Colleen Oakley is an Atlanta-based writer. Her articles, essays, and interviews have been featured in the New York Times, Ladies’ Home Journal, Marie Claire, Women’s Health, Redbook, Parade, and Martha Stewart Weddings. Before she was a freelance writer, Colleen was editor-in-chief of Women’s Health & Fitness and senior editor at Marie Claire.
Before I Go is her debut novel.
From Oakley's Q & A with Danielle Gouletas at Muses & Visionaries Magazine:
M&V: What was your inspiration behind your main characters Daisy and her husband?Visit Colleen Oakley's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.
OAKLEY: About six years I got the very difficult assignment to interview a young woman who was dying of metastasized breast cancer. It was tough for obvious reasons, but also because we were both around the same age (late 20s) and we were both newlyweds at the time. I instantly connected with her, and though we only spoke for about 20 minutes, I just couldn’t shake the interview for days after. I lied awake in bed next to my snoring husband and wondered not just what I would do in her shoes, but what my husband would do. We were so young, and I knew he would obviously remarry at some point, and I wondered what his new wife would be like — and then, what I would want her to be like. And that’s when I had the spark of the idea — what if you could choose your replacement, the person who would marry your spouse after you were gone?
M&V: What did you learn throughout this whole process?
OAKLEY: So many things! Mostly that writing fiction is hard, but it’s also the best job in the world. I get paid to literally make stuff up. So it’s kind of like being Rush Limbaugh, but...[read on]
The Page 69 Test: Before I Go.
Writers Read: Colleen Oakley.