Blog Tour: Of Better Blood by Susan Moger | Guest Post | Giveaway



Welcome to Day #2 of the Of Better Blood Blog Tour! To celebrate the release of Of Better Blood by Susan Moger (2/1/16), blogs across the web are featuring exclusive content from Susan and 5 chances to win a SIGNED copy of Of Better Blood, as well as a chance to win a 6-book YA Prize Pack in the Grand Prize Giveaway!

Of Better Blood
Author: Susan Moger
Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Historical
Released: February 1st 2016
Publisher: Aw Teen

Teenage polio survivor Rowan Collier is caught in the crossfire of a secret war against "the unfit." It's 1922, and eugenics--the movement dedicated to racial purity and good breeding--has taken hold in America. State laws allow institutions to sterilize minorities, the "feeble-minded," and the poor, while local eugenics councils set up exhibits at county fairs with "fitter family" contests and propaganda. After years of being confined to hospitals, Rowan is recruited at sixteen to play a born cripple in a county fair eugenics exhibit. But gutsy, outspoken Dorchy befriends Rowan and helps her realize her own inner strength and bravery. The two escape the fair and end up at a summer camp on a desolate island run by the New England Eugenics Council. There they discover something is happening to the children. Rowan must find a way to stop the horrors on the island if she can escape them herself."



Time Travel by Susan Moger

To write my YA historical novel, Of Better Blood, I had to leave my comfort zone — the United States in the 21st century— and travel back in time to 1922, with flashbacks to 1917 and earlier. Here are some of the questions I traveled back in time to answer: 

  What words would my narrator, Rowan Collier, a sixteen-year-old girl, use to tell her story in 1922? How would her writing differ from ours today?             
Photo and text © Susan Moger 2016
            Lucky me! I have a diary faithfully kept by Charlotte, a relative who was sixteen in 1923. To find out what words my narrator might use to tell her story, all I had to do was read the diary! Charlotte usually wrote in complete sentences, and could be very dramatic, “How am I going to live the summer out without him?” She loved swimming, “At high tide…dove off a big rock that lies out in the water,” and her boyfriend, Roy, “I love him, love him, love him.”  I read the diary several times and soaked in the formality of Charlotte’s writing. In the end Rowan has her own voice, but she used slang like Charlotte and uses complete sentences too. What music would my characters listen to in 1917?  For popular music in 1917, I turned to the Internet. The National Jukebox on the Library of Congress website is a collection of historical recordings from the early 20th century that you can play online for free. I played the songs my characters listened to many times as I wrote. Hearing the actual old recordings on my computer helped keep me in the early 20th century! Here’s a link to one of the songs. What information did Eugenics Societies use to decide who was “fit” and who was “unfit” to be parents? The online archives of the Eugenics Records Office are full of images and text relating to the eugenics movement of the 1920s. I pored over photos and documents like the one below:

Research is vital; but so is knowing when to stop researching and start writing. I managed to balance the two in order not just to know about the past but to bring it to life in Of Better Blood.


Susan Moger has a graduate degree in history and was a senior editor at Scholastic magazines before becoming a writing instructor. She has written several teaching guides for young people about history, including Teaching the Diary of Anne Frank. She lives in Maryland. Of Better Blood is her debut novel.



GRAND PRIZE GIVEAWAY
  • One (1) winner will receive a 6-book YA Prize Pack featuring AW Teen's spring lineup (Of Better Blood by Susan Moger, Girl Last Seen by Heather Anastasiu and Anne Greenwood Brown, Hurricane Kiss by Deborah Blumenthal, Future Shock by Elizabeth Briggs, Dig Too Deep by Amy Allgeyer, and South of Sunshine by Dana Elmendorf).
  • Enter via the rafflecopter below
  • US Only
  • Ends 4/3 at midnight ET
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Stop by Good Choice Reading Tomorrow for Day #3 of the tour!

Blog Tour Schedule:
March 28th – The Book Cellar
March 29th — Once Upon a Twilight
March 30th — Good Choice Reading
March 31st — Reading Teen
April 1st — Parajunkee

In addition, ONE LUCKY READER OF THIS BLOG will have the chance to win a SIGNED copy Of Better Blood!


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8 comments:

  1. Thank you for this opportunity to win, greatly appreciated

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  2. There really aren't enough historical or mystery YA books, so this sounds amazing! I can't wait to read it.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Queen Alchemy, I agree...more historical YA!

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  3. Girl Last Seen and Future Shock are two books I am looking forward to. GLS is a bit different read for me. Better Blood sounds a bit different for me too. Not many books I read are set in the 1920s.

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  4. The prize pack looks great! This is a nice collection of books! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Of Better Blood sounds intriguing! Thanks for the chance!

    ReplyDelete

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