Monday, March 7, 2016

The Tyranny of Petticoats Blog Tour

Title: A Tyranny of Petticoats: 15 Stories of Belles, Bank Robbers & Other Badass Girls 
Publisher: Candlewick 
Publication Date: March 8th, 2016 
Genre/Format: Historical Fiction/Fantasy/Short Stories 
GoodReads Summary: From an impressive sisterhood of YA writers comes an edge-of-your-seat anthology of historical fiction and fantasy featuring a diverse array of daring heroines.

Criss-cross America — on dogsleds and ships, stagecoaches and trains — from pirate ships off the coast of the Carolinas to the peace, love, and protests of 1960s Chicago. Join fifteen of today’s most talented writers of young adult literature on a thrill ride through history with American girls charting their own course. They are monsters and mediums, bodyguards and barkeeps, screenwriters and schoolteachers, heiresses and hobos. They're making their own way in often-hostile lands, using every weapon in their arsenals, facing down murderers and marriage proposals. And they all have a story to tell. 

With stories by:
J. Anderson Coats
Andrea Cremer
Y. S. Lee
Katherine Longshore
Marie Lu
Kekla Magoon
Marissa Meyer
Saundra Mitchell
Beth Revis
Caroline Richmond
Lindsay Smith
Jessica Spotswood
Robin Talley
Leslye Walton
Elizabeth Wein

Today I'm sharing a short question and answer with three of the awesome authors who contributed to A Tyranny of Petticoats: Katherine Longshore, Marie Lu, and Kekla Magoon!
Katherine Longshore - Hard Times 
Question and Answer with Katherine Longshore
What inspired you to write about this particular time and place?
My enduring fascination with both hobos (that is, people who hitch rides on freight trains) and old movies. At a very young age, I was given a book that included illustrations of hobo symbols, and I have looked for signs of train jumpers ever since. As a teenager, I was obsessed with Hollywood’s early golden age and binge-watched swashbucklers, musicals, and screwball comedies. That these two worlds coexisted during the Great Depression is a dichotomy I was eager to explore.
What was the most interesting piece of research you uncovered while writing your story?
I don’t know if you’d call it research, but I was impressed by the number of people who have either jumped trains or know someone who did: from the family friend who remembers feeding hobos out of her back door in Ogden, Utah, to the critique group partner whose father rode the rails, to three famous Jacks — London, Dempsey, and Kerouac. For a while, it seemed that everyone I spoke to about “Hard Times” had their own rail adventure to tell.
Who is your favorite woman in history and why?
I don’t have a favorite — there are too many to choose from! — but I think my first historical crush was on Amelia Earhart, another 1930s icon. Even as a child, I saw her as a heroic figure and a star of feminism. Her courage, stubbornness, and mysterious disappearance make her endlessly fascinating.

Kekla Magoon - Pulse of the Panthers 
Question and Answer with Kekla Magoon

What inspired you to write about this particular time and place?
I’ve been interested in the 1960s and the Black Panther Party for quite a while. My first novel, The Rock and the River, and my third novel, Fire in the Streets, are about teens who become involved with the Black Panther Party in 1968 Chicago. When I thought about what historical moment I’d like to visit for this short-story collection, it was a natural choice. I hope that by writing about this topic, I can help introduce people to a slice of American history that often gets overlooked.

What was the most interesting piece of research you uncovered while writing your story?
Most people are fascinated to learn that the Black Panthers were much more than an armed self-defense collective — they led community-organizing programs, provided free breakfasts for school children in poor communities, established free health clinics, created food pantries, published a newspaper, offered legal aid, established charter schools, and ran candidates for political office. Their work affected and supported thousands of struggling individuals and families in cities nationwide. I’m intrigued by the courage and sacrifice of these black activists, and I continue to be troubled by the lack of attention paid to this moment in history by mainstream education and storytelling. This short story allowed me to explore a character who is on the fringes of the Black Panther movement, which was a fun angle to consider after so much time spent looking toward the heart of black activism in the 1960s and the events and context that spurred the Panthers to turn to self-defense and community-organizing strategies to create change.

Who is your favorite woman in history and why?
There are so many amazing women in history. One of my favorites is Zora Neale Hurston, a black author, anthropologist, and activist from the Harlem Renaissance era (1920s and 1930s). She wrote Their Eyes Were Watching God and other things, but she wrote, spoke out, and made herself heard at a time when black women were discounted and overlooked even more than they are today. I also aspire to speak truth in the face of oppression and to be remembered for my voice, and she is an epic model of that specific achievement.

Marie Lu - The Journey
Question and Answer with Marie Lu
What inspired you to write about this particular time and place?
One of my favorite childhood novels was Jean Craighead George’s Julie of the Wolves, and I fell in love with it because of her portrayal of the life and landscape in Alaska. So when Jess first pitched the idea of A Tyranny of Petticoats to me, I immediately knew that I wanted to set my story there. The environment is just so magical, beautiful and wild and harsh — the name Alaska derives from the native Aleut word alyeska, which means “the great land.” I wanted to tell a story about what it might have been like during the time when Alaska’s indigenous people first started encountering outside explorers, and what that meant from various angles, including from the point of view of a young Inupiat girl.

What was the most interesting piece of research you uncovered while writing your story?
There were so many! I especially loved reading mythology from the indigenous cultures, stories about why the stars and animals exist, what the dancing northern lights mean.

Who is your favorite woman in history and why?
Wow, it’s impossible to pick a single woman! My best attempts to narrow this down still end up with two: 1. Marie Curie, perhaps the first famous woman I ever read about as a little girl, and from whom I think I picked my English name to model, and 2. going more modern, Malala Yousafzai, who has already made history and will no doubt continue to for many decades to come. She inspires me every time I think about her.

Check out the other stops on the blog tour!

March 1
Nerdy Book Club
March 2
A Foodie Bibliophile in Wanderlust
March 3
Charting By the Stars
March 4
Unleashing Readers
March 7
Teacher Mentor Texts
March 8
YA Love

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