I am wicked thrilled to be on this lovely blog tour celebrating a series I first *discovered!* on NetGalley – which is the Bury Down Chronicles! I have only been on NetGalley since February of 2020 (wherein I started participating by listening to audio extracts) and I have been reviewing and listening to audiobooks via NetGalley since July, 2020. Previously I was not able to participate on NetGalley due to my inability to read ebooks due to my chronic migraines. Hence why I am celebrating this year NetGalley finally released a format which works for readers who only read stories in print and/or listen to audiobooks; as the latter have been such a keen pleasure of joy in my life since I first started listening to them in 2016.
I wasn’t sure which kinds of audiobooks would be available for review consideration this Summer on NetGalley but what I am finding is a lovely mixture of stories – from adult to Children’s Lit and from Fiction and Non-Fiction. Three of the reviews I submitted are on my blog now – which are as follows: Solstice Shadows (see also Review); My Life in Plants (see also Review) and Jorik Calling (see also Review). I will be releasing more as I finish the stories I’ve begun listening to whilst I am also re-balancing my NetGalley selections as a few of them archived before I could listen to them and am thankful those selections are on Scribd.
When it came to Megge of Bury Down – I was thankful I could request the audiobook from the author as I had a lot of health issues in September and at the end of October; this coming week I am listening to both Megge of Bury Down (courtesy of the author) and The Lady of the Cliffs (which thankfully was available via NetGalley). What caught my attention first and foremost is how this is a lovely installment of stories featuring strong women and a cornerstone of History I do not regularly get to read or listen too. I love seeking out hidden stories in the historical past which bring to life a bit of history you are not expecting to find and whose heroines of the stories themselves have such a strong story to be heard.
I personally love finding Feminist Historical Fiction & Historical Women’s Fiction stories as much as I love stories which dip into the shadows and corners of Magical Realism. Each writer who uses Magical Realism re-invents what can be done with this genre and it is a joy to continue to discover each writer’s spin and evocation of the genre itself. For these reasons I am wicked thrilled I can listen to this series during the blog tour and to help signal boost the series to those readers who might not have discovered it.
Today, I am sharing extracts from both stories in order to give you a better preview of what is inside them and hopefully after reading the extracts you might decide to either fetch these audiobooks via NetGalley yourself (as I saw they are still available under ‘Listen Now’) or perhaps you’ll add the series to your own #mustread list! Either way, ENJOY!
The Bury Down Chronicles:
Megge of Bury Down (book one)
Megge of Bury Down was recently named a Distinguished Favorite in the categories of historical fiction and cover design at the Independent Press NYC Big Book Awards.
The Lady of the Cliffs (book two)
The Lady of the Cliffs is a continuation of Megge of Bury Down, it is not a standalone novel and readers will have to have read Megge in order to understand the events that take place in this book.
Converse via: #HistoricalFiction, #HistFic, #Celtic and #MeggeOfBuryDown
as well as #BuryDownChronicles, #MagicalRealism or #WomensFiction
About Rebecca Kightlinger
Rebecca Kightlinger holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast MFA program and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. A fulltime writer and literary critic, she divides her workday between researching and writing the Bury Down Chronicles, reviewing novels for the Historical Novel Society, and reading fiction submissions for New England Review. She travels to Cornwall to carry out on-site research for each book of the Bury Down series.
In her twenty years of medical practice as an obstetrician gynecologist, she had the privilege of caring for the women of Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Guyana, South America. A lifetime Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and a member of the American Association for the History of Medicine, she also studies ancient medicine, medieval midwifery, the history of Cornwall, and the manuscripts and arts of the mystical healer.
She and her husband live in Pennsylvania.
Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! HFVBTs is one of the very first touring companies I started working with as a 1st Year Book Blogger – uniting my love and passion with Historical Fiction and the lovely sub-genres inside which I love devouring. Whether I am reading selections from Indie Authors & publishers to Major Trade and either from mainstream or INSPY markets – I am finding myself happily residing in the Historical past each year I am a blogger.
