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Literary Leanings: Questions, Please

August 7-13, 2009

Isabel Gillies, author of Happens Every Day, a poignant memoir about the breakup of her marriage, weighs in on Authors Night and her livelihood.

Photo by David A. Land

Hamptons: Who do you like about events like these, where you can really meet your readers?

Isabel Gillies: It’s an absolute thrill and privilege to participate in an event where you can meet actual readers. I guess the main reason for that is because, for me, one of the only reasons to tell a story is to connect with people. If you get even a small indication that you achieved that goal, well, that is quite satisfying.


H: Have you experienced anything or do you have any anecdotes since writing Happens Every Day that have surprised, delighted, or amused you?

IG: I’m very surprised and delighted by the great emails I’ve received from people who have read the book. I think because of the nature of the title, it gives people a green light to tell me their own stories. I’m finding that no matter where you’re from or what you do, all of us are very much alike, and happily, most of the mail I get is full of hope and positively. It makes me feel like there’s a lot connecting us, even if the circumstances may seem quite different.


H: Did you go on a book tour when it came out?

IG: I didn’t really do a big tour when the book launched. I think I’ll do more traveling around when it comes out in paperback. I mainly read around the New York area. My [current] husband would drive me to these great bookstores like a soccer dad. We had a blast meeting people and trying out the good lunch places. I was reminded how much I like going places in cars, talking to strangers about all things- when you write the kind of book I did it really breaks the ice- and bookstores.


H: What mark do you ultimately hope the book leaves?

IG: Ultimately I hope the book helps people navigate something difficult, even if in a small way.