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Q&A: Suzy Duffy Talks About Her Life as a Wellesley Wife

Suzy Duffy, author of “Wellesley Wives,” will be at Wellesley Books tonight. She emailed answers to a few questions to Wellesley Patch yesterday.

“Wellesley Wives” has been on bookshelves for about a month, and author Suzy Duffy has been getting feedback from all sides.

You see, she’s a Wellesley wife herself, but her book goes deeper than what one would expect out of a novel about a typical middle-aged married woman who lives in Wellesley.

Duffy answered a few questions via email yesterday in advance of her appearance tonight at Wellesley Books on Central Street.

Wellesley Patch: Many are talking about your appearance in Wellesley and your book, have you been approached by many Wellesley citizens about “Wellesley Wives?”

Suzy Duffy: Yes, dozens of people have approached me about it. Everybody’s been very positive. I had a few jokes about whether or not they were in the book but I was quick to assure them that it’s a pure work of fiction which is kind of sad because Popsy [Power, the lead character] is just gorgeous.  I’d love if she was real.

WP: What kind of feedback are you getting?

SD: I’ve had quite a few emails from people who’ve read the book at this stage. Here’s a quote: You are amazing. Still loving  WW.   ….  The plot twists and turns keeping me awake at night! … The characters I love.  And then on top of everything, you have the most poetic descriptions of the landscape—LOVE IT…”.

WP: Others have written about the culture of Wellesley. What, in your opinion, makes Wellesley so fascinating to write about?

SD: I’m really focusing on women and women’s issues. The only reason the story starts here is because I live here and it’s a great backdrop.  When I lived in Ireland, I used that. Most writers write about where they’re from or maybe visited. 

WP: Are there some differences between the real Wellesley and the Wellesley that serves as the setting for your novel? What are they?

SD: The entire book is a work of fiction.  One massive difference is I have a five star hotel, smack bang, in the middle of Wellesley because I needed one! To be honest, I really think this town could do with one too!  Don’t get me wrong – I love having friends and family come to stay but for those guests who don’t know when to go home…. It’s great to have a plan B!

WP: What is your relationship with Wellesley as it exists today?

SD: I love Wellesley! I’ve lived here with my husband and five kids for three years now and we’ve all settled in very well. I think the women are intelligent, positive, kind and full of fun… the men are pretty cool too!

WP: Is “Wellesley Wives” well received in other areas around the state or country, or do you have to be from here to really "get it?"

SD: It’s been incredibly well received everywhere! The reviews on Amazon and goodreads have been mostly four and five stars – really amazing!

In fact I’m currently scoring 4.58 on goodreads while J. K. Rowling is at 3.47!! I’m getting similar reviews on Amazon.co.uk, I’ve heard from ladies in Dublin, London, Sydney and Singapore.  All good so far.  One reader even suggested that Wellesley property prices are going to bounce because the town sounded so attractive!

My Agent has just sold the rights to Wellesley Wives to a Norwegian Publisher too.

WP: I’m sure you’ve done public book signings and readings in the past, are you at all anxious to be in front of the citizens of the town in which the novel is set?

SD: YES! When I was a radio DJ back in Ireland, I had to speak to crowds as big as 35,000! That didn’t bother me at all.  I’ve done book signings before too but I always find talking to a group of people I know much harder.  An old school friend had me speak at her wedding once and I choked.  So yes, the home crowd is always more emotional and as such, harder. It’s crazy.  I know that most of them will be friends but perhaps that’s why I care so much.

WP: Can you offer a glimpse into what you’ll talk about tonight at Wellesley Books?

SD: Ah, that’s a secret!  You’ll have to come along to find out…LOL.

Suzy Duffy will be at Wellesley Books to read from her novel "Wellesley Wives" tonight at 7.

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