Our interview today is with Marlayna Glynn Brown author of A Tale of One Girl’s Life in 1970′s Las Vegas which is rated a superb 5.0 stars on 25 reviews. A brief book description before we get to the interview: What is it that makes one person’s life interesting to another? Could it be the reader’s perceived shared experiences with the writer? A profound thankfulness for not having shared such experiences? A desire to know about a life not personally lived? A well-crafted, mesmerizing and professionally written read? A story that evokes reader emotion – whether it be relief, anger, fear, sadness or joy? A desire to see a situation through to the end? Our shared universal desire for entropy, balance, peace and happy endings?
Written from a child’s point of view from ages 4 to 17, this tale describes the precarious childhood of Marlayna in 1970s Las Vegas. The desert perimeter serves as a hot, dry and dangerous barrier that shuts out the rest of the vibrant world and bleaches away any sense of the joy that colors childhoods. Born into an ongoing cycle of alcoholism, addiction and abandonment amidst fallen adults, Marlayna develops a powerful sense of self-preservation in contrast to the people entrusted with her care. Her story explores the personalities of the bizarre characters who populate her life as she moves from home to home, parent to parent, family to family and ultimately to homelessness at the age of fourteen. Out of the resources of her remarkable childhood emerges an inner strength that will charm and captivate readers and remain in their consciousness long after the last page of her story has been turned.
Author interview with Marlayna Glynn Brown
What was unique about the setting of the book and how did it enhance or take away from the story?
As a memoir, Overlay is unique in that it tells the tale of one girl coming of age in the turbulent 1970s casino era Las Vegas. Being such a unique city even amongst other legalized gambling meccas, in the 1970s Las Vegas attracted a transient motley crew of bizarre characters. Alcoholism and addiction were rampant, and Nevada boasted one of the highest rate of child abuse and neglect in the 1970s.
What specific themes did the author emphasize throughout the novel? What do you think he or she is trying to get across to the reader?
Overlay is told through the eyes of a child, and many themes that did not make sense to the author at the time were described in matter of fact ways, not judging but questioning. Alcoholism, addiction, neglect and abuse were witnessed by the child in her community. The running theme is that it was clear the choices adults were making were less than stellar – so why did they continue to make the same choices?
How do characters change or evolve throughout the course of the story? What events trigger such changes?
Told over the course of 13 years, all of the central characters grow and experience catastrophic changes. All of the changes occur as a result of the choices each character has made, and range from becoming a victim of murder to learning how to succeed in life despite environment and ambiance.
Did certain parts of the book make you uncomfortable? If so, why did you feel that way? Did this lead to a new understanding or awareness of some aspect of your life you might not have thought about before?
As the author, the task of recording some events that I had not shared with another living soul affected me greatly. Some chapters left me feeling jubilant and free. Some caused me to lay my head on the keyboard and cry for that child who no longer exists. Recording these events left me with an entirely strengthened view about life. Once you choose to no longer fear, the need to experience fear dies.
What is your method for writing a book? A certain amount of hours every day? A certain routine? Are you character/story builder or an outliner or some other method?
I sit down and write as the spirit moves me. I may write 15 hours a day for three weeks and then not at all for a month. I’ve learned the hard way that I cannot force the muse. She arrives when she pleases and departs just as easily.
Find A Tale of One Girl’s Life in 1970′s Las Vegas on Amazon.
Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/overlaythememoir
Website link: www.marlaynaglynnbrown.com
Twitter link: https://twitter.com/#!/mgbrepresents
Amazon Author page link: http://www.amazon.com/Marlayna-Glynn-Brown/e/B007UFRMQS/ref=cm_sw_r_fa_nu_rdUIpb16B96D4
Blog link: http://ajourneyofunraveling.wordpress.com/