The Divining Wand

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The Revealing of Eleanor Brown

January 05, 2011 By: larramiefg Category: Profiles, Q&A

The actual debut of Eleanor Brown’s first novel, The Weird Sisters, may still be two weeks away on January 20, 2011, but it’s already received tremendous praise and attention.

Yet how could it not when both author and book are described as:

A major new talent tackles the complicated terrain of sisters. A winsome novel that explores sibling rivalry, the power of books, and the places we decide to call home.

Then the trade praise:

“…bright, literate debut…a punchy delight…” Publishers Weekly

“…lovely debut…creative and original…” Library Journal

Followed by the announcement that The Weird Sisters has been chosen as part of Barnes & Noble’s Discover Great New Writers program!

The Divining Wand has scheduled a presentation/review of The Weird Sisters on Monday, January 17, 2011 however, between now and then, let’s meet the author through her “official” bio:

Born and raised in the Washington, D.C. area, Eleanor Brown has lived in St. Paul, San Francisco, Philadelphia, South Florida, and Oxford, London, and Brighton, England. She lives in Colorado with her partner, writer and new media superstar, J.C. Hutchins.

Eleanor’s writing has appeared in anthologies, journals, magazines, and newspapers. The Weird Sisters, her first novel, will be published by Amy Einhorn Books on January 20, 2011.

Now knowing the facts about the author, it’s time to get to know the real Eleanor as she reveals:

Q: How would you describe your life in 8 words?
A: Better than I ever expected it to be.

Q: What is your motto or maxim?
A: Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.

Q: How would you describe perfect happiness?
A: A good book, J.C., my cat, and a nice, comfy chair.

Q: What’s your greatest fear?
A: Living without J.C. and my cat.

Q: If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?
A: Right here is pretty darn good, but I wouldn’t mind a being on a beach in Hawaii with a great book.

Q: With whom in history do you most identify?
A: Julia Child. Except I hate to cook. Otherwise, we’re exactly the same.

Q: Which living person do you most admire?
A: Any great teacher working to make a difference.

Q: What are your most overused words or phrases?
A: In life? OMG, “I heard about that on NPR!”
In writing? Perhaps, just, seems.

Q: If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
A: I’m in such awe of people who can dance – I wish I were graceful like that.

Q: What is your greatest achievement?
A: Having the courage to build a life I want to live.

Q: What’s your greatest flaw?
A: Complacency.

Q: What’s your best quality?
A: Enthusiasm.

Q: What do you regret most?
A: Hurting other people.

Q: If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?
A: A pampered house cat.

Q: What trait is most noticeable about you?
A: I am very, very tall, and very, very loud.

Q: Who is your favorite fictional hero?
A: Atticus Finch – if only we all had that much honor and compassion.

Q: Who is your favorite fictional villain?
A: Iago, from Othello.

Q: If you could meet any athlete, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?
A: I’d like to meet a professional football player and ask why what they do is worth so much darn money – I’m genuinely curious.

Q: What is your biggest pet peeve?
A: Gum-chewing. UGH.

Q: What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?
A: Reading!

Q: What’s your fantasy profession?
A: Nail technician – I’d love to have that much patience for detail.

Q: What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
A: A good sense of humor, intelligence, and thoughtfulness.

Q: If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
A: Watermelon.

Q: What are your 5 favorite songs?
A: Taking the Long Way – Dixie Chicks
Angels – Robbie Williams
Rock with You – Michael Jackson
Silent Night
Oklahoma – Oklahoma!

Q: What are your 5 favorite books of all time?
A: Evening Class, Maeve Binchy
The Lords of Discipline, Pat Conroy
Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
The Stand, Steven King
The Outsiders, S.E. Hinton

Thoughtful, clever, and oh so talented, Eleanor Brown is likely to soon become your new favorite author. To share in her company become a follower on Twitter, a friend on Facebook, a regular reader of her Blog, and a visitor to the The Debutante Ball where she posts every Tuesday.

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Book Giveaway: The Divining Wand is giving away two copies of Eileen Cook’s The Education of Hailey Kendrick in a random drawing of comments left only on this specific post, Eileen Cook and The Education of Hailey Kendrick. Comments left on other posts during the week will not be eligible. The deadline is tonight at 7:00 p.m. EST with the winners to be announced here in tomorrow’s post. If you enter, please return tomorrow to see if you’re a winner.

7 Comments to “The Revealing of Eleanor Brown”


  1. “Q: What is your greatest achievement?
    A: Having the courage to build a life I want to live.”

    Thanks. I needed to read that today.

    (As for football, I doubt if the players think what they do is worth all that either. But the fact is, advertisers pay big bucks, because people watch sports fanatically, so that money translates down to the TV networks, the NFL, the owners, the coaches, and the players. Bottom line: without the players, there are no great games for everyone to watch and advertisers to interrupt with commercials. (Also, in football especially, the risk for serious injury is pretty high, and careers are pretty short.))

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  2. I keep hearing about this book, and I’m delighted to “meet” the author.

    I love the answers here. That motto is so very true!

    The courage to build the life you want to live – very commendable.

    And the admiration of great teachers everywhere. That’s so perfect!

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  3. What a fun interview!

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  4. Congrats Eleanor – cannot wait for your debut and loved learning a little more about you. How tall, exactly? :)

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  5. @Kristan – Glad those words helped you out. It was long and it wasn’t easy, but this is a good place to be in and I’m glad I had the courage to make it happen.

    @Keetha – Thank you for coming by! I’ll admit – I used to be a teacher, so my admiration stems from knowing just how stinking hard that job is to do, period, let alone do well.

    @Kathy – Thanks, Kathy!

    @Sarah – About 6′1″.

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  6. This is a wonderful interview, thanks for sharing it! I also loved that the responses were so short, but impactful. I seem to answer questions in whole sweeping paragraphs (as this comment showcases so well) I heard that the lifespan of a football player is significantly shorter than the average human because of how physical their job is. Not that I think you deserve more money for that, but if I knew that the career I chose would shorten my lifespan by that much, maybe I’d expect a crapload ‘o dollars too.

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  7. Your’s is a point of view where real inicnltgelee shines through.

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