I've had the opportunity to be part of a blog tour for Marilynn Griffith. Let's take the time to know her better.
Please give the readers a brief bio on you the person and the writer.
Well, let's see... I'm mom to a tribe of kids, wife to a very handsome deacon and blessed to be friends with some wonderful writers, like you, LaShaunda. I love to read, write, speak and all things communication related. I'm the person at the family gatherings who is always either telling a story or listening to one! Before realizing I was a writer life was a bit confusing. I tried everything from secretary to math tutor (that actually worked out pretty well). These days it's family, friends and church activities when I'm not writing. I like blogging though. That's fun.
Tell us about your current book?
Dana Rose pledges to say "I won't" the next time she's asked to be in a wedding. Her weak will has turned her closet into cemetery for satin gowns from periwinkle to Pepto pink. After ten stints as bridesmaid, Dana thinks she's seen it all. Then she's fired, forced to turn her hobby into a business and faced with her prodigal brother, back-stabbing sis and Mr. Practically Perfect, the ex who not only married someone else, but opened the business of her dreams—across the street. There's that Maid of Honor thing too… And this time she can't say no. Will wedding #11 show Dana what's she's really made of?
What inspired this story?
I used to own a seasonal bath and body business. Steeple Hill rejected my first manuscript but they liked my voice. They asked my agent about me doing a chick lit. I didn't know what that was exactly, but the prospect of writing in first person sounded interesting, so I tried it and loved it. I also have had a lot of wonderful single friends over the years.
What would you like your readers to take away from your book?
I'd love for readers of MADE OF HONOR to come away from the book knowing that they are fearfully and wonderfully made and that God delights in them and loves them in an intimate way, despite whatever mess riddles their pasts. Christ stands waiting to embrace them as His bride.
How do you balance writing with your "every day life?"
I don't. LOL Really. I've long since given God that job. He called me to be a wife and mother and a writer. Sometimes (like a deadline week) that doesn't always look like I think it should, but God graced me with the family I was supposed to have. I try to keep the Word first place and keep the lines of communication open so that when things get off balance (too much work, not enough work) we can talk about it. When I try to stop writing to be Super Mom, my kids are like,"Go write something. You're cranky!"
How can readers learn more about your books and get in contact with you?
I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or through comments at my website www.MarilynnGriffith.com .
Mir Schutz's interview questions:
Q: Some of us have heard of the Rock Bottom Remainders--an amateur rock group made up of authors that performs regularly at the Miami Book Fair Int'L, which has included luminaries like Amy Tan , Dave Barry, Stephen King, etc. If you had a Christian author gospel group called MAIDS OF MADE, which characters from your novel would be in it, what would be the title of their signature song, and what would they wear?
Wow, what a question! Let's see. The MAIDS OF MADE would consist of Dana Rose, my main character, her back-stabbing sister Dahlia and her friends Rochelle, Tracey and Austin. Their signature song would be Shackles by Mary Mary and they'd be wearing all the old bridesmaid dresses from the back of Dana's closet.
Q Tell all the lovely people--all four of them--who visit my blog with semi-regularity, why they should run to the store and buy MADE OF HONOR come January?
Run, do not walk, to your nearest bookseller to buy MADE OF HONOR because it's a funny, honest story about learning to love friends, family and even yourself when things go less than perfect. Not to mention that the book is full of great smells--candles, soaps, lotions and all the good stuff. Just the type of thing for a relaxing evening. It's fun, but it's serious too.
Q. As a Christian Fiction Writer , what is the spiritual truth your book carries thematically?
MADE OF HONOR is about seeing what you're really made of and knowing that God loves you anyway. This book is about a woman discovering that everyone, including herself, isn't quite what she thought and realizing that God still loves them all. Dana knows how to love, but she has to learn how to let her self be loved...both by God and the other people in her life.
Q: If someone said, "What blurb could I put on a t-shirt that would encapsulate the feel and tone and plot of your novel?"--how would you respond?
MADE OF HONOR--Girlfriends, God and all the giggles in between!
Of course there's some Godiva and tissues between the giggles, but that's the gist of it.
Q. If I were a published author, my typical reader would fit this demographic: Over thirty, highly intelligent, a lover of Christ, thinks all those Biblical plague are cool and we really should have more of them wiping out bad guys, can't get enough of the books of Revelation and Hebrews, is a lover of British wit and hyperbole, had really bad eyesight from reading too much in dim rooms, is given to broody thoughts on rainy days and, even, occasionally, on sunny days, and will belt out a Sarah MacLachlan tune if provoked while in a melancholic fit. Please describe your audience as you see it?
Wow, I like this person! And I think she'll love my books too. My reader knows how to worship God and how to have fun too. She's the woman at the Bible study who can spill punch in her lap and turn it into a parable. She loves a good sale and cute shoes and wishes she had a better metabolism. She's big hearted, passionate, intelligent and could use a good nap.
Q. How many hours will it take me to read MADE OF HONOR and will I have to wear an ugly lemon-yellow dress while I do it?
You can skip the dress, but if you do it, send me a picture for my blog! The book is 288 pages, so it's not too long. I can't really estimate time, since everyone reads differently (some savor, some devour), but so far, I've had one person stay up all night to finish it, so I guess it can be done.
Q. If I had to describe my novel in three words, it would be: melancholic, romantic, and mystical. Describe MADE OF HONOR in three words that are much cooler than mine.
You're pretty cool, Mir so that's hard to do. If I had to describe MADE OF HONOR in three words I'd have to go with: dramatic, intimate, funny.
Q. You know how you sometimes hear on Christian radio the phrase, "If you like the secular band, Metallica, then you'll love this new album by the Christian group, Wrathling." Okay, what book would get compared to yours as a "if you like X, you'll love MADE OF HONOR?"
If you like Superchick, Margaret Becker, Mary Mary, Crystal Lewis, Yolanda Adams, Donnie McClurkin, Kirk Franklin, Nicole Mullen or Fred Hammond, you might enjoy MADE OF HONOR. (You might enjoy it regardless of who you listen to. :)
Q. What is the one, all-encompassing, totally-vindicated secret of good writing that you made sure to employ in writing MADE OF HONOR?
Secret? I don't know any. When you discover one let me know! LOL I just fell in love with the characters and tried to fall deeper in love with Jesus. Somewhere along the way, we got a book.
Q. Who are your three favorite writers, and will you be sending them copies of MADE OF HONOR?
Well, many of those folks are dead and probably wouldn't have been interested, but there are many writers who I respect who endorsed the book like Sharon Ewell Foster, Lisa Samson and Kristin Billerbeck.
Q: Are you afraid that answering my question will pretty much scare off your potential readers? :)
Nah. If they hang around here, they don't scare easy. :) And if they've read my blog or actually met me, well... it doesn't get any scarier than that. LOL Thanks for having me!