You all know how inspired I am by the bad-ass women of history -- and I'm far from the only one. I recently rounded up a dozen fabulous novels about real-life women for Off the Shelf. These women were sculptors, scientists, soldiers, nuns, and more, and you'll be mesmerized by their stories.
I'm always game for a long-distance interview, and this one was great -- Michelle of Writing Fun interviewed me about GIRL IN DISGUISE, why I write historical fiction, how my books ended up with their titles, and a whole bunch of other stuff.
I had a great time talking about GIRL IN DISGUISE with Covered host Harry C. Marks -- and now you can listen to the whole conversation firsthand. Feminist historical fiction, titular girls, what I'm reading right now, and much more.
I'm about to hop in the car to drive to Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, for the Murder As You Like It festival, but before I go -- The Magician's Lie is $1.99 in e-book today as a Kindle Daily Deal!
I love to read and write about women of the past who are great role models (like, say, Kate Warne) -- but there's also something really compelling about women of the past whose behavior was not so nice. So I rounded up a list for BookBub of great novels about real-life women who did, or were accused of doing, very bad things. Like, say, Marie Antoinette and Lucrezia Borgia.
Great novels about notorious women: add them to your TBR list!
(Also, did you know you can "follow" me on BookBub to be notified when there's a deal on one of my books? There's a sign-up button at the link.)
I promise I've been making progress on my third book. Promise! But as you can tell from yesterday's post, I've also been writing a lot more for online outlets lately, and I've got some great stuff in the works I can't reveal just yet. Listicles and essays and interviews, oh my!
My interview with Natasha Pulley, author of The Watchmaker of Filigree Street and now The Bedlam Stacks, just went live on Chicago Review of Books. My first byline with them -- but it certainly won't be the last.
Historical fiction is fantastic, but it can be a little, well, depressing. All those wars, plagues, orphans, and thwarted romances. If you need something a bit lighter for your summer reading pleasure, I've rounded up five great choices -- dare I say they're both historical and hysterical? (Maybe not, but they'll definitely make you laugh more than you cry.)
Allison Winn Scotch is a fabulous author with fabulous books, and she recently re-opened her blog for aspiring authors. So awesome. Her latest post is about how you know whether a book is done, and I'm one of the authors who weighed in.
Today only, July 31!
If you've been waiting for a great deal on the GIRL IN DISGUISE e-book, wait no more! It's $1.99 today only across all platforms.
Google Books: $1.99
Please spread the word!
Prefer hardcover? Pick that one up for the regular price, today or any day, at your favorite local independent bookstore or through the links below:
Barnes & Noble
"A Spunky Spy Saga." — NPR Books
"Macallister is becoming a leading voice in strong, female-driven historical fiction."—Erika Robuck, bestselling author of Hemingway's Girl
For the first female Pinkerton detective, respect is hard to come by. Danger, however, is not.
In the tumultuous years of the Civil War, the streets of Chicago offer a woman mostly danger and ruin—unless that woman is Kate Warne, the first female Pinkerton detective and a desperate widow with a knack for manipulation. [more...]
Earlier this summer I shared how very excited I was to see GIRL IN DISGUISE named to the Summer Reading List at Bas Bleu. As a lifelong fan of their catalog, this was way cool -- even more so when I saw the cover featured on their home page. Yay! Kate! So big!
Then they invited me to do a Q&A on their Bluestocking Blog, and of course I was happy to do so. We talked about everything from women's legacies to The Magician's Lie movie casting to how Allan Pinkerton would feel about how people think of him now. Read it all here!
There's writing and then there's writing. I have two published novels and a good handful of published short stories and poems, but it's hard to express how it felt to see my byline on an essay at the highly respected literary website The Millions. I shared my thoughts on whether historical fiction can be feminist (it totally can) as well as some of my favorite recent historical novels that make the case for women as fully realized members of society and pretty awesome individuals to boot.
Read the whole essay here, and I'd love it if you'd share the link around. It's been wonderful to see the positive reactions so far. I'm thrilled to have this one out in the world.
Another interview to show off -- in this one, I not only reveal Kate Warne's secret theme song, I also got to chat with the fantastic Jenni L. Walsh, whose BECOMING BONNIE you absolutely need to pick up. Plus, there's a giveaway! What better way to brighten your weekend?
GIRL IN DISGUISE is getting close to some major review milestones on Amazon and Goodreads, and I need your help to cross the threshold! So I'm giving away a cool tote printed with the GIRL IN DISGUISE cover.
Authors are not always super-comfortable with on-camera interviews. We're more used to putting the words out there without a face or voice attached. My on-camera interviews for GIRL IN DISGUISE have been minimal so far, which I don't mind at all -- saves me on makeup, that's for sure! And with KMPH/FOX26 in Fresno, I got the best of both worlds: the book is on camera but I'm not, heh.
See author Bonnie Hearn Hill recommend GIRL IN DISGUISE among her New Summer Reads for the Great Day Book Club segment.
Phew, enough about reviews for now. Interviews are more fun! And they don't come much more enjoyable than this one with Midwestern Gothic. I got to talk about my roots in the Midwest, how I feel about the idea that all writers need to move to New York City, and what writing across genres has taught me.
I am deeply grateful to everyone who writes an online review of one of my books, whether or not it's a positive review. Because reviews are one of the best ways for readers to find books -- they don't have to be five-star raves to serve a really valuable purpose. If you didn't like the book, obviously that's fine! Your opinion is your opinion! There's a way to express "it's not for me" that doesn't resort to "this book sucked" or the ever-non-informative "meh." Unfortunately, some reviewers seem to relish the chance to take the wind out of an author's sails, and when that happens, the best way to get our wind back, so to speak, is to laugh about it.
And so. Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke, who write as a team, rounded up fellow authors to read our mean reviews onscreen, and this video was born. I shared a review of The Magician's Lie that I found, well, rather surprising. Honestly, as soon as they asked if I wanted to participate, I thought, "YES! I've got just the thing."
Plus, you can go to this Facebook page and follow the instructions to enter a great big giveaway for the latest book from every author in the video. (Deadline is June 30.) We promise, the books are MUCH better than these reviews make them sound. Enjoy!
Love this -- Bustle recommends your next read based on your childhood favorite. Guess what you should read if you loved Harriet the Spy? GIRL IN DISGUISE!
Read the whole list here. (I'm thinking Labyrinth Lost next.)
One of my favorite fellow historical fiction writers, Heather Webb, recently rounded up thoughts on failure from a group of successful writers for an article at Writer Unboxed.
Click here for wisdom from Stephanie Cowell, Eva Stachniak, Aimie Runyan and more (including me!)
If you're not familiar with Miss Demeanors, it's a fabulous site chock-full of writing advice. Their own description of the site is delightful: "a group of mystery and suspense writers who -- when not killing off characters -- let their better angels share tidbits about writing, reading and research." (If you've read GIRL IN DISGUISE, you'll know why "better angels" especially made me smile.)
I'm honored to have a guest post up on the site about my process for turning a real-life historical detective into the lead character in a detective novel. Click here to read it.