10 August 2009

Interview with Molly Roe author of Call me Kate - Meeting the Molly Maguires.

Welcome Mary Slaby/Molly Roe to my blog to day. I was offered the chance to read Call me Kate - Meeting the Molly Maguires and found it very informative. I was given the opportunity to ask Mary some questions which I was interested in about this book. I hope you will enjoy the interview and read the book.

1. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Thank you for inviting me to your blog. My name is Mary Slaby, but I write under the name Molly Roe. My pseudonym is a tribute to my Bonner ancestors who immigrated to Pennsylvania from the tiny townland of Mollyroe in County Donegal, Ireland. I teach reading and language arts to junior high students, twelve to fifteen year olds, at a rural school district in northeastern Pennsylvania, not far from the coal mining setting of my books. I enjoy reading and writing, cross stitching, gardening, and traveling. My husband and I are fans of the Penn State Nittany Lions so we attend games and activities at our alma mater whenever possible. I'm in State College, PA right now as a matter of fact!

2. Where did you get the idea for Call me Kate - Meeting the Molly Maguires?

My aunt, Margaret Bonner, suggested I write a book to record all the research I had done on the family history. The idea morphed into a novel when I realized that a lot wasn’t written about girls during that particular time period (mid nineteenth century.) The Endless Mountain Writers, my weekly critique group, has been a wonderful source of ideas. The members' suggestions and comments really motivate me. My fan base now ranges from tweens to senior citizens and the fans’ inquiries into the next installment also keep me writing.

3. I found this book very informative as I hadn't heard much about the drafts for the war and the way the mine owners took advantage of the workers before what do you hope readers will learn from your book?
I wasn’t aware that there were draft riots in Pennsylvania or so much resistance to the Civil War until I began my family history research. The info I uncovered led me into the story of the Molly Maguires. I had heard a lot about the Mollies while growing up, but I didn’t know they were intertwined in my family tree. Many of the mine owners took advantage of their workers. They somehow felt they had a divine right to manage everything without considering how to make life better for their employees. The people rose up against this injustice, but not everyone was violent about their dissent. To thwart labor unionizing efforts, the mine owners blacklisted anyone who promoted organizing. By 1878, twenty men were hanged as Molly Maguires and several of them were completely innocent. I think it's amazing how history keeps repeating itself. Wars and immigration, class struggles, and labor problems still trouble our society. I hope that at sometime we can learn from our forebears' mistakes.

4. Can you tell us about any other books you have out or have coming out?

I’m currently working on the second book in the trilogy of the McCafferty sisters. The working title is Sarah’s Story: The Curse on Centralia. In this novel, the second McCafferty sister is placed as a governess in a mine superintendent’s home to teach his daughters. One of the first so-called Molly Maguire murders takes place and the parish priest warns his flock that they face eternal fires if they persist in violence. One hundred years later the town is faced with a devastating mine fire that eventually dooms the town. The plot is slightly different in that it moves between two time settings: 1868 and 1981.

5. Finally where can readers find you on the web?

Tribute Books’ website http://www.tribute-books.com/ has a section of updates about Call Me Kate. I also started a blog, http://conversationsfromthesideporch.blogspot.com/ on Blogspot. I hope to be better about updating it in the future!

Coming of age amidst the seething unrest of the Civil War era, feisty fourteen-year-old Katie McCafferty infiltrates the Molly Maguires, a secret Irish organization, to rescue a lifelong friend. Under the guise of Dominick, a draft resister, Katie volunteers for a dangerous mission in hopes of preventing bloodshed. Katie risks job, family, and ultimately her very life to intervene. A series of tragedies challenge Katie's strength and ingenuity, and she faces a crisis of conscience. Can she balance her sense of justice with the law? Call Me Kate is suitable for readers from eleven to adult. The story is dramatic and adventuresome, yet expressive of daily life in the patches of the hard coal region during the Civil War era. This novel will appeal to readers of the Dear America series, as well as more mature readers who will enjoy the story's rich context and drama.
My Review.
This is a great book as it has a great story based on fact making it a great educational source. I hadn't heard anything about the Molly Mcguire's before this book, I also didn't know about the Irish miners. I did know Welsh miners went to America but didn't know about the Irish. The story starts with Katie's father being involved in an accident at the mines and how they deal with with hes accident. We follow Katie as she also see the injustice and unrest due to the civil war and the mine owners. I beleive this book will be a great resource for students to learn about history while reading a great story. 4.5 out of 5. I cant wait to read the next book in the series.

1 comment:

Nicole Langan said...

Thank you, Jenny, for your fabulous interview with Molly. We appreciate your efforts on behalf of the book.

Best wishes,
Nicole Langan
Tribute Books

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