Eileen is the author of two very different books, Sweetwater American and Rumpel, a retelling of the Brothers Grimm Rumpelstiltskin. Let’s see what the Goodreads blurbs say:
SWEETWATER AMERICAN is the story of an orphan who is sent to live in a cursed town in El Salvador with her godmother, a woman whom she has never met and who may hold the secret to breaking the town’s curse: no babies have been born alive in five years.
When foreigners arrive on an island beach in search of a lost spinning wheel which they believe rightfully belongs to them and on which their very existence depends, the island inhabitants are thrust into a course of events during which some will become allies and others will turn against their own and Elizabeth Miller must defend her unborn child from a vengeful troll.
And a little bit of background about Eileen . . .
Eileen Cruz Coleman was born in Washington, D.C.
She is a graduate of the University of Maryland with a degree in European History.
Her short stories have appeared in numerous literary journals both online and in print.
She lives in Maryland with her husband and two children.
Eileen, when did you start writing?
I think I always knew I wanted to be a writer. But I didn’t start seriously writing until I was in my early twenties. I was desperately trying to heal from a past experience. For me, writing helped me heal. I sat down one day and wrote my little heart out. It was an honest piece of writing; I dug deep and put it all on paper. I read it to my then boyfriend, now husband. His response was, “You should try and get this published.” And so I did. I published my first piece of writing when I was twenty-five years old. I was hooked after that!
How long does it usually take you to write a book?
I’m a slow writer. It takes me anywhere between a year and a half to three years to write a book. I don’t write full time (yet!) and so between juggling my day job, kids and well, life, I squeeze in writing mostly at night when the house is quiet and everyone is asleep.
Hey, there are no slow writers . . . What inspired you to write this book?
I first heard the story of Rumpelstiltskin when I was seven years old. I remember sitting in “circle time” while my teacher read the story. When she got to the end, I felt that there had to be more to the story.
I honestly thought she had read us a shortened version and that the longer version was out there somewhere! From that day on, the story of Rumpelstiltskin fascinated me. I wanted to know why he wanted a baby. What was he going to do with it once he got it? Who were the people in his life? What was his world like? What was his childhood like? All of these questions led me to write Rumpel which is a retelling of Rumpelstiltskin. In keeping with the original Brothers Grimm Rumpelstiltskin, Rumpel is dark and at times disturbing, yet it also has a light and quirky element to it in that it is told from the point of view of many different characters all of which play an integral part of the story and how it unfolds. We also get to know Rumpelstiltskin as a child, then as a young man, and finally as a broken hearted adult.
What kind of research did you have to do?
I read and dissected the original Rumpelstiltskin story!
Who designed cover?
I hired a cover artist, the fabulous Dara England. Her site is: http://mycoverart.wordpress.com/
Oh wow, love Dara’s site – beautiful covers!! What is your next project?
I actually have another novel published. My other novel is very different than Rumpel. SWEETWATER AMERICAN is the story of an orphan who is sent to live in a cursed town in El Salvador with her godmother, a woman whom she has never met and who may hold the secret to breaking the town’s curse: no babies have been born alive in five years. I’m also currently working on a post-apocalyptic YA novel.
Oh we LOVE dystopian novels! A typical day in your life looks like . . .
Day job, spending time (homework, dinner, etc.) with my two kids and husband, bedtime for the kids and then maybe, just maybe, some writing time in the late evening. Sometimes, I skip writing and watch a movie with my husband instead!
Wow, that is a lot of juggling! What is the hardest thing about being an author?
Marketing and promoting your book while also dedicating time to write the next book!
Do you hear from your readers much?
In all honesty, I don’t really hear directly from readers. I would love to hear from them!
Just wait – it will come! Who are some of the authors that inspire you?
I adore Stephen King and Isabel Allende.
What is in your own TBR pile?
Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson.
Robopocalypse is on my TBR pile too :)
Links to books: http://www.amazon.com/Rumpel-ebook/dp/B00408ASDW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1301257991&sr=8-1
At the time of writing this post, the above links are to free downloads. :) So hurry!
Thank you so much for visiting with us today, Eileen. We wish you much success in the future!!