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!
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:
AND NOW THE GIVEAWAY:
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!