Meet the Author: Emily Giffin
Emily Giffin was born in Baltimore, Maryland, but moved around a lot during her childhood. Emily attended college at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and then law school at the University of Virginia. In 2001 Emily left her law career behind and moved to London to begin writing full time. The following year was an exciting one for Emily. She got married, found an agent, and signed a two-book contract with St. Martin's Press. In September 2003, Emily and her husband left London and moved to Atlanta, Georgia. A few months later, on New Year's Eve, her identical twin sons, Edward and George, were born. In 2004, Something Borrowed was released to rave reviews and instantly made the New York Times bestseller list. Something Blue followed in 2005 and Baby Proofin 2006. It was a dream come true. Emily has been very busy with her family and her writing ever since!
Q&A with Emily Giffin
Q: Was there a definitive moment in your life when you realized that writing fiction would be both a rewarding and lucrative venture?
A: I have always loved writing. It was something I enjoyed from a very young age, and becoming a novelist was a childhood dream. But it just didn't feel like something you should do right out of college. So instead I went to law school and then practiced law at a large New York firm. I very quickly knew that I wasn't happy being an attorney and that I wanted to pursue my dream of becoming a novelist. So, I moved to London and wrote Something Borrowed. I'm still pinching myself that things turned out as they have.
Q: Where did you get the idea for your first book Something Borrowed?
A: I knew I wanted to explore the complexity of female friendships. Something Borrowed really evolved as I wrote, though. I didn't plot it all out one day. My stories are very character driven, and I never quite know where they will take me.
Q: In Something Borrowed and Something Blue the reader is introduced to Rachel, Dex and Darcy. Any plans to continue their stories further?
A: I get asked that question a lot, as both Rachel and Darcy have an extremely loyal following. I probably will write about them again someday, but have no plans to do so in the next few years. I love creating new characters. It feels like an exciting discovery.
Q: What was your inspiration for Baby Proof and moving away from Rachel and Darcy's characters?
A: I was ready to explore new characters--and was nervous about being pigeon-holed as a series writer. I was intrigued by the notion of "deal breakers" as they apply to true love. I originally had planned to have Claudia change her mind about having a baby, but quickly realized that it was more interesting if Ben had the change of heart. There are so many stigmas against women who opt out of motherhood so it was a really fun topic to explore through my writing.
Q: What has been the response from readers to your novels?
A: I get thousands of emails every year from the nicest people--mostly from women, but also from a surprising number of men. I would say I hear from readers the most about Darcy - most comment that they were reluctant to even read Something Blue, as they hated Darcy! Almost everyone grows to see her in a new light, however.
I have heard from quite a few women since Baby Proof came out who have shared their similar stories. Choosing to not have a baby is still a taboo decision in this country, and many women have thanked me for shedding some light on the subject.
I am grateful for all the emails I receive.
Q: Do you have a favorite book or author? What kinds of books do you read for enjoyment?
A: I love to read and enjoy books in many different genres. Some of my favorite authors include Anna Quindlen, Alice McDermott, Alice Sebold, Alice Munro, Elinor Lipman, Wally Lamb, Tom Perrotta, Julia Glass, Jane Smiley and Stephen King when he isn't writing horror.
Q: If you were to give a fledgling writer some advice, what would that be?
A: Read and write as much as you can. I also have kept a journal for over twenty years. I think it helps with the writing process. If you're writing for commercial success, remember to have a thick skin. Do not be intimidated or disheartened by rejection. It happens to all of us. And remember that whether you're published or not, you are still a writer!
Q: Besides reading and writing, what are some of the other passions in your life?
A: My twin two-year-olds are the biggest joy of my life! I also enjoy travel, movies, and photography. I love going to dinner with friends.
Interview Date: October 2006
Profile and questions compiled by Jessica B., Morrison Regional Library