The SHANNON MUIR’S INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS column on Mondays and Wednesdays is a place at Shannon Muir’s author website open to interviews and guest posts from other authors. One thing Shannon firmly believes in for readers not only to learn about new books available, but about those who craft the tales behind them. As its name implies, SHANNON MUIR’S INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS weekly column features writers from all genres of fiction who want their potential audience to get to know them, and their works, better – and occasionally may offer features from Shannon herself that support readers to discover words.
Today, find out more about GETAWAY.
GETAWAY by Maureen Brady,Women’s Fiction, 230 pp., $14.99 (paperback) $8.99 (kindle)
Author: Maureen Brady
Publisher: Bacon Press Books
Genre: Women’s Fiction
What initially got you interested in writing? The answer is reading. When I was a child, I thought I would try to read right down the shelf from A to B to C, in the kid’s section of my local library where I often went to wait for my mother to finish working at a hospital across the street. As I grew older, I often had the thought when I finished a book that I could have written it better. Still, I had little confidence and even in college was afraid to take a writing class because I feared I would be too devastated if what I wrote turned out to be no good. But after college, when I was hungry for more release for my imagination, I took the big step of signing up for a class at The New School called First Fiction. There were about 20 or more students and only 2 or 3 of us really wrote, but I was like a ripe fig about to drop off a tree, and when the teacher said write, I went for it and wrote 3 or 4 very short stories during that semester.
How did you decide to make the move into being a published author? I completed my first novel, Give Me Your Good Ear, and published it.
What do you want readers to take away from reading your works? I want readers to be provoked to think about the themes I write about, and I want them to feel they have gained a window into some character’s humanity.
What do you find most rewarding about writing? It provides a constant challenge to stretch yourself when you don’t feel you can go any further, and a chance to spend time in the imagination. Also, when a story comes together in a way that moves me, then I feel there is a good chance it will move others and that is a good feeling. I also realize that I enjoy the privilege of having this avenue on which to express myself, and it’s hard to imagine living without such a resource.
What do you find most challenging about writing? The amount of time and devotion required to get something right, and while I don’t mind putting in that effort, it is difficult when one often has to struggle to complete the process by publishing the work and finding good resources for sharing it with the world.
What ways can readers connect with you? See my website for Events, especially in the NYC area in May and June and come out for them. Or contact me via my website.
kitchen floor, Cookie Wagner flees to remote Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.
For a moment, she seems to have gotten away with murder. But, consigned
to a secretive life with a new name and the need to be on constant
alert, she faces all she has not gotten away with. She is helped by the
recently widowed Mrs. Biddle, who offers her a place to stay, and the
lobster fisherman Butch, who gives her a job and later falls in love
with her. Walking the cliffs and beaches, taking in the scruffy
windblown plants that survive the buffeting wind by growing at an angle,
she begins to heal.Yet, there is no leaving behind the notion that Warren is dead as the result of her action.
Or is he? And if not, will he one day come to find her?Sexual harassment and abuse are all over the news these days, often
involving celebrites and other well-known figures, but Cookie, the
protagonist of Getaway, is no celebrity. She’s an ordinary
woman married to a working class guy who drinks too much and resorts to
violence. Their story reveals how endemic the phenomenon of abuse is,
and the quandary Cookie lands in when she fights back.
Praise for Getaway:
“Sensitive, sensual, and stirring. “Getaway” is a true page-turner,
but one with heart and with context. I couldn’t put it down until I got
to the end, not just to find out what happened, but also to
discover who these intriguing and complex characters would develop into.
An extremely satisfying read!”
Danielle Ofri, author of What Patients Say, What Doctors Hear, Editor-in-Chief, Bellevue Literary Review.
