Monday, May 8, 2023

Carley Fortune Interview - Meet Me at the Lake

Photo Content from Carley Fortune

Carley Fortune is the New York Times and #1 Globe and Mail bestselling author of Every Summer After. Her second book, Meet Me at the Lake, comes out May 2, 2023. It’s a breathtaking love story about two strangers who come together when they need each other most. Once, in their early twenties, and again a decade later.

Every Summer After is Carley’s debut novel and an instant international bestseller. The book is a nostalgic story of childhood crushes, first loves, and the people and choices that mark us forever.

Carley is an award-winning journalist and worked as an editor at some of Canada’s top publications, including The Globe and Mail, Chatelaine, Toronto Life, and the much-beloved, now-defunct weekly paper, The Grid. She was most recently the Executive Editor of Refinery29 Canada. Carley holds a Bachelor of Journalism from Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University).

Carley spent her young life in the suburbs of Sydney, Australia, and in Barry’s Bay, a tiny lakeside town in rural Ontario and the setting for Every Summer After.

She lives in Toronto with her husband and two sons.


Greatest thing you learned at school.
It’s impossible to narrow it down, but one exercise I learned in my journalism program at university was the process of “greening” a piece of writing. That’s where you take out any words that don’t need to be there. I find it extremely satisfying.

When/how did you realize you had a creative dream or calling to fulfill?
In the summer of 2020, I got off a terrible work call and decided I was going to write a book, something I always wanted to do. That book was Every Summer After.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
I love it when someone says my novel kicked off a new or renewed love of reading. I call those kinds of books “gateway books,” and it’s so cool that mine can be that for someone.

What advice would you give to someone who wanted to have a life in writing?
Don’t stop writing! To be a writer, you only have to write.

If you could have written one book in history, what book would that be?
Which book is Colleen Hoover’s best-selling bestseller??? That one!

Can you tell us when you started MEET ME AT THE LAKE, how that came about?
I began writing in the summer of 2021. The idea for the book came to me in the middle of the night, during a bout of post-partum insomnia. I had a clear picture of a classic lakeside resort as the place I wanted to spend time as the author. I knew right away that Fern had returned home to run the place, following her mother’s death.

What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating your characters?
Sometimes I think I understand a character from the moment I conceive of them, which is how I felt about Fern, while others are much harder to get my arms around. I referred to Will as Slippery Will while I was writing, because he was so tough to pin down.

Your Favorite Quotes/Scenes from MEET ME AT THE LAKE
You know what’s funny: I recently did an interview where someone read a favorite passage from the book. Within the section, there were two parts I had considered cutting! One of them is, “I rue the day he was born. I rue the people who held each other close nine months before that. I do a lot of rue-ing as I lie there.” Sometimes it’s hard to tell if you words will be amusing to anyone besides yourself, but I’m glad I kept that.

I love so many scenes, and I can’t pick one. But I’m proud of the epilogue. I wrote it very late in the game, and it made me cry. That’s always a good sign.

What is the first job you have had?
Washing dishes at my family’s restaurant.

Best date you've ever had?
On our first date, my now-husband and I went for sushi and then drinks at a bar, where a random dude walked up to our table and tried to pick me up, right in front of Marco! That never happened to me, and I was thrilled. (I did wonder, though, if it seemed like I paid the guy off to make me appear more desirable, like Cher Horowitz sending herself flowers in Clueless.) My husband and I been together for 18 years, and it hasn’t happened since.

What is the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning?

What is your most memorable travel experience?
Visiting Italy with my husband for three weeks in 2013. We traveled all over, and it was an incredible trip. Spending time with his family in Puglia (I love Puglia!) and stumbling on a community soccer fundraising dinner in a hilltop village in Tuscany are two experiences I’ll never forget.

Which would you choose, true love with a guarantee of a heart break or have never loved before?
I think all love comes with at least a little heart break.

When you looked in the mirror first thing this morning, what was the first thing you thought?

What do you usually think about right before falling asleep?
I wish that both my kids sleep in past 6 a.m. That wish is rarely granted.

If you had to go back in time and change one thing, if you HAD to, even if you had “no regrets” what would it be?
My friend and I stormed out of our high school French class, slammed the door, and never returned. We were protesting what we considered poor teaching, but I wish I’d stuck with it.

What was your favorite subject when you were in school?

Most horrifying dream you have ever had?
I’ve had recurring nightmares since I was a kid. In one of them, I walk into a dark church, where the band from the Muppets is playing at the front of the space. As I slowly approach, Animal leaps over his drum kit and eats me. It sounds funny, but it really was scary. My husband is a drummer; maybe it was a premonition?

Fern Brookbanks has wasted far too much of her adult life thinking about Will Baxter. She spent just twenty-four hours in her early twenties with the aggravatingly attractive, idealistic artist, a chance encounter that spiraled into a daylong adventure in Toronto. The timing was wrong, but their connection was undeniable: they shared every secret, every dream, and made a pact to meet one year later. Fern showed up. Will didn't.

At thirty-two, Fern's life doesn't look at all how she once imagined it would. Instead of living in the city, Fern's back home, running her mother's Muskoka lakeside resort--something she vowed never to do. The place is in disarray, her ex-boyfriend's the manager, and Fern doesn't know where to begin.

She needs a plan--a lifeline. To her surprise, it comes in the form of Will, who arrives nine years too late, with a suitcase in tow and an offer to help on his lips. Will may be the only person who understands what Fern's going through. But how could she possibly trust this expensive-suit wearing mirage who seems nothing like the young man she met all those years ago. Will is hiding something, and Fern's not sure she wants to know what it is.

But ten years ago, Will Baxter rescued Fern. Can she do the same for him?

You can purchase Meet Me at the Lake at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you CARLEY FORTUNE for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of Meet Me at the Lake by Carley Fortune.