Bryan County-based author V.L Brunskill will headline two book signing events for her latest book release, a memoir entitled “The Killing Closet,” on December 9 and 10.
The book signings will be hosted at ‘Back in the Day’ Antiques & Things, a gift shop located at 18433 GA-144 in Richmond Hill. The book signings will last from noon to 5 p.m. on both December 9 and 10.
“The Killing Closet” is Brunskill’s second novel and first memoir. In “The Killing Closet”, Brunskill describes her early years growing up as an adopted child in a troubled home in Long Island, New York. Brunskill also delves into her tumultuous relationship with her late father, who came out later in life as a trans woman.
A raffle will be hosted at each book signing event to help raise funds for SAFE Shelter of Savannah, Savannah’s only shelter dedicated to helping victims of intimate partner violence and their children.
The memoir touches on themes of domestic abuse, religious trauma, family reunification, and gender identity. For such difficult topics, Brunskill is not shy about talking about them in both her writing and her day-to-day life.
In an exclusive interview with Bryan County News, Brunskill discusses her early years, her first forays into writing, the lengthy process of writing a memoir, and what she wants people to take away from “The Killing Closet”.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
On her writing background
“I have been writing my whole life. Started as a kid, writing stories and poetry, very dark poetry. Of course, I had a dark childhood, as you could tell from the description of the memoir.
I then went off to college studying English and journalism. I got not very far through my college career here and decided, “Oh, well, they’re [just] teaching me how to do interviews” and my husband was in a heavy metal band. So I was meeting famous people all the time.
So I said to myself, why don’t I start doing some of the things they’re teaching me? And I knew that the Ramones were coming into town into Boston.--I lived in Boston then. And I found their agent’s name and phone number and called up and asked if I could do a story on the Ramones.
I had no one to know where to publish it yet. And they said “If it’s a cover story, sure, you can interview the members’ and I said, ‘Oh, yeah, it’ll be a cover story’–but I didn’t have anybody to sell it to yet.
I then found a very small magazine called ‘Metronome Magazine’ in Boston. And I asked them if they’d be interested in the story in the Ramones. And they said, Yes. And I asked, ‘Could it be a cover story’?
And they said, ‘Yes!’ So I went from there. And for 10 years, I was a journalist, a music journalist in Boston in the beginning, begging for interviews. And then later on, they would come to me. Whenever a band was coming through, the record companies would come to me so I did all that for 10 years.
I’ve also been an editor and online editor for many tech companies.
And now I’m an event planner for an online event planner for a large, New York event company.
On the process of writing a memoir
I think a lot of my work is strong on dialogue. In my memoir, I do a lot of first-person narration partly because this book was originally written out of anger, anger towards my father. As I went through writing the book, however, I had time to go back and kind of heal as I was learning more about my father and his lot in life. I interviewed lots of family members, to make sure that my memories are correct and to confirm key events.
But I made sure, as I did with my first book [Waving Backwards], and probably with my poetry as a child, that my heart was in it.
On what readers should learn about “The Killing Closet” The book is my truth, and it’s raw, but it’s also healing and uplifting in that my family survived after everything we’ve been through. My mom, my brother and I got through it all together, and I learned a lot.
There is lots of healing in this bookit’s not just turmoil.
V.L. Brunskill is the award-winning author of the Savannah novel Waving Backwards and the forthcoming memoir The Killing Closet. She is also a blogger at adoptionfind.com where she shares lessons learned from her (pre-internet) adoption search, and her journey towards spiritual healing.To learn more about Brunskill, visit her website at https://adoptionfind. wordpress.com/ Copies of “The Killing Closet” can be purchased online at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and local indie bookstores in the Southeast area.
For those in need, SAFE Shelter of Savannah can be reached at their 24-hour crisis line at (912) 629-8888.