Tuesday, December 27, 2005

A Mir-of-a-Kind Interview with Marilynn "M-NOG" Griffith

MIR: Welcome to Mirathon, Marilyn (alias M-NOG). I am honored to be part of the MADE OF HONOR blog tour. Let's get the strangest question out of the way, so you can relax before the next mildly less weird question is posed.

Ever hear of the Rock Bottom Remainders--an amateur rock group made up a rotating line-up of famous authors such as Amy Tan, Dave Barry, and Stephen King? They perform regularly at the Miami Book Fair. If you had a Christian author gospel group called MAIDS OF MADE, which characters from your novel would be in the group, what would be the title of their signature song, and what would they wear to performances?

MG: 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.

MIR: Tell all the lovely people--all twelve of them--who visit my blog with semi-regularity, why they should run to the store and buy MADE OF HONOR come January?

MG: 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.

MIR: You're a writer of Christian fiction, and this novel is Christian Chick Lit. What is the spiritual truth your book carries thematically? (Hey, I asked a real, serious, normal, writerly question. How'd that happen?)

MG: 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.

MIR: Someone comes to you at a booksigning and says, "What blurb could I put on a t-shirt that would capture the feel and tone and plot of your novel?" How would you respond to this kindly lunatic before you ran to hide in the loo?

MG: 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.

MIR: If I were a published author, my typical reader would fit this demographic: Over thirty, intelligent, a lover of Christ, who thinks all those Biblical plagues were ubercool, and we really should have more of them wiping out bad guys these days. My future-reader can't get enough of the books of Revelation and Hebrews and is a lover of British wit and absurd humor. She has really bad eyesight from reading too much in dim rooms, nurtures broody thoughts on rainy days and, occasionally, on sunny days as well, and will belt out a Sarah MacLachlan ballad if mildly provoked during melancholic phases. (Wait, I think that's me, not my reader.) And finally, she dreams of being a superheroine with cool leather outfits, saving the day with perfect hair while not gaining excess weight, ever.

Please describe your typical reader as you imagine her?

MG: 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.

MIR: How many hours will I need to set aside to read MADE OF HONOR and will I have to wear an ugly lemon-yellow dress while I do it?

MG: 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.

MIR: 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.

MG: 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.

MIR: You know how you sometimes hear on Christian radio the comparison phrase that goes like this, "If you like the secular band, Metallica, then you'll love this new album by the Christian group, Wrathling." (I made that name up, btw.)

Okay, so, what book would get compared to yours as an "if you like X by Jane YandZ,then you'll love MADE OF HONOR by Marilynn Griffith?"

MG: Oh man, a book compared to mine? I can only hope no one would be done this disservice. LOL Let's do this, I'll tell you some books that are serious fun to me, okay? Lisa Samson's TIGER LILLIE, Lisa Tucker's THE SONG READER, Jeanne Ray's EAT CAKE, Siri Mitchell's KISSING ADRIEN, Neta Jackson's YADA YADA PRAYER GROUP, and Tiffany Warren's WHAT A SISTA SHOULD DO.

MIR: And, since I brought it up, who would you compare to MADE OF HONOR, musically speaking?

MG: 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. :)

MIR: What is the one, all-encompassing, totally-vindicated secret of good writing that you made sure to employ in writing MADE OF HONOR?

MG: 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.

MIR: Who are your three favorite writers, and will you be sending them free, autographed copies of MADE OF HONOR?

MG: 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.

MIR: That's an impressive list of endorsers. I've bought/read books by all of them! I'm jealous. Okay, next question. Are you afraid that answering my quirky questions will pretty much scare off your potential readers?

MG: 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

MIR: Well, that's all I've got for you, M-NOG. Thanks oodles for visiting me here at Mirathon.

MG: Thanks for having me!

Note from Mir: Please see post immediately below for an excerpt from this soon-to-be-released novel. There's also a handy link below (in same post) in case you wish to purchase via amazon.com.


Lena Nelson Dooley said...

I loved the interview. When my next book comes out, Mir, I want to be interviewed by you.

upwords said...

Isn't she something? I turned my head inside out with those questions and laughed while doing it. Thanks Mir. And thanks Lena for stopping by.


eileen said...

Great interview. The book is on my table waiting for the last holiday guest to depart...then it's MADE for me!

upwords said...

I hope you enjoy it!

LaShaunda said...

What a fun interview Mir and Mary. You know I have steal some of these questions. :)


Paula said...

Great interview with the amazing Mary G. Loved it! Thanks for doing this.

Mirtika said...

No stealing. We're nice Christian ladies. You may, however, borrow. Like sugar, ya know? ;)

Camy Tang said...

Mir, you are SUCH a hoot! I love your interview questions. You're so creative. Send some of that this way, you hear?


Heather Diane Tipton said...

LOL Mir, girl you made me laugh. Thanks... Mary, you rock, as usual!

The Curmudgeon's Rant said...

Excellent interview, I loved it.

sally apokedak said...

I came late but really enjoyed the party. Mir, you were witty and wild as always and I'm uberimpressed that Mary actually kept up with you here. (What is with the uber deal? It sounded like the Schultz side surfacing.)

Bonnie Calhoun said...

Great interview! I was a little slow getting here! Too much Christmas!

Happy New Year!