Today I am so pleased to welcome Liz Faraim to Joyfully Jay. Liz has come to talk to us about her latest release, Canopy. She has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!


Liz has written some questions and answers to share today!


When did you know you wanted to write, and when did you discover that you were good at it?

I began writing when I was a child. I recall typing on my father’s manual typewriter, and producing my first short story when I was around six years old. As for whether or not I am good at it… I’m sure some will say I am and some will say I am not, but I’d like to think that I am finally getting the hang of it.


If you could sit down with one other writer, living or dead, who would you choose, and what would you ask them?

I would like to sit down with Haruki Murakami. He is by far my favorite author, and I have an entire shelf of his books. He is notoriously closed lipped when it comes to interviews, and I honestly don’t know that I have a lot of questions for him. I’d just like to spend an afternoon with him.


How would you describe your writing style/genre?

I’d say my writing style lands somewhere in contemporary fiction, with a dash of action and mystery.


What was your first published work? Tell me a little about it.

Canopy is my first published work. It is set in Sacramento, California in 2004. The story follows a year in the life of the narrator, Vivian Chastain, as she finds trouble in life and love, and adjusts to civilian life.


What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done in the name of research?

When writing Stitches and Sepsis (due out in early 2021) I watched countless videos online of how to remove nasogastric feeding tubes, foley catheters, and stitches.


How did you choose the topic for this book?

The idea for Canopy came about when the idea of the narrator, Vivian Chastain, formed in my head. The actual story arc was never predetermined. I just knew I wanted to write about Vivian, and the rest just sort of happened.


What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?

My goal with Canopy was to tell the story of a regular person who struggles with anxiety, setting firm boundaries, and relying on other people. I think Canopy does a good job of showing the reader that it’s okay to be human. Not every story has to have a happily ever after, and not every protagonist is a hero.


What was the hardest part of writing this book?

Shortly after finishing the first draft I had a very unexpected and traumatic break up. I had sent the manuscript out to my beta readers, and it was almost six months before I was emotionally strong enough to read their feedback and make corrections. So, the hard part was regaining my mental well being and finishing the necessary clean ups.


Who did your cover, and what was the design process like?

My book cover was designed by Natasha Snow. The process was relatively easy on my end. I gave her a bunch of info about the book and *poof* she did an amazing job. The first version that was sent to me was spot on.


As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

As a child I had dreams of being a paleontologist. I spent years poring over books about dinosaurs and building wooden models of dinosaur skeletons. My dad took me to the natural history museum in New York to see dinosaur fossils. Alas, being a scientist requires strong math skills, which I never developed.


If you had the opportunity to live one year of your life over again, which year would you choose, and why?

If I could live one year over, I would choose 2002. I was in my senior year at UC Davis. I played on the field hockey team, had just met my first wife, and had a great job bartending at a lesbian night club in Sacramento. 2002 was a banner year for me, and I would love to live it again.


Tell me one thing hardly anyone knows about you.

Not many people know this, but I’ve been struggling with chronic illness the last few years and have recently had to start using a powered wheelchair outside of the home. It’s been a very rough transition after being a lifelong athlete and avid hiker.


Tell me about a unique or quirky habit of yours.

I am superstitious and have to knock on wood if someone says something that I think will bring misfortune or bad luck.


Were you a voracious reader as a child?

Yes! I flew through all of the typical young adult book series of the 80’s and 90’s and then moved on to adult fiction authors such as Stephen King, Terry Goodkind, and Ernest Hemingway.



Vivian Chastain is an adrenaline addicted veteran transitioning to civilian life in Sacramento, California. She settles into a new routine while she finishes up college and works as a bartender, covering up her intense anxiety with fake bravado and swagger. All Vivian wants is peace and quiet, but her whole trajectory changes when she stumbles upon a heinous crime in progress, and has to fight for her life to get away.

While recovering from the fight, she falls in love with someone who is tall in stature but short on emotional intelligence, and this toxic union provides Vivian the relationship that she thinks she needs. Given Vivian’s insecurities and traumatic past, she clings to the relationship even while it destroys her.

Prone to fits of rage, the spiraling of Vivian’s temper creates a turning point for her as she looks within to find the peace she seeks.

Vivian’s alcoholic brother and emotionally devoid mother serve as frequent thorns in her side, prompting her turbulent history to often bubble up to the surface. The bubbling turns to a rolling boil when Vivian’s brother lands himself in jail for drunken indiscretions, and not long afterward her partner is arrested for something so atrocious Vivian cannot even fathom it. She is left pondering whether or not to believe that the person she loves could have committed such an inexcusable crime.

Vivian’s relationships are strained to their breaking points as she continues to seek balance. She turns to her best friend for support, only to be left empty handed and alone until she finds comradery and care from the last person she would have thought.

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Liz Faraim is a recovering workaholic who has mastered multi-tasking, including balancing a day job, solo parenting, writing, and finding some semblance of a social life. In past lives she has been a soldier, a bartender, a shoe salesperson, an assistant museum curator, and even a driving instructor.

Liz writes contemporary fiction that highlights queer characters and often includes complex polyamorous relationships. Her writing has a hefty dose of soul searching and emotional turmoil while also taking the reader on fun adventures. She loves spending time in nature and does her best to share nature with her readers.


Liz has brought a $20 Amazon gift card to give away to one lucky reader on the tour. Follow the Rafflecopter below to enter. 

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FILED UNDER: Giveaway, Guest Post
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