ing writing was akin to having my head in the clouds,
and that I had to be more practical.”
She quit the legal profession in 2001 and moved
to London, to focus on writing. She instituted a “self-
imposed one-year deadline” for working on a book.
If it didn’t work out, she’d go back to law. She began
a book called Rolling the Dice, which eventually
became Something Borrowed. Breaking into the busi-
ness “was very difficult,” she says. “But I am bizarrely
grateful for that experience now. For one, it makes
me appreciate where I am in my career. I never take
it for granted.”
Her Web site,
everything from rejection letters to photos from her
childhood. While other authors might balk at this
level of openness, Giffin doesn’t mind it. “My readers
are amazing—they are so supportive and generous,
and they share so much of their lives with me,” she
says. “So I don’t think of it as being accessible. I think
of it as having an ongoing dialogue with a great big,
inspiring book club.”
Success has led to some interesting opportuni-
ties, including an appearance on As The World Turns
in 2007. The show’s producers called Giffin’s publi-
cist and offered her a bit part. Acting, however, was
tougher than she expected. “It was trying to remem-
ber the lines under the pressure of having a camera
in your face,” she says. “One of the actors remarked,
‘[Acting is] like riding a bike. It becomes easy, but it’s
a hard skill to pick up at first.’ ”
Giffin lives in Atlanta with her husband and
their three young children. She retreats to an office in
her attic when she’s working, and navigates the con-
stant juggling act of being a working mom. “Writing
professionally is like running a small business,” she
says. “I just try to do my best, every day, which is
what all mothers do, whether they work outside the
home or not.”
r gets to know her characters and the relationships
Giffin doesn’t outline her novels. Instead, she
gets to know her characters and the relationships
between them, and lets the plot develop as she
writes. “I love being surprised and inspired
during the writing process,” she says.
She plans to keep exploring new
topics, but one thing won’t change. “I
will always write about love,” she
says. That’s something her fans no
doubt will love to hear. C
Emily Giffin explores the
nature of relationships
By Chris Penttila
LIFE IS GOOD for Emily Giffin.
Her debut novel, Something Borrowed, made the
New York Times bestsellers list in 2004. She followed
it up with three more bestselling novels: Something
Blue (2005), Baby Proof (2006) and Love the One
You’re With (2008). Actress Hilary Swank has
optioned the film rights to Something Borrowed and
Giffin returns this month with her fifth novel,
Heart of the Matter (St. Martin’s Press), a story inspired
when Giffin attended a charity event and heard a
young mother speak about her son’s facial birth defect
and the surgeon who helped them through it. “One of
the things I really like to do as a writer is put myself in
the shoes of someone else and feel empathy for what
that path would be like,” she says.
Giffin’s novels revolve around relationships and
change, two themes she knows well. Giffin had a
happy but transient childhood, moving eight times
by age 18. “My dad was an executive for Sears, so our
family was transferred around quite a bit,” says
Giffin, 38. The changing scenery made her resilient:
“It gave me a perspective, at a young age, that everything is relative and fleeting—for better and worse.”
Giffin earned a law degree from the University
of Virginia and joined a New York City law firm,
where she represented clients such as Philip Morris
and GE. It all looked great on the surface, but she was
miserable. “I’m not sure exactly why I went to law
school when I never lost my desire to become a
writer,” she says. “I think I had the sense that pursu-
Signed book giveaway
COSTCO HAS 50 SIGNED copies of
Emily Gif;n’s Heart of the Matter to give
away. For a chance to win, send an e-mail
with your name and mailing address to
firstname.lastname@example.org, with “Emily Giffin”
in the subject line. Or print your name,
address and daytime phone number on a
postcard or letter and send it to: Emily
Gif;n, The Costco Connection, P.O. Box
34088, Seattle, WA 98124-1088.
EMILY GIFFIN just keeps
getting better. Her latest
novel, Heart of the Matter,
this month’s Book Pick, is all
the proof you need. Tessa
Russon and Valerie Anderson
have little in common, but
are brought together, after a
traffic accident, to face
I read this novel in a
weekend and immediately
wanted to share it with my
friends. Giffin’s characters
are complex, engaging,
relatable—human. And the
story brings up several
questions concerning the
nature of love, loyalty, trust,
forgiveness and friendship.
The book deals with
issues all women face in
their intimate relationships.
And, like life, it’s peppered
with humorous moments.
Heart of the Matter is
available in most Costco
locations and at Costco.com.
For more book picks,
see page 31.
NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND IS
NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN THIS SWEEPSTAKES.
Purchase will not improve odds of winning. S weepstakes is sponsored by
Macmillan, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010. Open to legal residents
of the U. S. (except Puerto Rico) who are age 18 or older at the time of
entry. One entry per household. Entries must be received by June 1, 2010.
Winners will be randomly selected and noti;ed by mail on or before
July 1, 2010. The value of the prize is $26.99. Void where prohibited.
Winners are responsible for all applicable federal, state and local taxes.
Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received.
Employees of Costco or Macmillan and their families are not eligible.
Chris Penttila is a Washington, D.C.–based
freelance business journalist.
Pennie Clark Ianniciello
Costco Book Buyer
MAY 2010 ;e Costco Connection 29