Though the pen is mightier than the sword, it often doesn’t come with a warning label. This published work from a Lansing writer does:
“Warning: contains graphic depictions of sexual activity, drug use and rock 'n’ roll. May cause consumerist guilty conscious, existential crisis and/or questioning the nature of reality. Reader discretion advised.”
Hear Lansing’s self-published writer Samantha Rose read an excerpt from her first work, “For the Love of Your Hollow Body,” at the Keys to Creativity Event Gallery on 5746 W. Saginaw, Friday, 6:30 p.m.
“I enjoy doing readings, because it sounds a particular way in my head,” said Rose. “I like people to hear it the way I intended it. I like having the opportunity to share more of my vision.”
There is a personal connection reading to an audience, said Rose. “Being able to be face to face with someone on the journey of reading it opens up more of a dialogue.”
It can feel very isolating as a reader to get invested in a book and its characters and have no one to share it with, Rose said.
Drawing inspiration from “Alice in Wonderland” and comparisons to Penny Lane from “Almost Famous,” “For the Love of Your Hollow Body’s” main character deals with harsh contemporary issues women face in the world, Rose said.
“She is on this journey to find how to be alive and what it means to be a woman in today's society. How do you balance what someone expects of you and what truly makes you happy?” said Rose.
Larry Grudt, executive director of Keys to Creativity Event Gallery, said putting on free events like this are part of the mission at the gallery.
“Keys to Creativity is a community creative center,” Grudt said. “It's a space for the community to be able to use and we are not building economic walls or anything else that would prevent any individual from attending.”
With the “Working Women Artists” that started July 15, Grudt said Rose’s work fits in well.
“That glass ceiling is hard to break. This whole vibe with the strong feminine role and men being supportive of that is new to this culture. That in itself brings a lot of excitement with shows like this.”
Rose said that she sees women taking on greater writing roles in the community. “With my experience in Lansing, there is a strong community of female writers. I think now, more than ever, you are seeing more female writers. I’m not sure but I would guess the ‘50 Shades of Grey’ phenomena is encouraging it.”
Successful titles like Harry Potter and the Hunger Games are evidence of female voices making more of an impact in the world, Rose said.
Self-publishing her book, Rose said she chose to call her publishing company Badass Books for a reason. “We think of a mule that carries the weight and does what it's told carrying the heavy packs up the mountain,” said Rose.
“A badass mule says, ‘I’m not going to carry this weight because you told me to, I'm going to do what I want to do.’”
Part of the problem, Rose said, is publishers making it harder to break into the business. “When you write a book, and you see it in the music industry too, you cant event mail to publishers anymore,” said Rose. “You have to have an agent or know someone. It’s suppression.”
Self publishing is a way to fight the system, Rose said.
“I'm a badass and will make my book.”
Red and white wine and cheese and cracker plates available. Free admission.