The Shortest Way Home by Juliette Fay Interview & Giveaway

Welcome to Author Juliette Fay

Juliette Fay, author of The Shortest Way Home, won the 2009 Massachusetts Book Award Book of the Year for her first novel, Shelter Me. Her second novel,Deep Down True, was short-listed for the Women’s Fiction Award by the American Library Association. She 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. The Shortest Way Home is her third novel.


Night owl, or early bird?
Unfortunately . . . both. I love the late-night quiet, when everything settles down and my creativity blooms in the dark. If my husband isn’t home to make me close up shop and go to sleep, I stay up ridiculously late. And then I wake reliably at 6 o’clock every morning. No kidding, it’s really annoying. But I do like to get a jump on the day, and it’s nice to have a few moments to check things off my list before the kids get up and start asking me where their homework wandered off to.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
Hearing from readers who say, “Your story helped me.”Before I was published, I never really considered that my novels could provide something other than (hopefully) thought-provoking entertainment. Then I started hearing from readers who’d been through — or were in the midst of — similar problems to the characters, and how they found hope or comfort or a new perspective on their own situation. It’s an amazing feeling to be helpful to someone you’ve never met, and I’m very grateful for it.

What is your favorite Quote?
“Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.”
I’m a big planner. For me, planning a vacation is almost as fun as actually going. Like any minor obsession, it’s both exciting and soothing for me. But things almost never quite work out like you plan, and the fiction writer in me loves that part, too. Drama! Intrigue! A reason to chuck the itinerary and find an ice cream shop!

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Mint oreo. But I really never met a flavor I didn’t like.

How do you react to a bad review?
Like I’ve been slapped. But then the sting wears off and I’m like, “Ah, go jump in a lake.”It’s very easy to get caught up in reviews and stars and recommendations. But then I try to remind myself that I’m proud of the story no matter how others may react, and that’s enough. It has to be.

If you were stranded on a desert island what 3 things would you want with you?
1. A super deluxe tree house like the Swiss Family Robinson had, but with screens in the windows to keep the bugs and monkeys out.
2. A laptop with reliable internet access.
3. My family. (There’s six of us, but I’m claiming it as a single unit because . . . why not?)
Actually, this desert island thing is sounding pretty good!

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
It’s a family drama with a very unlikely main character: an unmarried, childless man, who’s at risk for Huntington’s Disease, and who’s never been in love . . . until now.

What is one book everyone should read?
I don’t think there is one. Everyone should find a book they love and let it lead them to another lovable book, and then another, until reading itself becomes a great pleasure. That’s the wonderful thing about books — from super hero comics to physics textbooks — there’s something for everyone, and it’s all good.

Skittles or M&Ms?
M&Ms, hands down. I find the sugary, chewy, fruitiness of Skittles disturbing.

What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?
My agent gave me this advice once, and it’s made all the difference: Write the book YOU want to write.
Publishing is a strange, changeable, neurosis-inducing business. But if you write the book you want to write, it can never be a waste of time. In fact, it’s deeply satisfying, and no one can take that away from you. And it will be a better product because of it, which will actually increase its likelihood of public success.
It’s the best motherly advice: Don’t try to be someone else. Be yourself. You’re wonderful.
(Either that or, Bring a jacket — it could rain later.)

The Shortest Way Home

Sean Doran has spent twenty years in third-world war zones and natural disaster areas, fully embracing his purpose: to do as much good as possible. But when burnout sets in, Sean finds himself drawn home to Belham, Massachusetts, the setting of Juliette Fay’s much-loved Shelter Me. There, he discovers that his steely elderly aunt, dramatic sister, and quirky nephew are having a little natural disaster of their own. But it’s an old friend — the class wallflower — who has Sean wondering if his destiny is about to be rewritten all over again, in another perfect serving of a slice of life from the irresistible Fay.

“As complex and full of surprises as the well-examined life. This is one beautiful novel, rich with depth and heart.”
— Julianna Baggott, bestselling author of Pure

“Insightful, funny, and tender-hearted . . . full of beautiful and sometimes bitter truths about family, falling in love, and finding out who we are meant to be.”
— Amy Hatvany, bestselling author of Outside the Lines and Best Kept Secret

“With trademark wit and grace, Juliette Fay portrays a man forced to rescue his family as he reaches for his own freedom. Put up your feet, put aside the night, and get ready to lose some sleep.”
— Randy Susan Meyers, best selling author of The Murderer’s Daughters

“Juliette Fay has created a wonderfully complex character in Sean Doran, a loveably conflicted international aid worker who illustrates that it is possible to be selfless and selfish at the same time. THE SHORTEST WAY HOME is a touching and engrossing story about the lengths to which we’ll go to avoid where we’re meant to be, and the way the heart leads us gently back.”
— Nichole Bernier, author of The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D.

“As a longtime unabashed fan of Juliette Fay and her books, I don’t say this lightly: THE SHORTEST WAY HOME is her best yet. Sean Doran is splendidly human: heroic and frightened, charming and exasperating. It was wonderful to watch this wanderer of war zones and disasters come home to discover that loving the people in your life can be as exciting, as daring, as difficult an adventure as any.”
— Marisa de los Santos, bestselling author of Falling Together, Belong to Me and Love Walked In

Giveaway Details:
Paperback open to US only, ebook open Internationally
Ends 11/21/12

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