Wednesday, June 5, 2013

What's Up Wednesday: Plus a giveaway!



What's Up Wednesday is a weekly meme, started by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk, that helps readers and writers touch base with blog friends and let them know what's up. Join by visiting their blogs and signing in on the widget.

What I'm Reading
Splurge alert! I just ordered The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey, Confederate's Don't Wear Couture by Stephanie Kate Strohm (see the giveaway below!) and Scarlet by A. C. Gaughen.

What I'm Writing
Revisions are done and submitted. Hooray! Next up: a last pass on two research articles and the first stab at my tenure packet. Fun!
   
What Inspires Me Right Now
What doesn't inspire me right now should be the question. My husband is remodeling two bathrooms and the kitchen. My boys are SO fun and funny. It's warm again and I'm reading great books. What's not to like?


On the topic of awesome books-- I was thrilled to read Pilgrim's Don't Wear Pink by Stephanie Kate Strohm last year. You can read my review here. I loved the subject (spunky, strong heroine who loves history has a summer job at a living history museum: mystery and romance ensue), not to mention this book is expertly crafted. I mean it. 

I was delighted to see that Stephanie Kate's second book Confederate's Don't Wear Couture is debuting this week. 

In honor of the release I asked Stephanie Kate a few questions about her process. Check out her answers below.
I'm also giving away this duo of books. 

One lucky winner will receive both Pilgrim's Don't Wear Pink and Confederate's Don't Wear Couture


  • All you need to do is leave a comment below on this post, and I will pick one winner randomly on Friday June 7th. 
  • Want an extra entry? Tweet a link to the contest and let me know about it!
Now, for the interview with Stephanie

Question: You weave history so deftly into Pilgrims Don’t Wear Pink! It never comes across as a history lesson, but instead just an interesting layer to the story. How does your love of history play into your writing?

SKS: My love of history plays a huge role in my writing - history made me the writer I am.  I was a history major in college, and it was through writing all those papers that I learned how to research and structure my writing.  Before writing Pilgrims, the longest thing I'd written was my senior history thesis!  Plus, the whole idea for the Libby books was born out of my love of history, and my desire to pass that on to the next generation of girls.  


Question: What’s your go-to source to research clothing styles from different eras?

SKS: Different eras need different resources - most of my research for Pilgrims was from Colonial Williamsburg's website, but for Civil War fashion research, you cannot beat Godey's Lady's Book.  Godey's Lady's was a mid-nineteenth century women's magazine that published lots of fashion plates, and luckily for us, most of it has been digitized!  I love being able to look at fashion in the same way a woman from the 1860s would have.  Almost all of Libby's dresses in Confederates Don't Wear Couture are exact descriptions of dresses I found in Godey's fashion plates.  


Question: I imagine the research for your work is super fun—did you get to try out a hoop skirt for this book?

SKS: It wasn't specifically for this book, but back when I was working as an actor, I wore lots of corsets and hoop skirts and petticoats.  But sadly, I've never worn a set of hoops that are as wide as they would have been back in the 1860s - someday, hopefully!  A girl can dream.  I will say this, though - it is mind-bogglingly difficult to sit down in a hoop skirt.  I really struggled!


Question: I haven’t read Confederates Don’t Wear Couture yet, but from the blurb I know civil war reenactments are a part of the story line—have you participated in one? If so, what was that like?

SKS: Although I have never been in a Civil War Reenactment, I went to visit a few while researching this book.  Lots of tourists in modern dress come to watch them, so you have this very strange juxtaposition of 2013 and 1860 all jumbled up in one place!  I was also struck by how slow the pace of battle felt.  Unsurprisingly, my favorite parts were shopping on Sutler's Row - that's where different merchants sell historically accurate goods and accessories - and checking out everyone's outfits!


Question:  What do you see happening for Libby next? Is a third book planned?

SKS: There is a third book in the works!  I think it's time for Libby to explore the great frontier!


Thanks to Stephanie for the interview.  Don't forget to enter by commenting below.