What I have been thankful for all these years since 2013 is the beautiful blessing of discovering new areas of Historical History to explore through realistically compelling Historical narratives which put me on the front-lines of where History and human interest stories interconnect. It has also allowed me to dive deeper into the historic past and root out new decades, centuries and millenniums to explore. For this and the stories themselves which are part of the memories I cherish most as a book blogger I am grateful to be a part of the #HFVBTBlogTours blogger team.
I received a complimentary copy of “Naked Truth: or Equality, the Forbidden Fruit” direct from the author Carrie Hayes in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.
Why I wanted to read “Naked Truth: or Equality, the Forbidden Fruit”:
Ever since I first started to uncover a hidden niche of Historical Fiction which I refer to as Feminist Historical Fiction – those stories which are redefining our knowledge about the Women’s Rights movement, the histories and lives of the Suffragettes and everything interconnected to Intersectional Feminism as well as the larger breadth of how fighting for Women’s Rights has been an ongoing battle for many generations – those are the stories which have been enriching my readerly life for four years now.
I read a re-telling of the life of Victoria Woodhull in August (Madame Presidentess by Nicole Evelina) which helped heal my heart about the portions of Woodhull’s life I felt so very difficult to read through in Flynn’s edition of the story.
It has led me down some interesting passageways – as I’ve been following in the stead of Victoria Woodhull in different incantations of her her life being told whilst I also found a remarkable trilogy about Genevieve and how her story could be re-told through a Feminist lens by Nicole Evelina (ie. the Genevieve Tales Trilogy archives).
I am encouraged by finding strong female characters that are illuminating the long history of Women’s Equality. This includes a historical mystery novel The Secret Life of Anna Blanc by Jennifer Kincheloe which approached the topic from a unique angle of discussion.
Through my readings I have felt more anchoured to the history of all the women who’ve lived before me, making our lives better for their sacrifice and dedication.
I was reading so many of these stories for quite a long while (over about two years) before they stopped coming through my Inbox in regards to blog tours. I had meant to seek more of these kinds of stories out myself by way of my local libraries or on Scribd (for audiobooks), however, as we all notice life has a way of taking us elsewhere at times when we’re thinking of following another path entirely. Thereby, I have let serendipity help me find new voices in this wonderful scope of Historical Fiction which parlays into Biographical Historical Fiction as well – as most of these stories are straight out of the living persons accounts about what was happening in the world and how women have been fighting for our Equality for far more years than anyone could imagine!
And, this is the latest I’ve found which picks up the threads of what I’ve previously read whilst encouraging all of us to carry onwards – to seek out more stories of our conjoined histories and to peer back into what has been fuelling the fight for our rights through decades and centuries of fierce women who have stood up, resisted and found their voice through protest to seek a better future for us all.
In a small way, I’ve been contributing to their legacy by amplifying voices on Twitter – by retweeting and sharing the content about the #WomensMarch and the continuing quest to have our rights secured in all facets of our lives. I might be an online activist right now but that doesn’t lessen my voice or my hope for a better tomorrow for all women once we no longer have to fight to be heard, respected and treated as equals. For me Feminism is Intersectional – it is about all of us together – including our transgender sisters – as we either all rise together or we all continue to fall.
It is better to understand History than to continuously repeat it and in this regard, it is best to understand the sacrifices of the past which have endevoured us to live as free as we do now in our modern world. Here is to the continuing fight to secure more rights and to finally have true Equality.
What first inspired you to research and eventually write about the History of Women’s Rights and the Suffragette movement?
Hayes responds: As a girl, my upbringing was somehow slipped into that space between privilege and feminine acquiescence…. by which I mean to say that my ignorance of the feminist movement (despite or maybe because of my mother’s personal friendship with Gloria Steinem) was absolute. I understood practically nothing about suffragism.
