Spotlight & Giveaway: The Fun Widow’s Book Tour by Zoe Fishman

Posted April 6th, 2023 by in Blog, Spotlight / 21 comments

Today it is my pleasure to Welcome author Zoe Fishman to HJ!

Hi Zoe and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, The Fun Widow’s Book Tour!

Hi, my name is Zoe Fishman and I’m the author of six novels. The most recent of which is The Fun Widow’s Book Tour, which was published on 3/14/23.

Please summarize the book for the readers here:

Fun Widow is a technically a novel since certain characters and scenes are made up, but Mia is all me. My husband died very suddenly In 2017 leaving me and our tiny sons (5 and newly 2 at the time behind.) It’s a story about grief and gratitude to the village as well as a peek behind the curtain of book publishing.

Mia is a midlist author, meaning she’s perpetually on the cusp of “making it”. She’s a widow of almost three years and still in the depths of her grief when her latest book, a prescriptive memoir about the death of her husband and her resulting widowhood, is published. Her friends organize a book tour for her by arranging readings in their hometowns of Marin, Chicago and Atlanta, and Mia persuades her father Ira to come watch “the dudes” aka her sons. She refuses to let Ira bring his wife Judy; her newish stepmother, because Mia has unresolved and frankly childish issues with the fact that he remarried at all.

Because Mia is so grateful for her friends and the myriad ways they’ve shown up for her and the dudes since her husband died, she plans to “fix their lives” for them while she’s visiting, but it’s never that easy, especially since Mia needs so much fixing herself.
As she flies around the country, Covid begins to take hold and she’s forced to drive home to New Jersey from Atlanta with Judy in tow.

Please share your favorite line(s) or quote from this book:

“Do your best and f*ck the rest” is Mia’s mantra.


Please share a few Fun facts about this book…

  • I don’t know if this qualifies as “fun”, but I wrote this book during the Covid lockdown, when I was virtual schooling my own dudes, who were 4 and 7 at the time. I wrote it in my garage when my mother and brother came over two hours twice a week to help out. The first draft was horrible because it didn’t have any heart and so I poured mine into the second, third and fourth drafts, and Fun Widow is much better for it.
  • Another something fun is that the character of Ira is completely based on my own father, who died in 2019 – two years after my husband. It brought me so much joy to write him back to life.
  • This book was originally called The Book Tour, but after rewriting it to better reflect my own grief, my agent and I brainstormed new titles. The term “fun widow” was actually an ironic joke my best friend and I used often, especially when I was feeling my worst, and Jess (my agent) suggested we use it, hence The Fun Widow’s Book Tour.
  • Since this book is so meta, there was not much research involved, but all of my novels are fueled by Swedish Fish and Haribo.


Did any scene have you blushing, crying or laughing while writing it? And Why?

There’s a scene in the book where Mia remembers her last night with her husband. He had asked her to go to a concert with him but Mia was too tired from the endless demands of motherhood, and daughterhood in this case because her father and his new wife are visiting, to go. Her husband comes home, disappointed to eat the dinner Mia had prepared in front of the tv, only to find Ira (Mia’s father) flossing on the cushion next to him.

“Mia had looked at her husband, had studied his face as he watched the screen, his olive temple flexing with each bite of the lasagna she had baked. He had felt her looking at him, had turned to her and raised his eyebrow mid-chew.
‘He’s fucking flossing,” she had whispered to him about her father.
Her husband had shrugged his shoulders.”

Writing this scene had me feeling all the feels, as it’s absolutely true. We really spent my husband’s last night on earth sitting next to my flossing father on the couch. I had a lot of guilt about not going to that concert with him after he died, but I was so tired and how could I have known? This is one of metaphorical messages Mia wants to impart to her married friends: suck it up and go to the concert.


Readers should read this book….

Readers should read this book because not only is it a peek behind the proverbial curtain of working author-dom, but it’s a tribute to the power of friendship and a study on the ever-changing yet constant state of grief. Also, I’ve been told it’s funny.


What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have in the works?

I’m trying my hand at historical fiction, specifically The Gilded Age on the Lower East Side of New York. It’s a story about a female gangster and her protégé.

Thanks for blogging at HJ!


Giveaway: A print copy of THE FUN WIDOW’S BOOK TOUR by Zoe Fishman


To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: Who was your favorite Fun Widow character and why? Least favorite?

