Interview with Greg Eilers, Author of Kit & Cassie
18 Aug 2023
What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write Kit & Cassie?
The story behind the story is my own—the unlikely story that became Greg & Julie Eilers.
My inspiration? Why, my wife, of course! Julie and I were on one of our Saturday morning walks. I’d just finished the draft of a novel—before “Kit & Cassie,” I published three novels and two non-fiction works, including my autobiography, “A Roller Coaster Through a Hurricane”—and I was wondering what I was going to work on next. Julie asked if I’d ever thought about writing our story. I replied, “You mean, as a novel? Fictionalized?” “Right.” Three miles and nonstop chatter later, Kit and Cassie were born, along with the sketches of them that never varied when I began writing.
If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of Kit & Cassie, what would they be?
Kit would agree with the choice for myself, Barry Manilow’s “Ready to Take a Chance Again.” When I told Julie my selection, she was on board for Cassie. Kit & Cassie, like Greg & Julie, are the very picture of chance takers, not only in how we two couples plunged into our relationships, but also the way in which we did so.
What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?
I love non-fiction history, both biographies, and topics. For fiction, I cut my teeth on loads of Grisham, Cussler, Coban, and the like. When it comes to writing, though, I gravitate toward relationships and life situations. Life is filled with laughter and tears, sorrows and joys, hopes and fears. I’ve been a people watcher since I was young, and now I love crafting the situations and relationships that elicit every emotion and reaction we experience. When readers tell me I made them laugh out loud or shed tears, and they couldn’t put my book down, man oh man am I ever fulfilled.
What books are on your TBR pile right now?
If this were ten years ago, it would be Grisham and Cussler and Coban, and my pile would cover a shelf! Right now, the pile’s been depleted. I’m sixty-six, and have too many stories I want to tell, so I’m busy writing. When I’m not doing that, my time is occupied with jogging, gardening, cooking, and streaming my fave shows.
What scene in your book was your favorite to write?
Answering this is like trying to tell you which of my children I love most…
Okay, I got it. Cassie and Kit are finally in each other’s presence. Kit has shown Cassie his house, they’ve had lunch, and now they sit on the couch. In an email, Kit had told Cassie that if she could look into his eyes she would see his soul. Now, he says, “Look into my eyes, Cassie. Can you see into my soul?” Cassie finds herself overwhelmed—that this is the pinnacle of all they’d experienced since sharing their first letters (snail mail: it’s 1998). She nods and says, “I can, Kit. Everything you promised is there. I see friendship and hope. I see strength and lightheartedness. I see trust and love.”
Also in an email, those were the attributes I’d promised Julie she would see in me, when she’d written that she trusted me despite not being able to look into my eyes. When Julie and I finally came together, everything was there. It still is.
Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)
Considering what a quirky chap I am, it’s odd that I do not. When I write, I have Spotify playing in the background as I sit at my desktop in my home office.
Hmm, desktop, not laptop, and home office, not Starbucks. Maybe, that’s my quirk!
Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?
I live by the Golden Rule: treat others the way you want them to treat you. It’s my goal to love and respect all people. Also, I long ago realized this: I take my work seriously, but I don’t take myself too seriously. No one makes fun of Greg Eilers more than Greg Eilers!
If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?
“That Eilers is an outstanding storyteller! Now, to check out the rest of his books!”
Seriously, after reading “Kit & Cassie,” I desire folks to be able to grasp hope. It was hope that fueled my Julie and me, which allowed us to take a chance again—even the crazy one we took, allowing ourselves to fall in love without ever seeing each other’s photo—that has paid off in our both enjoying a second marriage that, 22 years into it, has us still crazy about each other. Keep the hope, friends, so that you don’t stop taking chances in matters that might change your lives for the better.
Greg Eilers is the author of the new book Kit & Cassie
Connect with Greg EilersAuthor Site
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