Hi! Today I’m celebrating the release of Shelley Coriell’s charming debut, WELCOME, CALLER, THIS IS CHLOE!
Big-hearted Chloe Camden is the queen of her universe until her best friend shreds her reputation and her school counselor axes her junior independent study project. Chloe is forced to take on a meaningful project in order to pass, and so she joins her school’s struggling radio station, where the other students don’t find her too queenly. Ostracized by her former BFs and struggling with her beloved Grams’s mental deterioration, lonely Chloe ends up hosting a call-in show that gets the station much-needed publicity and, in the end, trouble. She also befriends radio techie and loner Duncan Moore, a quiet soul with a romantic heart. On and off the air, Chloe faces her loneliness and helps others find the fun and joy in everyday life. Readers will fall in love with Chloe as she falls in love with the radio station and the misfits who call it home.
Publisher’s Weekly says: Debut novelist Coriell shows sparkling wit and great skill in creating complex characters with memorable personalities.
And I say: I was able to read this early, via Netgalley, and I enjoyed it tremendously. Chloe is so likable — chatty and funny and quirky — but not in a way that ever seems contrived; I felt like I could’ve plucked her out of the group of theatre kids in my own high school. She starts off a rather self-absorbed drama queen, but she grows a lot over the course of the book as she learns how to shut up sometimes and listen. I loved the relationship between Chloe and her grandmother, who’s facing Alzheimers and a growing loss of independence. From the synopsis, I was expecting a fluffier contemporary romance, and I was pleasantly surprised by the complexities of Duncan’s family secret and how maturely Chloe handles it. I definitely recommend this!
Now for the interview:
Describe your main character in 3 adjectives + a noun.
Chloe is a big-hearted, outgoing, vintage-shoe-wearing radio talk show host
Describe your book in 3 adjectives + a noun.
WELCOME, CALLER, THIS IS CHLOE is a quirky, complex, surprising contemp
Describe yourself in 3 adjectives + a noun.
I am a peace-seeking, curious, rescue-dog-loving daydreamer
If you could travel to any 3 countries, what would they be?
Australia (Whitsunday Islands), Italy (Venice and the Brenta Riviera), China (Zhenjiang) (Jess: I’d love to go back to Venice! *sigh*)
If you could take any 3 non-writing-related classes, what would they be?
Italian, sail boating, quilting
If you could have 3 alternate careers, what would they be?
Restaurant critic, white-water river raft guide, cellist
What are 3 of your favorite flowers?
Daffodils, poppies, irises
What are 3 of your favorite foods?
A perfect peach, black bean lasagna, buttermilk-crusted blackberry cobbler. (Jess: ooh, black bean lasagna? That sounds amazing!)
What are 3 of your favorite books?
Today I’ll go with 84 CHARING CROSS ROAD, JANE EYRE, and KIND BIDGOOD’S IN THE BATHTUB.
Thanks so much for stopping by, Shelley! Happy book birthday!