See You At The Gaithersburg Book Festival On Saturday

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The big news here this week is that the rain came and finally we are no longer in a mild drought situation. But the even bigger news is that next Saturday, I will be in taking part in a Memoir Panel Discussion at the Gaithersburg Book Festival in Maryland. I’m excited.

Joining me on the panel will be fellow She Writes Press sister, Betty Hafner. Betty’s memoir, Not Exactly Love, published last year, is about her first marriage and the unpredictable domestic violence she lived with for far too long. For the multitude of women and men who live with physical abuse at the hands of their spouses, this book is a poignant guide revealing how Betty took back her own life, leaving the abuse she suffered behind. It’s a moving narrative filled with the stuff of real life. I found it hard to put down.

Seema Reza, author of another page-turner, When the World Breaks Open, published by Red Hen Press in 2016, will join us in our discussion about writing memoir and abuse. With raw honesty, Seema examines her own role in her dysfunctional and abusive marriage, as she struggles with fear, regret, love, loss, and motherhood. Written as a series of short essays, poems, and notes to herself she brings to life the lessons she has learned and the infinite wisdom one finds amidst suffering.

My own book, Scattering Ashes, A Memoir of Letting Go, about living with my mother during her last seven years of her life, sheds light on how domestic abuse by parents effects their children throughout their lifetimes and how the chain of abuse within a family can be stopped.

If you are in the area it would be wonderful to see you there. The panel will start at 11:15 AM and run until 12:00 PM, followed by a book signing.

Go to the Gaithersburg Book Festival’s website here for directions and a schedule of other interesting book events.


  1. Congratulations, Joan! I wish I could be there but I will be supporting you from afar. I’m looking forward to hearing all about it. Enjoy!

    • Joan Rough says:

      Thanks Kathy. That would be one long drive for you to come, but I’ll tell you all about it next week.

  2. May you enjoy showers of blessings at the Festival that match spring rains in Charlottesville. I’ll be with you in spirit. Brava, Joan!

    • Joan Rough says:

      Thanks so much Marian. I will enjoy it and I’ll be with you in spirit as well during this difficult time.

  3. Joan — I’m so excited for you. Woohoo! Post festival, I hope you’ll write a post about the experience.

    • Joan Rough says:

      I’ll let you know all about it next week, Laurie. It should be fun. Thanks for your excitement!

  4. Sara Howlett says:

    Wish I was there to hear the three of you and a stimulating discussion. The rain was lovely here too, just ending before Mother’s Day.

  5. How exciting! Enjoy Joan. 🙂