These stories about the lives of twelve friends will definitely leave you wanting for more.
About the author
Ann Pearlman is a writer of both fiction, and non-fiction books and has been passionate about writing since eighth grade. She is the author of eight books, both fiction and non-fiction. Infidelity was nominated for both the Pulitzer and National Book Award and made into a Lifetime movie by Lionsgate. The Christmas Cookie Club was translated into six languages. A Gift for My Sister: a Novel came out in 2012. Ann was born in Washington D.C. and, as a child, moved around several Midwestern cities, most notably Chicago and Pittsburgh. After moving to Cleveland, Toronto, Cincinnati, and Kalamazoo, she settled in Ann Arbor, where The Christmas Cookie Club is set. Ann received an undergraduate degree in Anthropology, and a graduate degree in Clinical Social Work and maintains a private psychotherapy practice in Ann Arbor. She studied writing at the University of Michigan, attended workshops at Sewanee and Squaw Valley Writers’ Conferences.
Q: What was the idea that triggered “The Christmas Cookie Club”?
A: I had been writing fiction for some time and have won prizes for short stories from small literary magazines. I also had written several novels that had not found a home, one back in high school. When I first attended a cookie party in 2000, I knew it would make a great setting for a novel about women’s friendships. I started notes for it then. Writing another non-fiction book (Inside the Crips )interrupted the project. I returned to it in the winter of 2008.
Q: Are any of the characters based on real-life people you know? If yes, which ones?
A: Yes. Charlene in Christmas Cookie Club was based on a heartbreaking incident in a friend’s life. I showed her what I wrote when it was still in a draft stage and made certain it felt all right with her. She thanked me very much for what I wrote, the part I had fictionalized ended up being especially meaningful to her. She then asked me to include a scene from her life that no one else knew. Of course I did. I acknowledged her. Other spectacular things happened for her as a result of this. Her wonderful personality, my love and regard for her were evident in my writing and the way we both handled the situation brought us closer.
I wrote about this in my blog. Here’s the link: http://www.annpearlman.net/blog/a-year-of-the-christmas-cookie-club-novel/
Q: What were the most difficult parts to write and why?
A: There were no parts that were difficult, but I had thought about it and written notes for the novel for almost a decade. I had to do research for the part on the ingredients, which was both fun and educational.
Q: Do you feel emotionally attached to your characters?
Absolutely!! I’m very attached to them, and can’t stop writing about them. A Gift For My Sister is about Marnie’s daughters, Sky and Tara. Sissy and Allie are also in the novel. I am still writing about the characters.
Q: Did you laugh, cry and fear the unknown along with your characters?
I feel the emotions of my characters while I’m writing so when I write sad scenes, tears stream down my cheeks. I laugh with glee at the happy ones.
Q: What do you think makes a good author these days?
A: I think good writing and a good story is timeless. We want people we care about, and an exciting story. We want to learn something or think about the world in a slightly new way. My sense is “these days” people are writing about the fanciful, impossible to speak about what is going on in the world and express their concerns. The Hunger Games trilogy is an example of that.
Q: Would you change your style to suit the masses or would you rather write for a niche genre that has solid fans?
A: I have purposely written prose that can be read by anyone with a high school reading level. I want to reach people; this was also true for my non fiction books. So it’s very important to me to contact the masses because you can touch so many and make a difference in so many lives. However, I have to give people my authentic best. Trying to pander to what a publisher thinks some demographic will buy is folly. The writer is betraying herself/himself. Besides, fads change rapidly.
Q: How can people contact you for feedback?
I can be contacted by:
I want to make sure that you know my second novel, A Gift for My Sister is out in both the U.S and the U.K., and receiving lots of attention especially in Australia.