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354 pages, Hardcover
First published March 8, 2016
This book is full of strong female characters that are stand out stars of their time period. Each story the M.C, endures what she must and comes out the better for it. The things that stuck with me was that most of the stories had some fantasy elements so it almost like historical fantasy. A few of my favorites have been Andrea Cremer's and Leslye Walton's "El Destinos". The stories while short feel mostly complete. I really have been enjoying this anthology a ton! It's perfect for any reader who loves strong women in historical setting with a little something extra.
The only real directions I gave the authors when I asked them to write stories for A TYRANNY OF PETTICOATS was that I wanted the stories to be about clever, interesting, diverse American girls throughout history, and setting needed to play an important role; the stories needed to feel like they couldn't take place anywhere or anywhen else.
My Question for Jessica: How did the authors get into the places and head-spaces of our historical girls?
One way is by using Pinterest to create inspiration boards.
In Marie Lu's "The Journey," Yakone, a young Inuit girl, flees across the frozen tundra after the murder of her parents and the destruction of her family's village by white traders. (1723: The Great Land) Here's Marie's Pinspiration board for her story:
In Katherine Longshore's "Hard Times," Rosie "Curls" Weaver hops trains toward the coast in search of a better opportunity - and may find one when she meets a journalist searching for the truth about hobo camps. (1934: Washington State) Here's Katherine's Pinspiration board for her story:
In Leslye Walton's "El Destinos," the Three Fates are reborn as a trio of Mexican American sisters whose responsibility to control the threads of life and death is tested when two of them fall in love with the same man. (1848: Southwest Texas) Here's Leslye's Pinspiration board for her story:
In Elizabeth Wein's "The Color of the Sky," Antonia meets her hero, aviatrix Bessie Coleman; bears witness to Bessie's death in a tragic flying accident; and finds herself in possession of the plane's flight record. (1926: Jacksonville, FL & Dallas, TX) Here's Elizabeth's Pinspiration board for her story:
In my (Jessica Spotswood's) "Madeleine's Choice," a free girl of color seeks advice from voodoo queen Marie Laveau to choose between the longtime family friend, a respectable middle class man of color, who has offered her marriage -- and the romantic, wealthy white planter who cannot. (1826: New Orleans) Here's my Pinspiration board for the story:
Music can also really help set the scene and get into the character's head. Here are two playlists from our authors:
In Lindsay Smith's "City of Angels," an aspiring screenwriter falls in love with a fellow Rosie the Riveter who's an aspiring actress - but things change when the men return from war. (1945: Los Angeles, CA). Here are a few songs from Lindsay's playlist:
In Saundra Mitchell's "Bonnie and Clyde, " Marjorie May Johnson doesn't see any conflict in running from the law as Baby Boy Wabash, the Most Wanted bank robber in Posey County, and later snuggling up to the same lawman, who just happens to be her beau. (1934: Indiana) And here's a whole mini-post by Saundra Mitchell about her musical inspirations:
I write a lot of historicals, so I listen to a lot of historical music. One of the greatest things about writing "Bonnie and Clyde" for A TYRANNY OF PETTICOATS was that blues and jazz were really getting into the swing of things. These forms of music were uniquely American, and uniquely suited to reflecting how complicated the 1930s were in the United States.
"Brother, Can You Spare a Dime" - Rudy Vallee
This is one of those songs that helped define The Depression— it actually
talked about the hardships and the poverty. For a country that had been
booming following WWI, that glistened and glittered with Sheikhs and
shimmy skirts in the 1920s, the harsh realities of the stock market crash
changed everything in an instant. Even country girls in Indiana felt the
reverberations of Black Friday.
"Summertime" - Billie Holliday https://youtu.be/uYUqbnk7tCY
Even if you could manage to imagine better days, the weight of The
Depression was all around. This song wishes for better days, all the while
admitting musically that they're nowhere near here yet. It wasn't hard for
me to imagine my Hoosier girl deciding she wanted summertime to get here,
just a little bit faster.
"Happy Days are Here Again" - Ben Selvin and the Crooners
Conversely, you had FDR swearing he would turn everything around— this was the Change We Can Believe In of its day. But, if you had decided that
robbing banks was the answer, maybe you could believe in those happy days in an immediate way.
"Get Happy" - Ella Fitzgerald: https://youtu.be/mwoPlRR9J_k
This song is about a tent revival, not exactly a gun slinging theme song.
But it's definitely about making yourself over and escaping the darkness—
why couldn't it be the theme song for a girl bandit who also just so
happens to teach Sunday School?
"Minnie the Moocher" - Cab Calloway:
When you're a bad girl, you start to enjoy celebrating bad girls, and
Minnie the Moocher was pretty naughty all things considered!
"Blaze of Glory" - Jon Bon Jovi: https://youtu.be/MfmYCM4CS8o
And this song? Has nothing to do with the Depression, but if you're
styling yourself as an outlaw, you have to have a theme song just in case
you go down in… yep, a Blaze of Glory!
Preview YouTube video Rudy Vallee - Brother can you spare a dime (1931)
Rudy Vallee - Brother can you spare a dime (1931)
Preview YouTube video Billie Holiday - Summertime
Billie Holiday - Summertime
Preview YouTube video Ben Selvin Happy Days Are Here Again 1930
Ben Selvin Happy Days Are Here Again 1930
Preview YouTube video ella fitzgerald - get happy
ella fitzgerald - get happy
Preview YouTube video Cab Calloway - Minnie the Moocher
Cab Calloway - Minnie the Moocher
Preview YouTube video Jon Bon Jovi - Blaze Of Glory
Jon Bon Jovi - Blaze Of Glory
Thanks to the amazing folks over at Candlewick Press you have 2 chances to win a copy! (US only)
ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS LEAVE A COMMENT TELLING WHICH STORIES YOU ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO AN WHY? Winners will be randomly drawn on March 20th! Good luck!
“And what will I do with your gold dust? We Tlingit don’t value it.”
“A trader like you? I can’t imagine.”