Monday, November 26, 2007

Greetings from Jamaica, Wish You Were Queer

Mari SanGiovanni will be Yvonne Perry’s guest on Writers in the Sky Podcast November 30, 2007!

Raised by a pack of crazy Italian wolves in the rural woods of Rhode Island, Mari grew up with one older sister who convinced her she was an adopted Mexican boy who had her penis removed at the US border, and two younger brothers who convinced her she would never be as pretty as they were. She learned to draw as a kid simply because she could not beat her sister in any other sport (including Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots and Atari’s Pong). Eventually, their fierce competition caused her to attend Rhode Island School of Design where all the young artists tried to look different by wearing the same spiked hair and dirty black clothes and pierced eyebrows (She escaped with both of her virgin eyebrows unscathed, but her closet is filled with tons of black clothes.) She has just skidded past her 40th year and keeps waiting for her taste in humor to grow up. No sign of it yet.

Mari works full time for a large company in Boston as a Vice President of Product Development, which is a fancy way of saying that she leads a team of 7 designers who design products for the Home Décor, Giftware and tabletop industries (…which is a fancy way of saying there is a good chance you have had one of her forks in your mouth…Mari hopes it was as good for you as it was for her). Mari has written several unpublished books, three to be exact, but Greetings from Jamaica, Wish You Were Queer… is the first one to actually see the light of day.

Mari’s next book, Liddy-Jean, Marketing Queen will be released after January 2008 and it took first place in Bywater’s annual writing contest. She also has completed the screenplay version of Greetings From Jamaica. Besides writing, Mari likes to carve stone (it makes her feel so butch until she starts weeping over breaking one of her fabulous fingernails), and Mari loves her Miniature Pincher (named Cindy-Lu-Who).

Synopsis for Greetings from Jamaica Wish You Were Queer

Marie Santora has a few secrets her wacky Italian family may not let her keep... After Marie comes into a windfall of cash, she surprises the whole clan with a trip to Jamaica where the family collides in a hilarious Caribbean romp filled with lies, lesbians and even a few lemmings.

Siblings, Sicilians, and celebrity, mothers, and wayward meatballs; all conspire to make a peaceful vacation anything but that! Marie learns the amount of money you need to live comfortably is directly related to your number of relatives; if they don't get enough of her money; she won't live comfortably.

Is it possible to find and keep the love of your life while on vacation with your entire family? The island of Jamaica just may not be big enough...

AVAILABLE NOW THROUGH AMAZON.COM or your favorite bookstore.

Here is a book review that was posted on by Sarah Warn, Editor in Chief
September 14, 2007


Recently I picked up the lesbian novel Greetings from Jamaica, Wish You Were Queer, by Mari Sangiovanni, and was immediately annoyed when the book jacket warned, "this book may make you laugh out loud in public." I'm always suspicious of books that say something like that, but damn if I didn't actually laugh out loud while reading it - several times, in fact. I hate it when the anonymous book blurb writers are right!

The gist of the plot is this: An Italian-American lesbian named Marie, who's just coming off a bad relationship with a cheating ex, inherits millions from her grandmother, takes her family to Jamaica to celebrate, and falls in love with a well-known American actress who's also vacationing there.

Much drama and comedic misunderstanding ensues when the actress mistakes Marie for a stalker, and Marie's family meddles in her affairs (when they're not trying to get their hands on her money). My favorite character is actually her brother and staunchest ally, Vince, who constantly tries to come up with new and different lesbian jokes to tease her with. If you're looking for a funny, well-written novel to help you forget that summer's over already, definitely give this a try!

According to Mari, there are three production companies looking at turning the book into a movie, which she's pitching as "a My Big Fat Greek Wedding, only with Italians, set in Jamaica, with a couple of lesbians thrown in!"

Gotta love Hollywood and their fondness for how something is just like something else, but different! Read more about the author and the book at

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