Author Chat with J. Albert Mann (The Degenerates), Plus Giveaway! ~ (US Only)

51890619

 Today we're excited to chat with J. Albert Mann author of

The Degenerates.

Read on for more about J. Albert and her book, plus an giveaway.

 

 

 

 

Meet J. Albert Mann!

      

J. Albert Mann is the author of several middle grade and young adult novels, including The Degenerates and What Every Girl Should Know. She has an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts in writing for children and young adults. She prefers books with unhappy endings to happy ones. Visit her at JAlbertMann.com.

   

 

 Website * Instagram * Amazon  

 

 

Meet The Degenerates!

  

In the tradition of Girl, Interrupted, this fiery historical novel follows four young women in the early 20th century whose lives intersect when they are locked up by a world that took the poor, the disabled, the marginalized—and institutionalized them for life.

The Massachusetts School for the Feeble-Minded is not a happy place. The young women who are already there certainly don’t think so. Not Maxine, who is doing everything she can to protect her younger sister Rose in an institution where vicious attendants and bullying older girls treat them as the morons, imbeciles, and idiots the doctors have deemed them to be. Not Alice, either, who was left there when her brother couldn’t bring himself to support a sister with a club foot. And not London, who has just been dragged there from the best foster situation she’s ever had, thanks to one unexpected, life altering moment. Each girl is determined to change her fate, no matter what it takes.
 

 

Amazon * B & N Indiebound


 

 

 

~ Author Chat ~

          

 

      YABC:  What gave you the inspiration to write this book?

All my life I’ve played a What if game—relocating myself to other moments in history. For example—What if I had been born in a hunter-gatherer society? As a woman, I’d have been a gatherer. This always makes me so happy because there is nothing I love more than a long walk with a purpose.

I began writing The Degenerates by playing this game. What if I had been born during the height of the eugenics movement in the United States? As someone born with an orthopedic disorder causing extreme body difference, I might very well have been institutionalized for life along with Alice, Maxine, Rose, and London.

   

 

YABC:  Who is your favorite character in the book?

London. I love her strength, her power, and her ability to act. Although more than these, I love her propensity to take life as it comes.

     

 

YABC:  What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?

There is a short scene with London and Alby (a boy she falls for) alone together in a basement where she tells him a strongly held secret. This scene always reminds me how the big moments in our lives are often not weddings and graduations but those instances where we open up to others. Alby doesn’t fully understand London down in the basement, but this doesn’t matter. What does, is that London took a chance.

 

 

      YABC:  What’s up next for you?

My next novel—FIX—is a young adult contemporary fiction from Little, Brown. It’s the story of a friendship between two teens with physical difference whose relationship is stretched to the breaking point by their own ableism.

   

 

YABC:  Which was the most difficult or emotional scene to narrate?

Spoiler alert here, the most difficult scene to write was London’s miscarriage. London had so many feelings about her pregnancy, and none of them had been worked out before it ended. Disbelief, anger, guilt, sadness, relief…so many emotions to get into a single scene where there also has to be extreme physical pain.

   

 

YABC:  Which character gave you the most trouble when writing your latest book?

Alice AND Rose. Writing two experiences far from my own took a lot of research and expert reader advice. Alice is a young black woman. I’m white. To help me bond with Alice, I gave her an orthopedic disorder because I also grew up with an orthopedic disorder. This small thing helped me begin to build a connection with her. Rose was born with Down Syndrome, an intellectual disability that encompasses a wide range of experiences. I connected to Rose through both research and by reaching out to the self-advocacy community for loads of help. Writing outside your own experience isn’t rocket science, it’s a lot harder. (And unless you’re actually in the rocket, a lot scarier.)

   

 

YABC:  Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?

Usually my answer is revision, but with this book it was definitely drafting. I did a mountain of side-writing on the characters before I began: their backstories, their outlook on life, how they viewed one another, their thoughts about their parents (or lack of), what they saw when they walked down the street, etc. I knew my basic plot, but when I began to draft, the characters just took over—and with more than any other book—the story flowed out of me. If you struggle as a writer with drafting, I highly recommend side-writing!