When Margaret Thatcher was first elected as Prime Minister I was a student at a girls’ school in Britain, but the only reference to feminism on the part of the teachers there was a look. They’d give you a look. No one ever said anything directly about the history of the women’s movement. My own mother was such a maverick, I couldn’t imagine ANYONE dictating to her or denying her ANYTHING… so I was completely oblivious to what women had actually gone through…. Now, when I read my answer, that sounds pretty unlikely, particularly as my mom had been a friend of Gloria’s in the sixties, but their friendship was complicated by my dad’s antipathy towards Gloria… so perhaps that made all things feminist sort of verboten…. In his defence, though, he was not a male chauvinist….So, many decades later, long after both of my parents had died, I came across Other Powers, which was Barbara Goldsmith’s biography of Victoria Woodhull and it just lit a flame inside of me.
And there is so, so, so much about this part of history that people simply know NOTHING about….. which is also really astonishing! For example- who knew that there was a vibrant, respected community of female columnists and publishers in the United States during the nineteenth century? I had no idea. Or that the highest paid syndicated columnist after the Civil War was a woman, who wrote under the name of Fannie Fern… and she was the person who coined the phrase ‘the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.’ I think that’s fascinating.
I couldn’t agree more – how much History is left unknown and unsaid – whilst I was in school I was remarking about how there are these large gaps in information being shared – about Feminist topics, about the Suffragettes and Women’s Rights, about the Civil Rights era and also about African-American History – so much History was completely ignored and never taught. It wasn’t until I became a book blogger and ‘accidentally’ realised my favourite niche of literature is “historical fiction” did I finally get to soak into compellingly honest and authentically written stories straight out of the historic past which sought to not just educate us on the past through a lens of the person’s who once lived but to give us a proper bit of insight into what shaped their lives and why they choose to live the lives they had.
I oft lament nowadays online – my blog and on #bookTwitter, Historical Fiction is what needs to replace required readings in History and Social Science classes because the writers who are researching these stories and are writing them with such a tenacity of voice to tell the truth of the past ought to be in the hands of today’s students. They’d learn far more through the pursuit of those stories which could offer a springboard into further readings and research than the general route they take in those classes without the stories. At least that is my two pence!
I can relate to what you’re talking about in a few regards – as I hadn’t realised I was raised to be an Intersectional Feminist nor did I realise I was a Feminist until again, I became a book blogger – as those terms re-surfaced and as I sought out their definitions and better understood Intersectional Feminism, I realised this is how I was raised and how I grew up as my Mum was equally dynamic and independent in her own right, too. I think when you come from a background of strong women (such as we have; for me it is generationally shifting back even into my great-great-great grandparents) – it self-motivates you through your own personal histories to become more self-aware of the world and of the history of women’s rights as well. I love fiercely strong women and I am walking the path of being one myself.
What sparked the interest to tell this particular story in this vein of lens?
Hayes responds: Well, the Claflin sisters are pretty irresistible as protagonists. Their legend gives everything about them a wiley, unreliable, and pretty saucy aspect. Some people absolutely loved them, and others were like, ‘Woah! Free love, sexual agency, what???’ And there’s also a part of them that is exactly like the Kardashians are today. Super media savvy, with one version of themselves that the public sees and another that is probably closer to the truth of who they really are – to wit, Kim reading law, etc…
Originally, I had Naked Truth starting when they were much, much younger, because there’s this wild sensationalism of their life with their parents, and Victoria’s time in California and Tennessee’s first marriage – all of it, very hard hitting Victorian melodrama, along with Canning’s alcoholism and drug addiction and various charges of prostitution and all that steamy stuff. But being a debut novelist, I was advised the book could only be so big. Then I couldn’t figure out how to gauge the plotting, so as to break it up into a trilogy and make it a more marketable, manageable product.
