Thursday, April 17, 2008

Megan Crane Returns to the Girlfriends Cyber Circuit

I'm about to do a newspaper interview (and, wouldn't you know it, just before the reporter is supposed to call me, they start up with the lawnmowers and leaf blowers right outside and I can't hear myself think), so instead of writing a long rant, I've got a Girlfriends Cyber Circuit interview with Megan Crane, author of Names My Sisters Call Me.

Courtney, Norah, and Raine Cassel are about as different as three sisters can get. Norah, the oldest, is a typical Type A obsessive who believes there is a right way and a wrong way to do everything. Six years later she has not forgiven Raine, the middle sister, for ruining her wedding day. Raine is Norah's opposite - a wild, follow-your-bliss hippie chick who flees to California after the wedding fiasco. The only thing the two sisters have in common is their ability to drive Courtney, their youngest sister, crazy.

When Courtney's longtime boyfriend proposes, she decides it's finally time to call a family truce and bring the three sisters together. After all, they're all grown-ups now, right? But it turns out that family ghosts aren't easily vanquished, and neither are first loves. Reconnecting the sisters also means reexamining every choice Courtney has made in the past six years, right down to the man she's about to marry.

What was the inspiration behind this book?
Inspiration is such a funny thing.  I can tell you that I wanted to write about the difference between first love and true love.  And I can tell you that I was driving around town and saw a woman crossing a street, carrying a cello.  And it is probably true that those two things sparked the rest of the book, but how that turned into sisters and San Francisco and dragon tattoos, I just don't know.  

Do you have sisters? If you do, how much do the relationships in this book reflect your relationships with them? If not, what imaginary sisters would you create for yourself?
I have one sister, who is not like any of the women in the book.  But I think there's a certain built-in tension in sibling relationships, or there can be.  There's the familiarity of a long relationship, but the possible drama of the fact no one actually chose to be part of that long relationship.  I think families can spend a little too much time working out their identity issues on each other.  It's hard to be so close to people who behave in ways you cannot begin to fathom.  It can drive you crazy.

Do you see yourself in any of your three main characters?
I'd bet my sister would see me in Norah, the bossy type A sister!  But I probably relate the most to Courtney, the youngest sister.  The truth is, I can see myself in all of the sisters, and their mother, too.  It would probably be hard to write a female character I didn't relate to on some level.

Congratulations on your recent marriage. Now that you're married, are you going to do what a lot of other chick lit writers seem to do when their lives change and write about married life, or are you still interested in writing stories about single women? (Notice that I didn't ask when you'll start writing mom-lit.)
Thanks!  I have no plans to start writing about marriage, unless the story calls for it.  I've had married (or about to be married) characters in my last three books, along with the single characters.  None of my books have been autobiographical in the past, so I can't imagine that they'll suddenly become so now!

What are you working on now?
I'm working on another 5 Spot sort of project, and am toying with another book-- something that's more of a departure.  Both fun, I think!

Anything else you want to say about this book?
I think it's my best yet.  I hope readers agree!

For more info, you can visit Megan's web site, or you can order the book from Amazon.

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