NPR member station WSKG: Podcast Interview (6 minutes)
Women’s Fiction Writers Blog: Author Juliette Fay Says Worry Less and Write More
Psychology Today: Juliette Fay, Writing My Way to a Happy Brain
Wayland Patch: Juliette Fay: Wayland Author and National Best-Seller
Born in Binghamton, New York, Juliette and her family soon moved to Massachusetts where poor television reception fueled her love of books. Haunting the local library for favorites like The Boxcar Children and Julie of the Wolves, she nurtured a happily nerdish interior life.
Juliette graduated from Boston College with a double major in human development and theology, which qualified her for thinking deeply about the state of humanity, but not for much else. She joined the Jesuit Volunteer Corps and worked at an emergency shelter in Seattle, Washington, started a day care for homeless families, and volunteered at children’s ward in a Guatemalan hospital for the poor. Returning to Boston, she taught at a school for autistic children.
After receiving a degree in public policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, she worked at the state child abuse prevention agency and ran a parenting education program. While all of these jobs gave her even more fodder for ruminating on the state of humanity, none of them paid very well, and she waitressed a lot to shore up her often laughable income.
Along the way, she married Tom Fay, a former Jesuit Volunteer who continued to be smart, kind, funny, and dashingly handsome long after his volunteer days were over, and they had four children. Juliette assumed a return to government work lay in her future; however, fate intervened when she read a really bad book. It made her wonder if she couldn’t do a little better—if she could just commit to paper the stories that ran in her head like movie marathons. She began tapping away at her computer while the younger kids napped, between the fights over who pinched who first, and at night after the older kids had wrestled their homework to the ground.
Juliette’s first published novel, Shelter Me, was designated as one of the ten best works of fiction in 2009 by the Massachusetts Center for the Book, an affiliate of the Library of Congress. It was named to the Indie Next List of the American Booksellers Association, chosen as one of six novels for Target’s 2009 Bookmarked Club, and was a Good Housekeeping featured Book Pick. Deep Down True was short-listed for the 2011 Women’s Fiction Award of the American Library Association. The Shortest Way Home was named to Library Journal’s Top 5 Best Books of 2012: Women’s Fiction. The Tumbling Turner Sisters was a USA Today bestseller and the Costco Pennie’s Book Club Pick in January 2017. City of Flickering Light was published 2019, and Catch Us When We Fall in 2021, and The Half of It in 2023. Her work has been translated into Polish, German, Portuguese (Portugal), Portuguese (Brazil), Hungarian, Italian, Turkish, and Slovak.