JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Marilynn Griffith, editor of SistahFaith
(Howard Books/Simon and Schuster)
SistahFaith is about healing. It’s about women–holy women, smart women, women in leadership–lifting their skirts and showing their scars. It’s about nodding slowly to the woman who comes in church with a black eye and a skirt that’s too tight and whispering to her that it will be all right, telling her you know because you were her once and God made it all right for you.
It’s about keeping it holy and keeping it real. It’s about testimony.
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the idea and inspiration to write SistahFaith?
Marrilynn Griffith: As for the idea, I didn’t come up with it. Not really. It was 2004, and God was doing something. It was a healing season. I had a blog and a friend of mine, Claudia Mair Burney, had one too. She was bleeding over there, saying things that women weren’t supposed to say out loud.
I wept in front of my laptop and whispered, “Me too.” By phone, another friend, Dr. Gail Hayes, was getting to the root in her way. “Why do you say that? What happened to you?,” she’d say now and then. It was a year of testimony, a time of truth. I went and spoke a lot that year.
Often, women in fine suits and long skirts would whisper into the folds of my clothes, “Me too. That happened to me too.” I began to see that there was a secret sistahood, a sistahood of shame that had to be broken, to be turned into something bright and beautiful. So I didn’t come up with it, not really. God did.
JP: What sets SistahFaith apart from others in its genre?
MG: There are many wonderful story collections that minister to women, but this time we wanted to get REAL about the thing. There are stories from celebrities like Bunny DeBarge and well-known authors like Sharon Ewell Foster.
But it wasn’t about a who’s who, it was about coming together and testifying of what God has brought us through so other women can know that they don’t have to be ashamed. God’s grace is shameless!
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that lead to SistahFaith getting out to the public?
MG: We’re doing a lot of online promotions, including the blog tour with TyWebbin Creations that you’re participating in. The book is the title of the month in our SistahFaith Book Club on our Ning community as well.
We’ll be doing face-to-face events as well like the Garments of Praise conference in Fayetteville, NC, March 26-29 (http://ladylifers.com/Page_2.html). Churches, book clubs, prison ministries, women shelters…all types of organizations will be using this book to bring hope, healing and restoration to women.
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take for you to start and finish SistahFaith?
MG: This book took a lot of time. First there was the living all of us had to do to get to the place to be able to say the types of things we had to say in these stories while still being uplifting and encouraging.
Then there was the writing, the selections, the ups and downs… Truly it’s been a journey. The whole thing started about six years ago.
JP: What’s next for Marilynn Griffith?
MG: Thanks for asking! I have a novella in A Million Blessings, an anthology with Angela Benson and Tia McCollors, that releases later this month. After that? I’ll be working on whatever God says is next. Thanks so much for having me.
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