 

 

YABC:  What would you say is your superpower?

Seeing a project through to the end. Sticking power is my superpower. There are many times within the writing process of a novel (especially historical fiction) where I think, there is no way I’ll understand this time period or this historical event well enough, and other times where I’m completely bored with the time period/historical event, and firmly believe everyone else will be too. At times like these (and many others), I want to give up. But I never do.

 

 

  YABC:  Is there an organization or cause that is close to your heart?

We Need Diverse Books! When Ellen Oh tweeted out her first hashtag (#WNDB), I was there watching. I’d been a disability advocate for many years and was thrilled when the movement took off inside of kidlit. Two years later, Corinne Duyvis coined #OwnVoices, and it felt like I was taking a long, hot shower. Everyone seemed to be talking about everything I cared about. Although, as we saw with Lee & Low’s latest Diversity Baseline Study, we still have a long way to go. I’ve been volunteering with WNDB since the beginning, and I’m passionate about its mission. Volunteer with us! Support us!

 

  

 

The Degenerates

By: J. Albert Mann

Release Date: March 17th, 2020

 Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's

 

 

 

*GIVEAWAY DETAILS*

Two winners will each receive a hardback copy of The Degenerates (J. Albert Mann) ~ (US Only)

 

 

 *Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

It’s Live!! Cover Reveal: Mind Riot by Ken Bagnis ...
Exclusive Trailer Reveal: Smailholm (C.L. Williams...

Related Posts

 

Comments 7

Already Registered? Login Here
Lauren on Monday, 23 March 2020 11:50

The diversity of the girls and their tell-take expressions and body language really make this cover something else. I truly enjoy well-written YA fiction about mental health hospital, and I can tell this one is very promising!

0
The diversity of the girls and their tell-take expressions and body language really make this cover something else. I truly enjoy well-written YA fiction about mental health hospital, and I can tell this one is very promising!
Victoria Scott on Monday, 23 March 2020 22:33

This story sounds amazing! I can't wait to read it!

0
This story sounds amazing! I can't wait to read it!
Colleen Burns on Friday, 27 March 2020 17:21

This book sounds absolutely amazing!

0
This book sounds absolutely amazing!
Tzipora on Tuesday, 07 April 2020 16:40

This one is high on my TBR. I was so bummed when I was denied for it on Net Galley because ahhh I am all about disability related reads.

0
This one is high on my TBR. I was so bummed when I was denied for it on Net Galley because ahhh I am all about disability related reads.
Danielle Hammelef on Thursday, 09 April 2020 17:23

i like the cover and it fits this exciting historical read.

0
i like the cover and it fits this exciting historical read.
Faith on Sunday, 12 April 2020 21:18

Love the cover! Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres. The plot sounds new and intriguing, I'm excited to read it!

0
Love the cover! Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres. The plot sounds new and intriguing, I'm excited to read it!
Dan Denman on Wednesday, 15 April 2020 13:46

I like the book cover. This sounds like a good story of determination and survival.

0
I like the book cover. This sounds like a good story of determination and survival.

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Grant Beagan: The Finder's Code
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
He’s just an ordinary teenager who likes astronomy, video games,...
Fisher- Price Fun in the Jungle: Explore, Touch, and Feel
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Children will love exploring the different textures in this playful...
Glitter Globes: The Night Before Christmas
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
On the night before Christmas, all over the house, not...
Belinda Fellgate: HellCat
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A contemporary teen fantasy about an inept 14-year-old girl who...
Breathless
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
From Jennifer Niven, the #1 New York Times bestselling author...
Music for Tigers
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
Shipped halfway around the world to spend the summer...
Skyhunter (Skyhunter, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A broken world. An overwhelming evil. ...
Kingdom of Ice and Bone (The Frozen Sun Saga, #2)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Lira and Reyker have lost everything. Including each other....
Sword of the Seven Sins
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Eva Marteinn never wanted to be a killer. Raised...
Things That Should Stay Buried
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Some destinies are written in the stars. Others must...
How It All Blew Up
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda goes to Italy...
Horrid
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
From the author of You Must Not Miss comes...
Tsalix Silverthorn and the Scepter of Destiny
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The latest phenomenal work from New York Times Bestselling author...
The Adventures of Bubba Jones (#4): Time Traveling Through Grand Canyon National Park
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
In the fourth book of this award-winning national park series,...
The Companion
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
The other orphans say Margot is lucky. Lucky to...
Sanctuary
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
It's 2032, and in this near-future America, all citizens...

