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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Story Secrets: FAITHFUL by Janet Fox + Giveaway!

A warm welcome to my faraway friend and fellow 2K10 debut author, Janet Fox!

Even though Janet and I have not met in person (not yet - but there's BEA right around the corner!), we have become fast friends. And I am very excited to introduce you to FAITHFUL, which releases today! And we have a copy to give away!

Welcome, Janet!


FAITHFUL is my debut novel. It’s YA historical fiction set in 1904, with romance and mystery and a unique setting – Yellowstone National Park. I’m most excited about the way that the setting, with its deadly yet spectacular hot springs, geysers, and animals, acts as a metaphor for the novel and the experiences of my protagonist, Maggie Bennet.

FAITHFUL is such a romantic story, and also a family story. Did it come from life?

My husband and I met and fell in love in the mountains of Montana not far from Yellowstone. Years later, when I began writing and shortly after my mom died, I began to think about what Yellowstone meant to me, and Maggie and her story were born.

Jeff and I were on a hike, and I stopped as said, “What if I wrote….?” And that he let me talk through the first ideas for the story. What a guy. No wonder it’s a romance!

Did the writing of FAITHFUL take you anywhere unexpected?

Oh, yes. It helped me come to terms with my mother’s untimely death. And writing and revising the novel helped shape me as a writer. The years I spent shaping FAITHFUL also shaped me.

What can you tell us about your writing process?

It took me almost two years to write FAITHFUL – but then, it was my first novel. I went through any number of drafts, and the story evolved but didn’t change much. The most profound change came after a generous critique by an agent, after which I wrote the draft that caught the eye of Alyssa Eisner Henkin, the agent who signed me in January, 2006. She guided me through even more revisions until we reached what she deemed a publishable work.

I’m all about digging deeper to find truth – how have your life experiences helped you get to the heart of your story?

Oh, I love this question! I’m a grad student right now at Vermont College, and we are all about digging deeper. It’s become my life goal, to dig as deep as I can. I’m not sure I’m there yet. You know, we all have these layers of protection – what we surround ourselves with day in and out to keep from feeling pain. An artist’s job is to peel away the layers and expose the raw interiors. My mother’s death was critical to my emergence as an artist. I’m still trying to protect myself from that pain; we’ll see if I can let it go – I hope so!

Any secrets you might be willing to share?

Hmm. Read FAITHFUL. It’s all there. If you look, you’ll find it.


Wonderful, Janet - thank you!

Here's the FAITHFUL trailer:


We have one copy of FAITHFUL to give to a lucky commenter - just leave a comment below about a) why you'd love to read FAITHFUL, b) some wild romantic thing that has happened to you, or c) an adventure you would love to have! Contest closes on Monday at 5pm PST, please leave a way to contact you.

And if you're following Janet on her FAITHFUL tour, don't forget to visit her next stop at The Book Butterfly. Happy reading and writing!


  1. Well, I want to read this book because 1) I think the cover is GORGEOUS. And 2) I read this line in a summary: "Maggie is forced to choose between who she is and who she wants to be." Just sounds so good!

    And... sadly... I've had very little to none romance in my life so far. But I would LOVE to run off to France and find romance there. That's my ideal adventure.


  2. Holly, wow, awesome giveaway!

    a) I'd love to read Faithful because the summary sounds hot and the cover is breathtakingly beautiful. I mean how the clouds and the land touch together, damn, just lovely!

    b) Hm, a wild romantic thing? Blah, I have a fiance but something wild? Eh I guess we're boring! haha so lets move on to this question c) I'd love to backpack through Europe. The thought of it is exciting and will definitely be an adventure!


  3. I'm excited to read Janet's Faithful because I'm Janet's webdesigner and have been seeing everything on her site for the last couple years leading up to this release. It's finally here! Yay Janet!

  4. An adventure I would love to have would be to backpack through Europe with nothing but the clothes I left in and a backpack.
    Thanks for sharing, Faithful sounds like a very unique story.

  5. Faithful sounds so charming and I would love to read it. An adventure I'd really like to take would be to grab a bunch of friends and go on a road trip up and down the coast, not planning it out and just doing whatever sounds fun! :D

  6. Sounds like a great read - thanks for hosting this giveaway!

    When I was about 8 years old I developed an obsession with koala bears. I read every book in the library on them and eventually started daydreaming about living in Australia. As an adult that is unlikely to happen but I would LOVE to take a long trip down under and explore the land!

    librarianapril at gmail dot com

  7. Janet - I would LOVE to win a copy of FAITHFUL. I love stories in which the outdoors and nature are part of the plot, and this book sounds like a romantic journey right up my alley!

  8. I'd like to read this. I haven't had a wild romantic thing happen to me but maybe that's because I haven't lived long enough yet.

  9. My mother died at an early age. I would love to read your book and what you learned from writng this book.

  10. When I was in my twenties, I went on a couple of cross-country road trips. I didn't realize at the time what an experience this would be. I would love to go across our beautiful country again and appreciate it for the true adventure it is one more time!

  11. Okay let me think about this:

    1) I would love to read this novel because it is written by a woman (you Janet Fox) who has experienced love and wrote it as a way of expressing her feelings giving the characters real, believable feeling.

    2) No wild romantic thing has happened to me that except in my imagination....

    3)I imagine exploring a deserted castle for days on end so that I discover all its secrets and then share them with someone. Someone who will not laugh at my happiness or enthusiasm but join and and laugh with me in the secret tunnels.

  12. Wow. I'm so touched by all these comments. Penny - hugs. And Misty, Dani, Enna, and everyone else who hasn't been touched by romance - you never know when the spark will strike! I was a late bloomer, too, but it happened. :)

    Hugs to you all, especially Holly and Kristi (my fabu web designer.)

  13. the cover makes me want to go out west on some adventure,,,,hmmmmm

  14. An adventure I would love to have is to go on a road trip with my best friend from school :D


  15. It was FAITHFUL's cover that first caught my eye, but the plot has kept me interested. Thanks so much for the interview.

    It might not have been INSANELY romantic, but once my boyfriend took me on a picnic. He made all of my favorite foods, even weird ones, like strawberry noodles. It was so cute to see him put forth the effort!


  16. I would love to read FAITHFUL because I looooove Yellowstone, and this sounds like a really cool book to have the setting there! :]


  17. Very awesome interview, first off.

    An adventure I want to have: My best friend and I really want to take a long road trip somewhere, either towards the east coast or west coast but definitely just figuring it out on the way as we go without any real plan.

    flamingo1325 at gmail dot com

  18. Why I want to read this? Simply because it sounds so great!!

    An adventure that I would like to have is to go to Palau and try scuba diving and exploring the islands there.