Thursday, May 31, 2007

Gcc Tour - The Secret Sisters by Joni Rodgers

Today's GCC Tour is brought to us by Joni Rodgers, with her new release, The Secret Sisters. Here's a little about the book:

Exploring the timeless themes of family, self, misfortune, and hope that have made the novels of Anna Quindlen and Sue Miller bestsellers, Joni Rodgers's moving and powerful tale tells the story of three women bound together by loss and set free by love.

Pia feels the walls of her life closing in around her, until she discovers a strangely sensual world that leads her to a new existence. Lily, Pia's brash, tough-talking sister, makes a tragic mistake that leaves her incarcerated, body and soul, but in the prison library discovers a key that will unlock her mind and open her heart. Beth, married to Pia and Lily's brother, has never been able to admit her own failure as a mother. Finally forced to confront a tragedy of her own making, she discovers that the truth can set her free.

About the Author: (and I find this absolutely fascinating!)

Joni Rodgers, a Houston author who ghostwrites celebrity memoirs between novels, has a unique take on the popular idea that everyone has a book in them. “Everyone has a story in them,” says Rodgers. “But everyone has a pancreas, too. Only in rare cases should it be taken out and displayed on a shelf.”

The ghost gigs pay well and make for “some interesting elevator rides”, but Rodgers is selective about new projects. “It takes a compelling client to drag me away from fiction, my first love.” Rodgers’ latest novel The Secret Sisters (Harper Collins 2006) comes out in trade paperback this week with an added “PS Section” in which Rodgers discusses the story behind the book. The added material is bound to generate some juicy book club discussions. “I can’t wait for the sparks to start flying,” says Rodgers, who intended the story of a woman’s struggle with agoraphobia to be “a parable about how easily exploited we are when we embrace fear as a lifestyle.”

Rodgers started writing seriously in 1994, after being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, an aggressive cancer of the immune system. During a punishing course of chemotherapy followed by a long, difficult recovery, Rodgers completed her first two novels, Crazy for Trying (McMurray & Beck 1997) and Sugarland (Spinsters Ink 1999), both of which were published to critical acclaim and short-listed for various awards.

In Bald in the Land of Big Hair (Harper Collins 2001), Rodgers wrote about her cancer experience: “People say the Lord never gives us more than we can bear, but that’s only true of money and cleavage.” The laughter-through-tears memoir garnered glowing reviews around the world, was excerpted in Good Housekeeping, condensed by Reader’s Digest, and eventually landed in the lap of Linda Armstrong Kelley, mother of Tour de France champion and cancer activist Lance Armstrong.

When asked if she’d be interested in co-authoring Armstrong-Kelley’s memoir, Rodgers responded, “I’m a novelist, not a ghostwriter.” As she was about to turn down the job, Rodgers noticed a hummingbird outside her window. “It made me pause long enough to think, hey, I’m a storyteller. And this is a great story.” Film rights for the resulting memoir, No Mountain High Enough: Raising Lance, Raising Me (Broadway 2004) were promptly optioned by Columbia.

Rodgers’ most recent client is Golden Girls star Rue McClanahan, whose memoir My First Five Husbands…and the Ones Who Got Away (Broadway 2007) recently debuted at #18 on the New York Times bestseller list. “Rue is incredibly gracious and funny,” says Rodgers. “She’s also an excellent writer with a unique voice that comes shining through.” Meanwhile, a grateful McClanahan says that Rodgers “made gorgeous cream pies out of my curds and whey.”

Visit Joni at her website, her blog and buy the book!

No comments:

An Austin DesignWorks Production