Nothing has rocked my soul or stirred my creative juices quite like listening to local straight male radio host, Bob Flaherty read from my novel The Girls Club. Bob read in the voice of the young, closeted, married-to-a- man, protagonist named Cora Rose as she sat on a stool in a Dyke bar for the first time. Bob has a booming dramatic voice that delivered the prose in a way that was disarmingly effective.
Susan Stinson has been rocking my world and stirring my creative juices for umm… decades. Listening to Susan, my writing confidant and beloved friend, discuss the book with Bob in her enthusiastic, insightful, generous and loving voice has me smiling twenty-four hours after the broadcast.
Those voices, coming through my radio, how they truly engaged with the work. And praise. Yes, I do love praise. Who doesn’t? But here were two fabulous local novelists, speaking on our local radio station about my book, hitting all the themes dear to my heart.
Illness. Susan and Bob said “ostomy” on air. They said “dreaded bowel disease.” Bob said the ostomy bag became a character.
And class. They said poor, used the word in terms of a human condition, not as clinical sociological jargon unattached to real human lives.
Family. Bob said Joe, the character in the novel who is the protagonist’s husband, reminded him of himself when he was young. Susan said the bit where the sisters wrestle while tearing apart a peanut butter sandwich as their young sons watch was one of her favorite scenes. I stopped pacing the floor as I listened and gave in to a broad smile, because this section is one of my favorite scenes, too.
Amazing to be so carefully read and received, to be able to listen to these two writers talk so engagingly about Catholicism, sexuality, humor and the 70’s.
OK, in the name of credulity the following have rocked my soul more or at least as much as listening to that discussion: giving birth, making love, being a Memere, eating a really good meal with people I love, Obama winning. But I think the “quite like” caveat in the first sentence has me covered.
Susan said of the discussion, “Serious fun.” I couldn’t agree more. Bob and Susan so clearly enjoy these discussions and each other – which makes their insights all the more enjoyable for the listeners.
The broadcast I just wrote about and all of Susan and Bob’s Book Swap discussions are livestreamed at WHMP.com 1400, 1600, 1240am and 96.9fm
Happy reading. Happy writing. Happy Autumn.