In the gloom, she could barely make out the blue cottage on the other side of the
lake, but her eyes clung to it desperately. It was up for sale and she thought,
unoccupied. Maybe if she bushwhacked around the lake and found her way there
without being seen, she’d be able to hide behind it.
with too much life. When a bullfrog glugged in the reeds, she jumped, stood
still, then made herself get moving again. This was no time to try to
understand what she had done.
ankle, she muttered, working it before she pushed on.
was getting cold. She stopped to put on her windbreaker, the one thing she’d managed
to grab from the hook by the door. A good thing she had, even though it was a
bright aqua, too colorful for someone
and she thought she might throw up. My God, Warren,
why did you have to come after me like that?
or a coyote? Someone coming after her? That got her moving again, making low,
humming noises to keep whatever it was at bay.
through tall tufts of grass in front of the blue cottage and crept around back.
the cinderblock cellar wall, her arms wrapped around her legs, her feet wet and
freezing. She stared into the night as the fireflies spit tiny patches of light
before flickering out.
a rounded Bilco cellar door. She stood and lifted the handle.
side came up. Three steps down, there was a wooden door. It, too, had been left
unlocked, so the knob turned and she was in.
her wet pant legs but couldn’t stop her teeth from chattering. Trying to still
her jaw only made her whole arm shake. She remembered once as a child when her
teeth had rattled on this way. It had been fear, not cold that time her father
had raised his large square hand but stopped just short of slapping her across
the first match she struck crumbled. She stood up and struck another. The light
flared up shockingly fast and extinguished itself before she’d seen a thing.
She caught a glimpse of a stairway, which she shuffled toward, hands out ahead
of her, searching for a light switch.
under the stairs. Patting along its surface, she touched something soft and
squishy, almost like human skin. She jumped back, horrified.
have turned when she jumped back because, where the squishy thing had been,
there was nothing, not even the bench. She made a quarter turn and reached out
again. Still nothing! At least it wasn’t the squishy thing, but where the hell
was she and what was that anyway?
newspaper, she didn’t actually comprehend that she was a writer until
after she had moved to New York City in her twenties, where she began
taking writing workshops at The New School and then fell headlong into
the consciousness raising groups of the early 1970’s.She published her first novel, Give Me Your Good Ear, in 1979, and it was published by The Women’s Press in England in 1981. Her novel, Folly,
was excerpted in Southern Exposure, received wide critical acclaim, was
nominated by Adrienne Rich for an ALA Gay Book Award and was reprinted
as a classic by The Feminist Press. She published a collection of short
stories, The Question She Put to Herself, in 1987, then turned to writing nonfiction in the ’90’s, publishing Daybreak: Meditations for Women Survivors of Sexual Abuse and Midlife: Meditations for Women. She returned to fiction with the novel, Ginger’s Fire, and her most recent novel, Getaway.Her recent work has appeared in Sinister Wisdom, Bellevue Literary
Review; Just Like A Girl; Cabbage and Bones: Irish American Women’s
Fiction, Mom, In the Family, and Intersections: An Anthology of Banff
Writers. Brady’s essays and stories have been nominated for the Pushcart
Prize and were finalists for the Katherine Anne Porter Fiction Prize
and the Nelsen Algren Short Story contest.
An Adjunct Assistant Professor, she teaches creative writing at New
York University and New York Writers Workshop @ the Jewish Community
Center, and works as a free-lance editor and tutor, helping writers
across the spectrum take their writing to the next stage.
A co-founder of Spinsters Ink, Brady edited such books as The Cancer
Journals by Audre Lorde and The Woman Who Breathes Fire by Kitty Tsui.
She also served as a panelist for The New York State Council on the Arts
Literature Program and as a fiction judge for Oregon Literary Arts. She
is a founding member of The New York Writers Workshop and has long
served as Board President of Money for Women Barbara Deming Memorial
She has received grants from the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation; New
York State Council on the Arts Writer-in-Residence; New York State
Council on the Arts CAPS grant; Holding Our Own; Briarcombe Foundation;
and The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts Fellowship to The Tyrone
Guthrie Centre, Ireland. She was the winner of the Saints and Sinners
short story contest for 2015 and is also a Saints and Sinners Hall of
She lives in New York City and Woodstock with her long term partner, Martha, and their joy dog, Bessie.
Visit Maureen’s website at www.maureenbradyny.com