Latest Member Reviews

Fisher- Price Fun in the Jungle: Explore, Touch, and Feel
 
4.5
"FUN IN THE JUNGLE is an adorable board book great for infants and young toddlers who are exploring the world..."
Glitter Globes: The Night Before Christmas
 
4.5
"THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS modifies the original poem to be more modern and easily understood by young children. The classic..."
Twisting Minds
 
4.8
"The story: At seventeen, Claire Harper’s life has taken a turn for the worse – her mother..."
Breathless
 
4.0
"BREATHLESS is a book about change, secrets, and the aftermath. Claudine (Claude) is about to graduate high school, and she..."
Fae's Prisoner (Crimes of the Fae)
 
5.0
"This is the book I didn’t know I needed! Fae’s Prisoner by M. Lynn & Melissa A. Craven is the..."
Skyhunter (Skyhunter, #1)
 
5.0
"SKYHUNTER is an enthralling and lush YA fantasy. Lu really paints the story with her words, and this new novel..."
The Library of Lost Things
 
5.0
"I wasn't sure what to expect with The Library of Lost Things, but I know I didn't anticipate a book..."
Fae's Prisoner (Crimes of the Fae)
 
5.0
"After reading Queens of the Fae, I had such mixed feelings about Griffin... but now I love him! This book..."
Goddess in the Machine (Goddess in the Machine, #1)
 
5.0
"Andra, a teenager from the 2160s, is put into cryogenic stasis fulling expecting to wake up on another planet one..."
Just Shelby
 
N/A
"ARCs available for review @XpressoBookTours: http://xpressobooktours.com/2020/09/10/review-opportunity-just-shelby-by-brooklyn-james/?fbclid=IwAR2v9c-b9Z0YagynLTaMCNt-c-WW6nmWYZbuVBZYFoGNADs5c-DD6YayMGU"
Kingdom of Ice and Bone (The Frozen Sun Saga, #2)
 
4.0
"KINGDOM OF ICE AND BONE picks up where the first book left off. Lira and Reyker are separated and each..."
How It All Blew Up
 
5.0
"HOW IT ALL BLEW UP is an absolutely riveting coming-out story. Amir Azadi is an Iranian American who has always..."
Music for Tigers
 
3.7
"A vividly descriptive Middle-Grade work with an ecological focus--enriched by elements of music, friendship, and atypical neurology. When her..."
The Magic Misfits: The Fourth Suit (The Magic Misfits, #4)
 
5.0
"THE FOURTH SUIT is a fantastically magical finale. Ridley begins with a inventor's fair which she is entering with the..."
Duck and Penguin Do Not Like Sleepovers
 
4.0
"DUCK AND PENGUIN DO NOT LIKE SLEEPOVERS is an overall cute book about two stuffed animals whose owners are BFFs..."
Fussy Flamingo
 
4.5
"FUSSY FLAMINGO is an adorable fictional tale about a flamingo named Lola that doesn't want to eat shrimp. Instead, her..."
The Shadow Mission (The Athena Protocol, #2)
 
4.3
"THE SHADOW MISSION is an even better sequel to THE ATHENA PROTOCOL with lots of action and spy-related danger. In..."
Horrid
 
4.3
"HORRID is an intensely creepy story that follows Jane and her mother, Ruth. Jane's father has just died and after..."
The Train Your Brain Mind Exercise: 156 Puzzles for a Superior Mind
 
3.0
"The book sets expectations a bit high by touting the claim of unique puzzles for all skill levels, with a..."
Color Outside the Lines
 
4.0
"WHAT I LOVED: The stories vary in genre, time period, and the makeup of the couples, but many of them..."