Vanessa McGrady

Narrating You Own Audiobook, Sunday, May 7 at 3:30pm, Mt. View Mausoleum

Vanessa McGrady, author of ROCK NEEDS RIVER: A MEMOIR ABOUT A VERY OPEN ADOPTION, is an award-winning journalist, ghostwriter, and communications strategist. But wait, there’s more! She’s also been a playwright, actor, producer and voice-over artist. She’s currently writing a feminist superhero time-travel adult graphic novel, as well as a more traditional fiction book. She lives in Burbank with her daughter, spouse, two dogs and a generous number of freshwater fish.

Books That Make a Difference: The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver showed me how engrossing and brilliant a novel could be and it’s my north star about how to experience a work of fiction. Books about women and money by Barbara (Stanny) Huson opened my world to the magic of manifestation and taking myself seriously as a business owner. The Odyssey was a foundational tool for me to illuminate the hero’s journey, a blueprint for so many other works. Caste by Isabel Wilkerson was an important stop on my ongoing anti-racism journey. I also have two falling-apart copies of Dictionary of Classical Mythology by J.E. Zimmerman from when I was in college. It’s such a good resource for remembering who’s who and picking names for characters. I’m currently reading Beloved by Toni Morrison, but it is a long game for me because it’s so rich that I need to keep backtracking so I can absorb it all. Maybe I never fully will, but I’ll keep trying.