Q. How would you describe your life in only 8 words?
A. Totally thrilled to finally be living my dream!
Q. What is your motto or maxim?
A. Karma is a boomerang. (One of my characters said it first!)
Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?
A. Perfectly fleeting.
Q. What’s your greatest fear?
A. That I’m still a bartender and I can’t remember where this drink should go. Oh, wait, that's the recurring nightmare.
Q. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?
A. Exactly where I am.
Q. With whom in history do you most identify?
A. P.T. Barnum. I’m a direct descendant, and by the way, he did not say, “There’s a sucker born every minute.” He said, “There’s a customer born every minute.” I have updated that to, “There’s a reader born every minute.”
Q. Which living person do you most admire?
A. It’s a three-way tie between my husband and two kids. Aww.
Q. What are your most overused words or phrases?
A. My literary agent once told me it was Aww. I think she actually called it a verbal tic. That’s the kind of agent you want to have.
Q. What do you regret most?
A. Who has time?
Q. If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
A. I’d love to be a songwriter. I used to teach the Aerosmith kids, and right around the time my first novel came out, I had this great conversation with Steven Tyler. He wanted to know how I could write a whole novel, and I said that if I could say it in a song, I wouldn’t have to.
Q. What is your greatest achievement?
A. Helping my two kids grow into people I both admire and want to hang out with.
Q. What’s your greatest flaw?
A. I can’t do anything halfway.
Q. What’s your best quality?
A. I can’t do anything halfway. And if that’s cheating, I would say kindness.
Q. If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?
A. For me, the gift of midlife is that I’m finally being exactly who I really am. There’s great power in that.
Q. What trait is most noticeable about you?
A. People always say my laugh. They also often tell me I laugh just like one of my characters, which I think is interesting.
Q. Who is your favorite fictional hero?
A. Nancy Drew
Q. Who is your favorite fictional villain?
A. I always skip the scary pages.
Q. If you could meet any historical character, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?
A. I always skip the historical questions, too.
Q. What is your biggest pet peeve?
A. Mean people
Q. What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?
A. Walking the beach.
Q. What’s your fantasy profession?
A. Being a novelist. It’s the career I almost didn’t have, and nine books in, it still feels like a fantasy.
Q. What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
A. Humor, honesty, kindness.
Q. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
A. Trader Joe’s organic popcorn with olive oil.
Q. What are your 5 favorite songs?
A. I never play favorites. I just can’t. I’d feel too sorry for the songs I didn’t pick.
On Books and Writing
Q. Who are your favorite authors?
A. The ones who've been nice to me!
Q. What are your 5 favorite books of all time?
A. The ones I haven't written yet.
Q. Is there a book you love to reread?
A. I'd love to reread every book I've cared about enough to keep. Someday!!
Q. Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?
A. Read everything you can get your hands on; you can't be a writer unless you're an avid, joyful reader - and check out the writing page at ClaireCook.com!
Q. What comment do you hear most often from your readers?
A. OMG, you're writing my life.