Sunday, July 1, 2012

FAST FIVE Author Interview with Judith Marshall

Today’s guest for a FAST FIVE Author Interview is Judith Marshall, author of Husbands May Come and Go but Friends are Forever. As the title indicates, her story revolves around the long-lasting friendships of five women. Thank you for visiting today, Judith. One of your reviewers commented that your novel has “romance, mystery, and enough unexpected twists and turns to keep the reader turning pages.” In describing your novel, many people have used such adjectives as funny, poignant, and even a “Sex in the City” like world of friends. Please share with us a more detailed account of this enticing novel.

JUDITH MARSHALL: I wrote Husbands May Come and Go but Friends are Forever as a tribute to enduring female friendship. The story takes place in Northern California, in the spring of 2000, when the dot-com boom was at its peak. Elizabeth Reilly-Hayden is a successful executive in her late fifties and a divorced mother of two. Emotionally armored and living alone, she wants only to maintain the status quo: her long-term significant other, her job, and her trusted friends—five feisty women whose high school friendship has carried them through multiple marriages, dramatic divorces, and maddening menopause. Yet in a matter of days, the three anchors that have kept her moored are ripped away.

The group of lifelong pals gathers at Lake Tahoe to attend to the funeral arrangements of their beloved friend and tries to unravel the mystery of her death. Through their shared tragedy, Elizabeth learns how disappointment and grief can bloom into healing and hope.

The book received the Jack London Prize, awarded by the California Writer Club and has been optioned for the big screen.

FAST FIVE: Congratulations on received the Jack London Prize for your debut novel, Judith. Your characters are ready-made for a movie. Strong female characters tend to lean toward high profile careers. Is “the job” the most important part of your protagonist’s life?

JUDITH MARSHALL: Like many women devastated by divorce, Liz throws herself into her work. As a result of years of tireless dedication and hard work, she rises to the top of the corporate ladder only to have her job ripped from her as the result of an acquisition. She is brought to her knees. Who is she if not the women who walks out the door in a designer suit, carrying a leather briefcase with a confident gait? Someone who wins bread.

Briefly dissuaded, she soon embarks on a search for another, even better position. She’ll show them! But every day without a lead on a job drives the reality of her new life closer to home. It will take all the strength she can muster to find her new identity.

FAST FIVE: The Mystery/Suspense genre is the focus of Fast Five interviews, but what unique twist makes your novel stand out?

JUDITH MARSHALL: At Liz’s lowest point, she learns her best friend, Karen Christensen, has been killed in a motorcycles accident while riding with her much younger boyfriend, Greg Ronelli. Liz suspects foul play and embarks on a quest to find out the real cause of Karen’s death. The end result is an unexpected and shocking discovery.

FAST FIVE: The characters in your novel are well fleshed out. Their life experiences are familiar to many readers who will likely become attached to any or all of the five women featured in the story. Is this book part of a series, and are you working on a sequel?

JUDITH MARSHALL: No series, but I might decide to write a sequel later.

FAST FIVE: This isn’t so much a Fast Five question as an “if/then” scenario: If Paris is not an option, then where would you most like to spend your time writing and why.

JUDITH MARSHALL: I love writing in my own office, surrounded by all my how-to books and other tools. I’m a creature of habit and enjoy familiar surroundings.

For more information about Judith Marshall and her novel, please visit these sites:


  1. Thank so much for the great interview!

  2. You're welcome, Judith. I saw the message you have on your blog also, and tweeted it.

  3. Great interview! As a fan of Judith Marshall and HUSBANDS, I hope to see the story played out on the big screen on day!

    We have a common bond: Judith keeps her friends' spirits alive, while my new book guides people to keeping our mothers' spirits alive.


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