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I can’t wait for you to meet Esme Cahill, the heroine of my just-released book, “Esme Cahill Fails Spectacularly,” who is determined to get her trainwreck of a life back on track. Read on for excerpts from an “interview” with my newest, delightfully relatable heroine, Esme Cahill.
Recently, the folks from Fresh Fiction asked to do a piece on my new book and suggested a “conversation” with the main character, Esme Cahill, who was pleased to oblige.
I really thought that the questions and Esme’s responses to them were enlightening and entertaining, providing insight into Esme’s personality and intriguing glimpses of her story.
Fresh Fiction has kindly allowed me to share part of Esme’s interview here. So, let’s jump into the questions and meet Esme Cahill (and again, read the full interview here!)!
Question: How Would You Describe Your Family or Childhood?
My mother, Robyn, was an unwed, teenage mother with a reckless streak she never outgrew. She couldn’t keep a job for long, so we were always moving. She had a revolving door of boyfriends too, some better than others.
One of them, Zip, taught me how to read before disappearing, taking money from Robyn’s purse but leaving me with my escape, books. It wasn’t all bad, but chaotic is an apt description of my early childhood, chaotic and unstable. That changed after Robyn was arrested for drug distribution and George and Adele, the wonderful grandparents I’d never known existed, took me in and raised me at the lakeside resort they owned, not far from Asheville, North Carolina.
It felt like heaven, a refuge. For the first time, I got to be a child. But, as it turned out, I wasn’t very good at childhood. It always made me feel too much at the mercy of others. When an injured animal is given time to heal, there comes a day when refuge feels like suffocation. That’s why, even though I loved my grandparents, I left the lake and moved to New York at nineteen.
Question: What is Your Greatest Talent?
Ha! At nineteen, I would have said writing. But after two hundred and sixty-eight rejections (Yes, you read that right – two hundred and sixty-eight! Who’d have guessed I had such an infinite capacity for enduring humiliation?) I realized that might not be true and started looking for a job, any job.
Lucky for me, at least for a while, I landed an entry-level position in publishing, worked my way up through the ranks, and became a successful editor.
Since my ignominious firing from that job, you might have questions about how successful I really was. At the moment, I am failing spectacularly on multiple levels. But in spite of all that, I do have a talent for editing, for helping people bring their stories vibrantly to life. It’s my superpower.
Question: Significant Other?
Okay, I was married for four confusing and mostly passionless years. Before you even ask – No, I did not know my husband was gay, not until the day we were going to an open house for my dream apartment, and he grabbed my sleeve and said, “Esme, there’s something I need to tell you…”
In case you weren’t aware, “there’s something I need to tell you,” is never a preamble to good news. Never.
Question: Biggest Challenge in Your Relationships?
Well, given the above, I’d say picking up on the signals tops the list.
Question: Where do You Live?
I did live in New York. But after losing my job, marriage, and apartment, I’ve come home to North Carolina and moved back into my grandparent’s resort.
As soon as I can find another job in publishing, I’ll go back to the city. But it’s probably a good thing that I came back to the lake when I did. Things aren’t going well.
As I said, this is only an excerpt of the full interview. Click this link to read the rest of the Fresh Fiction conversation with Esme Cahill and learn more about her life, family, friends, and world.
Of course, the very best way to meet Esme is through the pages of the book; ESME CAHILL FAILS SPECTACUARLY. Get a copy from your local bookstore or favorite online retailer!