“All my life, I’ve had stories spinning around in my head. They were always for my entertainment—I never thought I’d be an author,” says Wayland resident Juliette Fay, who just a few weeks ago published her first book; Shelter Me.
Shelter Me tells the story of Janie LaMarche, a mother of two young children, who is grief-stricken by her husband’s sudden death. Although the topic is certainly a heavy one, Fay successfully twists in wit and humor—making her book both a meaningful and enjoyable read. Her story takes place in a Massachusetts town called Pelham. Though the name is different, Pelham has much in common with Wayland. “I made the towns similar because I love Wayland,” says Fay. “It’s very easy to imagine the goings on in a town like Wayland.”
The town of Pelham itself plays an important role in the story. The recently widowed Janie is able to find solace with people around town, like a fellow preschool mother or the town’s priest. However, she also finds comfort with people she least expects—like an annoying neighbor and a local construction worker. The story itself is not based on any of Fay’s own experiences in Wayland; however, she does use aspects of Wayland in her book. “I didn’t want to call the town Wayland because I needed to put fictitious things in it. But it’s sort of an inside joke between me and my community members,” says Fay.
With four young children at home, all of whom attend the Wayland schools, it’s not always easy for Fay to find the time to write. “The ideal would be to write every day, but with four kids running in and out that rarely happens.” However, Fay’s love of writing keeps her going. “I consider myself a working mom. It’s definitely the best job I’ve ever had—I get paid to do something that I would be doing anyway.”
Currently, Fay is working on another story about a woman with middle school and teen-aged kids. “It’s about the struggle between staying true to yourself and being popular,” says Fay. “The children deal with it in more obvious ways, but adults deal with this struggle too.”
Juliette Fay will be speaking at the Wayland Public Library on February 1st at 3:00 pm.
For more about Juliette Fay, visit her website at www.juliettefay.com