Michaela MacColl Talks About Louisa May Alcott— Plus a Book Giveaway

Today I’m taking part in a blog tour by hosting Michaela MacColl, who writes great historical fiction with strong female characters. As part of the blog tour, I’m giving away one copy to one reader who leaves a comment here. Just let us know what you like about historical fiction or Louisa May Alcott and/or her books. Just be sure to comment by midnight (PDT) on Monday, May 18 (U.S. addresses only please). Please note: The giveaway is closed. Congratulations to Christie on winning.

Here’s a bit of information about Michaela: She attended Vassar College and Yale University earning degrees in multi-disciplinary history. Unfortunately, it took her 20 years before she realized she was learning how to write historical fiction. Her favorite stories are the ones she finds about the childhood experiences of famous people. She has written about a teenaged Queen Victoria (Prisoners in the Palace, Chronicle 2010) and Beryl Markham’s childhood (Promise the Night, Chronicle 2011). She is writing a literary mystery series for teens featuring so far a young Emily Dickinson in Nobody’s Secret (2013) and the Bronte sisters in Always Emily (2014).  Her newest in the series is The Revelation of Louisa May, about Louisa May Alcott. She lives in Westport, Connecticut with her husband, two teenaged daughters and three extremely large cats.

In this note, she talks to readers at Mother Daughter Book Club. com about her series on famous women writers. You may also be interested in my review of The Revelation of Louisa May.

Michael MacColl.1 photo

Michaela MacColl photo by Melanie Lust

Louisa May Alcott headshot

Louisa May Alcott

Hi Cindy – it’s so nice to be back at the Mother-Daughter Book Club. Thanks for hosting the blog tour for The Revelation of Louisa May, the latest literary mystery from Chronicle Books featuring Louisa May Alcott as my ‘detective.’

In The Revelation of Louisa May I play with my favorite theme – what were famous women writers like when they were teenagers? I comb through biography to figure out what young Louisa was like. In Louisa’s case, she did a lot of the work for me. She readily admitted that Little Women was based on her family and Louisa herself was the model for Jo March. Both Louisa and Jo are tempestuous, quick to anger, quick to love, loyal, literary and determined as Louisa said “to paddle [their] own canoe.” Neither thought much of marriage (although Jo eventually marries a very unlikely choice), preferring to get rich through their own efforts. Jo disappears for days at a time in her writing “vortex,” while in real life, Louisa trained herself to write with both hands so she could switch her pen from one hand to the other when she got tired.

Jo March in a Vortex picture clipping

Jo March in a “vortex.”

So my Louisa was not hard to find. The Revelation of Louisa May begins when the unthinkable happens. Marmee is leaving. Louisa accuses her of abandoning the family, but Marmee has little choice but to find work. The family may literally starve if she doesn’t. Bronson, Louisa’s father, is a philosopher who doesn’t believe in working for others. Louisa wrote that “he was a man in a balloon with his family holding the ropes trying to hold him down to earth.” Louisa is left to manage the house, the cooking, the shopping, her father’s prickly temper and poor Beth’s ill-health. A fugitive slave appears running for his life from a vicious slave catcher. Henry David Thoreau has a secret that Louisa wishes she hadn’t discovered. The boy next door, who had left for college, comes back. He’s handsome and admires Louisa and she’s not quite sure how to handle this new aspect of an old friend. Louisa despairs of finding time to write. Wait until she discovers a murdered body in the woods!

The Revelation of Louisa May is a real who-dun-it. It was a blast to write and I hope you enjoy it. As in all my books of “intrigue and romance,” I have to introduce a credible (and dreamy) love interest and then get rid of him. After all Louisa is a renowned spinster. Can you guess how I’ll get rid of Louisa’s suitor this time?

Please visit me at www.michaelamaccoll.com or AuthorMichaelaMaColl on Facebook or follow me at @michaelamaccoll.

 

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