Let’s give a warm welcome to Abby Fabiaschi! Today is the launch of her debut, I LIKED MY LIFE and we’re excited to be able to share this amazing day with her.

First, a little about I LIKED MY LIFE according to Goodreads: In the tradition of Jodi Picoult and Where’d You Go, Bernadette? comes a story from debut author Abby Fabiaschi that is “as absorbing as it is illuminating, and as witty as it is heartbreaking.”

Maddy is a devoted stay-at-home wife and mother, host of excellent parties, giver of thoughtful gifts, and bestower of a searingly perceptive piece of advice or two. She is the cornerstone of her family, a true matriarch…until she commits suicide, leaving her husband Brady and teenage daughter Eve heartbroken and reeling, wondering what happened. How could the exuberant, exacting woman they loved disappear so abruptly, seemingly without reason, from their lives? How they can possibly continue without her? As they sift through details of her last days, trying to understand the woman they thought they knew, Brady and Eve are forced to come to terms with unsettling truths.

Maddy, however, isn’t ready to leave her family forever. Watching from beyond, she tries to find the perfect replacement for herself. Along comes Rory: pretty, caring, and spontaneous, with just the right bit of edge…but who also harbors a tragedy of her own. Will the mystery of Maddy ever come to rest? And can her family make peace with their history and begin to heal?

Abby stopped by to take our Tall Poppy Q&A, where she talks about what’s making her happy these days, where the idea for the book came from, and the perks of this writing life … 

Talk about one book that made an impact on you.
Impossible! But I can keep it to four authors: Stephen King’s On Writing allowed me to consider the possibility that I could write a novel without an MFA; every sentence written by Elizabeth Strout is worth at least two reads; Lisa See and Ken Follett keep me engaged while making me smarter.

Where did the idea for your debut, I LIKED MY LIFE, come from?
I lost a dear friend when I was fifteen. The experience matured me, but not gracefully. I became cynical, hyperaware that everyone has a private hell to hide. I LIKED MY LIFE started with a desire to explore mourning at that tender age.

What’s your favorite time to write and do you have any writing quirks, because, you know, inquiring minds?
My most productive time, creatively speaking, is after the kids go to bed and my office is dark. I abhor artificial lighting. The glass of wine I drink might also be a factor. I have a few writer friends who swear by the 5 a.m. writer’s club, so I tried it, but it seemed like a cruel and unusual punishment. As far as quirks go, why yes, I do: I talk out loud to the point where people assume someone is in my office with me. My best ideas come in my sleep; in the morning I wake up with texts to myself, notes scribbled on tissue paper, and, once, a thought written right on the wall of my bedroom.

What’s one thing that’s making you happy right now?
Fireplaces! We recently moved to Connecticut from Florida. I had forgotten how much I love sitting or reading or writing next to a fire.

What is the best perk of this writing gig?

I once heard the boss of my boss say that the worst part of being rich is hanging around with other rich people. In contrast, the coolest part of being a writer is hanging around with other writers. This year I had the chance to get to know Lisa See, Karen White, Beatriz Williams, Diane Chamberlain … my heart races just typing their names. As an avid reader, I did not play it cool at all.

What have you learned about yourself during the writing and publishing process?
I had tied up far too much self-worth with my paycheck. When I walked away from a career in high tech I didn’t miss a single aspect of the day to day, but I struggled enormously to get comfortable with my value outside of a quantifiable, financial contribution.

Can you talk about what you’re working on next?
My second novel, tentatively titled WHATEVER HAPPENED TO LUCY BISCARO?, should be out with St. Martin’s Press in the winter of 2018. It explores the polarizing hold that memories have on us, and how every decision we make is layered with our past experiences.
Thanks for stopping by, Abby!
ABBY FABIASCHI is a human rights advocate on the board for Her Future Coalition, an international nonprofit organization with a unique prosperity model that uplifts victims from human trafficking and extreme abuse. In 2012, Abby resigned from her executive post in high tech to pursue a career in writing. I Liked My Life is her first novel. She and her family divide their time between West Hartford, CT and Park City, UT.