Author Chat with Amy Trueblood and Gwen C. Katz (Nothing But Sky & Among The Red Stars) Plus Giveaway!

NothingButSky

Today we're excited to chat with Amy Trueblood and Gwen C Katz, authors of Nothing But Sky & Among The Red Stars. 

Read on for more about Amy & Gwen and their book, plus a giveaway!

 

 

 

 

Meet Amy Trueblood !

Amy Trueblood grew up in California ten minutes from Disneyland which sparked an early interest in storytelling. As the youngest of five, she spent most of her time trying to find a quiet place to curl up with her favorite books. After graduating from the University of Arizona with a degree in journalism, she worked in entertainment in Los Angeles before returning to work in Arizona. Fueled by good coffee and an awesome Spotify playlist, you can often find Amy blogging and writing. Her first novel, Nothing But Sky releases today and is now available.

 

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram

 

 

 

Meet Gwen C Katz!

Gwen C. Katz is a writer, artist, game designer, and retired mad scientist easily identified by her crew cut and ability to cause trouble. Originally from Seattle, she now lives in Altadena, CA with her husband and a revolving door of transient mammals. Her first novel, Among the Red Stars, was released in October 2017.

 

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram

 

 

 

Badass Female Fliers: A Chat with YA Historical Fiction Authors

Amy Trueblood and Gwen C. Katz

In honor of March being Women’s History Month, we’ve brought together two talented YA historical fiction writers for a chat about badass women in aviation, writing YA historical fiction, and, more specifically, writing feminism in YA historical fiction.

Hi guys! Can you tell everyone a little bit about your book and your main characters?

AT: Nothing But Sky tells the story of eighteen-year-old wing walker Grace Lafferty who is willing to take every risk to ensure her barnstorming team gets to the 1922 World Aviation Expo.

GK: I wrote Among the Red Stars, a novel about Russia’s all-female WWII night bomber regiment, the Night Witches. The main character is Valka, a hotshot teen pilot from the Urals who gets her big break when she finds out her hero is forming an all-female aviation group.

Both main characters are fierce, determined, and total feminists; perfect role models for today's teens and pretty much all people in general. What was it like taking a historical time period and writing it from a feminist perspective?

AT: I didn’t start out writing Nothing But Sky from a feminist perspective actually. Grace just came to me as this fully-formed character who wouldn’t let anyone keep her from her two dreams: wing walking and keeping her team together. It wasn’t until I started to have her push back against societal norms that I realized her character had some very important things to say.

 

GK: I think of feminist history simply as true history. Since the default historical perspective has been one that ignores and erases women’s contributions, simply giving a factual account of historical events involving women is in and of itself a feminist act.

What made you want to explore aviation in your writing?

GK: I can take this one. I think the experience of underrepresented groups in a field like aviation lends itself to more interesting narratives than the majority experience. It immediately raises questions about why Valka was drawn to that field and how people will react to her, opening the door for all kinds of interesting conflicts that don’t arise if it’s the type of person who traditionally enters the field.

Where did your inspiration come for your book?

AT: When I was visiting family in Chicago I went to the Museum of Science and Industry. On the top floor of the museum they have a biplane tethered to the ceiling and a mannequin hanging off one wing. The sign below the display described the life of female wing walker Ethel Dare and I was hooked! I knew I had to learn more!

 

GK: I was playing the game Wings of War with my father-in-law and I asked if there had been any female pilots during the World Wars. He knew there had been female pilots in Russia, so  naturally I had to look that up!

You both did a TON of research to get the details of each time period just right. Can you talk about how that started?

AT: Yes, I’d love to know what research materials Gwen used! [laughs] I read books, fell down quite a few 1920s-era rabbit holes (music, clothing, history), but one of my most valuable tools was actually YouTube. I studied the actual black and white films of Lillian Boyer and Gladys Ingle (real life wing walkers) to research and describe many of Grace’s stunts. [PSA: Readers - You NEED to see some of these videos. The stunts are insane and they will blow your mind!]

GK: Several of the women in the Soviet Union’s all-female Aviation Group 122 wrote memoirs, but most of them haven’t been translated, and some of them are out of print and very hard to find (only four copies of Hiuaz Dospanova’s Under the Command of Raskova still exist). Worth it, though—these accounts contain all kinds of intimate details that you don’t get from broader historical accounts.

