Thursday, August 25, 2005

Karin Gillespie: Southern comfort and good gossip!

Jennifer Weiner says Karin Gillespie's books are "as tart and delectable as lemon merngue pie."

Johanna Edwards says: "Karin Gillespie is a genius!"

Her work has been called "hilarious" and "witty" and the books make me want to pack my Louis Vuitton bags for Cayboo Creek, that is if I actually owned Louis Vuitton luggage.

Karin Gillespie has written Bet Your Bottom Dollar and the sequel, A Dollar Short. Both are humorous and fun, full of spunky characters and laugh- out- loud dialogue. And rarely does a sequel manage to stand up to the orignal but she pulls it off. Karin and I have this in common: we both enjoy good gossip! Perhaps Karin, Caroline Leavitt and myself should start up our own gossip club and write a book about it.

Karin, your books are so good. When I started each one, I knew from the first page I was in for a treat. Your books are like a tall glass of cold ice tea on a hot summers day- refreshing and relaxing. Would you ever feel comfortable writing anything other than a good Southern novel with quirky characters? Maybe a book that is more dark and suspenseful?

Actually I grew up reading Stephen King novels and true crime stories but as I've gotten older I've just not been as enamored with the darker side of literature. I did just finish a book called EARTHLY PLEASURES, which isn't particularly Southern. It's a chick lit book with a touch of suspense and it takes place in Heaven. It will come out sometime in 2007.

Are you a southern belle in real life? Did you grow up in the south wearing ruffled hoop skirts and drinking mint juleps?

I did have a pink hoop skirt that I used to wear when I was the hostess for an annual barbeque, but I think it ended up at the Goodwill. I just never cozied up Mint Juleps but I do love sitting on the verandah sipping red wine and watching the world go by. I'm also a Southern belle in the sense that I love the cuisine. Give me some pole beans, collards, some Texas Pete and I'm a happy girl.

Have you ever eaten at a Cracker Barrel and played that little triangular brain tease puzzle that is placed at each table? I swear they have the best coffee in the world there. I love their breakfast foods too. How about you?

I've eaten at the Cracker Barrel but that game is too darn tough for me. I travel in the South a lot and rather than eating at a chain I seek out those out-of-the-way diners where they've been cooking the grits since 5 a.m. and they are the best you'll ever taste.

Along with writing novels, you also keep a blog about the craft of writing. You are essentially sharing the secrets and tools of the trade. I don't know of another career where people are so willing to assist each other. What do you think?

I've always thought giving back is important and I know when I was learning the ropes I would have loved to have someone help me out. It's a tough, competitive business and writers can use all the help they can get. I'm pleased to be considered a useful resource.

Tell me who would play those good southern girls, Chiffon and Chenille in the movie. And how about the horrible Lonnie who leaves his wife for a movie star? Who could play him? Can't you see Kevin Federline in that role? He's got the right amount of grease and charm. Ha ha ha!

I think Kevin Federline has just the right touch of sleaze to play a low-down dog like Lonnie. Also Matthew Mcconaughey might be right for the role. As for Chiffon and Chenille, I think Drew Barrymore would be a perfect Chiffon and Joan Cusak would be excellent as the up-tight Chenille.

Can you discuss who called you about optioning the movie?

Yes, James Woods is optioning the first book, BET YOUR BOTTOM DOLLAR. He actually called me at my house, which was very exciting. His mother was reading the large-print edition and laughing so hard that he asked to see the book. He thinks it will make a good movie. I have my fingers crossed that the movie will get made!

I love the sayings at the beginning of each chapter. Which is your favorite?

Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.

Are you a fan of other southern writers and if so, who? I am a huge Michael Lee West fan.

Great minds think alike. I LOVE Michael Lee West. CRAZY LADIES is a must-read. Celia Rivenbark, Susan Reinhardt (gotta love a book called "Not Tonight Honey. Wait Until I'm a Size Six.) Julie Cannon and Ann B. Ross are also favorites.

Do you see a difference in personalities of people from the south compared to other places in the country? I lived in North Carolina for a while and noticed in the south they drive a lot slower than lets say, New Jersey or California. People are also pretty friendly and laid back.

It's so hot here, we have to move slower. And yes, if you smile at people on the streets of NYC they might look at you funny, but here you smile and wave to everyone you pass. Also, once in NYC some nicely dressed guy tried to steal a cab from me. It's hard to imagine that happening in the deep South. Men around here are very gentlemanly.

I like to watch reality television, I'll admit it. Would you ever go on Survivor or the Amazing Race? What show would you like to appear on for the chance to win one million dollars?

I'm not all that athletic so I think I'd be lousy at those outdoorsy shows. How about an edition of Survivor on 5th Avenue. Who can snag the most swag in ten days? Or a gossip quiz show? That's another thing you and I have in common, Cindy. We both love celeb gossip. As a matter of fact, A DOLLAR SHORT came out of a article I read several years ago about Julia Roberts. When Julia was first seeing her current husband, Danny Moder, he was married to a hairdresser named Vera. I thought to myself, what would it be like if a world-famous movie star wanted your husband? How would you compete? That's how A DOLLAR SHORT came about.


Blogger *Micha* said...
Nice interview. :) @ 12:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Great interview! Karin, by the way, is not just a great writer, but also a super person!

Caroline @ 9:35 AM  
Anonymous Catherine said...
Good job! @ 12:37 PM  
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