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before I Go book cover
First, if we were meeting at a coffee shop I’d be drinking a Latte 🙂
What would you order?
Ooh, I do love a good latte, but I’d probably get a plain old coffee with cream and sugar. I’m a creature of habit.

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer a few questions.  What made you decide to write a story about a Breast Cancer survivor who is dealt the ultimate discovery when everything she wants is in her reach? I really wanted to explore what happens in a young, heady relationship when one person gets that devastating diagnosis — that they’re not going to be able to live the happily ever after. I suppose that sounds morbid, but I wanted to rise to the challenge of writing about a depressing topic, without making it too maudlin. It was important to me to be able to find the funny — even in such a dire situation.

For many readers this is a subject matter that’s very close to their heart via a friend or family member who’s is currently battling breast cancer (or any cancer). Sometimes those strong and courageous people pass away from that long and challenging fight. If those readers, the ones who were so closely affected decide to pick up this book, what do you hope they get out of it? What about the people who have never personally experienced a friend or family member battle cancer?
My greatest hope for both people who have dealt with cancer and those who haven’t is that they have an emotional connection to the book. My favorite novels are the ones that make me feel— the ones that make me cry, laugh, even scream in frustration at the characters’ choices. I would love for others to have the same experience with my book.

I admire you for tackling such a sensitive subject matter and look forward to posting my review this Saturday on my Blog. 

8 Tantalizing Tidbits
1. A Must read book and why? Where’d You Go Bernadette? by Maria Semple It’s brilliantly funny, and who doesn’t like to laugh?

2.What is one place that I should see if I visit your hometown? The Georgia Aquarium. Try to ignore the poorly placed seafood restaurant across the street, though (somebody did not think that through).

3. What is your favorite movie of all time and why?Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. The genius concept, the acting, all the feels. It is everything a movie should be.

4. What was on your playlist while writing “Before I Go?” A lot of Mumford & Sons, Ray LaMontagne, Maxwell, The Lumieers, The Counting Crows, and Bruce Springsteen.

5. What’s your guilty pleasure? Gorging on moose tracks ice cream while watching The Biggest Loser.

6. First concert you attended? Hootie and the Blowfish

7. What are you afraid of?  The usual heights. Snakes. That I have something in my teeth when I’m talking to someone.

Thank you so much for hanging out with me and have a great tour! Thank you!

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Colleen Oakley’s articles, essays, and interviews have been featured in The New York Times, Ladies’ Home Journal, Marie Claire, Women’s Health, Redbook and Martha Stewart Weddings. She’s the former editor-in-chief of Women’s Health & Fitness and senior editor of Marie Claire. She lives in Atlanta with her husband, two painfully cute kids and a huge lapdog named Bailey. Before I Go is her debut novel.