Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (March 8, 2011)
Miss Scarlet’s School of Patternless Sewing is the story of a juggler…no, it only seems like it. Scarlett Santana has given up life as an engineer for her true love of sewing. Her goal is to attend a mentoring program in New York City held by the nephew and heir apparent of her favorite designer and muse Daisy de la Flora. In order to raise tuition she’s working for an Arizona designer, sewing quinceanera dresses for her aunt’s business, blogging, teaching a sewing class in patternless sewing, selling dresses online. Her dream seems within her reach when a change in the class deadline results in Scarlett’s carefully laid plans falling apart.
If characters were described in colors, Cano-Murillo’s would be the brightest colors of the rainbow! They leap right off the page, each so incredibly distinct you feel as if you’re reading a book about your friends. Even characters that seem unimportant when first introduced each have their own moment to burst to life and surprise readers. Although the main story is Scarlett’s, Cano-Murillo doesn’t neglect the other characters, just letting them be the foil for Scarlett’s crazy plans. They all have their own lives, problems, and plans which she reveals. They’re so richly drawn I could eagerly look forward to a book starring each character in Miss Scarlett’s School of Patternless Sewing.
Like real life, this book is a combination of many things: a career story, a love story(or is it two love stories?), a tragedy, a mystery, a circle of friends. Cano-Murillo succeeds in drawing you in, letting you believe that you know exactly what’s going to happen then BAM! she spins you around and takes you in a new direction. Fasten your seatbelt and read this book.
Thanks to the generosity of Grand Central Publishing I’m giving away one copy of Miss Scarlet’s School of Patternless Sewing. Comment to enter and I’ll be announcing the winner on March 22.
And thanks to Kathy Cano-Munrillo for taking the time to answer questions for 5Ws. So here’s the scoop on Kathy, the Crafty Chica and Author!
Where did your creativity get its biggest boost?
My love of writing began in fifth grade in Language Arts class. We had a weekly assignment to write an essay about something that happened at home and then draw a picture to go with it. This assignment would seal my fate – as a reporter with feature stories and accompanying photos, also as a writer and an artist. I used to take a funny incident that happened at home that lasted a few minutes and turn it into a wild sitcom-like story. One time my teacher had me read my story out loud to all of the 5th grade students (about a hundred of them). It was one of the best moments of my life and set me on track for my future.
What jobs do you have besides novelist?
I’m a former newspaper features reporter turned craftyprenuer and novelist.
Who is your favorite author?
Authors I love: Fannie Flagg, Sophie Kinsella, Laurie Notaro, Maria Amparo Escano, Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez, Reyna Grande.
When did you decide to switch from craft writing to fiction writing?
When I first got married I stopped reading novels because right away we had two kids and we had just launched our art business. But then The Dirty Girls Social Club came out and I had heard about it on CNN and was beyond curious. It turned out that the author was in town for a book reading so I took my kids with me and bought the book. That triggered my addiction again and I haven’t stopped since!
Why do you enjoy writing so much?
I’m usually juggling six to eight projects at a time. When I read, it makes everything stop and gives me time to decompress and reboot. And when I’m writing, I feel like it’s a way I can live a different life and do things and go places I wouldn’t be able to in my own life. I love that feeling. I love the feeling when the characters come alive and make my fingers dance across the keyboard with their stories!
Don’t forget to leave a comment to win Kathy’s fabulous novel! And here’s a question, why has fabulous suddenly become my favorite word?