Fiction

Posts about Amy Stewart’s novels, including Girl Waits with Gun

Story Structure is a Thing We All Wrestle With

 

My next class is live and it’s on the beast we all struggle with, both fiction and nonfiction writers: story structure. There are lots of people out there peddling complex, intricate techniques for writing a hit novel or screenplay. Honestly, I get a little overwhelmed by all that stuff. So I made a class about the methods I actually use when I write my own books. I encourage you to try these out, see if they work, and try some other approaches if they don’t! I include a resource list for further study at the end.

I’ve loved teaching these classes and I especially appreciate your comments, projects, questions, and reviews.

You can take this class now on Skillshare, which is a Netflix-style platform for online classes. This link gives you a free trial.

You might also like Build Great Writing Habits and Start Your Book Today.

You can also take my writing classes on Udemy, where you pay per class for only the classes you want to take. I’ve bundled Shape Your Story with these two other writing classes, to create a package designed to get you on the road to writing your book. Go here to check that out.

 

Kopp Sisters on the March!

 

Advance copies are turning up out in the real world! The fifth Kopp Sisters novel won’t be out until September, but you you can enter to win advance copies all summer long on Goodreads (add it to your to-read shelf to be notified), and if you are a librarian, bookseller, or book reviewer, you can request a copy on NetGalley.  Oh, and I’ll have some extra copies to give away through my newsletter, too.

The Kopps Are Going to Hollywood!

I am beyond thrilled to share the news that Girl Waits with Gun and the rest of the Kopp Sisters series is officially in development for the small screen. Elizabeth Banks’ production company, Brownstone Productions, in partnership with Warner Studios, has made a deal with Amazon for a drama series based on the novels.

The project is in the hands of two very funny and talented screenwriters, and I can’t wait to see what they do with it!

Read all about it here, and watch this space for more news when I have it!

Giveaway Alert!

I have a lot to celebrate today–so I’m giving stuff away on my Facebook page! Just click through by Friday, August 11 if you want to enter to win. It’ll be the top post on the page.

In particular, thanks to Algonquin Young Readers for the publication of the Wicked Bugs Young Readers edition, out today.

And thanks to all the independent booksellers for choosing Miss Kopp’s Midnight Confessions for the September 2017 IndieNext list!  The blurb going out to bookstores comes from Wellington Square Bookshop, so to thank them, my giveaway includes a $100 gift certificate to the bookstore, redeemable from anywhere in the country.

Here’s the blurb:

Miss Kopp’s Midnight Confessions: A Kopp Sisters Novel, by Amy Stewart
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 9780544409996, $26)
“Constance Kopp is back, solving mysteries and making headlines! Deputy Kopp is a heroine of her day and continues to inspire today. Whether assisting young girls in finding their footing on a law-abiding path, using her voice to stand up for the voiceless, or fighting crime alongside her all-male counterparts, Constance Kopp is breaking with traditional female roles and navigating sometimes-stormy waters with grace, dignity, and a bit of humor. What does a feminist look like? This is what a feminist looks like!” —Donna McFadden, Wellington Square Bookshop, Exton, PA

 

The Girl Waits with Gun Extra-Illustrated Edition

UPDATE: We have a winner! Thanks for playing, everybody!

Hi everybody! I made an art project, and now I’m going to give it away to you. Well, to one of you.

Behold the totally unique, one-of-a-kind, handmade, extra-illustrated edition of Girl Waits with Gun , created to celebrate the publication of the sequel, Lady Cop Makes Trouble.  I will pause a moment and let you enjoy the pictures.

Cool, huh? If you’d like to know more about what, exactly, an extra-illustrated book is, or see a list of what I’ve included in this particular extra-illustrated book, scroll down and you can read all about it.

We have chosen a winner–this contest is over.

 

 

So what, exactly, is an extra-illustrated book?  I wrote a piece for Lithub explaining it. Feel free to go read that and come back here–we’ll wait. Basically, it’s a book that someone has added a bunch of extra stuff to, making it a one-of-a-kind, scrapbook-like, entirely unique edition of a book.

Got it? OK. I’ve created an extra-illustrated edition of GIRL WAITS WITH GUN, and I’m giving it away to one lucky winner. Although almost all of what I’ve added to this copy is a reproduction, there are many authentic touches: I printed on hundred year-old paper when I could, and used actual newsprint for the newspaper articles.

Here’s what my extra-illustrated edition includes.

A first edition of GIRL WAITS WITH GUN with a mylar cover on the dustjacket. Bound into it are:

Front endpaper: A Constance A. Kopp bookplate in the style of the era.

Facing title page: A tipped-in full page with a reproduction of an actual newspaper illustration depicting real-life events in the novel.

p. 37: A tipped-in photograph of a silk dyeing factory in Paterson much like Henry Kaufman’s. This image provided much of the inspiration for the scenes that took place in Kaufman’s factory.

p. 39: A re-creation of Henry Kaufman’s business card, based on his directory listing in the Paterson directory at that time. The names D.K. Garfinkel and M. Garfinkel appeared in his listing and provided the inspiration for the fictional character of Marion Garfinkel.

p. 57: Reproduction of a real newspaper clipping about the filming of a train vs. automobile crash for a safety film. The filming really took place; Constance and Fleurette’s attendance at the filming is fictional.

p. 77: Reproduction of a Singer Sewing Machine trade card featuring the Brooklyn Bridge. The Singer Man (Eugene Malherbe) was a real person who really did sell Singer sewing machines and might have carried these cards.

p. 94, facing page: A tipped-in page with photographs of Sheriff Robert Heath and Constance Kopp.

p. 196: Photograph of Constance and Fleurette Kopp.

