7 Minutes in Book Heaven with Rob Kirby and Marry Me A Little

Welcome to our Summer of Book Love series!

Every Tuesday this summer we will feature new episodes of 7 Minutes in Book Heaven which has your next summer read! New episodes of This Queer Book Saved My Life! drop September 19th.

Today we meet Robert Kirby and his new graphic memoir: Marry Me A Little.

What’s it about? Rob recounts his experience of marrying his longtime partner, John, just after same-sex marriage was legalized in Minnesota in 2013. Heartwarming, honest, and slyly humorous, Marry Me a Little is a wonderfully illustrated celebration of a romantic partnership between two men and a personal account of a momentous and historic moment in the fight for gay rights.

Buy Marry Me A Little

Visit our Bookshop or buy directly right now: https://bookshop.org/a/82376/9781637790397

Connect with Rob Kirby

Website: robkirbycomics.com
Instagram: @robkirbycomics
Twitter: @robkirbycomics

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Quatrefoil Library

Quatrefoil has created a curated lending library made up of the books featured on our podcast! If you can’t buy these books, then borrow them! Link: https://libbyapp.com/library/quatrefoil/curated-1404336/page-1

Credits

Host/Founder: J.P. Der Boghossian
Executive Producer: Jim Pounds
Associate Producers: Archie Arnold, Natalie Cruz, Paul Kaefer, Nicole Olila, Joe Perazzo, Bill Shay, and Sean Smith
Patreon Subscribers: Stephen D., Thomas Michna, and Gary Nygaard.

Transcript

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J.P. Der Boghossian: Welcome to 7 Minutes in Book Heaven. My name is J.P. Der Boghossian. I’m an essayist, Lambda Literary Fellow, and founder of the Queer Armenian Library. And this is the podcast where I interview LGBTQ authors about the new books they have coming out for us to love and to cuddle up with. This is part of our Summer of Book Love series. Every Tuesday, for the rest of the summer we have your next book to read at the beach, or the pool, or in your bedroom next to the air conditioner. New episodes of This Queer Book Saved My Life! return on September 19! Today, I’m joined by Rob Kirby to discuss his new book, Marry Me a Little. Hello, Rob.

Rob Kirby: Hi, thanks for having me.

J.P.: It’s so great to have you here. I’m really looking forward to talking about your book today. So how does our podcast work? I have seven questions for Rob, and we’re gonna spend approximately the next seven minutes in this virtual studio talking about Marry Me a Little, while also getting to know more about the amazing writer who is Rob Kirby. So Rob, are you ready?

Rob: I am ready, Freddy.

J.P.: Alright, well the timer is set and here we go. Question number one, please describe Marry Me a Little as if you’re sharing it with your celebrity crush and telling us who that special person is of course.

Rob: Hi Murray Bartlett, I loved you in Looking. and White Lotus and that amazing, amazing third episode of The Last of Us that just ran earlier this year. My new graphic memoir, Marry Me a Little, is an account of my marrying my longtime boyfriend when we’re both middle-aged, when it became legal, and how we were very ambivalent about the entire experience because marriage was never anything that we particularly wanted to do. It was not a possibility for us. The book is basically a graphic memoir about contemplating why we did get married and what the whole institution looks like to us politically, culturally, and personally. I also wrote a little bit about the marriage of Jack Baker and Michael McConnell who got married back in 1971 here in Minneapolis. So my book is a memoir mixed with other things, placing marriage in context of culture.

J.P.: Absolutely

Rob Kirby: And I really hope you like it, Murray. I mean I just really hope that you’ll really enjoy it.

J.P.: Absolutely. Can I ask a quick follow-up? Why did you choose a graphic memoir?

Rob: Because I’m a cartoonist at heart. I mean, I do write for Publishers Weekly. I write reviews for books there, and I do freelance writing, but I have always been a cartoonist at heart. That’s my whole career. So most of my books are comics-based. I do memoir and autobiographical stuff for the most part.

J.P.: We’ll put links to that on our website and in the show notes. Question number two, what is a sentence from a novel, essay, poem, or other book that every time you read it, it gives you all the feels?

