THE JAMES MASON COMMUNITY BOOK CLUB discussion

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Authors and Their Books > AUTHOR FORUM- MARY KROME

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Rick-Founder JM CM BOOK CLUB  | 7274 comments Mod
Mary Krome's fiction writing career began with the publication of her first contemporary novel, Left in His Closet. After years of her personal story being misunderstood, she embarked on an ambitious research journey to create a more realistic portrayal of the straight spouse experience. This unique politically and morally charged novel draws the reader into the heart of the debate and delves into the inner world of straight spouses in the aftermath of the coming out. Book is available at: http://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/...

Dr. Krome earned her Ph.D. from the University of Virginia, specializing on the transformative role of identity differences during critical junctures in the life of corporations. She also earned a Masters degree from Northwestern University’s J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Business and a Bachelors degree from Loyola University Chicago. She has enjoyed numerous professional publishing and public speaking opportunities; consulting and lecturing regularly on organizational change, decision processes, career transformation, and relational growth during transitions. More recently, she conducts workshops on the identity confusion and relational concerns of individuals and families when they discover a loved one is gay.

A native of Wisconsin and having resided in the Chicago and Philadelphia areas, Mary has eclectic literary interests, plays tennis, travels extensively, and is an aficionado of ethnic food and wine. She began journaling as a child to solve her problems and continues to turn to the pen to address complex contemporary issues from a new angle. As a writer working across genres, she has written extensively on the economy in her column in the Kenosha News, completed a book of poetry, Shrinking into Greatness, a stage play and song lyrics for her book, Left in His Closet and is currently working on her second novel. Her fiction provides insight into the heroism of ordinary people as they delve into their souls for the strength they need to reshape their identities and rise up out difficult circumstances.

Left in His Closet
The Straight Story
by Mary A. Krome
She doesn't know if he knew who he was when they got married. All she knows is the truth lies somewhere in his coming out, a process she is ill-equipped to understand, much less explain.

Soledad runs away, inventing a new past each time a man learns of her fourteen-year marriage to Bob. Carlos and Ana ignore their daughter's needs after Nita accidentally overhears Jim talking to his lover. Judy struggles with the reaction of her children when they discover their family's twenty-year secret Left in His Closet.

These three courageous women are friends, mothers, sisters, children, and the ex-wives of the men they loved; men who didn't leave them for another woman, but rather, a man. Because of circumstances they cannot control, each woman clarifies that which she has yet to make peace with herself her own identity. By trying to fit the illogical into a logical framework and drawing conclusions with limited information, each woman finds herself trapped in a moral and political debate where black and white no longer exists. Swallowed up by shades of gray, they move on. Some slowly, picking up a shattered image of a happy marriage; others quickly, looking for the first man that will make them feel like a woman again; and others methodically, immersing themselves in helping others through similar experiences so they can make sense of their lives. Left in His Closet opens the doors of understanding to the lesser defined experience the straight spouse of gay mate."

The book in available on the Tate Publishing site link: http://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/...



Rick-Founder JM CM BOOK CLUB  | 7274 comments Mod
Mary,
How long did you consider writing this book- and was it difficult to complete once you started it?


message 3: by Gary F (new)

Gary F | 170 comments Hi Mary,

I often wonder when you hear of situations like those involving former NJ Gov McGreevey if their spouse could have been truly in the dark. In your studies have you found this to be the case, or often does the spouse have some suspicions but is able to bury them?


message 4: by Mary (new)

Mary Krome (marykrome) | 10 comments Rick wrote: "Mary,
How long did you consider writing this book- and was it difficult to complete once you started it?"


Rick,
When my ex husband left me, I was too numb to even talk about it. I first thought about the writing the book about five years later, when I was ready to make sense of it and couldn't get the support from the people I told. They didn't understand my experience. They asked questions about his situation not mine.

Even then, I wasn't ready to write it because I was so confused. What was my marriage all about? Why did he choose me? etc. etc. etc. There were more questions than answers. Finally I realized that the real story was in the questions rather than the answers.

That's when I began my research. I didn't want the book to be my story. I wanted it to be more representative of everyone. And I'm glad I waited because the story of the three women in the book each represent three types of situations is much richer than it would have been if I had focused on my story.


message 5: by Mary (new)

Mary Krome (marykrome) | 10 comments Gary wrote: "Hi Mary,

I often wonder when you hear of situations like those involving former NJ Gov McGreevey if their spouse could have been truly in the dark. In your studies have you found this to be the c..."


Gary,

My research indicated that there are some women who are not truly in the dark, but there are also women who do not know. I think it has alot more to do with whether or not the gay spouse is confused about his sexuality during the marriage or is, himself, in the dark.