Was your character based on an actual person?

AT: While Grace is completely fictional, some of her traits such as  strength & bravery, are based on real historical wing walkers like Lillian Boyer, Gladys Ingle, and Mabel Cody who were fearless in the sky.

GK: Valka herself is fictional, but you do meet a lot of real airwomen in the book. A lot of readers were surprised when they got to the author’s note and discovered that all these supporting characters they enjoyed so much were real people!

What was unique about being a woman in this place and time?

GK: I can speak to this. One of the interesting things about the Soviet Union was that gender equality was one of its founding tenets, so in many ways it was an incredibly progressive atmosphere for women. In the 1920s it became the first modern nation to legalize abortion and no-fault divorce. Under Stalin, much of this progress was rolled back, but officially women were allowed to enter any field that men could, including the military. This gave women all kinds of opportunities that weren’t available elsewhere.

 

What are some misconceptions people have about women’s history?

AT: I’m not sure it’s a misconception, but I do think there are many important women in history whose lives have been glossed over. When I first started to research female wing walkers I was disappointed to find very little info written about them. This seems incredibly ridiculous to me because without them many of the male pilots (who have plenty written about them) would just be a flash in the pan. Many people went to see the Flying Circuses specifically because they wanted to watch the females perform. It’s their fearless determination that drew many of those crowds to the empty fields across middle America and beyond.

GK: There’s a general misconception that women’s history is “niche” history, a sort of special-interest sideshow to mainstream history. What happened to half the population is not a niche.

 

--

About Amy Trueblood

Amy Trueblood grew up in California ten minutes from Disneyland which sparked an early interest in storytelling. As the youngest of five, she spent most of her time trying to find a quiet place to curl up with her favorite books. After graduating from the University of Arizona with a degree in journalism, she worked in entertainment in Los Angeles before returning to work in Arizona. Fueled by good coffee and an awesome Spotify playlist, you can often find Amy blogging and writing. Her first novel, Nothing But Sky releases today and is now available.

 

About Gwen C. Katz

Gwen C. Katz is a writer, artist, game designer, and retired mad scientist easily identified by her crew cut and ability to cause trouble. Originally from Seattle, she now lives in Altadena, CA with her husband and a revolving door of transient mammals. Her first novel, Among the Red Stars, was released in October 2017.

 

 

 

Nothing But Sky

By: Amy Trueblood

Publisher: Flux

Release Date: March 27th, 2018

 

 

 

*GIVEAWAY DETAILS*

 

Three winners will each recieve a copy of Nothing But Sky & Among The Red Stars (Amy Trueblood & Gwen C Katz) ~ US Only

 *Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*

 

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Comments 8

Already Registered? Login Here
John on Tuesday, 27 March 2018 21:24

An adventurous cover for an adventurous-sounding book!

0
An adventurous cover for an adventurous-sounding book!
Davianna Nieto on Tuesday, 27 March 2018 21:36

The cover is beautiful and I loved the synopsis!

0
The cover is beautiful and I loved the synopsis!
Marisa Fort on Saturday, 31 March 2018 20:09

Love the cover, it is beautiful! The synopsis sounds amazing!

0
Love the cover, it is beautiful! The synopsis sounds amazing!
Michaela Sellers on Monday, 02 April 2018 18:42

The cover is really beautiful and the synopsis sounds so good!

0
The cover is really beautiful and the synopsis sounds so good!:D
Candice Gigous on Tuesday, 10 April 2018 07:24

The cover has great colors and images. The synopsis is very exciting. The story sounds very dramatic and thrilling.

0
The cover has great colors and images. The synopsis is very exciting. The story sounds very dramatic and thrilling.
Danielle Hammelef on Saturday, 21 April 2018 13:58

Love the cover and the synopsis sounds suspenseful, action-packed, and fun!

0
Love the cover and the synopsis sounds suspenseful, action-packed, and fun!
Dan Denman on Tuesday, 24 April 2018 11:58

I like the pilot and the plane in the book cover. I think I will like the characters and the action in this story.

0
I like the pilot and the plane in the book cover. I think I will like the characters and the action in this story.
Penny Olson on Friday, 27 April 2018 16:40

The cover looks fierce and beautiful. I love stories about female pilots.

0
The cover looks fierce and beautiful. I love stories about female pilots.

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