One-on-One With Best-Selling Author Emily Giffin

Emily Giffin

Emily Giffin, the New York Times best-selling author of “Something Borrowed” and “The One & Only,” is back with “First Comes Love,” a tale of two sisters still dealing with a family tragedy from years ago and questioning the choices they’ve made in life. We talked to the Naperville native about her latest novel, movie plans and book recommendations.

"First Comes Love" by Emily GiffinMake It Better: “First Comes Love” is about so many things — sisterhood, marriage, motherhood, grief, even sperm donation. What do you hope the overall takeaway is?

Emily Giffin: That you can’t perfectly script your life. There will always be bad things that happen to you. But ultimately, we are in control of our lives. We can choose our way and decide to be happy.

You’ve now written eight books. Where did you find inspiration for this book? Why did you want to write this story and focus on two sisters?

It’s always difficult to pinpoint one particular inspiration for a story — there are usually several ideas swirling around at the inception of a book. But I have wanted to write about two sisters for a long time now. Although there have been sisters in several of my books, this is the first time that relationship has been central to a novel — and I think it’s such a fascinating dynamic. Speaking from my own experience, there is no one I love or fight with more fiercely than my sister. It’s a special relationship, for sure.

What do you think makes “First Comes Love” different from your other books?

I would say that the story is less about finding love and more about finding your way in life.

Your first novel, “Something Borrowed,” was turned into a movie. Any plans or hopes that “First Comes Love” will also hit the big screen? Do you have a dream cast?

Yes! We are in talks with a production company now and plan to announce a deal soon. I’m very excited and can’t wait to collaborate with these producers. I really don’t have a dream cast and did not picture any actors when I wrote this book, though I adore Reese Witherspoon and can see her as Meredith. But come to think of it, I can see her as Josie too!

Do you have any writing quirks or things that help you during the writing process?

I wish! It’s mostly just good old-fashioned hard work. At various points during a novel, though, I always plan a three-or-four night stay away in a nice hotel. (One of my favorites is The Peninsula in Chicago!) I get so much more accomplished in complete solitude with room service!

Now that “First Comes Love” is done, what’s next for you? Are you already thinking ahead to your next project?

Yes, I’m always thinking about the next book! But I’m still very focused on “First Comes Love” and my upcoming book tour. Writing a book is like a pregnancy — then the baby is born and ready to be introduced to the world. So the fun part is coming! After my tour concludes, I’ll start writing again — which is satisfying in a different way. I enjoy the solitude and creative process, terrifying though it can be. We are also gearing up for the film production of “Something Blue.” I can’t wait. The chemistry between Kate Hudson and John Krasinski is so fantastic.

You’re a Naperville native and will return there (and Chicago) on your book tour this July. Do you have any plans for your time here? Any favorite restaurants or attractions?

Unfortunately, there isn’t much time for leisure or dining on a book tour. But I love being back in Chicago and Naperville and seeing old friends.

What was the last book you read that you would recommend?

If I Forget You” by Thomas Christopher Greene. Riveting.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Just that I hope everyone enjoys their summer and “First Comes Love”!


Emily Giffin is hosting Girls Night Out with The Peninsula on July 14. Enjoy wine and appetizers before an author talk and Q&A. Guests will take home a gift bag with a signed copy of “First Comes Love” and other goodies. Buy tickets ($35 or $110 for a VIP experience that includes a three-course dinner) on Eventbrite.

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