Thursday, June 05, 2008

Three questions with Emily Giffin

Emily Giffin, whose Love the One You're With sits at No 3. on the New York Times Bestseller list, was in Texas this past week. Here's some of what she had to say about her new book and life as a bestselling author (including a great anecdote with a surprise ending about dining with an Texas NBA legend):

What is the new novel about?

The one that got away. It's about the conflict between following your bliss and being loyal to those you already have in your life. In the book, Ellen, 33, a photographer in New York City, has been married only three months when she runs into an old flame who makes her question her decision. She has an emotional journey. I had this happen so early in her marriage because I didn't children to complicate things -- they change the whole emotional landscape. I actually think the first year of marriage is the hardest and is filled with analysis.

In the novel the protagonist moves from New York to Atlanta, where you live. Do you require the story to have autobiographical element as a catalyst that gets you to start writing?

A few years ago, I moved from London to Atlanta, so that is similar. And while my books are not autobiographical, I do like to have something to help me identify with the characters in the books. In Something Borrowed, my first novel, the main character is turning 30 and I was turning 30 as I wrote it. In the second book, Something Blue, we have little in common other than the fact we both lived in London. In Baby Proof - well, I had twin boys the time... But with this book, no I've never had second thoughts.

What is the most surprising thing to happen to you since you've become a bestselling author?

My third grade teacher, Mrs. Dando, came to a reading I gave in Philadelphia. She still had a class photo of ours which I'd sent to her to say "you're my favorite teacher." Another time, I was having lunch with former Houston Rockets basketball player Ralph Sampson, who is a family friend. All through lunch there were these two attractive women who kept looking over at our table. Ralph is 7'4" and is used to a lot of attention. The women started walking over and I said to him, "You must get this all the time." Then they stopped at our table, leaned over and said, "Are you Emily Giffin?" Now that surprised both of us.

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