An Enterprising Fabulist: Our Q&A with LA Author Jay Bushman


Having read and enjoyed his Novel Advice, I emailed Jay Bushman to see if he’d be up for answering some questions.  Kindly, he agreed. (This interaction has been enough to prompt me to finally check out The Lizzie Bennet Diaries (a web series based on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice), which I’ve been hearing good things about since 2012.)  Here’s what he had to say:

Our Q&A with Jay Bushman

Name: Jay Bushman

Position: writer, producer, social media storyteller, “enterprising fabulist” as per Vanity Fair

Date: February 17, 2021

I liked reading Novel Advice and your take on some of the classics.  Do you have a favorite work from the literary canon?  (Or maybe a few favorites?)

One of the privileges of getting to write this book meant that I could make sure to include some of my favorites. There were originally going to be more letters from characters in Hamlet and Moby Dick, but I was persuaded to restrain myself.

I’m glad you were able to spread the love around a bit! Is there a literary work that you’re supposed to appreciate but you just don’t?

I’m not really a fan of Gone With The Wind. Finding a way to overcome my personal feelings and to engage with the story on its own terms was a key early learning that helped inform the rest of the book.

That makes sense.  Scarlett O’Hara is a tough character to like–she’s really monstrous in some ways.  But she is also a very strong, tough character, very memorable. 


What is your favorite children’s book?

Any of the classic 80s Choose Your Own Adventures books.


If you could give everyone in the country a reading assignment, what would it be?  What should we all read?

Fallen Founder, by Nancy Isenberg. An incredible biography of Aaron Burr.

I’m unfamiliar with that one.  I should check it out.  (My to be read list is very long and getting longer!) 


What is your next project?  Is there anything you’re working on that you’d like to share?

Later this year, keep an eye out for something with my name on it over at Hunt a Killer.

Sounds intriguing!  Lastly, what’s the best advice you’ve been given?

“After enlightenment, the laundry.”

Can’t argue with that.  Thank you for your time!


Laura LaVelle is an attorney and writer who lives in Connecticut, in a  100-year-old house, along with her husband, two daughters, and a cockatiel.

Laura can be contacted at


Other Q&As by Laura LaVelle

Alexi Auld, author

Simeon Bankoff, Executive Director, Historic Districts Council

* Eric Bennett, author

*Lydia Bourne, Rastrello

Victor Calise, NYC Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities

Alexander Campos, Executive Director, Center for Book Arts

* Victor Carinha, Journey Lab

Mark Cheever, Friends of Hudson River Park

Yvonne Chu, Kimera Design

*Claudia Connor, International Institute of Connecticut

Sarah Cox, Write A House

Betsy Crapps, founder of Mom Prom

Cynthia Davis, Our Woven Community

* Ameet Dhillon, US-Africa Housing Finance

Margaret Dorsey, anthropologist

Mamady Doumbouya, Jonathan Halloran, & Robert Hornsby, founders of American Homebuilders of West Africa

Wendy Dutwin, Limelight Media

Kinsey Dyckman, Board Member, Dyckman Farmhouse Museum

Rhonda Eleish & Edie van Breems, interior designers

Martha Albertson Fineman, law professor

John Fletcher, photographer

Christopher Fowler, author

*Guy Fraser-Sampson, author

Bob Freeman, Committee on Open Government

Les Friedman, Mikey’s Way Foundation


Dr. Ramis Gheith, pain management physician

Robert Girardi, author

Carrie Goldberg, internet privacy and sexual consent attorney

Alex Gruhin, co-founder of Nightcap Riot

Leslie Green Guilbault, artist, potter

David Halloran, City Running Tours

Bill Harley, children’s entertainer and storyteller

Tracey Hecht, author, Fabled Films creative director

Garnet Heraman, brand strategist for Karina Dresses, serial entrepreneur

Meredith Sorin Horsford, Executive Director, Dyckman Farmhouse Museum

Margaret Pritchard Houston, author and youth worker

Camilla Huey, artist, designer

Dr. Brett Jarrell & Dr. Walter Neto, founders of Biovita

Michelle Jenab, anti-racism activist

Beth Johnson, Townsend Press editor

Mahanth Joishy, founder of United States – India Monitor

Alexandra Kennedy,  Executive Director, Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art

Jim Knable, playwright and musician

Jonathan Kuhn, Director of Art & Antiquities for NYC Parks Department

Elizabeth Larison, Director of Programs for apexart

Ann Lawrence, Co-Founder of Pink51

Jessica Lee, dancer, Sable Project Administrator

Najaam Lee, artist and sickle cell advocate

Devoney Looser, English professor

Amy Losek, author

Chris Mallin, theorem painting teacher

Melanie Marks, CT House Histories

Anthony Monaghan, documentary filmmaker

Ellie Montazeri, Tunisian towel manufacturer

Heather-Marie Montilla, Executive Director, Pequot Library

Lorin Morgan-Richards, author

Zoe Mulford, folk singer/songwriter

Yurika Nakazono, rainwear designer, Terra New York

Jibrail Nor, drummer

* Doreen Odom,  Mental Health Project, Urban Justice Center

Nick Page, composer, song leader, conductor

Craig Pomranz, cabaret singer, children’s book author

Alice Quinn, Executive Director, Poetry Society of America

Laurie Richter, 100 Who Care Alliance

Ryan Ringholz, children’s shoe designer, Plae Shoes

*Carrie Roble, Park Over Plastic / Hudson River Park Trust

Alanna Rutherford, Board Member, Andrew Glover Youth Program

Deborah Ryan & Frank Vagnone, Historic House Anarchists

Steve Sandberg, musician

Bill Sanderson, author, reporter, and editor

Lawrence Schwartzwald, photographer

Rose Servitova, author

* Lisa Shaub, milliner

Marjorie Silver, law professor

Peter Sís, writer and illustrator

Charlotte Smith, blogger, At Charlotte’s House

Patrick Smith, author and pilot

Juliet Sorensen, law professor

Jeffrey Sumber, psychotherapist and author

Diana Swartz, Liger Leadership Academy

Rich Tafel, life coach and Swedenborgian minister

*Jonathan Todres, law professor

Andra Tomsa, creator of SPARE app

Maggie Topkis, mystery fiction publisher

Pauline Turley, Irish Arts Center

Vickie Volpano, Goodwill of Western and Northern Connecticut

Carol Ward, Executive Director, Morris-Jumel Mansion

Krissa Watry, Dynepic & iOKids

Adamu Waziri, creator of children’s television program Bino and Fino

Ekow Yankah, law professor

Brigit Young, author