Eventually, I worked with a fabulous editor, Nicoke Bokat who really helped me get a handle on the story and the telling of it. Then, co-incidentally, I read The Age of Light, by Whitney Scharer (a novel about photographer Lee Miller), and the way she told the story in the present tense gave me a lot to think about….. Then it began to dawn on me that Tennessee and Victoria’s story is actually about the media and how it is delivered and how it is consumed. It is particularly about women and the media, and how caught up we, as women, are by image and perception- more than we are by fundamental truths…..so the whole thing played out as a sort of decoupage in my mind- or like in old movies where you see newspaper headlines spinning round…
I love when you have too much material rather than feeling as if you’ve short-changed your story by not writing enough! I have a feeling I’ll have this same issue once I start to publish my own stories as I tend to write in length rather than in the shortness of word counts and the structures of industry. (er, my blog is a testament to this!) I felt breaking your story into three installments was a smart choice – as I personally love seeing how a story can evolve and redefine itself through multiple installments of the same narrative. I have read several firsts as a book blogger in the past which I hope to continue reading one day as they were incredibly strong and well founded at their beginnings. Here’s to seeing your fully realised story eventually published and released as a trilogy!
As I have been travelling alongside Woodhull for awhile now, I know there is a dear amount of her history to ‘unpack’ and ruminate over – hers is not an easy story to tell nor is it an easy story to read due to the fixed marks of time and circumstance which affected her history. I’ve lost a lot of sleep over reading about her story and of processing certain moments of her life.
What are you hoping Historical Fiction readers will gain from the perspective you’ve provided?
Hayes responds: That there was so much more going on that we might imagine in the lives of those who now exist now only as footnotes or obscure curiosities. That and also that the female impulse to bury those women who don’t suit us (for whatever reason) is not a good one. That the issue of sexual equality, a woman’s right to privacy and to her own body, even within marriage, has remained controversial in the political discussion because the leaders of the suffragist movement shied away from taking it on, preferring only to deal with the vote – as opposed to actual sexual equality. There were some wonderful discussions around this just before the 19th Amendment’s centennial. Much of what’s plagued women during the fight for equal rights has been due, in large part, to those rights not being addressed in tandem with the right to vote.
I concur with this – in our pursuit to secure the right to vote, we did not secure the right for other ‘civil rights and liberties’ which should have been inherently given at the same time and yet were withheld. Our ongoing pursuit of those freedoms and rights is still playing out today and are still undecided in regards to being a secured right and being merely a temporary one which is constantly besieged of being overturn. By re-tracing the histories of what we’ve been fighting for and what we have accomplished we can better understand the stakes of today.
Whilst at the same time what was more challenging – aligning your story into the timeline of History and/or threading a story of your own vision into History as it unfolded?
Hayes responds: For me, the life of the Claflin sisters was a gift. Their real life adventure moved beautifully apace with the timeline of history. They were products of that time and their story flowed accordingly. Simplifying their narrative was an enormous challenge, because they knew everyone and went everywhere. Choosing how to rein it in was the tricky bit. The running joke in my family was that it was “The Story Too Big To Be Told!”
You gave me a jolly good laugh about the ‘story too big to be told’!! I love how you’ve found characters to write about who were so vividly alive during their lifetimes that their stories simply knitted together as if you were merely writing down their actual histories rather than having to pierce together a history that you hadn’t previously known. Some characters and/or lives we’re created come together in such a way as to give us pause about how we write and how writing fuses us into a creative space where there is something else going on besides the artfulness of telling tales and touching souls with our words.
What was your favourite section of the novel to write?
Hayes responds: I love, love, the big scenes, with crowds of people and tons of food. What one reads now are mere snippets of the original set ups. The dinner party where Victoria decides she will have her own newspaper was a favorite and the scene in Washington after Victoria’s speech at Lincoln Hall. I enjoyed those very much. I also love to write scenes where we think it’s going to go one way and then something happens, so that it goes in a different direction. I do find those great fun.
I loved how you’ve responded to the question and to all the questions I asked of you – it felt like a very organic conversation and one we might have had over tea or lattes. It shows how much you love your topic and subjects of interest whilst also painting the portrait of a writer whose in love with creating the story she was meant to write and cast out into the world. It is a pleasure of joy to be able to share this with my readers and the visitors who are following the blog tour!
From Washington Heights to Washington D.C. comes a true American Herstory. Filled with intrigue, lust, and betrayal, this is the fight for sexual equality.
