I had the good fortune to meet Juliette Fay yesterday. Although she is currently on tour for the release of her latest novel, City of Flickering Light, I caught up with her not at your typical author book presentation signing event, but for a one-on-one coffee sit down. While lots of folks follow bands and sports teams as fans and groupies, I’ve discovered I’ve become an author groupie. Juliette is well deserving of my fandom.
Ms. Fay is a Massachusetts based author of five published books, three of contemporary fiction and her two most recent releases in the historical fiction genre. I read her book about the American Vaudeville business, The Tumbling Turner Sisters, last year as part of my period research of the early 1900s. There are four Turner Sisters, Nell, Gert, Winnie and Kit, who travel across the country in 1919 performing their tumbling and acrobatic act as a means to earn a living and send wages home to their parents after their father loses his job to an injury.
The Turner sisters are a story about family binds who bend and contort their way through the seedier sides of acts occurring on stage and off stage in an effort of survival. Their characters are raw and real and Ms. Fay develops each one as an endearing woman of substance.
When I saw she was releasing another historical novel, City of Flickering Light, which follows three friends into the flickering lights of early Hollywood and the silent motion pictures business, and realized her book tour stops were centered in Eastern Massachusetts, I made the assumption she lived in the area. I took a stab and emailed her. Would she be available to meet with me to impart any tips and suggestions for a first time novelist? In the midst of eleven appearances over two weeks, an upcoming college graduation for her son and planning an international trip with her elderly father, she said yes. There are few people, and I suspect, few authors with such renown, who would offer up an hour of their time to meet with an unknown, green, author groupie. I can’t say thank you enough to her.
In the sixty minutes we spent together, we discussed the importance of networking (obviously!!), connections, confidence, the onus of marketing placed on authors, choosing an editor to help polish a manuscript, finding an agent who matches your style and passion for your story, battles over cover designs, whether to wear a flapper dress for an author appearance about your book set in the 1920’s (yes! do it!) and opinions of a few other authors we have both met. Whew!
Thank you, Juliette. I am so grateful for your time and wisdom. Feel free to follow Juliette through her newsletter and all the normal social media channels, www.juliettefay.com. I’ve already made note when she’ll be on Cape Cod this summer.
#amreading #bookreview #BookClub #historicalfiction #womenfiction
I highly recommend The Tumbling Turner Sisters, and as soon as I finish my autographed copy of City of Flickering Light, I’m sure I’ll have a glowing review post up soon.