The time has come to round out the year for “Women A’Loud!” and we here at Be a Be(h)n are excited to welcome author Mary Griggs to help us face this transition with her very fitting novel, “In the Midst of Tribulation”
Join Mary Griggs for Be(h)n’s Book, come on~ we dare you~ it’s your last chance for the year! Host Shawn Marie Bryan will handle all the hard stuff- you just have to tune in to get Merry Merry/Mary and wrap up the year Be(h)n style- parenthetical h and all!
Listen up! On Tuesday I’ll be on the last “Women A’Loud!” broadcast of the year. Women A’Loud! is a weekly broadcast that spotlights women through words, writing, reading, and wit. Check out their blog here.
The wonderful host, Shawn Marie Bryan has a segment called Be(h)n’s Book, named in homage of two great women of history: Aphra Behn and Lisa Ben. These two women, simply by living their lives on their terms were revolutionaries and gave us the gift of words, bound and published by women for women of our own accord.
On December 17th at 8pm (Mountain Time) she will be broadcasting an interview with me that ranged from conversation about life, the universe and everything and included discussion my latest novel: “In the Midst of Tribulation.”
Tune in on Tuesday to the online radio station gomilehigh!
It is Day 2 of the Rainbow Awards Weekend on the Virtual Living Room.
They’ve got such a great group description:
The VLR is a place where readers and writers of lesbian literature in its permutations (books, e-books, comics, etc) can come together and discuss the works and the topics within them, as well as celebrate the community that lesbian fiction readers can be. Whether reader or writer, membership AND participation is not based on any aspect of gender, sexuality, identity, creed, nationality, culture, ethnicity, or any other incidental of being a human being scattered somewhere on the planet. The requirement of membership is merely this: that the member be a supporter of lesbian literature. Fan fiction is nice, erotica is topic we cover from time to time, but there are other forums that focus on that specifically; we are not that. We encourage and celebrate the accomplishments of the readers and the authors, from first contracts to new ones, first published work to (hopefully) 100th and actively seek to share these wonderful bits of news, which are vital to us as a reading community. Civility is not only also encouraged, it is EXPECTED, because more than anything else, the VLR is, again, a COMMUNITY which means we all share in responsibility for making this a comfortable, welcoming, and enjoyable space for all.
That said,the VLR has a focus on Lesbian works; this is by definition Lesbian safe space and a safe haven for all respectful to our focus on lesfic may they be LGBTQ or straight. It is in fact *the* reason for this joining and celebration.
It makes it a fun and supportive place to hang out – especially when they’ve got a discussion focused on winners and runners up (like me) from the Rainbow Awards.
Here are my answers to today’s questions:
1) Indie or traditional publishing – what was important in your decision?
I went traditional when I started for several reasons – I have no skills or training in copyediting, graphic design, distribution or promotion nor do I have the time to learn them. As a readers, I enjoyed many of the titles from Bella Books and was impressed by the quality of the product they put out. I was very happy to have Karin Kallmaker as the reader of my first manuscript and squee’d like a little girl when she called to tell me they wanted to publish it.
2) What is the hardest part of the publishing process? What do you most enjoy?
Hardest is waiting for my book to be out! It seems to take so long to get the book written and polished. To then to go through all the processes to get it into the hands of readers can be excruciating for someone who likes immediate gratification.
I generally enjoy working with my editors – while we do tussle occasionally, I am a better writer and have learned so much from them.
3) Have changes in the book industry forced you to change how you published or marketed your work?
Yes, in so far as there are fewer bookstores to contact regarding my books. Having to find other ways to connect with readers through social media (like Facebook and blogging) has been an enjoyable learning curve as the connection to the readers is so much more immediate.
4) Do you have any formal training in writing?
Post college courses in creative writing, I have gone to a lot of conferences and have taken advantage of the chance to improve my craft by taking workshops from the likes of Lori Lake, Karin Kallmaker, JM Redman, etc, etc, etc. I highly recommend conferences like the Golden Crown Literary Society Annual conference or Saints and Sinners.
5) What’s your next book project and what can you tell us about it?
I’m working on a slightly more sci-fi story that takes place in a far away universe where the main characters have to escape an invasion and plot a rebellion while fighting their growing attraction to each other.
6) What made you enter your book into the Rainbow awards?
I had originally posted this story on the Athenaeum and it had gotten a lot of positive reviews so I believed in it enough to enter it for a Rainbow Award once I had improved it through the editing process.
And to answer Devlyn’s questions: How did you select the title of your book? At what stage in the writing process did you know what you were going to call your book? If you could ‘do-over’ would you change anything about the title?
The book originally was a bit more religious – each chapter heading was the title of a gospel song and there were more debates about religion throughout that, frankly, distracted a bit from the story. I knew at the beginning of the writing what I was going to call it and only worried that too many people wouldn’t understand what it meant. Even that worry was not enough for me to change the title.
Come on over to the Virtual Living Room! This weekend all winners and runner-ups (like me) of lesbian fiction at the Rainbow Awards 2013 are invited to the virtual living room where readers and authors of lesbian fiction meet to celebrate and talk about their fabulous book(s).
The VLR is a place where readers and writers of lesbian literature in its permutations (books, e-books, comics, etc) can come together and discuss the works and the topics within them, as well as celebrate the community that lesbian fiction readers can be.
