Monday, July 10, 2023

May Cobb Interview - A Likeable Woman

Photo Credit: Jeska Forsyth Photography

May Cobb is an award-winning author of The Hunting Wives, My Summer Darlings, A Likeable Woman, and Big Woods. Her books have received attention from Book of The Month, The Today Show, and Oprah Daily and have been optioned for film/TV. She has an M.A. from San Francisco State University and her essays and interviews have appeared in The Washington Post and Good Housekeeping. She currently lives in Austin with her family.


When/how did you realize you had a creative dream or calling to fulfill?
When I was in my twenties, I heard the music of the late, jazz great, Rahsaan Roland Kirk. And then I read some of his life story. He lost his eyesight in an accident when he was two, but throughout his life, overcame great staggering odds to play the music that came to him through dreams, often times on three saxophones simultaneously. I set out then to research his story and have been working on that book, on and off, ever since.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
Getting chosen for as Book Of The Month Club Selection for my thriller, The Hunting Wives was a huge dream come true, as was having it optioned for film/tv.

  • Set against the backdrop of the lush, eerie East Texas Piney Woods
  • Takes place over the course of a weekend
  • Has an ensemble cast of characters/suspects
  • Looks at toxic female friendships/sisterhood
  • The character of Sadie creates intricate batiks in her backyard shed, which was inspired by mother, Liz, who also makes batiks.
  • The main character, Kira, is named for Olivia Newton John’s character in Xanadu.
  • A LIKEABLE WOMAN features a book within a book. Kira returns home to her small, East Texas town because she’s lured by her grandmother who promise she has something to give her that her mother left behind, which is an unpublished memoir.
  • The neighborhood in which many of the scenes of the novel are set is based on the neighborhood I grew up in.
  • The dual timeline in the novel takes place between present day and the early 90s.
  • A LIKEABLE WOMAN also deals with twisty wealth power dynamics in the form of a manipulative, sharp-tongued Grandmother character.
Has reading a book ever changed your life? Which one and why, if yes?
Yes. Reading Luis Alberto Urrea’s book, THE HUMMINGBIRD’S DAUGHTER was a game changer for me, a new window into what is possible with writing fiction. Reading his book was like entering a dream I never wanted to wake up from.

Your Favorite Quotes/Scenes from A LIKEABLE WOMAN
“If I can impart one thing to you it’s this: Don’t be like me, don’t be a likeable woman.” – Sadie, from her unpublished memoir, writing to her daughter, Kira.

Can you tell us when you started A LIKEABLE WOMAN, how that came about?
I started writing A LIKEABLE WOMAN in the summer of 2021. I wanted to challenge myself to write a closed-circle mystery, in the vein of Ruth Ware’s In A Dark, Dark, Wood and Lucy Foley’s The Guest List. I also wanted to do a book within a book, like Riley Sager’s Home Before Dark. A LIKEABLE WOMAN is my most personal thriller to date, and also my most emotional. The character of Sadie, who is an artist, chafing against the constraints of her suffocating, small East Texas town, is largely inspired by my mother.

She's back in her affluent hometown for the first time in years and determined to unravel the secrets of her mother's death hidden in the unpublished memoir she left behind...even if it kills her...

After her troublemaker mother's mysterious death, Kira fled her wealthy Texas town and never looked back. Now, decades later, Kira is invited to an old frenemy's vow renewal party. Though she is reluctant to go, there are things calling her back . . . like chilled wine and days spent by the pool . . . like her sexy childhood crush, Jack. But, more importantly, it's the urgent texts from her grandmother who says she has something to give Kira. Something about her mother's death, something that looks an awful lot like murder.

When her grandmother gives Kira a memoir that her mother had been working on before she died, she is pulled into the past and all of the sizzling secrets that come along with it. With few allies left in her gossipy, country club town, Kira turns to Jack for help. As she gets closer to what--and who--might have brought about her mother's end, it becomes clear that someone wants the past to stay buried.

And Kira might be next.

You can purchase A Likeable Woman at the following Retailers:

Winner will receive a $10 Amazon Gift Card.