***Contest is OPEN INTERNATIONALLY!*****


**Late-breaking news: I just found out one of my drawing is a semifinalist in the Uncommon Goods iphone design contest. Pop over to their site and vote for the cover you like best (mine's the clockwork damselfly. No pressure.)


Tell me: what's your favorite era in history? What's your favorite historical novel?

29 comments:

  1. I've always been weirdly fascinated by the 1970s (and I guess the 60s, too) - even as a kid, I was totally down with the long hair parted down the middle and the free-spiritedness going around.

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    1. Jennifer-- as a child of the mid-seventies I do relish those old photos. It made my parents look very cool in their corduroy. I love how that 60s-70s vibe came back in a more muted way in the 1990s. boot cut=bellbottom.

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  2. Great interview! I love reading about how writers do research. I love the pioneer/westward expansion era--as a kid, I desperately wanted to travel in a covered wagon (weird, I know).
    Hope you like THE 5TH WAVE--I really enjoyed it.

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    1. Me too, Rebecca. We're so lucky to have all that info just a keyboard away. I was just talking with some friends today about The Oregon Trail early computer game. That pioneer era is pretty fascinating. :0)

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  3. Yay for being done revisions! Such a relief, hey? Can't wait to reach that point myself. I'm currently reading THE 5TH WAVE and I actually have SCARLET on my shelf (and have had since Christmas--guess I should read it). I hadn't heard of either book by Stephanie Kate Strohm so thanks for the recommendations.

    Is the giveaway U.S. only? If so, just omit this comment from the mix. :) I have too many favourite eras in history to just nail one down. As for my favourite historical novel(s), I love the Cat Royal series by Julia Golding. They're set in 18th century London, but they don't stay there. One is set in Jamaica, another in Scotland, and one in France... Such great stories and great era!

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    1. Worldwide Jaime-- and I will add that to the post so others know, too. I haven't heard of Cat Royal... but I love those eras you mention-- London, the colonial Indes, and as part Scot I adore anything set there. Very cool! I will have to check it out. :0)

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  4. Everyone is talking and reading The 5th Wave! I feel left behind lol
    Congrats on finishing revisions!

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    1. That was my reaction last week, Juliana-- and so I jumped on the bandwagon. Thanks for the congrats. I'm so happy to have some revisions completed.

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  5. Oh man, after hearing Stephanie Kate Strohm speak at the Rochester Teen Book Festival, I really want to read her books. They sound like so much fun! I'm excited to hear her say that Libby is headed for the frontier, because my love of all things Little House (and later, my Kirsten doll) have given me a great and undying love for the pioneers. But really, I love reading about most any historical period--it's fascinating to see how different my life would have been if I was born in a different time.

    Beautiful design on the iPhone case, by the way!

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    1. Thanks Mrs. Silverstein! How cool that you got to see Stephanie Kate speak. I adored Pilgrims and I have Confederates already downloaded and ready to start. :0)I agree-- historical work is so interesting and fun.

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  6. Awesome interview, Kat! So much work goes into writing historical fiction and I give major props to anyone that does! Both of Stephanie's books sound wonderful - and who doesn't love spunky and strong heroines?

    I'm currently reading THE 5TH WAVE right now - and I'm absolutely loving it!!! I'm actually trying to slow down on reading it, because I don't want it to come to an end and then have to wait another year for the next one in the series.

    Congrats on getting your revisions completed and best of luck tackling your tenure packet!

    Happy Wednesday, Kat!

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    1. I was really impressed with the way Stephanie brought history into the book without making it obvious or overdone. Oooh, I hear what you're saying about the 5th wave. It sounds really fab. Thanks for the congrats and the well-wishes. :0) Happy Wednesday to you.

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  7. Excellent interview! And those books sound AWESOME! I really think my daughter would love them too. Thanks for the giveaway!

    And yay for inspiration EVERYWHERE! My inspiration is the imminent summer. And the summer writing intensive. Can't wait to get started!

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    1. I thought the exact same thing, Alison. I enjoyed them myself and I know my HS age nieces would, too. Ahh, summer is my favorite season. I am so glad it's here.

