Atlanta is a great place to be in November.  The weather is usually pretty great and if you’re a book lover you can expect to be entertained all month by the breadth of programming presented by the Book Festival of the MJCCA.  From celebrities Regis Philbin and Dyan Cannon to fiction superstars including Alice Hoffman and Myla Goldberg to political experts like Jim Lehrer, the Book Festival of the MJCCA has something for everyone.

This year I was honored to moderate a conversation called Rising Literary Voices which featured Mary Glickman, (HOME IN THE MORNING) and Amy Waldman (THE SUBMISSION).  Both Mary and Amy were kind enough to sit down with me backstage to share some insight into their work. Today’s interview is with Amy – and stay tuned for my talk with Mary which will air next week.

THE SUBMISSION which came out in August of this year is the story of an attempt to select a design for a memorial in the wake of a terrorist attack in New York City.  Submissions for the design are reviewed by a jury with no names attached and when the winning design is chosen and the name of the designer is revealed, it turns out that he is a Muslim American named Mohammed Khan.  The book focuses on six main characters that are all deeply affected by the controversy that ensues.

When Amy and I sat down, we talked about how she chose the six points of views to share, what kind of audience reaction she’s been getting and how she managed to cut her original manuscript of 800 pages down to the final 320.  We also dug into some of the characters in the book in detail and I even learned that one of the male characters in the book started out as a woman!  If you’re reading THE SUBMISSION for book club (which you definitely should!) you’ll definitely want to check out the interview to hear from Amy directly on some of these topics.

As always, I hope you enjoy the interview and will check out the rest of the author interview series on iTunes.

And if you’re in Atlanta and wondering if you missed all The Book Festival goodness… not to worry… there is plenty of great programming still to come.  Just go to the MJCCA website for details and tickets!

— Dana Barrett, Managing Editor