Interview with Valerie Nifora, Author of The Fairmounts

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What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write The Fairmounts?

Full disclosure it was a dream I had. I dreamt the entire story and when I woke up in the morning, I thought, Oh! I have to write that down before I forget it. So, I opened my laptop, and I could hear my main character’s voice, Harry, just flowing through my fingertips onto the page. That’s how it all started.

If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of The Fairmounts, what would they be?

Oh, I like that question. That makes me think a little bit. So, for John Fairmount, I would say: The Phantoms – Watch Me. For Lois Fairmount: The Police – Every Little Think She Does Is Magic. For Harry LaCroix: DJ Snake ft. Justin Bieber – Let Me Love You. For Mary Whitcombe: Adele – Someone Like You.

What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?

Well, I don’t really read all that much. I know, how strange, a writer who never reads! I’m just being honest.

I tend to re-read the things I like. So, Hawthorne’s short stories, Twice-Told Tales or The Blithdale Romance. I like Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca and My Cousin Rachel. I’ve read Peter S. Beagle’s The Last Unicorn countless times. And of course, The Fairmounts I’ve read at least thirty times so far and I love it each time, that last chapter always gets me.

What books are on your TBR pile right now?

None. I’m writing the sequel to The Fairmounts and I don’t want to be distracted by another story or another writing style. So, right now, I’m spending time with my characters and letting them tell me their story.

What scene in your book was your favorite to write?

I have two actually. The first is when Mary runs off into the woods surrounding Huntington House and Harry runs after her. In his pursuit, he tackles her to the ground to get her to stop running and he tells her to look up at the way the trees are so tall they’re forming an arch and it’s blocking out the sun. And, he tells her that whatever she’s running from, whatever darkness she’s trying to escape through, is only blocking the sun. And in life we can’t go hide in the darkness, because it will always prevent us from seeing the beauty of the light. There’s more that happens obviously, but I love that scene and that image and what it represents.

The second is a wonderful fight scene between Harry and John Fairmount, and I’m going to leave that one alone so when you get to it, you can enjoy it.

Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)

I suppose my only quirky writing habit is that I write when the muse strikes and when I can write. Mostly on Saturday mornings when everyone in the house is sleeping and I can get a few hours of quiet to myself. I think Moms can relate to that one.

I’m also a massive tea drinker. So, it’s black tea, milk, sugar, quiet, and my computer.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

Yes. Life is beautiful. People make it ugly. So, don’t make it ugly.

If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?

I hope that they remember you can create something good out of broken pieces.


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