Join the yahoo group here – http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/Virtuallivingroom/
Here are my answers to the Saturday questions:
Firstly could the authors tell us a little bit about themselves before answering the first set of questions for the weekend which are:
A bit about me: I’m a management consultant and a political activist and a writer. As much as possible, I take advantage of all the amenities my home in New Orleans has to offer, especially the food! My food blog can be found at http://www.mouth-brothels.com/ and my author website is at http://www.marygriggs.com
My books include the romances Unbroken Circle (a Rainbow Award winner for Best Lesbian Debut Novel) and Crash Stop and the speculative fiction novel, In the Midst of Tribulation, which was a runner up for the Rainbow Award for Best Lesbian Sci-Fi / Futuristic this year.
1) Tell us about your book. How did you get the idea for your book? What genre is it?
In the Midst of Tribulation is a story about survival. A small group attempts to create a community in a post-war world. It is sort of an adventure romance.
After a ragged reunion, Jay is willing to take in the newcomers, but the only way they will all survive on the land is if they all work and sacrifice. It is easier said than done, especially when old feelings—and new ones—break the fragile peace and threaten them all.
The story came out of my wondering what would have happened if, instead of George Bush stealing the election a liberal president had done the same. How would the Teapublicans have reacted (based on their reactions to President Obama)? In addition to that political element, I used my own background as the daughter of a survivalist in the story. My dad thought it great fun to drag the family out in the woods for a weekend with just a pocket knife and required us to find food and shelter from what was there. I also am a doomsday prepper – with emergency supplies for most possible contingencies, so it was fun to share that knowledge, too.
2) Do you have the ending in mind and work towards it or do you prefer to let the story develop freely?
I wanted there to be hope so I always knew I wanted to end the story on a positive, romantic note. Typically, when I’m writing, I know the main things I want to do and the end and, then, it is just a matter of filling in the details!
3) What is the most surprising thing you discovered in writing this book?
How much I learned from watching my mom can veggies and my dad hunt. I hadn’t planned on becoming an expert but it looks like I did despite myself.
4) Were you good at English composition/essay writing at High School?
Yes, in fact I parlayed my skill into bringing up my math grades by convincing my teacher to let me write essays on famous mathematicians!
5) What elements of your background have influenced your work? And if your novels are an escape from your own background, what else has influenced you?
I’m an army brat who moved around a lot, so my novels are set in places I’ve lived and remember fondly. I’ve experienced a lot of different cultures, so I try to include that diversity in my novels. My family is also very southern and that, too, has influenced my characters and settings.
6) What have readers liked about it in particular?
I have been told that some like it because of the interesting survival tips and strategies that are in the book, others like the diverse characters and the beautiful setting. Most of all, people seem to like the story itself. Here is the Lambda Literary Review – In the Midst of Tribulation
The Shreveport City Council just passed the all inclusive “Fairness Ordinance” that protects all residents from any form of discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations, including discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
This ordinance had bipartisan support from the City Council, was strongly supported by the Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce and the Shreveport-Bossier African-American Chamber of Commerce, and had a strong endorsement from The Shreveport Times. As part of a State Equality Fund grant from the Tides Foundation and the Gill Foundation, the “Be Fair Shreveport” campaign was a joint project between Forum for Equality and PACE. Today, the passage of the Fairness Ordinance is an amazing culmination of these efforts.
Tonight we celebrate! So if you are in the Shreveport area, please join us at the Bistro of the Robinson Film Center, the site of PACE’s yearly Gay & Lesbian Film Festival located at 617…
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From Elisa Rolle –
Almost 400 books, more than 150 judges, all over the world, and many, many submissions, from indie publishers, from mainstream publishers and a lot of self-published authors. And, to me more important of everything, we raised almost 6500 dollars that are already to the two charities, Ali Forney Center in New York City and Colors in Los Angeles.
And now what all you are waiting, the 2013 Rainbow Awards.
And the Rainbow Award for Best Lesbian Sci-Fi / Futuristic goes to:
1. Cathy Pegau – Deep Deception
2. Linda Kay Silva – Magical Echo
3. Mary Griggs – In the Midst of Tribulation
Rainbow Awards Party at the Virtual Living Room, Dec. 14 and 15, 2013
Jewel Lesbian Fiction Book Club – Author Mary Griggs will join us in person at book club to discuss “In The Midst Of Tribulation” on Tuesday, December 10, 2013.
Come meet Mary and discuss her exciting dystopian novel “In the Midst of Tribulation.”
Long suspicious that the world was going to go up in flames, Jay has retreated to remote Northern California and lived off the grid for years. When the war ended, it was clear nobody had won. Susan knows only one place where she and her extended family might be safe: with Jay, her ex. After a ragged reunion, Jay is willing to take in the newcomers, but the only way they will survive on the land is if they all work and sacrifice. It is easier said than done, especially when old feelings—and new ones—break the fragile peace and threaten them all.
We meet at Illume at 4123 Cedar Springs from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Parking is available on the street, but watch for the No Parking signs.
Please bring books to swap (leave a book, take a book) or buy a book for $2. What a deal! The money from the book swaps helps to provide you this fantastic opportunity to interact with lesbian fiction authors.