Closing the Store

This week’s other featured books, “The After Death Afterlife of Ronald Foster,” by Robert D. Turvil and “Bullet Bill Dudley,” by Steve Stinson, can be found by scrolling down below this post, or by clicking the author’s names on our Author’s page.

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THE BOOK: Closing the Store

PUBLISHED IN: 2016 (originally in 2011)

THE AUTHOR: Maren Anderson (Maren Bradley Anderson)

THE EDITOR: Lauri Wellington

THE PUBLISHER: Black Opal Books

SUMMARY:  Liz didn’t mean to start a sex strike…but she’ll use it to end a war and win an election. Liz A. Stratton is running for President of the United States to end the unpopular war in Mesopotamianstan. Everything goes as planned until the first debate when Liz’s competitors patronize her. She loses her temper and declares that if every woman in America withheld sex, the war would be over in weeks. So women all over the country actually “close the store.” Now the fun starts.

THE BACK STORY:  Closing the Store is a retelling of a the Ancient Greek farce — “Lysistrata,” by Aristophanes, but before you dismiss it as being too high-brow, know that Lysistrata is one of the lewdest plays in the classical canon.

I teach Literature and Writing at a university in Oregon, and I always begin my lectures about Aristophanes by explaining that the playwright is known for outrageous, impossible plots. “One of the plays has talking frogs in it,” I explain. “None of these plots is supposed to work, including the sex strike.” Then I wondered, “what if the plan did work?” That was the beginning of this book.

The first draft of Closing the Store took only a month to write, though the editing process took much longer. I often write the first draft of each of my novels in a single month, a habit I developed when participating in NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, which takes place each November online at www.nanowrimo.org. I love writing fast drafts. They are so freeing. I often teaches Novel in a Month classes at libraries and writers’ groups.

WHY THIS TITLE:  Originally, the title was Liz A. Stratton Closes the Store, but I realized after self-publishing the book that this title was too long, and no one got the joke, anyway. “Liz A. Stratton” is a play on “Lysistrata,” the main character in the Ancient Greek play my book is based on. “Closing the Store,” is a euphemism for withholding sex to get something.

WHY SOMEONE WOULD WANT TO READ IT:  This book is a sexy satirical send-up of an American Presidential election. Closing the Store is an antidote to the angst many people feel after the election of 2016.

REVIEW COMMENTS: 

“‘Liz Closes the Store’ is a retelling of the old Greek story of Lysistrata, where women decide to end a war by cutting their men off, sexually. Anderson updates the story into a fun, fast, feminine-power read. It isn’t quite on purpose that Liz Stratton finds herself running for president in a country mired in a deadly but pointless war. But her brash, no-nonsense wit is just what the people, at least those with double x chromosomes, have been waiting to hear. The women of the country are so taken by their reluctant heroine that she soon motivates them to stop the war killing their sons and husbands by denying the men of the country the one thing they want most: their bodies. Along the way Liz must contend with her own budding romance, a difficult thing to have when you’re the face of feminist abstinence.”

“Anderson’s book is pure fun, reality trimmed to fit delightfully into fantasy. Nothing is dull. It’s a new kind of chick lit and romance, smart, fast, and a little crazy.” –5 Star Amazon Review for 2011 edition

“There so many smiles and bursts of laughter during this book, and two instances where I cried with joy. I loved this book so much!”   –5 star Amazon Review

AUTHOR PROFILE:  Maren Bradley Anderson is a writer, teacher and alpaca rancher in Oregon.  She teaches English at Western Oregon University and novel writing to new authors. She fills her days caring for alpacas, playing with her kids, and reading books that make her laugh. She has written two plays for the Apple Box Children’s Theater, and her poetry has appeared in The Timberline Review. Her novels Fuzzy Logic and Closing the Store are available online and through your local bookstore—just ask them to order the books for you.

AUTHOR COMMENTS:  I wrote the original “Liz A. Stratton Closes the Store” book in 2008 after Hillary Clinton ran for the presidential nomination the first time. I wondered what would happen if a woman got the chance to run for president. Then I decided to base the book on the plot of Lysistrata, Aristophanes’ satirical sex-strike play from 411 BC. I like the absurdity of Aristophanes’ play, and I just ran with it. I had so much fun writing this book.

I decided to re-release this book while watching some presidential debates in January 2016. Presciently, I though “Geesh, this election is almost as weird as the election in my book.” I was wrong. The election was much weirder than my book. However, I think people like Closing the Store because the satire in the book is an antidote to the absurdity of politics in America today. Also, Liz is a strong leader with a plan to combat the corruption in her world. Not that I’m exactly endorsing her methods, but they’ve worked in the past. Just saying.

SAMPLE CHAPTER: (Provide link). http://closingthestore.blogspot.com/2016/12/closing-store-free-chapter-one.html

LOCAL OUTLETS:

Bookstores:

Calmlee’s Bookstore, 147 SW Court St, Dallas, Oregon

Reader’s Guide, 735 Edgewater St NW, Salem, OR 97304

Rick’s Place Cafe, 123 Main St E, Monmouth, OR 97361

Western Oregon University Bookstore

Annie Bloom’s, 7834 SW Capitol Hwy, Portland, OR 97219

WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT:

Online retailers:

Black Opal Books

Barnes & Noble

Amazon

PRICE: $14 – $16

CONTACT THE AUTHOR:

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/MarenBradleyAnderson

Twitter @marenster

Website http://www.marens.com

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Published by

writersbridgebridgebuilder

Recently retired after 35 years with the News & Advance newspaper in Lynchburg, VA, now re-inventing myself as a novelist/nonfiction writer and writing coach in Lake George, NY.

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