Sandra Moran's Letters Never Sent resonated deeply in the LGBT community when it was released a little more than a year ago, winning 2013 Rainbow Awards for best lesbian historical romance and best lesbian debut novel.
This year, it earned the Golden Crown Literary Society's General Fiction Award and Ann Bannon Popular Choice Award.
A native Kansan, Moran is an assistant adjunct professor at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park. She discusses her successful first entry in the subgenre of lesbian fiction on Thursday, November 13, 2014, at 6:30 p.m. at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.
Letters Never Sent is the story of a woman who, in 1997, travels to Lawrence, Kansas, to clean out the home of her late, estranged mother and stumbles upon the older woman's surprising past - through the discovery of a wooden box containing trinkets and sealed letters to someone identified only by a first initial. It turns out the seemingly aloof and unyielding parent was something else entirely; she had loved (another woman) deeply and lost that love amid circumstances beyond her control.
Despite their differences, the daughter comes to realize that the two women were more alike than she ever imagined, one struggling in the 1930s and the other decades later to conform to the social norms of their times.
"We're living in an exciting time with 'alternative' lifestyles becoming more accepted," Moran wrote in a recent blog post. "I love taking experiences that people think make them different (like religion or sexual preference) and showing how, at the core, the associated emotions and motivations are really universal."
Moran, who lives in Lenexa, teaches anthropology at Johnson County Community College. She worked previously as a reporter for The Topeka Capital-Journal and on the staff of Kansas Gov. Bill Graves.
She has penned a second novel, Nudge, about an advertising executive commissioned by God to write and market an addendum to the world's religious texts.
Admission to her presentation is free. RSVP at kclibrary.org or call 816.701.3407. Free parking is available in the Library District parking garage at 10th & Baltimore.