Eileen Goudge Interview:

 A first in Turkey! American Bestseller author Eileen Goudge’s interview is on our website, Novelius Literature. Mrs. Goudge, first of all, thank you very much for your positive response to our interview request. It is a great honor for us to welcome you to our site. First of all, we would like to introduce you briefly to Turkish Readers:

Author Eileen Goudge was born on July 4, 1950, in San Mateo, California. She started her writing career as a freelance journalist in the early seventies. In the early eighties, while raising her two children, she began writing a novel for teenagers. Her first novel for adults, Garden of Lies, published in 1986, became a New York Times bestseller, selling millions. Such Devoted Sisters, which she wrote after, was also a great success. She has written a total of twenty novels, (two of them mystery genre: Bones and Roses and Swimsuit Body.)Her works have been sold more than five million times worldwide. She is married to TV and radio reporter Sandy Kenyon and currently lives in New York. The author’s only book translated into Turkish is the novel Woman in Red, published by İnkılap Bookstore in 2008.

(Türkçe) Röportajın Türkçe versiyonu için buraya tıklayın. 

(Turkish) Please, click here for the Turkish version of the interview.

Mehmet Bahçeci for Novelius Literature: What was your source of inspiration for your novel The Woman in Red?

Eileen Goudge: I am the daughter of an artist, and there is painting that my faither did of my mother. It’s a nude, abstract, so I didn’t I know it was my mother until years later. That inspired the storyline of the mystery surrounding the painting in WOMAN IN RED. The rest is purely my imagination.

Novelius: Your novel The Woman in Red takes place in two different time periods. We are traveling to the past with Eleanor and reading the present with Alice Kessler. I can say that this two-time narrative increases our reading pleasure. What about you, what did you experience while writing? Was it hard?

Eileen Goudge: I normally write contemporary novels, so it was fun researching the time period of the historical chapters in WOMAN IN RED. I spent time on the island in the Pacific Northwest that was the inspiration for my fictional Grey’s Island, where I combed through the newspaper archives at the public library. I read about war-tine restrictions during WWII, and learned that even chicken coops were subject to blackout regulations, among other fascinating details. The travesty of the internment camps for Japanese-Americans during WWII inspired Eleanor’s determination to keep her friend Yoshi hidden and safe from deportation.

Novelius: Although only The Woman in Red novel has been translated into Turkish, we know that you have written many successful novels. You are a productive writer. How much of this productivity comes from your life experience and how much from your imagination?

Eileen Goudge: I am both blessed and cursed to have led an interesting life. I have known both good fortune and bad fortune, poverty and wealth. I have been married and divorced more than once. And I come from a large family, with five siblings. I’m also well-traveled. I’ve been to many foreign countries, including Turkey. I love Turkey! So many beautiful sights and the people I met there were so nice. Turkish cuisine is one of my top five favorites. So I can draw from my own life experiences in writing about the lives of my characters. Because of that, I never run out of story ideas.

Novelius: Which novel of yours do you like most?

Eileen Goudge:  It’s hard to choose one. I love them all! I will say that the favorites of my readers seem to be WOMAN IN RED, GARDEN OF LIES, and ONE LAST DANCE. 

Novelius: Who are your favorite American classic writers? Also, which authors do you follow from today’s world literature? Do you know any Turkish writers?

Eileen Goudge: Growing up, I read the classics. I was especially fond of Dickens. The first adult book I read, when I was ten, was JANE EYRE, by Charlotte Bronte. I was totally enamored with it. It’s the perfect novel, in my opinion, with all the elements: a captivating heroine, moody setting, dark and brooding love interest, and crazy lady in the attic. I’ve since read it several times. I also love Jane Austen novels.

I’m embarrassed to admit I am not very familiar with Turkish literature.  I welcome any recommendations of Turkish authors.* (preferably ones whose works are translated into English!)

(*) We strongly recommend to Eileen Goudge that a Turkish classic “The Autobiography of a Turkish Girl” (Author: Resat Nuri Guntekin, 1889 – 1956, Turkish writer and teacher.)

Original name: “Çalıkuşu” It means wren.

Novelius: What interests do you have besides writing? How Eileen Goudge spends a day?

Eileen Goudge:  My hobby is baking. I find it relaxing after a day of writing. I am a very good baker. I also love sampling the baked goods of other cuisines. I have fond memories of buying baklava from a street vendor in Istanbul. I was impressed that it came on a real, china plate with a real fork. And it was delicious!

Novelius: You have a cookbook and you are very good with the kitchen. What would you cook for us for dinner if we were your guest? 😊

Eileen Goudge: I would bake you my apple pie. It is the quintessential American dessert, and my recipe is to die for.  In fact, in one compendium it was chosen as the best apple recipe over a dozen other apple pie recipes, including one from a James Beard cookbook.

Novelius: Do you have a novel that you are working on?

Eileen Goudge: I am currently working on a book that is the first in a planned series. It’s set in the Gold country of Northern California and involves a woman on the run from her abusive spouse. I know and love the setting, having grown up in Northern California. And I’ve known my share of marital difficulties, so it’s the perfect novel for me to write.

Novelius: Dear Goudge, thank you very much for your sincere answers to our questions. As Novelius Literature, it is our top priority to introduce good writers and good works to Turkish readers. We wish you, your precious husband, and your loved ones healthy and peaceful days. Finally, can we ask you to give a few small tips to those who are just starting with writing?

Eileen Goudge:  The best advice I can give is the simplest: write, write, write. Every writer I know writes something every single day, even if it’s just a blog post or a journal entry. The only one way to get better as a writer is through practice. I started my career writing freelance articles and short stories for magazines, and eventually graduated to writing novels.

For anyone who wishes to know more about my novels and my writing career, please visit my website at www.eileengoudge.com.  Anyone who signs up for mailing list will get a free copy of my small, unpublished cookbook “From the Recipe Box of Eileen Goudge.

27.03.2022 © Novelius Literature – Mehmet BAHCECI

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