Juliette Fay’s, first novel, SHELTER ME, was a 2009 Massachusetts Book Award “Book of the Year.” Her second novel, DEEP DOWN TRUE, was short-listed for the Women’s Fiction award by the American Library Association. Her third, THE SHORTEST WAY HOME, is due out October 30th. Juliette received a bachelor’s degree from Boston College and a master’s degree from Harvard University. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and four children.
1. If you could go back in time and give your 12 year old self some advice, what would it be?
Take heart. Life is confusing and hard right now, but happiness is coming. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. Keep striving to be the best, truest you. It’s all going to work out, little girl, in ways you never imagined, better than you dreamed. Trust me.
2. Tacos or Sushi?
Tacos. I just can’t make myself eat raw fish.
3. When and where do you write?
When the kids go to school, early in the morning, late at night. Every couple of months I check into a hotel for a couple of days. I bring food and I don’t leave for anything other than a fire alarm. I write about 15 hours a day, and in 2 days I can get as much written as I would in 2 weeks.
4. What would you title the autobiography of your life?
Sleep is Optional
5. Who is your favorite fictional hero or heroine?
Anne Elliot of Persuasion by Jane Austen. At 27, she’s considered a spinster by her snobbishly wealthy family. Relegated to being the subservient maiden aunt, she nevertheless has a keen eye for the absurdity of the situation.
Years before, she’d been in love with Captain Wentworth, but was persuaded by her family that he wasn’t rich enough to marry. When they meet again, the reader doesn’t know if he still shares Anne’s feelings until he writes her a note, saying: “You pierce my soul.I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone forever.” (Personally, I think “You pierce my soul” has to be one of the best lines of tortured passion ever written.)
Anne stands up to her family, marries her man, and takes to the high seas with him, all of which was pretty shocking for a woman in the early 1800s. I love how she transforms from resigned wall flower to hopeful risk-taker.
© 2012 Juliette Fay, author of The Shortest Way Home
Sean Doran has spent twenty years as a nurse in Third World war zones and natural disaster areas, fully embracing what he’d always felt was his life’s mission. But when burnout sets in, Sean is reluctantly drawn home to Belham, Massachusetts, the setting of Fay’s bestselling first novel, SHELTER ME. There he discovers that his steely aunt, dramatic sister and quirky nephew are having a little natural disaster of their own … and that the bonds of love and loyalty might just rewrite what he once thought he knew about his purpose in life.
“Fay is one of the best authors of women’s fiction, and her novels are not to be missed. A moving, introspective look at what it means to be family, and to be truly home.”
-Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW
“Fans of Fay’s first novel, Shelter Me (2009), will spot a familiar face in Sean’s hometown, and readers old and new will fall in love with the flawed, endearing cast of characters. A beautifully written novel infused with Fay’s generous spirit.”