An Insightful Episode – May 17, 2023

Please join us with authors M.M. De Voe, Maureen McNeil, and Robb Grindstaff.

M.M. De Voe, author of “A Flash of Darkness” – The dark, challenging stories of A Flash of Darkness represent some of M.M. De Voe’s best stories written from 2005 to the present. De Voe juggles literary fiction with fables, science fiction with horror, pagan satire with the fantastical. But what shines through is intelligence and daring. She leaves you wondering what is real and what is unreal. Dive into the haunted atmosphere of  “Shutter,” lingering on the outskirts of horror past or horror-to-be. “Tastemakers” satirizes a modern obsession with life as performance art. “The Mayor of Flashback” is pure literary fiction that intertwines memories of 9/11 in Manhattan and the elastic bonds of marriage. “Cake” is a frightening peek into a domestic world; where keeping an eye on the children may not necessarily be for their safety. “A Rose” delivers a knockout punch of shifting fables and narrators that shows in a single story what this author’s imagination can accomplish. M.M. De Voe is the founder of the literary nonprofit Pen Parentis, a process described in her memoir/productivity guidebook for writers who are parents, Book & Baby.


Maureen McNeil, author of “Anna Magdalena”Performance artist Anna Magdalena splays her audience open and leaves them begging for more. More life. More freedom. More imagination. By redefining family, history, myth, time, and identity, she prompts readers to take action and forge a life of extraordinary beauty.  Anna Magdalena is a contemporary novel about the power of art, love, and imagination in its many forms. Reade Bordeaux, a forty-year-old Seattle plumber, married to Sgt. Becky Smith is smitten with Anna Magdalena, a New York City performance artist who retreated to Willapa, a forgotten Victorian town on the Washington coast. With a snap of her fingers, they land in the New York art world with her acquired family: Saxton, her ex-lover; Lulu, his mother; and Lulu’s partner, Kermit Fleur, an old master dealer who takes Reade under his wing. Honey Dearborn and her son Frank, Reade’s prickly neighbor in Willapa, drive the story with mischief, mystery, and good fortune even after their death. But Sgt. Becky Smith has some tricks of her own. While Anna Magdalena provokes audiences with disappearing acts, vows, secrets, and outrageous art pieces that take place on NYC rooftops and beds, Becky pulls a fast one. The whole family rallies around Reade and he is awed as Anna Magdalena clicks her heels.


Robb Grindstaff, author of “Turning Trixie” –  Trixie Burnett, a 23-year-old single mom and the only prostitute in the small northeast Texas town of Pineywoods, knows the winning lottery ticket in her purse is about to change things forever. Trixie retires from the world’s oldest profession and seeks a new life for herself and her eight-year-old son, Tyler. Trouble starts when she decides the rest of the town needs changing too. But reputations and attitudes don’t change as easily as bank accounts or hairstyles. Seems everyone in town has something to hide, and movers and shakers don’t give up their positions easily. Some will stop at nothing to protect their power, especially from a hooker-turned-philanthropist who knows their most intimate, embarrassing secrets and now dares to enter their sanctuaries.