This month Bywater Books features Goldenrod, the long-awaited sequel to Jericho and Aftermath by award-winning author Ann McMan.
SEPTEMBER AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: ANN McMAN
Today’s forecast: Cloudy, with a zero-percent chance of sequel.
“How is Goldenrod doing,” my erudite mother asked yesterday.
“Very well,” I replied. “The reaction to it has been great. It makes me nervous to say so, but I think I hit the mark with this one. I was worried about the ratio of more serious content, but readers really seem to get it.”
“Patriarch is the one I want to read.”
My mother has a way of saying this that suggests I have the book tucked under my mattress and have been concealing it from her.
“That makes two of us,” I said.
“What does that mean?”
“It means I have to write it first.”
Patriarch will be the fourth novel in the Jericho Series.
“About that,” she asked. “When will you complete it?”
I scratch my head. “I don’t know. I have to finish the book I’m writing right now.”
“What’s that one, again?”
She thinks I’m joking. “Is that really the title?”
I sigh. We’ve had this conversation. Several times. “Yes. You remember . . . it’s the book about the English professor who’s up for tenure and has the affair with the new female college president?”
“Wasn’t that a short story?”
“Yes,” I explain. Again. “It’s the novel-length version of ‘Falling from Grace’—from my story collection Sidecar.”
“But I want to read Patriarch.”
“I know you do. I plan to start working on it in 2018 after I finish Beowulf.”
Silence ensues. Dead air hisses between us. “Twenty-eighteen?” she finally repeats. “I may not live that long.”
“Do your best to cling to life . . .”
You see? This is the whole problem with sequels—with series fiction, in general. It’s like feeding an addiction. No matter how much you write, it’s never enough. No matter how fast you churn out the installments, it’s never quick enough. And with Jericho books in particular—no matter how expansive, engaging, epic or in depth I strive to make each of the characters—there’s never enough Maddie and Syd.
This is my hair shirt of many colors . . .
I have only myself to blame. After all, I created this monster. And now it rumbles and scratches around beneath my bed every night. Every. Single. Night.
Who did the dastardly deed? Does Roma Jean get her multi-axle license? Does Rosebud the cat go prowling in search of earrings to complement her previous heists? Will Rock Star really set Grand Theft Auto VI in Troutdale? Does it rain more in the mountains or in the summer?
These are the bêtes noires that try my soul in the wee hours before dawn.
Oh. Along with a few credible and fully-integrated strategies for how to infuse the next installment with more Maddie and Syd.
Lots more Maddie and Syd . . .
I swanny. If those two were apartments, they’d have gone condo years ago . . .
But for today, Goldenrod is well-and-truly writ. And bless Babel, lots of folks seem to be reading it and telling me they like it just fine.
If you haven’t read it or, are THINKING about reading it, I leave you with this final endorsement from my harshest literary critic:
“At least it has a lot of Maddie and Syd.” —Dee Dee (Octogenarian Mother of AMFA)
We now rejoin the writing of Beowulf for Cretins: A Love Story, already in progress . . .
For the quirky residents of Jericho, life has as many twists and turns as a winding mountain road.
GOLDENROD takes us on a delightful journey back to Jericho, a sleepy town in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia where life is anything but dull.
Maddie and Syd struggle to find a new normal without their foster child, Henry, who has been reunited with his disabled-veteran father. Henry befriends Buddy—an enigmatic young man who is fascinated with pi, and Dorothy—a young girl wrestling with her own brand of family demons. Meanwhile, David takes on the town’s nemesis as a write-in candidate for mayor—and the irrepressible Roma Jean Freemantle struggles to wrangle an unwieldy bookmobile and her growing attraction to another woman.
Journeys of life and love take some unexpected turns in this endearing community, but through it all, hope and the human spirit glow as brilliantly as goldenrod in the midsummer sun.
Available in Paperback, eBook, and Audiobook formats are available from bywaterbooks.com, bn.com, amazon.com, audible.com, and independent bookstores everywhere.
Goldenrod is Book No. 3 of the Jericho Series.
Jericho and Aftermath, Books No. 1 and No. 2 of the Jericho Series will be available from Bywater Books and all vendors on November 7, 2017
Praise for Goldenrod
“Goldenrod takes us back to Jericho, where the modern-day fight for respect and civil rights can sometimes be a literal fight. Its hardscrabble characters invoke Dorothy Allison; its provocative humor, Rita Mae Brown. In other words—it’s pure Ann McMan. ” — Lambda Literary Award winner, KG MacGregor
“Goldenrod is a substantial, touching, loving-at times, laugh-out-loud-funny gathering of evocative characters who lead intricately interwoven lives in a setting as dramatic and full of life as its inhabitants. Ann McMan is a writer with a multitude of unique gifts, and I thank her for sharing them so freely with her readers.” —Trailblazer Lee Lynch, author of The Swashbuckler
“McMan’s writing is glorious, her wit and intellect as sharp as ever, and her pin-point descriptions are those of a keen observer of the absurdity of human behaviour.” —Velvet Lounger, The Lesbian Reading Room
“With politics being what they are right now in the United States and across the world, this is a book we need—it draws a line in the sand about what’s right and what’s not, in our homes and in our communities. Even better, it does so in a way that’s warm, witty, and engaging.” —Tara Scott, The Lesbian Review
“Funny, smart, informed, and very tender, this is a superb novel of multiple levels of interpretation; Ann shows once again that she is not only a fine tale spinner, but an excellent craftswoman as well!” —Grady Harp, Amazon Hall of Fame Reviewer
Save 25% on Ann McMan’s Goldenrod and Judith Katz’s Running Fiercely Toward a Hight Thin Sound with Coupon Code GOLDENROD25
New Release for September 2017
RUNNING FIERCELY TOWARD A HIGH THIN SOUND
by Judith Katz
Nadine Pagan’s dyke sister Jane wants to find her. Her lover Rose wants to marry her. And her mother Fay wants to forget her. All Nadine wants is to stop the buzzing in her head.
This is the novel Isaac Bashevis Singer might have written if he’d been a lesbian with a keen eye for contemporary middle-class assimilation. It’s Jewish magical lesbian realism, a good story, and a dynamic piece of writing.
Lambda Literary Award for Best Lesbian Fiction, 1992
IAFA William L. Crawford Fantasy Award, 1994
“Running Fiercely Toward a High Thin Sound makes lesbian lives visible in a Jewish world where families struggle with feminism and lesbianism together.” —Julie R. Enszer, editor of Sinister Wisdom
“What a gift to the world—this modern classic blend of magic-realism, Jewish fable, and lesbian drama is every bit as powerful today as I remember. Give yourself a treat already—read this!” —Elana Dykewomon, author of Beyond the Pale
JUDITH KATZ is the author of two published novels, The Escape Artist, and Running Fiercely Toward a High Thin Sound. She has received Bush Foundation, McKnight Foundation, and National Endowment fellowships for fiction. She is an academic advisor at the University of Minnesota.
Upcoming Bywater Books Author Events
Baxter Clare Trautman
Left Coast Lesfic Conference
Multiple Events and Venues
Georgia Beers, Cheryl Head, Marianne K. Martin, Carol Rosenfeld and Rachel Spangler
Women’s Week, Provincetown MA
Full schedule will be posed in the Bywater Books October 2017 Newsletter