Monday, January 25, 2021

Helen Fisher is ahead of her a book giveaway

Photo by Johnny Ring
We're pleased to welcome Helen Fisher to CLC today. Her debut novel, Faye, Faraway, publishes tomorrow. (Titled Space Hopper in the UK; publishes in early February.) Melissa enjoyed this novel and will be reviewing it soon. You can see her preliminary thoughts on Instagram though! She's here to talk about it, and share some other fun things about herself. Thanks to Gallery, we have THREE copies of Faye, Faraway for some lucky readers!

Helen Fisher spent her early life in America but grew up mainly in Suffolk, England, where she now lives with her two children. She studied psychology at Westminster University and ergonomics at University College London, and worked as a senior evaluator in research at the Royal National Institute of Blind People. She is now a full-time author; Faye, Faraway is her first novel. She is currently working on her second.

Visit Helen on Twitter and Instagram.

Faye is a thirty-seven-year-old happily married mother of two young daughters. Every night, before she puts them to bed, she whispers to them: “You are good, you are kind, you are clever, you are funny.” She’s determined that they never doubt for a minute that their mother loves them unconditionally. After all, her own mother Jeanie had died when she was only seven years old and Faye has never gotten over that intense pain of losing her.

But one day, her life is turned upside down when she finds herself in 1977, the year before her mother died. Suddenly, she has the chance to reconnect with her long-lost mother, and even meets her own younger self, a little girl she can barely remember. Jeanie doesn’t recognize Faye as her daughter, of course, even though there is something eerily familiar about her...

As the two women become close friends, they share many secrets—but Faye is terrified of revealing the truth about her identity. Will it prevent her from returning to her own time and her beloved husband and daughters? What if she’s doomed to remain in the past forever? Faye knows that eventually she will have to choose between those she loves in the past and those she loves in the here and now, and that knowledge presents her with an impossible choice.

Emotionally gripping and ineffably sweet Faye, Faraway is a brilliant exploration of the grief associated with unimaginable loss and the magic of being healed by love. (Courtesy of Amazon.)

In one sentence, tell us what the road to publishing was like for you?
Full of clich├ęs: loads of rejections and loads of tears, followed by a twist of fate that led me to my wonderful agent and subsequently a bidding auction between publishers.

How are you similar to or different from Faye?
Faye is essentially me, so if you find her annoying, you’ll find me annoying! Like Faye, I have two children and she has the same job I used to have when I worked at the RNIB, but I don’t have a husband and Faye is about ten years younger than me. Louis is Faye’s closest friends and confidant in the book; he’s an amalgamation of a few friends I had at the RNIB. All the toys Faye had as a child in the 1970s were toys I had, or that I wished I had. All the food she cooks and a lot of the things she says and does (apart from the time-travel!) are things that I say and do. My parents and close friends have said they can hear my voice when they read the book, and think it’s obvious that Faye is me. But my son, who’s ten, read it, and says I’m more like Jeanie.

If Faye, Faraway were made into a movie, who would you cast in the leading roles?
I can picture Reese Witherspoon as Faye, and when I was writing Jeanie, I always imagined her as a younger Julia Roberts, but of course, Jeanie is in her twenties (younger than Faye) so someone with a soft face and a wide smile, like Alicia Vikander. I can see Paul Rudd as Louis. And anybody drop-dead gorgeous for Eddie.
Since a lot of the story takes place in the 1970s, tell us something you love about or from that time period.
As a child, Faye receives a pair of roller skates, the kind that strapped over your shoes and had metal wheels that made a lot of noise on the sidewalk. I had skates just like that, and I loved them. Also, just like Faye when she is with Em and Henry, on Sunday nights we used to have soup in cup-a-soup cups and toast, and eat in the lounge watching gameshows on TV. My favourite TV shows in the seventies were The Dukes of Hazzard and Happy Days.

What is the last book you read that you would recommend?
Am I allowed two? For anyone who writes or wants to write, I am reading Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, which is making me feel so much better. It was recommended to me by a writer friend when I was having a writing crisis recently, and I’m reading it like I’m taking medicine. A book I have loved and recommend is Leonard and Hungry Paul, by Ronan Hessian. I love the way it’s written, and how it follows two men in their thirties who live with their parents, play board games, enjoy their work and are kind. And as ordinary as that sounds, it’s not “normal”. Beautifully written and bursting with heart, I needed both Leonard and Hungry Paul in Lockdown.

What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?
The other evening my children called out for me in voices usually reserved for something a bit spooky on TV. I found them wide-eyed, clutching each other, on top of my daughter’s bed and they whispered that there was an animal underneath it. I’m used to their pranks so I casually got the torch and – not the least bit nervous – I laid on the bedroom floor and shone the light under the bed. They were right! Something furry and about the size of a large rat was crouched underneath between two boxes. I leapt up on to the bed with the kids and we stayed there for half an hour, terrified, trying to decide if it was dead or not. We agreed it must be an animal that Bear - our cat - had dragged in from outside (although he is not a good hunter). So, we called and called for Bear, and eventually he joined us in the bedroom, sat on the floor, licked a paw and looked at us like we were idiots. We held our breath as he disappeared under the bed, wondering who would win the fight under there. He reappeared a minute later, victorious, with the culprit in his teeth: a large furry bobble from a bobble hat, which he must have torn off at some point. The imagination is a powerful thing!

Thanks to Helen for chatting with us and to Gallery for sharing her book with our readers.

How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. If you have trouble using Rafflecopter on our blog, enter the giveaway here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends January 31st at midnight EST.


Melissa said...

The music is a true highlight of the '70s!

Padmini Rao said...

I loved the tv shows of the ‘70s lots of classics like Three’s Company, Happy Days, and Laverne and Shirley

Carla S. said...

Love the music of the 70s! I listen to it all the time.

Suburban prep said...

When I was a younger I liked the Little House in the Prairie that was filmed in the 70's

traveler said...

The 70's was a time that was meaningful and special for me. I got married in 1970 and life was beautiful and enjoyable.

Anonymous said...

Karen B
My youngest son was born in the 70s.

Nancy said...

I liked the grocery prices in the 1970's.

allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

Mary C said...

1970's music

Jess said...

Definitely the music!

Rita Wray said...

I like the music.

Pamela said...

I love the movies and music from the 70's, particularly Saturday Night Fever!

diannekc said...

Definitely, the music!

Mary Preston said...

I was in High School in the 70's. I did have a great group of friends.

bn100 said...


Linda Kish said...

I liked the clothes.

Nancy P said...

The music was great but it was also a great time to grow up.

rubynreba said...

My daughter was born in 1971!

Annmarie Weeks said...

I was a kid in the 70s, so there's a lot I love from those years just for nostalgia sake! I love that we could go play & bike ride & go to friends' houses & explore for all-day-long without worrying too much about safety. Everything seemed a lot more relaxed back then!