Friday, June 15, 2018

# 20 Questions

20 Questions with Women's Fiction Author Maureen Brady #20Questions

Though Maureen Brady wrote the humor column of her junior high school newspaper, she didn’t actually comprehend that she was a writer until after she had moved to New York City in her twenties, where she began taking writing workshops at The New School and then fell headlong into the consciousness raising groups of the early 1970’s.

She published her first novel, Give Me Your Good Ear, in 1979, and it was published by The Women’s Press in England in 1981. Her novel, Folly, was excerpted in Southern Exposure, received wide critical acclaim, was nominated by Adrienne Rich for an ALA Gay Book Award and was reprinted as a classic by The Feminist Press. She published a collection of short stories, The Question She Put to Herself, in 1987, then turned to writing nonfiction in the ’90’s, publishing Daybreak: Meditations for Women Survivors of Sexual Abuse and Midlife: Meditations for Women. She returned to fiction with the novel, Ginger’s Fire, and her most recent novel, Getaway.

Her recent work has appeared in Sinister Wisdom, Bellevue Literary Review; Just Like A Girl; Cabbage and Bones: Irish American Women’s Fiction, Mom, In the Family, and Intersections: An Anthology of Banff Writers. Brady’s essays and stories have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and were finalists for the Katherine Anne Porter Fiction Prize and the Nelsen Algren Short Story contest.

An Adjunct Assistant Professor, she teaches creative writing at New York University and New York Writers Workshop @ the Jewish Community Center, and works as a free-lance editor and tutor, helping writers across the spectrum take their writing to the next stage.

A co-founder of Spinsters Ink, Brady edited such books as The Cancer Journals by Audre Lorde and The Woman Who Breathes Fire by Kitty Tsui. She also served as a panelist for The New York State Council on the Arts Literature Program and as a fiction judge for Oregon Literary Arts. She is a founding member of The New York Writers Workshop and has long served as Board President of Money for Women Barbara Deming Memorial Fund.

She has received grants from the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation; New York State Council on the Arts Writer-in-Residence; New York State Council on the Arts CAPS grant; Holding Our Own; Briarcombe Foundation; and The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts Fellowship to The Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Ireland. She was the winner of the Saints and Sinners short story contest for 2015 and is also a Saints and Sinners Hall of Fame winner.

She lives in New York City and Woodstock with her long term partner, Martha, and their joy dog, Bessie.

Visit Maureen’s website at

1. Are you a morning writer or a night writer? Morning almost always

2. Do you outline or are you a pantster?  No outlining. I work my way through a novel, starting with an idea I want to explore and peering ahead into darkness.

3. Which comes first – plot or character?   Character, almost always, but it’s best if I have an idea that something crucial is going to happen to that character.

4. Noise or quiet when working on your manuscript?  Definitely quiet. I work in a small out-building that looks upon a meadow and has no phone service in it.

5. Favorite TV show? Right now in this horrible country-wide drama, Rachel Maddow and PBS news.

6. Favorite type of music? Classical

7. Favorite craft besides writing? Gardening
8. Do you play a musical instrument? Played drums as a kid

9. Single or married? Live with my domestic partner of 23 years and a sweet dog.

10. Children or no?  No

11. Pets? Bessie, Cairn terrier

12. Favorite place to write? Either my studio, an artist’s colony, or The Writers Room in NYC.

13. Favorite restaurant? Locally, The Red Onion or Cucina

14. Do you work outside the home? Yes, teach creative writing at NYU, New York Writers Workshop and Peripatetic Writing Workshop, and do private editing (but that I can do at home.)

15. What was the name of the last movie you saw? Three Bulletin Boards

16. Favorite outdoor activity? Gardening, tennis, walking

17. Pet peeve? Lack of courtesy in the publishing world, where editors and agents don’t even feel the need to write you a response.

18. Your goal in life? Sustainable good heath, time to write more books, amicable relationships with family and friends.

19. Your most exciting moment? Winning a writing contest, receiving a positive response from an agent.

20. The love of your life? My long term partner who makes much possible.

Author: Maureen Brady
Publisher: Bacon Press Books
Pages: 230
Genre: Women’s Fiction


After stabbing her abusive husband and leaving him dying on the kitchen floor, Cookie Wagner flees to remote Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. For a moment, she seems to have gotten away with murder. But, consigned to a secretive life with a new name and the need to be on constant alert, she faces all she has not gotten away with. She is helped by the recently widowed Mrs. Biddle, who offers her a place to stay, and the lobster fisherman Butch, who gives her a job and later falls in love with her. Walking the cliffs and beaches, taking in the scruffy windblown plants that survive the buffeting wind by growing at an angle, she begins to heal.

Yet, there is no leaving behind the notion that Warren is dead as the result of her action.
Or is he? And if not, will he one day come to find her?

Sexual harassment and abuse are all over the news these days, often involving celebrites and other well-known figures, but Cookie, the protagonist of Getaway, is no celebrity. She’s an ordinary woman married to a working class guy who drinks too much and resorts to violence. Their story reveals how endemic the phenomenon of abuse is, and the quandary Cookie lands in when she fights back.

Praise for Getaway:

“Sensitive, sensual, and stirring. “Getaway” is a true page-turner, but one with heart and with context. I couldn’t put it down until I got to the end, not just to find out what happened, but also to discover who these intriguing and complex characters would develop into. An extremely satisfying read!”
Danielle Ofri, author of What Patients Say, What Doctors Hear, Editor-in-Chief, Bellevue Literary Review.

Getaway is available at Amazon.

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