Janet Fox is the debut author of Faithful, which will be released May 13, 2010!
Describe your newest book Faithful in three words.
Romance, mystery, Yellowstone.
Describe your main character Margaret in one sentence.
Maggie is trapped by society’s expectations, but she discovers what she really wants when she is forced to choose between security and love.
If you could give Margaret advice, what would you say?
I would tell Maggie to trust herself. And I’d tell her to examine her heart to discover what truly matters. I’d also tell her that sometimes you have to look inside to find what you think you’ve lost.
If Faithful had a theme song, what would it be?
Can I pick two? Every time I hear “All I Need” (Radiohead) I think about Maggie; and “Swallowed in the Sea” (Coldplay), works, too. I’d love suggestions for more!
What was your favorite aspect of writing Faithful?
Writing about Yellowstone. It’s so beautiful; there’s so much to say. I have a real emotional attachment to the place.
What made you choose to have Faithful’s setting be at Yellowstone National Park?
I thought it would be interesting to take a girl into Yellowstone at a time when girls didn’t have many choices, and when the Park was fresh and new, and see what could happen to my character there.
How did the title Faithful come to be?
First, I wanted to spark a connection with Yellowstone (Old Faithful) and second, my character needs to find faith in herself and in what matters most in life. Maggie has to learn how to be faithful to what’s important. And she has to learn to trust people who care about her, to have faith in them.
I absolutely adore the cover of Faithful, which leaves me to wonder what your reaction was when you saw it for the very first time.
Thank you!! When I saw it, I swooned. Seriously – I absolutely love the cover. It’s gorgeous; it captures the place; it captures the story; it captures Maggie.
I’m excited, and nervous (it’s been such a long time coming), and I hope readers love it.
I saw on your website that you’ve also written a book for children titled Getting Organized Without Losing It, which leaves me to wonder if writing Faithful was different in any ways from writing that?
Oh, yes, completely different. I wrote Get Organized for my young son (not young any more!) It’s a guide for middle graders, and its non-fiction. It had to be structured and funny, so kids would “get it.” Faithful also had to be structured, but in terms of crafting – finding the best scene to put my character in so that she could grow through conflict.
What were you like as a teenager? Were you similar to Margaret in any ways?
Hmm. There’s a bit of me in all my characters…but when I’m writing I try to become someone else and inhabit that person. It’s a bit like acting, I think. Maggie cares about different things than I did as a teen, and her mother disappears (mine didn’t), and her grandparents are mean (mine weren’t) and she is being forced into an awful marriage (I wasn’t). So I have to relate to how she feels by putting myself inside of her, so that I can express her emotions throughout the story.
What are some really great books you’ve read recently?
I liked both The Hunger Games and Catching Fire (Suzanne Collins); I liked Rebecca Stead’s When You Reach Me, the Newbery winner; I thought Carrie Jones’s Need was fun, as was Kristin Cashore’s Fire.
What’s your typical day like?
I try to do a quick email check in the morning and then work on my current project until mid-afternoon. Then I tend to publicity or things I have to get done for my family; and then in the evening I generally write or read. At the moment I’m an MFA student at Vermont College of Fine Arts, so I’m busy with work for that – writing and reading – and preparing for the launch of Faithful.
What’s up next for you book-wise?
I’m working on another book for my editor at Penguin, Jen Bonnell; it’s a follow-up to Faithful but set in 1906 in San Francisco, the time of the great earthquake and fire, and it follows a young girl who is caught up in these events. At the moment the title is Forgiven.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Readers can check my website for more information (http://www.janetsfox.com/) and follow me on my blog (http://www.kidswriterjfox.blogspot.com/) and my son made me a great book trailer that readers can view at http://bit.ly/faithfultrail
Thanks Janet! I wish you the best of luck with Faithful! :)