Today on the Debutante Ball, we’re thrilled to welcome bestselling author Greer Macallister to chat about her novel GIRL IN DISGUISE!
For the first female Pinkerton detective, respect is hard to come by. Danger, however, is not.
In the tumultuous years of the Civil War, the streets of Chicago offer a woman mostly danger and ruin-unless that woman is Kate Warne, the first female Pinkerton detective and a desperate widow with a knack for manipulation.
Descending into undercover operations, Kate is able to infiltrate the seedy side of the city in ways her fellow detectives can’t. She’s a seductress, an exotic foreign medium, or a rich train passenger, all depending on the day and the robber, thief, or murderer she’s been assigned to nab.
Inspired by the real story of Kate Warne, this spirited novel follows the detective’s rise during one of the nation’s greatest times of crisis, bringing to life a fiercely independent woman whose forgotten triumphs helped sway the fate of the country.
I must say, I read this book when it first released and absolutely loved it. If you haven’t met Kate yet, you really should. Fortunately, we’ve got an interview below to learn more about Greer and her book. AND, we also have a giveaway! To enter, retweet our post on twitter:
— The Debutante Ball (@DebutanteBall) July 15, 2017
And for a second entry share our Facebook post! Easy peasy. We will select and contact the very lucky winner on Friday, July 21st at noon (US Only).
Now, on to the interview!
Tell us a secret about the main character in your novel — something that’s not even in your book.
Kate Warne’s theme song is “Pump It Up” by Elvis Costello from the album This Year’s Model. Since that album came out in 1978 and the book starts in 1856, you can understand why that little nugget didn’t make it into the pages of GIRL IN DISGUISE. But “Pump It Up” was my pre-writing ritual for months, and I always felt I could channel Kate’s spirit better when I listened to that song first. The rhythm, the pattern, the thrust of it. Like an incantation.
Jenni: Love this, as I really enjoyed Kate’s spirit throughout the book!
What’s your secret or not-so-secret superpower?
I’ve been an English teacher, a tour guide, and a cheerleader, plus I took voice classes at the national Shakespeare Theatre. Believe me when I say that I’m able to project my voice to the back of a room without need of a microphone. I CAN TALK LOUD. (The other skills I picked up along the way, like pointing while walking backward or slapping a wrestling mat in a very specific rhythm, don’t come in less handy nearly as often.)
Jenni: I may need to have ya give me lessons on projecting my voice. I’ll have my people talk to your people 😉
If you were a drink, what would you be and why?
Sauvignon Blanc, for sure. Gets along with everything and everyone, loves the sunshine and the summer, not just for special occasions. I always think I’d like to be a little more exotic, but my inborn personality is just regular, friendly, cheerful. Maybe just a wee bit tart.
Jenni: Great choice!
What’s the strangest job you’ve ever had?
I did data entry and inventory for an auto parts store one summer in high school. Know what I don’t know much about? Auto parts.
What is the best perk of your job?
Meeting other writers! Writing is solitary – when you get right down to it, it’s just you and the page – but there are a whole lot of aspects of being an author that benefit from having a network. First off, working with beta readers and critique partners makes your writing better. And no matter where you are in your writing career, there are plenty of dead ends and setbacks — having someone else to talk to about the bad things makes them feel a little, or even a lot, less bad. Plus then you have people to share the good news with when it comes! Writing wouldn’t be worth doing without other writers.
Jenni: Totally agree! Group hug 🙂
Thanks so much for joining us, Greer! I hope you’ll all pick up GIRL IN DISGUISE so you can love it as much as I did.
Raised in the Midwest, Greer Macallister is a poet, short story writer, playwright and novelist who earned her MFA in Creative Writing from American University. Her debut novel THE MAGICIAN’S LIE was a USA Today bestseller, an Indie Next pick, and a Target Book Club selection. It has been optioned for film by Jessica Chastain’s Freckle Films. Her new novel GIRL IN DISGUISE, about America’s first female private detective, has been called “a superb story” (Publishers Weekly, starred review) and “a rip-roaring, fast-paced treat to read” (Booklist).
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