Best-selling author Maria Semple presents new novel Nov. 29 in Edwards
If you go …
What: Author event with Maria Semple, author of “Today Will Be Different.”
When: 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 29.
Where: The Bookworm of Edwards, 295 Main St., Riverwalk at Edwards.
Cost: $10, includes appetizers; copies of the book are available for $27.
More information: Call 970-926-7323, or visit http://www.bookwormofedwards.com.
EDWARDS — “Today will be different. Today, I will be present. Today, anyone I speak to, I will look them in the eye and listen deeply. I’ll shower, get dressed in proper clothes and change into yoga clothes only for yoga, which today I will actually attend. Today will be different.”
These are the words that introduced Eleanor Flood to New York Times best-selling author Maria Semple. They are the same words she has chosen to also introduce Eleanor to her readers. The author of “Where’d You Go Bernadette?” will discuss her new novel, “Today Will Be Different,” Tuesday at The Bookworm of Edwards.
Protagonist Eleanor Flood will strike a chord in everyone who meets her. Whether it’s the fact that she actually says what everyone else is thinking, the crazy trip her train of thought takes or her blunt and honest opinions of everyone around her, Eleanor is the manifestation of every small, cynical or erratic part inside each reader.
It is characters such as Eleanor that Semple’s fans love. Semple took great solace in reading for most of her life and continues to be a voracious reader and writer. Inspired by her father, Semple made her way into a career in screenwriting. Known for her work on shows such as “Arrested Development,” “Saturday Night Live” and “Ellen,” Semple has always been surrounded by wonderfully weird and interesting people. When she tried her hand at writing novels, she found instant success with readers around the world. “Today Will Be Different” has been equally well received by fans though told in an entirely new format than Bernadette.
“Every novel, you have to start from scratch,” Semple said. “It doesn’t build on the last one. You’re always starting right where everyone else is starting. I wasn’t really thinking of Bernadette when I started to write Eleanor’s story. I started by writing the first page. Once I saw it on paper, it told me what kind of book this would be.”
Told mainly through Eleanor’s first-person experience, “Today Will Be Different” takes place over the course of one day. She wakes up and lays out her mantra with every intention of following it. However, it becomes a lofty goal when her day goes in the exact opposite direction.
“It was very difficult to write a story in one day,” Semple said. “There isn’t much craziness you get in one day unless you’re Jack Bauer. You are kind of confining yourself to low scales. But writing her was a lot of fun. I could let my imagination go. Any crazy thought I had, I could just write.
“I put her in a pressure cooker to see her reactions. You start to read her story, and it’s the same effect of being fascinated by a train wreck. Coming up with her thoughts was so fun, and I feel grateful that the stuff I say happens to line up with what people are thinking.”
Though she may not fully reach her goal, Eleanor’s intentions to be the best version of herself are something that resonates with everyone.
“I think that every day you have the potential to completely change your life,” Semple said. “You always have the tools to be a better person. This is the story of someone who really wants to be a better person but keeps getting in her own way. My first order of business is to entertain the reader, but I truly want to create a really great time in my much more vivid, fun world.”
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