Wisdom of the Ages With Canada’s Queen of Suspense, Joy Fielding
Photo: Toronto International Festival of Authors
What first appears to be a random home invasion and horrific attack reveals a family’s darkest secrets in the latest domestic suspense novel, The Bad Daughter, from New York Times bestselling author Joy Fielding.
The story follows an LA psychologist who returns to the dysfunctional family nest after being informed her father, his young wife and stepdaughter are clinging to life after being shot in their home.
“I don’t really know where either my ideas or inspiration comes from. Suddenly I get an idea and gradually a story starts to form in my head,” Fielding told Zoomer.
“My books are generally about the darker side of familial relationships, and The Bad Daughter is no exception. When I told my daughter, Shannon, the title, she said, ‘Not another book about me!’ (It isn’t.)”
Fielding, who will bring her latest novel to the Toronto International Festival of Authors on Oct. 26, also talked about her upcoming work, All the Wrong Places, set for release early next year, about four women who are threatened by a tech-savvy serial killer who targets his victims through online dating apps.
“I felt like writing a thriller, and the story was inspired by the explosion of dating sites online and how technology has changed everything and made women even more vulnerable than they were before,” she said.
“But the book is more than just a thriller. It’s really more about the four women and their relationships with each other as well as with the men in their lives. I always try to write novels about real women whom readers can identify with and care about.”
Clearly, she must know something about connecting with her readers. The Toronto-based author, 73, has been churning out psychological suspense bestsellers for more than 40 years, a topic she’ll surely be riffing on at this year’s 10-day celebration of words and ideas, the Toronto International Festival of Authors, along with two other Canadian literary heavyweights, Linwood Barclay and Shari Lapena.
Q&A with Joy Fielding
What advice do you wish you’d given your 25-year-old self?
Relax. It will all work out. You’ve had ideas before; you’ll have another one.
What advice would you give your 80-year-old self?
Nothing’s that important. Most things can wait. Relax and enjoy yourself.
What do you know for sure?
Not much, other than that old cliche: if you don’t have your health, you have nothing.
What have you learned?
That there are few things I can’t live without. The most important thing in life is to be kind.