Please welcome our guest today, author Victoria Marshal! Read on for more information about this debut author, her book and a review. Victoria would love to hear your reaction to the book and/or her interview. Please leave her a comment to let her know you stopped by!
Victoria Marshal is the author of Bookended By Beauty Queens. She lives in Minnesota with her family. Bookended By Beauty Queens is her first book.
Bookended by Beauty Queens
Angie Palmer likes her life just the way it is–private. She has no desire to entangle herself in complex friendships, and her relationship with her two beauty queen sisters is safely distant.
Unfortunately, life doesn’t always go as planned.
When disaster strikes her Grandmother, Angie takes her into her home. A life with Grandma comes a world full of changes, and new friends, including Val, a drag queen with hopes of being the next US-Gay Beauty Pageant winner. Angie is determined to keep Val at a distance. Val has an instinct for knowing what is in Angie heart.
Just as Angie gets comfortable with Grandma living with her, a budding friendship with Val, and a new romantic interest, everything takes an unexpected turn. Val becomes the victim of a violent crime and ends up in a coma. Angie begins a struggle against Val’s family who wants to remove their son from life support.
Suddenly her private life becomes very public, and her world becomes a media circus. Angie is caught in a clash between religious beliefs and gay rights. Through many twists and turns, Angie discovers a new appreciation for family, friends, and love. In the end, Angie learns that a life filled with people to care about is never too crowded.
KD: What prompted you to write about the unusual topics in Bookended by Beauty Queens?
VM: Bookended by Beauty Queens started out with me wanting write a generational piece about Angie and her Grandmother coming together to learn from each other, with a little romance for Angie thrown in. But like the tag line says life doesn’t always turn out the way you planned and neither does writing.
When I started writing Bookended by Beauty Queens, the whole country was focused on the Terri Schiavo case, and I was trying to understand what was happening. How could people who really knew nothing about the circumstance feel so passionately about what this woman and her family. Val initially came into my story as a tool to draw the character of Angie out of herself and act as a bridge between her and her Grandmother. Then he ended up being a conduit for my understanding of the whole right to life campaign.
I always tell people I don’t know what I believe until I write about it.
I didn’t want to make the story a retread of the Schiavo case, so instead of being a battle between a husband and her wife’s family, it became a struggle between a gay man’s right to life and his disapproving family.
I’m a little nervous about how the book will be received. There are a lot of hot button issues in the book. Unfortunately, for the sake of story you have to choose a side. This might make the book hated by people because they disagree fundamentally with the choices the characters make.
KD: What does your family think of your writing? Are they supportive or do they think you are going through a phase or being selfish?
VM: I’m so blessed to have the most supportive family in the world. I know a lot of other writers who feel guilty about the time from their family and I’ve heard stories of husbands who ridicule their wife’s for wanting to write. I find that painfully sad.
It’s funny that most of these stories are women who are not being supported. I think it’s because male writers don’t crave that validation the way women do. We want people to tell us it’s okay to do this. So for all you women out there who are aspiring writers – IT IS OKAY! We do so much for others that when we take time to do something for ourselves those that have had us at their beck-and-call feel slighted, but trust me they will get over it. And if they don’t who cares. Taking time for yourself make you a better mother, wife, and person all the way around.
KD: Do you have other novels in the works? Tell us a little about what else you are planning to write about.
VM: I have a romance in the works, but I thought Bookended by Beauty Queens was going to be a romance. (LOL)So yes. I’m a slow writer though so hopefully there will still be an audience and a market for me when it’s finished.
KD: Tell us a little about your early background. What was it like growing up? Were you a good student in school?
VM: I was a lot like the character of Angie. I was the smart one surrounded by pretty ones. Good in school. I didn’t like to cause a lot of trouble. I always had my nose in a book even during the summer months when no one was making me. I was a complete dork and I think I still am. J
Purchase link: http://amzn.com/0983713723
Bookended by Beauty Queens by Victoria Marshal is a fast-paced, tension-filled read full of characters you will fall in love with despite yourself. Angie has a quick wit and a sharp sense of humor. She knows what she wants and yet life isn't coming through with any good options for her lately. Still, Angie is not the sort of person to become bitter. She's open-minded and tolerant and maybe even a bit too generous when it comes to forgiving her sisters their faults both petty and large. When her grandmother's apartment burns down she gladly takes her grieving grandmother in.
A chance meeting with Val, a vivacious drag queen, on the subway introduces Grandma and Angie to a new world of friends. And just as these three sympathetic misfits are developing their unique support system, disaster strikes Val in the form of a hate crime that puts Val's life in danger. Both Angie and Grandma stand by Val, but Val's parents do not. The personal and public stakes deepen for Angie as she tries to understand the crime, fight the rigid attitudes of Val's family as well as fend off the salivating media and polarized public. With wonderful characterization that will keep you rooting for Angie, Grandma and Val as well as scenes both tense and tender that will have you gnawing your fingernails and crying into your makeup kit, Ms. Marshal succeeds in crafting a truly enjoyable and satisfying story that is well worth your time to read.
Thanks so much for visiting Write About, Victoria. Best of luck with Bookended by Beauty Queens and we hope to be seeing more of your work soon!