I recently talked with New York Times Bestselling author Emily Giffin about her new book The One and Only. Giffin speaks candidly about her innate passion for sport which inspired her to write The One and Only.
Giffin’s debut best-selling novel, Something Borrowed was turned into a Hollywood movie.
She emphasizes that as we embark upon our trajectory in life, we may walk down many paths and whilst some may not be permanent, one should never let go of their dreams.
Which of your characters do you identify with the most?
“None of my stories are autobiographical, but I have something in common with each of the protagonists. After I finished this book [The One and Only], a few of my closest friends read it, and several of them remarked that Shea seemed more like me than my other characters, which surprised me, because on paper we’re not much alike. However the more I thought about it, the more I could really understand what they were saying. Shea’s voice really flowed for me, and I felt a connection to her, that went something beyond just our mutual love of sports.”
How did you become involved in the sport culture?
“Well, the backdrop for The One and Only is a very colourful one, and it may be different for women’s fiction, but it’s very much about relationships, just like my other books. I have always been passionate about college sports since I was young, and it was a large part of my college experience. I was the basketball manager of the men’s team, and the team really became like a family away from home to me. It goes beyond the game for me.”
What is the main message that you would like your readers to take away from The One and Only?
“I would say that the one thing that I do with all of my books, and in my writing is hope that readers find empathy from my characters. I create characters that I feel are realistic, and put them in situations, and force them to make unsympathetic choices. The theme in this book is to follow your heart, and be true to your authentic self, and to take risks. There are different themes that emerge, but I wouldn’t say that I’m hoping the reader internalizes a certain lesson.”
You changed your career from a lawyer to a successful writer. What advice would your give to someone who is trying to pursue his or her dream, but also at the same time wants a safe career?
“It’s such an individual decision. However I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with pursuing a career that feels safe. I think that no matter what path you choose, it’s not a permanent one. I don’t feel regret for having gone to law school, or practicing law. I would say that you could be practical without letting go of your dreams.”
There has been buzz around Something Blue being turned into a movie. Is this happening soon?
“It is definitely happening. The cast is on board, and I’m writing the script. I’m extremely excited about the project!”
Are you a hopeless romantic?
“I believe in love, and I’m optimistic. I’m more of a realist, and I think that at times we have unrealistic notions about love and relationships. We expect it to be this fairytale that unfolds perfectly, and I think that’s why there’s so much pressure on engagements and weddings to be perfect. When people in relationships make mistakes, there’s sometimes a tendency to say lets just give up and this isn’t what I thought it was. I believe in redemption, second chances, and forgiveness.”