Janna McMahan to sign novel at Morris Book Shop

By Neal Querio| @kykernel.com

[email protected]

Janna McMahan, a UK alumnus, has just published her fourth novel, titled “Anonymity.”

During her time at UK, McMahan studied mass communications and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree from UK and a master’s degree from the University of South Carolina.

“I had the most wonderful college experience at UK,” McMahan said. I was in journalism and the class that really defined me as a writer was one where I had to go to the Fayette County Courthouse and report on a trail.”

McMahan’s debut novel was 2008’s “Calling Home,” which is set in Kentucky and features a woman who is struggling to take care of her daughter after her husband runs off with another woman. She followed up with a second novel, “The Ocean Inside,” and a novella, “Decorations.” McMahan said that “Calling Home” always has a special place in her heart for being her first nationally released work.

She is the recipient of many writing awards along with critics’ praise. One of her biggest accomplishments was being named a finalist for the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction.

McMahan said that although she has many literary idols, her favorite book is the dictionary; she used to memorize a word each day.

According to McMahan’s website, “Anonymity” is “a psychological drama about families — those we are born into and those we piece together out of need.”

The book’s main character is a young girl named Lorelei who finds herself in Texas completely homeless. The story documents Lorelei’s friendship with a bartender named Emily as they both struggle to navigate the dangers of the world.

McMahan said that “Anonymity” has garnered an incredible response from people and that she stayed loyal to the subject matter even as her editors pushed a more escapist approach.

“I believed in this story and truly believe there is a market for socially relevant literature,” she said.

McMahan will reading and signing “Anonymity” at the Morris Book Shop at 2 p.m. April 13.

Her book tour will then continue on to Louisville, Campbellsville and Bowling Green before she heads back to South Carolina.

“My most favorite part of writing is having someone come to a signing and tell me they’re eager to read my new book because they liked my previous work,” McMahan said.

Copies of McMahan’s novels can be purchased from Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Southern Independent Booksellers and Koehler Books.

Koehler Books is “Anonymity’s” official publisher and has offered to donate part of the proceeds to the youth center that helped Janna McMahan do research for her novel. The center is called LifeWorks and is located in Austin, Texas.

McMahan’s work is also featured on her Facebook page (Facebook.com/jannamcmahan) and Twitter account (@JannaMc).