Rob: This sentence is from the novel To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf. One of the major themes of the book is the inescapable passage of time. And this scene, this sentence, features one of the main characters, Mrs. Ramsey. All that’s happening is she’s leaving the dinner table, leaving her guests at the dinner table at the end of the evening. And this just really speaks to me. “With her foot on the threshold, she waited a moment longer in a scene which was vanishing, even as she looked. And then as she moved and took Minta’s arm and left the room, it changed. It shaped itself differently. It had become, she knew, giving one last look at it over her shoulder, already the past.”

J.P. : I love that book. Every two or three years I come back to it. I really recommend it. So thank you for sharing that. Question number three: What do you feel is the best sentence you’ve ever written?

Rob: Well, I don’t know if it’s the best one I’ve ever written, but I really like this one a lot. It’s from Marry Me a Little. Near the end, describing my feelings towards marriage or actually more specifically long-term relationships. “Our life together, a mix of little stuff and big stuff, arguments and heart to hearts, personal quirks, private jokes, doubts and commitments, work and play, joy and grief, day to day life stacking up into years gone by.

J.P.: :Let’s see how that would tie into Murray Bartlett’s episode on Last of Us. Oof, the tie-ins.

Rob: And with Virginia Woolf too, like the passage of time.

J.P.: Absolutely.

Rob: Like it just did before. Time has changed and things have. You have grown and things have just settled.

J.P.: Absolutely Thank you for that. Question number four, what’s the best romantic scene you’ve ever read?

Rob: Because I’m a Virgo, I never like to get anything absolutely specific, but I’ve got to give it up for comics with this one. One of my biggest inspirations in comics has been Alison Bechdel, and in her second Dykes to Watch Out for collection, which came out like a long time ago in the late 80s, she did a longer story featuring her heroine Moe having sex with her paramour Harriet for the very first time. I thought she captured the experience so beautifully. anticipation and the growing sense of electricity as you know it’s going to happen you know it’s a really beautiful mildly erotic and very very relatable scene. So, I really love that.

J.P.: Anything that anything that Alison Bechdel does is a plus in my book.

Rob: Absolutely.

J.P.: Okay question number five. What are your favorite smells to write about?

Rob: Well, as a cartoonist, I basically have to visualize a scent rather than put it into words because cartooning is a visual medium. When I draw food, say a bowl of soup or a cup of coffee, I love drawing the steam emanating from it. Somehow I think it translates to the reader that this smells hot and delicious.

J.P.: Absolutely. Question number six, what is the worst writing advice you’ve ever got?

Rob: Oh hands down, many years ago a tax preparer of mine was telling me if I took the Gay stuff out of my work it would make it more universal and thus I would be more successful. I took this as don’t be you, you’ll do better. So of course I didn’t take it seriously whatsoever. I was offended.

J.P.: Your tax preparer said this?

Rob: I mean she meant well, she’s like, you know, you’re making some money, but, if you took the Gay out of it and made it more universal, you know, you could do even better.

J.P.: I don’t even… Okay. Tax preparers, you’re not editors. Stay in your lane. Question number seven. Promote yourself. How do we order your book? How do we follow you on social?

Rob: You can order my book from really any wonderful bookstore If you prefer to do your shopping online go to bookshop.org over, you know the big huge places. I really believe in supporting independent bookstores. You can follow me on social via Twitter and Instagram at Rob Kirby comics. That’s the same handle for both of them and my website is Rob Kirby comics dot com and I update that semi-frequently.

J.P.: Perfect and we are exactly at time. So thank you very much Rob. It’s been so great to chat with you today

Rob: You too.

J.P.: Well, thanks everyone for listening today. This podcast is Executive Produced by Jim Pounds. Our Associate Producers are Archie Arnold, Natalie Cruz, Paul Kaefer, Nicole Ollila, Joe Perazzo, Bill Shea, and Sean Smith.

Visit our Bookshop to buy the books featured on our podcasts as well as to browse new collections specifically curated by me. thisqueerbook.com/bookshop We’re @thisqueerbook on Facebook and Instagram. I’m also @jp_derboghossian on TikTok where I tok about LGBTQ books! Be here next Tuesday for the next in our Summer of Book Love series. Until then, see you Queers and allies in the bookstores.

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