Fiction Author Visits Grayslake Library
Marilyn Brant shares lessons learned during her first year as a published author.
Lake County resident Marilyn Brant, whose debut novel, According to Jane, was published last year, will give a behind-the-scenes glimpse of life as an author during a visit to the Grayslake Area Public Library from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 7.
Brant's second novel, Friday Mornings at Nine, will be released Oct. 1. Library event coordinator Laurel Casey said copies of the new book will be available for sale.
Brant visited the library in 2009 when her first book came out, and she discussed the many people who helped her get her novel published. Casey said this visit will focus on the things Brant learned during her first year as a published author.
"She's a friend of (the library)," Casey said. "She's very engaging."
Friday Mornings at Nine takes place largely in a coffee shop, mirroring her real-life persona. Brant and three of her friends met for coffee regularly, and Brant includes in the book a peek at what the foursome's meetings look like. Her friends will be present at the library to speak about what they have learned watching Brant's writing process.
"I did not know how much of a craft writing is," said Sarah Pressly-James, one of Brant's friends featured in the book. "[Brant] has studied her craft. She studies not only how to write but also how to find an agent, how to find an editor, how to find a [writing] group.
"Before I knew a working author, I did not know how much work there was, but there's a lot of work. We see bestseller, bestseller, bestseller. We don't see best worker.'"
Brant was an aspiring author for years and wrote four novels before According to Jane was published.
"People always ask you, do you make a lot of money, are you really famous, do people recognize you?" Brant said.
The answer, she said, is no, but for Brant, writing is focused on things more meaningful to her.
"The books that I really like to write are stories of women on a journey to greater self understanding," Brant said.
She shared that authors explore a lot of what-if questions as they write.
"What I find really interesting about all of those what-if's is that at the end of them, the point is it's all about getting to know ourselves better," she said.
Brant said she understands the relationship between a reading audience and an author.
"It's about how they experienced the story, and once you've written a book and edited and published it, that reading experience belongs to your audience," she said. "It's not about you anymore."
In addition to sharing her thoughts on being published, Brant will also sign copies of her latest work, Friday Mornings at Nine.
"[It] is a modern fairy tale about three suburban moms who each begin to question whether they married the right man or are living the right lives," Brant said.
Pressly-James has already read Friday Mornings at Nine and enjoyed the story even as she took to heart its message.
"I love that we are getting a book that has a sense of humor about it but also forces us married women to look at our marriages and think, 'Hmm, is it what I want it to be?' If it is, fantastic. If it isn't, how can I change it?" she said.
Brant will take questions and comments at the library event. Pressly-James said that Brant's visit is a great opportunity for writers who are interested in becoming authors.
"I'm here to talk about the things that I learned in the first year," Brant said. "You don't learn how to write a novel any other way than by writing it, and that's the honest hard truth."
Chocolate will be served. Registration is required and space is limited. To register for this event, go to www.grayslake.lib.il.us or call Laurel Casey at 847-223-5313.
For more information on Brant and her books, go to www.marilynbrant.com.
The Grayslake library will host another author visit at 7 p.m. Oct. 21, when Chicago's own Clark Weber, of rock and roll radio fame, will sign copies of his book, The Art of Racing in the Rain.