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New Face: Jody Shields

A closer look at a new novelist

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AGE Fortysomething COMING SOON Her debut novel, The Fig Eater (Little, Brown), set in 1910 Vienna, is a mystery laced with Hungarian folklore and details of perverse medical practices. Miramax owns the film rights. WHERE YOU READ HER She was a Vogue fashion and beauty writer. ”I used visual images to jog me into a mood for writing,” says Shields. ”John Galliano’s over-the-top clothes helped me imagine how constrained women moved.” INSPIRATION Freud’s Dora: An Analysis of a Case of Hysteria. ”Analysis is like detective work. It’s the same search to decipher the riddle of someone’s psyche.” HER CASTING CHOICE Liam Neeson as the inspector investigating a murder. ”He has a real physical presence.” FUN FACT Once an artist, she’s had prints collected by the Museum of Modern Art. HOW SHE CELEBRATED THE MILLENNIUM ”At a party in New York watching the lack of cars and pedestrians — and the fireworks.” THIS YEAR’S RESOLUTION ”To do less obsessive researching” on a novel set in World War I Europe.