1868, on the eve of the Gilded Age: Spiritualist TENNESSEE CLAFLIN is smart, sexy, and sometimes clairvoyant. But it’s her sister, VICTORIA WOODHULL, who is going to make history as the first woman to run for President of the United States.
It starts with the seduction of the richest man in America. Next, they’ll take New York City and the suffragist movement by storm, because together, Tennessee and Victoria are a force of nature. Boldly ambitious, they stop at nothing, brushing shoulders with Harriet Beecher Stowe and Susan B. Anthony, using enough chutzpah to make a lady blush.
That is, until their backstabbing family takes them to court, and their carefully spun lives unravel, out in public and in the press.
Converse via: #HistFic or #HistNov as well as #HistoricalFiction and #Equality
+ #NakedTruth, #WomensRights and #HFVBTBlogTours
Available Formats: Trade paperback and Ebook
About Carrie Hayes
Over the years, Carrie has tried a lot of things. She’s sold vacuum cleaners, annuities and sofas. She’s lived at the beach and lived in Europe. She’s taught school and worked in film. For a while, she was an aspiring librarian, but she fell in love and threw her life away instead. Back in the States, she started over, then met an architect who said, “Why don’t you become a kitchen designer?” So, she did. Eventually she designed interiors, too. And all that time, she was reading. What mattered was having something to read. Slowly, she realized her craving for books sprang from her need to know how things would turn out. Because in real life, you don’t know how things will turn out. But if you write it, you do. Naked Truth or Equality the Forbidden Fruit is her first book.
In  I launched a new weekly featured concentration of book reviews on Jorie Loves A Story which celebrates my love and passion for the historical past! For those of whom are regular readers and visitors to my blog, you’ll denote a dedicated passion for reading Historical Fiction (and all the lovely segues of thematic therein) – I am a time traveller of the historical past every chance I get to disappear into a new era and/or century of exploration. There isn’t a time period I haven’t enjoyed ruminating over since  and there are a heap of lovely timescapes I’ve yet to encounter.
This feature was inspired by the stories I’ve read, the stories I’ve yet to experience and the beauty of feeling interconnected to History through the representation of the past through the narratives being writ by today’s Historical Fiction authors. It is to those authors I owe a debt of gratitude for enlightening my bookish mind and my readerly heart with realistic characters, illuminating portals of living history and a purposeful intent on giving each of us a strong representation of ‘life’ which should never become dismissed, forgotten or erased.
I began this feature with the sequel to a beloved historical novel I first read in  – it was one of the first ARCs I received and it was the first year I was a book blogger though it was through a connection outside my life as a blogger. I celebrated K.B. Laugheed’s literature to kick-off this feature and hopefully will inspire my followers to take this new weekly journey with me into the stories which are beckoning to read their narrative depths and find the words in which to express the thoughts I experienced as I read.
Acquired Book By:I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! HFVBTs is one of the very first touring companies I started working with as a 1st Year Book Blogger – uniting my love and passion with Historical Fiction and the lovely sub-genres inside which I love devouring. It has been a wicked fantastical journey into the heart of the historic past, wherein I’ve been blessed truly by discovering new timescapes, new living realities of the persons who once lived (ie. Biographical Historical Fiction) inasmuch as itched my healthy appetite for Cosy Historical Mysteries! If there is a #HistRom out there it is generally a beloved favourite and I love soaking into a wicked wonderful work of Historical Fiction where you feel the beauty of the historic world, the depth of the characters and the joyfulness in which the historical novelists brought everything to light in such a lovingly diverse palette of portraiture of the eras we become time travellers through their stories.
I received a complimentary copy of “The Brief and True Report of Temperance Flowerdew” direct from the publisher Blackstone Publishing in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.
Why I was inspired to read about Temperance Flowerdew:
I happen to love settling into a story about a historical person I have never heard of previously and getting to spend a bit of time getting acquainted with their life’s story. It is through these stories of Historical Fiction – in particular Women’s Historical Fiction and/or Feminist Historical Fiction (which parlay themselves together at times) which give us the most hope of learning of the historical past as it crossects with women who had a key part in both history and the lessons of the past. This is one of the reasons I love hosting for HFVBTs as it allows History to become opened in a myriad of new ways through the different portals of entrance each writer takes to tell their story.