The book addresses these questions with a focus on the experience of the straight spouse. One character knew and stayed with her husband, but the other two characters didn't know. In either case, the confusion of the straight spouse isn't any less real that the confusion of the gay spouse (whether during or at the end of the marriage).



message 6: by Gary F (new)

Gary F | 170 comments Thanks Mary. That is interesting. I have to think that this situation must have been worse in say the 1970s then now when society has become more openminded.


message 7: by Mary (new)

Mary Krome (marykrome) | 10 comments Gary wrote: "Thanks Mary. That is interesting. I have to think that this situation must have been worse in say the 1970s then now when society has become more openminded. "

It was worse in the 1970s for the gay spouse, but things haven't changed much for the straight spouse. One of the characters in my book says, the openmindedness "that have made it easier for Jim, have made it harder for me." This is because the support is not in place for straight spouses and they have become stigmatized as the victims of victims of biased thinking.




message 8: by Gary F (new)

Gary F | 170 comments You make a great point. So often we never do look at the effects on the spouse. Its like they are an afterthought


message 9: by Mary (new)

Mary Krome (marykrome) | 10 comments Gary wrote: "You make a great point. So often we never do look at the effects on the spouse. Its like they are an afterthought"

I hope you are intrigued enough to read the book. Based on the questions you have asked, I think you'll find it very interesting.

Mary


message 10: by Gary F (new)

Gary F | 170 comments I definitely am Mary! Thanks!


message 11: by Mary (new)

Mary Krome (marykrome) | 10 comments Gary, Let me know what you think of the book after you read it.


message 12: by Gary F (new)

Gary F | 170 comments will do!


message 13: by Mary (new)

Mary Krome (marykrome) | 10 comments Hi Everyone,

Here is a review of my book available for at a low Barnes & Nobel pre-release price of $12.81. Order before April 13th at http://productsearch.barnesandnoble.c...

Left in His Closet by Mary Krome

Book Review by Dr. Heath Sommer
As a phoenix is born from his own corpse
And his false image dies…

There is no honor in being alive
Unless in his closet they still reside.

(excerpts of a passage from Left In His Closet by Mary Krome)

Left In His Closet is one of the more genuine stories I have read in years. Sad, but sincere, this multi-perspective story shreds the invisible taboo of gay versus heterosexual philosophies into a brilliant and ingenious study of human philosophy, connection, sexuality, and identity. Mary Krome, the author, is a doctorate who has won awards for her research, which she brilliantly spins into the prose without it ever feeling like an academic lecture. This reviewer has a background in clinical psychology, and therefore it was easy to identify the sound research perspective and thoughts Krome spins into the web of human frailties recorded throughout Left In His Closet, but never once did I feel I was being talked at, but rather let into a privacy and undiscovered world that so few know.

Rephrased, I felt that Krome’s subtle poetry and soft-lit inner dialogues, mixed with a story really moved more by conversations than events in a way a pointillist painter might blend the blurriness of inane color dots, that seem hazy at first glance, but from far away form into a beautiful whole that is too easy to miss if one’s review of the art at hand values Polaroid over Picasso (yes, I know Picasso was not a pointillist, it’s a metaphor).

The point is that Krome sets out in Left in His Closet to do more than tell a story, she seeks out to bleed it into your own veins, merge it into your own thoughts, press it into your own vulnerabilities, and triumph it into your own hopes, and she achieves in a glorious way the untold story of the other spouse left in the closet when a gay lover wanders into a new life, and all without demonizing human beings in general along the way. This story will trouble you, move you, make you smile, make you frown, make you cry, but in the end, make you a better person for having suffered through the darker with the lighter parts of the human landscape. (February 13, 2010)

On the writing style:
Mainstream fiction, brilliantly written and softly guided. Krome is undoubtedly a fine artist including a great writer. She also mingles poetry throughout in a way that doesn’t feel foreign or surreal, as the poetry is written by a character who writes poetry, but the words highlight the points too easy to miss to the untrained reader.

On the target audience:
Women do appear to be a better fit for much of what is discussed, although there are scenes and storylines written for the male experience of the book’s message, so there is wide appeal to all who have loved and lost, and loved some more—or at least wanted to. However, the style screams to me that a woman who enjoys the gentle but direct analysis of life could curl up on a rainy day and explore herself and life more thoroughly with Krome as the host for a day.

On the best parts:
I think more than anything and consistent with the tenets of mainstream writing itself, Krome expertly connects people with people. If you do not feel the power of the human drama while reading this book, you may as well give up on reading altogether and spend your life doing something else!

Closing thoughts and overall summary:
An EXCELLENT read. Both for the lover of fiction, and the professor trying to get students to get life and not just research. I highly and thoroughly recommend this book, and look forward to the next from this new fiction author.


Rick-Founder JM CM BOOK CLUB  | 7274 comments Mod
Mary wrote: "Hi Everyone,

Here is a review of my book available for at a low Barnes & Nobel pre-release price of $12.81. Order before April 13th at http://productsearch.barnesandnoble.c......"



Hi Mary,
I will cut/paste that WONDERFUL review and place it in the LETS SUPPORT A MEMBER DISCUSSION so as many folks see it as possible!
Congrats!!!
Rick


message 15: by Mary (new)

Mary Krome (marykrome) | 10 comments Thanks


message 16: by Mary (new)

Mary Krome (marykrome) | 10 comments Thanks Nanette. BTW Our discussion last month was very useful in responding to some difficult interview questions last week. Mary


message 17: by Mary (new)

Mary Krome (marykrome) | 10 comments Nanette,

The answers were mixed. Most people thought is was not better or worse but different.

Mary


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