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Excerpt from The Fun Widow’s Book Tour:

“That was so much fun,” said Rachel, plunging a French fry into a pool of ketchup. “We were great up there.”
“We were,” said Mia. She took a fry for herself. She hadn’t eaten dinner, so it was okay.
God, she was so boring. Forty-three years old and still giving herself permission to eat.
“So why do you look so sad?” Rachel asked. She sat back against the maroon leather of the booth and folded her arms across her chest. “You must be missing him, huh?”
“I am,” said Mia. “He should be here.”
“He should,” agreed Rachel. “This world is bullshit. All of these assholes live forever, and the good ones have to die.”
“That’s certainly what it seems like,” said Mia. “You know what I realized up on that stage, though?”
“This book is doomed.”
“Nobody wants to read about death right now. This world is garbage with this fucked up government. I should have made it funny or something,” said Mia, and then she sighed a deep, sad sigh.
“Yeah, I miss the funny Mia. Hashtag funny widow?” Rachel said, making a joke.

“Hashtag fun widow,” said Mia, shaping it more to her liking.
“I should have posted photos from the funeral home, picking out coffins.”
“That’s dark,” said Rachel through her laughter.
“Hashtag fun widow, me crying in the shower,” Mia continued. “Hashtag fun widow, me getting my car serviced. Damnit, I should have had my head in the game, been marketing this from the get-go.” She was laughing now too. It was just all too goddamn sad.
“I’m not fun anymore,” said Mia, once she’d composed herself. “I wouldn’t call you a barrel of laughs,” said Rachel.


Would she ever have fun again? Mia wondered. Now that she knew what she knew—that death wasn’t on a schedule, that she could have the wind knocked out of her literally or figuratively or both at any time—she couldn’t not know it. Exuberance had never been Mia’s strong suit, but it felt impossible now.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Book Info:

From the author of Inheriting Edith comes a brave new novel about the intersection of art and grief after the tragic loss of her own husband in 2017.

Mia used to be fun. She was the class clown; a member of the mile high club; the mom who made her sons giggle with her bad British accent and well-placed tickles.

But three years after the death of her husband, there’s no time for that. She’s the only parent they have.

Now, her memoir is out and she has to promote it. But how to sell herself when her heart is still broken? And so her three best friends—Chelsea, Rachel and George—organize her book tour in their respective hometowns. With her father Ira on deck for the boys, Mia sets off on a week-long journey to San Francisco, Chicago, and Atlanta: her hometown.

Although, Mia’s not just going for herself. Armed with her trademark agenda, she plans to fix her friends’ lives as a means of repayment for all they’ve done. And reluctantly visit Judy, her new stepmother, because she has to—not because she wants to. But even the best agenda is often rendered useless by reality, and Mia realizes that the stories she’s been telling herself are just that. Stories.

If she can rewrite who she is now by revisiting who she was then, maybe she can reignite the flame in all of them.
Book Links: Book Links: Amazon | B&N | iTunes | kobo | Google |

Meet the Author:

Zoe Fishman is the 2020 Georgia Author of the Year. She is the bestselling author of five previous novels and several awards including Booklist’s “Top 10 Books of the Year” and an IndieNext Pick.

She’s been featured on “City Lights” with Lois Reitzes, and in Publisher’s Weekly and The Atlanta Jewish Times among others. Her essays have been published in The New York Times, The Atlanta Journal Constitution and Modern Loss.

Zoe was the Director of The Decatur Writers Studio and a visiting writer at SCAD Atlanta. She lives in Decatur with her two sons.

21 Responses to “Spotlight & Giveaway: The Fun Widow’s Book Tour by Zoe Fishman”

  1. Glenda M

    I’d have to find out a lot more before choosing a favorite character

  2. Dianne Casey

    I don’t have a favorite yet, but I’m looking forward to reading the book. Sounds like a fun read.

  3. Latesha B.

    I am unable to say who my favorite and least favorite characters are because I haven’t read the story yet. It sounds like an interesting read, though.

  4. Laurie Gommermann

    I enjoyed your introduction and excerpt. I could relate as one of my HS best friends lost her husband to cancer when he was 38. She raised her 2 daughters (4 & 2 ) on her own.
    I think my favorite characters from the excerpt will be her friends. You really need to rally round when someone suffers such a devastating loss. Least favorite no idea.
    I’m looking forward to discovering your work.