Call Me Kate: Meeting the Molly Maguires

9780981461939-template2.qxd:9780981461939-template2.qxdMolly Roe

Tribute Books, 2008

168 pages, historical fiction

Ladies and gentlemen, The Boogle is proud to present our first ever author interview! Please welcome Molly Roe author of Call Me Kate!!!!

The Boogle: What is Call Me Kate: Meeting the Molly Maguires about?
MR: Call Me Kate is the story of the adventures and tribulations of Katie McCafferty and her family in the hard coal region of Pennsylvania. During the Civil War, conflict between mine owners and their employees resulted in labor strikes and riots. The Company owners considered the workers’ behavior treasonous, and eventually they attached the name “Molly Maguire” to anyone resisting the draft or fighting for labor rights.
Katie becomes aware of the turmoil when her best friend, Con Gallagher, joins the protesters and is blacklisted from work in the local mine. To save her friend from the inevitable consequences of his impulsiveness, she gets entangled with the anti-draft faction, and her own safety is jeopardized. The novel is a coming of age story as well as an introduction to the beginnings of the secret society called the Molly Maguires.

The Boogle: Sounds pretty cool. I’m fascinated by stories of labor strife and civil unrest. What inspired you to write this book?
MR: After years of researching genealogy, I decided to put my thoughts into writing for future generations. The family stories I heard while growing up in northeastern Pennsylvania amazed me; the stoicism of the people was astounding. I found many of my “ordinary” relatives mentioned in the historical records and trial transcripts of the Molly Maguire era and wondered how they survived the extraordinary events of the time. The “whys” and “what ifs” led to Call Me Kate, my first novel.

The Boogle: Why do you write historical fiction?

MR: Historical fiction fascinates me because it gives an insight into how people lived in past centuries. Many of the junior high students that I teach are unaware of how their ancestors lived. I hope to inspire my readers to learn about the past by providing stories that inform as well as entertain.

The Boogle: Who are some of your favorite authors and what are some of your favorite books?
MR: My reading tastes are eclectic. I’ve always loved the early nineteenth century novels of Jane Austen and the Brontes. Pride and Prejudice is my all-time favorite, with Jane Eyre and Persuasion tied for second place. On a totally different note, some other favorites are Stephen King’s horror stories, especially The Stand and The Shining; James A. Michener’s novels, and Pearl Buck’s stories set in China. Since I teach junior high, I also try to keep up with YA lit so I’ve read many popular series such as Harry Potter, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Twilight, and the works of Gary Paulsen and J.R.R. Tolkien.

The Boogle: What is next? What are you currently working on?
MR: Before I started writing Call Me Kate, I outlined the lives of all three McCafferty sisters: Kate, Sarah, and Maymie. I’m currently half way through the first draft of Sarah’s Story: The Curse on Centralia. The story line picks up the McCaffertys’ lives three years after the war when they are forced to move to another county. There the second oldest sister finds work as a governess for the mine superintendent’s daughters in Centralia, PA. Once again talk of the Molly Maguires dominates the town to the extent that the parish priest warns the people that their nefarious dealings will bring the town to a bad end. The mine fire has reduced the town to six residents as of this writing, seeming to validate the priest’s curse of one hundred forty years ago.

The Boogle: Thanks Molly – best of luck with the book!

Call Me Kate is available from Tribute Books and amazon.

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