With Temperance Flowerdew, I was hopeful I could walk beside her and understand her role in History and re-see a part of Jamestown I hadn’t known previously. However, as you will soon find out – this wasn’t a story I was able to finish reading as due to how it was written and how visually explicit it became showing the violence in the story itself, I found myself withdrawing from the text itself and simply had to put the book down. I did walk away knowing that Temperance and others like her held within her a strength of courage all women can relate too and celebrate but in regards to knowing more about her life and her trials in this particular exploration of her life, I had to step aside for other readers to find out those details for themselves.
Notation on the Cover Art: I found it most fitting to find Temperance on the cover showcasing where she is in History by giving us a firm clue about her surroundings at Jamestown – how she herself came by ship and how the most important bit of this part of her life are the letters which are seen almost as a watermark rippling through the background of the cover art itself. It is one of the more creative covers I’ve seen in awhile and I loved the effect of it after you’ve read the story.
Determined to set the historical record straight, and clear her conscience, Temperance Flowerdew — the wife of Virginia’s first two governors — puts quill to paper, recounting the hardships that nearly brought the Jamestown colony to its knees, and the extraordinary sacrifice of her servant girl, Lily.
When she steps aboard the Falcon in 1609, Temperance Flowerdew was not only setting sail from England to the distant shores of America, she was embarking upon a future of opportunity. She didn’t yet know how she would make her mark, but in this new place she could do or be whatever she wanted.
Willing as she is to brave this new world, Temperance is utterly ill-equipped to survive the wilderness; all she knows is how to live inside the pages of adventure and philosophy books. Loyally at her side, Lily helps Temperance weather pioneer life. A young woman running from lifelong accusations of witchcraft, Lily finds friendship with Temperance and an acceptance of her psychic gifts. Together, they forge paths within the community: Temperance attempts to advise the makeshift government, while Lily experiences the blossoming of first love.
But as the harsh winter approaches, Lily intuitively senses a darkness creep over the colony and the veneer of civilized life threatens to fall away — negotiations with the Indians grow increasingly hostile and provisions become scarce. Lily struggles to keep food on the table by foraging in the woods and being resourceful. Famine could mean the end of days. It’s up to Lily to save them both, but what sacrifice will be enough to survive?
A transporting and evocative story, The Brief and True Report of Temperance Flowerdew is a fiercely hopeful novel — a portrait of two intrepid women who choose to live out their dreams of a future more free than the past.
Denise Heinze, a former literature professor and a PhD graduate of Duke University, writes fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. She is the author of the novel Sally St. Johns and her work has appeared in Now and Then, Thought and Action, Reunions, Wow! Women on Writing, THEMA literary journal, and Gemini Magazine; her story The Grid, was a quarter-finalist for the Ghost Story Supernatural Fiction Award. The Brief and True Report of Temperance Flowerdew is her second novel and was a finalist for the University of New Orleans Press Publishing Lab Prize. A descendant of Louisa May Alcott, she lives in North Carolina.
Acquired Audiobook By:I started to listen to audiobooks in  as a way to offset my readings of print books whilst noting there was a rumour about how audiobooks could help curb chronic migraines as you are switching up how your reading rather than allowing only one format to be your bookish choice. As I found colouring, knitting and playing solitaire agreeable companions to listening to audiobooks, I embarked on a new chapter of my reading life where I spend time outside of print editions of the stories I love reading and exchange them for audio versions.
Through hosting for Audiobookworm Promotions, I’ve expanded my knowledge of authors who are producing audio versions of their stories whilst finding podcasters who are sharing their bookish lives through pods. Meanwhile, I am also curating my own wanderings in audio via my local library who uses Overdrive for their digital audiobook catalogue wherein I can also request new digital audiobooks to become added to their OverDrive selections. Aside from OverDrive I also enjoy having Audible & Scribd memberships as my budget allows. It is a wonderful new journey and one I enjoy sharing – I have been able to expand the percentage of how many audios I listen to per year since 2018.
