I’m thrilled by the response so far to Cheer: A Novel. Thank you all! I thought I’d give a little background on some of the characters in the book.
Early in the story, one of the main characters, Ella, talks about how she loves her daily early morning walks with her best friend and neighbor Hope. She says they walk more for the gossip than the exercise. That’s a direct quote from one of my favorite women’s fiction authors, Jodi Picoult, who has said the same thing (at book readings I’ve attended and in interviews) when asked about her daily routines.
My favorite of Picoult’s books, by the way, is My Sister’s Keeper. She always inspires me with her topical, readable and realistic family dramas.
A Visit from the Goon Squad is my favorite of her novels — it’s truly innovative, as evidenced by her Pulitzer Prize . Yet Emerald City, a collection of short stories, is actually my favorite of her books.
Canin’s novellas in The Palace Thief moved me profoundly. I’ve also enjoyed his novels, particularly America, America. He has especially inspired me because before he was a novelist, he was a practicing physician — as I’ve mentioned, I, too, had another career before becoming a full-time writer. Interestingly, both Egan and Canin grew up in my beloved city of San Francisco.