy, super sexy, and so very hilarious.” –Lisa McMann, bestselling author of the Wake trilogy
“Ideal for readers who like their stories supernatural but their dream guys human.” –The Bulletin
“Spine-tingling setting….Isobel’s sass and her steamy romance with her new stepbrother will help readers race toward the dramatic conclusion.” –Publishers Weekly
“This blend of paranormal romance, murder mystery and quirky, coming-of-age narrative offers tasty moments….Cook gives readers a fast-paced plot, a likable narrator, and interesting characters.” -Kirkus
“Isobel, all snark and sharp edges covering some intense vulnerability as she continuously checks in to see if she has crossed into mental illness (as her father did when she was young), is a compelling narrator.”- Horn Book Magazine
Eileen Cook is a multi-published author with her novels appearing in six different languages. She spent most of her teen years wishing she were someone else or somewhere else, which is great training for a writer.
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 dogs and no longer wishes to be anyone or anywhere else.