I received a complimentary audiobook copy of “A Lock of Hair” via Audiobookworm Promotion who is working with A. Rose Pritchett on this blog tour in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.
A Q&A with the author A. Rose Pritchett
I would normally compile questions for an author to respond to whilst hosting a blog tour, however due to the amount of personal stress & adverse medical emergencies in my family recently, I honestly had forgotten to submit questions to Ms Pritchett. Thereby, I chose a selection of the questions she responded to which were based on questions Ms Jess asked herself as I found her replies to fit in-line with topics I would have broached myself if I had had the chance to ask her questions of my own.
Tell us about the process of turning your book into an audiobook.
Pritchett responds: When I first published my book a year ago, I knew I wanted to turn it into an audiobook, but didn’t know how to go about it. It seemed expensive and I already invested so much into editing and publishing. Then, after some research, I discovered that ACX has a royalty-share program, which means that I pay nothing upfront, but just split my royalties with the narrator. I auditioned a few narrators, and ended up choosing Melanie Huesz because she gave each character a unique voice, which I knew was a major challenge. After all, there are characters from Boston, Ireland and the South. Some are young, some are old, and one has Down Syndrome. After a couple months of back-and-forth, we got an audiobook produced.
Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?
Pritchett responds: Mildred’s dog, Nightshade, is inspired by my dog, Isabel. Even though they’re different breeds, Nightshade acts a lot like Isabel. Also, I took a Meyers-Briggs test from Mildred’s POV for the heck of it, and she’s an INFJ like me, so there’s that.
How do you manage to avoid burn-out?
What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?
Pritchett responds: Contrary to popular advice, I don’t write every day. A lot of times, I’ll switch my focus to one of my many, many hobbies. In fact, part of my routine on days that I write is to take a break to draw or cross stitch, just to be away from the screen. I also allow myself to take “lazy days”, which are days (usually Sunday) where I just do nothing at all except watch cheesy movies and play Sims. It gives my mind a rest so that I’m not half-dead the next time I stare at the little blinking line on the blank screen.
What’s next for you?
Pritchett responds: I have a completed draft of my second book set during WW2 that I’m trying to get published, and I’m currently working on my third book, which is a fantasy that I’m really in love with. I’ve also dabbled in screenplay writing, with a pilot for a miniseries inspired by my childhood growing up in the restaurant industry and a script that I’m working on-and-off based on my experiences going from my preppy middle school to my arts high school (total culture shock!). All of my works have the same snarkiness that A Lock of Hair has.
Boston, 1846. Eighteen-year-old Mildred Parish, a barber's daughter, practices practical witchcraft using locks of hair obtained from her father's customers. She's very selective about who knows her secret and the kinds of spells she casts. Only people she trusts can know, and she must never cast a spell to harm another person.
One of her father's clients is Theodore O'Brian, an Irish immigrant whose family is fortunate enough to be wealthy. Mildred is head over heels in love with him, but he's destined to be with someone else. One day, a woman named Trinity Hartell comes knocking on Mildred's door. She has a vendetta against an entire family and wants Mildred to cast a death spell on them. The family? The O'Brians, including Theodore. Mildred refuses, but Trinity is set on getting what she wants, one way or another.
Mildred now feels she must protect the O'Brian family and the man she loves, but she must also protect herself. How can she make sure Trinity is stopped without telling the entire city of Boston that she's a witch?
Formats Available: Trade Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook
Converse via: #AudioReads, #Audiobook and #AudiobookwormPromotions
as well as #HistoricalFiction and/or #HistFic
About A. Rose Pritchett
A. Rose Pritchett's writing career started in kindergarten when she daydreamed about being a fairy princess instead of learning subtraction. Her childhood obsession with American Girl turned her into an avid history lover.
At seventeen, she moved from her hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina, to Savannah, Georgia, where she earned her BA in writing with a history minor from Georgia Southern University. She continues to live in Savannah, still daydreaming about princesses wearing gorgeous dresses. A LOCK OF HAIR is her debut novel.