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  8. PILGRIMS and CONFEDERATES both look like so much fun, and your interview with Stephanie is fantastic! So awesome to see new books propped up, and I love that you're doing a giveaway too.

    Can't wait to hear what you think of THE 5TH WAVE. I thought it was excellent, as you well know. :-)

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    1. Cool, Katy! I will keep you posted on the 5th Wave. I am hesitating to start it, because I think I'm going to lose about 48 hours of my life. :0) Pilgrims was so great. I've no doubt Confederates will be, too. Yay for propping books!

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  10. The arrival of summer is SO EXCITING! It feels like forever since it's been this warm!

    Enjoy The 5th Wave! ^_^ It's sooooo good!

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    1. I agree Miss Cole-- I miss that warm weather when it's away. I will keep you posted on the 5ht wave!

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  11. Congratulations on the iPhone design contest, fingers crossed!

    Pilgrams don't wear Pink sounds a lot of fun. I am a big fan of the Tudors, but I also really like the reign of Henry II of England, mainly because his wie Eleanor of Aquitaine was so fascinating. I also really love any book set in WW2. My childhood favourite was The SilverSword, but I loved Code Name Verity. I also really like Phillipa Gregory's books, an adaptation of The White Queen is starting here next week, which looks great.

    Congratulations on your revisions!

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    1. Thanks, Alexa! I have read a few Phillipa Gregory and really enjoyed them! Two big thumbs up to Code Name Verity-- I read it a few weeks ago and fell in love!

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  12. Off the top of my head, I'd have to say my favourite historical novel is GRAVE MERCY. Seriously, I mention that book so often these days you'd think it was the only thing I've ever read. There are probably lots of other historical books I could list, but I'll leave it at one. I just bought THE 5TH WAVE too. I've heard so many good things about it lately that I figured I'd better get my hands on a copy. Hope your clockwork damselfly does well in the contest!

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    1. Thanks Erin-- Grave Mercy sounds interesting! Looking forward to the 5th wave!

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  13. Ohh The Fifth Wave I've seen this all over the place lately! Did you enjoy?
    Congrats on submitting your revisions too, that's very exciting! and the bathroom... that'll be so worth it when it's completed :)
    Enjoy the heat - I'm sitting here cranking the heater and wrapped up in my woolies! I miss summer!

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    1. I haven't read it yet Samantha-- just heard all the buzz. I hope it lives up to the hype! :0) You are right-- that bathroom will be great when it's done. Summer is my favorite. I'm so glad it's here. :0)

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  14. The Fifth Wave is waiting for me at the library right now, and I can't wait to go pick it up! As for my favorite era in history, I'm so tempted to say "all of them" because I've yet to read anything about history I could pass up. But I'm going to have to go with the Middle Ages, because I loved it enough for it to be my primary focus for my history degree. (My secondary focus was 20th Century U.S. History. Because it made more sense to study that than ancient or Early Modern in conjunction with medieval, right?)

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    1. Funny, Stephanie! Yes, middle ages sounds like it would go great with anything. :0) Thanks for dropping in. :0)

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  15. Pilgrims don't wear Pink sounds ADORABLE *adds to TBR pile*

    It's so hard to pick a favorite era. I love the clothes, makeup, and hair from the 1940's and 50's, I adore regency dresses, and while the fashions from the middle ages-renaissance can't be beat, I do love antibiotics and women's rights :)

    My favorite modern historical novel is Code Name Verity. Of course, since Lucy Maud Montgomery is my favorite author of all time, all of her books are my favorite "historical novels that were contemporary novels when they were written."

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  16. How great, C-- and you've got an excellent point. That whole no-rights-or-antibiotics thing really takes the shine off of the renaissance. :0) I read CNV recently and adored it. What a fantastic book! I am the same when it comes to the 40s/50s-- their hair, clothes, and makeup were fab. In fact, I looked up Elizabeth Wein's website and she had a knitting pattern for her MC's sweater, scoured from patterns of the day. It was super cool.

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YAY for comments! Thanks for adding to the conversation.