Girl Waits with Gun extra illustrated Kaufman notep. 239: Reproduction (typed on period typewriter, with vintage paper from the era) of actual threatening letter sent by Henry Kaufman.

p. 259: Reproduction of “Girl Waits with Gun” newspaper clipping

p. 261: Reproduction of newspaper headline

p. 380: Vintage postcard (1907) from Continental Hotel in Newark. The Henry who signed the postcard is not Henry Kaufman—as far as I know—it’s just a weird coincidence. I don’t know if the Kopps actually stayed in this hotel, but it is close to the courthouse, so it’s a good guess.

p. 383: Reproduction of Sparks Circus ticket. The owner of the Continental Hotel, Louis E. Cooke, really was a retired circus agent.

p. 389: Reproduction of “Kopp Sisters Tell of Death Threats” newspaper article.Girl Waits with Gun extra illustrated letter from Constance

p. 403: Reproduction of “Harry Kauffman Fined $1000” newspaper article.

Rear endpapers: Reproduction of letter written by Constance Kopp to Deputy Morris thanking him for his help with the case.

Pre-Orders: The Early Bird Gets the Autograph

Pre-Order Girl Waits with Gun now and get a bookplate signed by the author AND the girl who waited with the gun!

If you pre-order a print edition of Girl Waits with Gun and send a copy of your receipt to email hidden; JavaScript is required, I will sign one of these cool bookplates with both my signature and a rubber stamp of Constance’s signature. (see below for more about that.) You can put it in your book when it arrives.

Here’s the fine print: 

Forward an email receipt or a photo of a paper receipt for the print edition only to email hidden; JavaScript is required by August 31, 2015.
Be sure to include your mailing address. US participants only.
Signed bookplates are available while supply lasts, so be sure to enter ASAP!stewart_girl waits with gun_hres

You are free to order the book from any retailer. Here are a few suggestions:

Bookstores I’m visiting on tour this fall are happy to take pre-orders.

Indiebound, where you can find a local independent bookseller

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Powell’s

Booksamillion

About that rubber stamp:

One of the most extraordinary moments in the process of researching this book was the day a Kopp family member sent me a scan of a letter that Constance Kopp wrote during the Kaufman case. It was just a simple note thanking Deputy Morris for his help, but you can imagine how amazing it was for me to get to see her expressing herself in her own words (not quoted in a newspaper, which could be inaccurate), and–best of all–to see her handwriting.

I think her signature is lovely, and I thought it would be nice if she could sign some books.

Constance Kopp rubber stamp signature

And here’s the bookplate you’ll get.

Girl Waits with Gun bookplate

My Chickens Love a Good Novel!

Chickens are naturally curious about crime fiction, and hens in particular do love a story about a plucky lady crime fighter.  (Oh, did I really just say that?)

Well.  We’re doing a giveaway on Goodreads through June 22, and I hope you’ll enter to win a free advance copy of Girl Waits with Gun! It’s based on a true story of three sisters who fight back against injustice in a way that few women of 1914 would have dared. You can see why it appeals to the hens.

Click here to enter–and good luck!

Oh, and here’s a different link in case that one’s not working--just scroll down to where it says “Win a Copy of This Book.” Ends at midnight June 22.

Now All We Need is a Cocktail!

We’ve only just begun to plan the book tour for Girl Waits with Gun, but I’m already working on a cocktail I can serve. (Book tour planned for Sept/Oct 2015; dates to be posted here.) After weeks of historical research and multiple trips to the liquor store, I think I’ve got it. The significance of the automobile might not be obvious to you until you’ve read the book, but I have to say that I am quite pleased with myself for coming up with a drink made entirely with ingredients that would have been available in 1914, based on a cocktail of the era whose name actually ties in with the book.

After much taste-testing last night (thanks to the six brave friends who turned out for this effort), I give you:

The New Jersey Automobile (Serves two)

½ oz applejack

½ oz gin

½ oz sweet vermouth

½ oz blackberry jam

4 oz sparkling wine

Combine the first four ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake well over ice. Use a fine mesh sieve to strain the mixture, dividing it equally between two champagne coupes. Top each glass with two ounces of sparkling wine.

A historical  and literary perspective: The Automobile is a cocktail dating to the 1910s that combines equal parts Scotch, gin, and sweet vermouth. Honestly, it’s a bit hard to take, as were most automobiles in the 1910s, judging from the Kopps’ experience with them. I swapped the Scotch for applejack to give it a New Jersey attitude, added jam for a little sweetness (see p. 30 for Norma’s opinion of jam), and topped it off with Champagne, which I believe Fleurette would have been very much in favor of if only Constance would’ve allowed it.

This drink is easy to mix for a crowd. Just combine equal parts of the first four ingredients ahead of time and stir vigorously with ice, then strain through a fine sieve to remove the ice and bits of jam. When guests arrive, pour one ounce of the mixture into each glass and top with two ounces sparkling wine.

To make the math easy, here’s a batch that serves 100, with suggested brands that are tasty and easy to find. Scale it up or down from here.

1 750 ml bottle Laird’s applejack
1 750 ml bottle Hendrick’s gin
1 750 ml bottle Dolin or Noilly Prat sweet vermouth
3 eight-ounce jars of jam (by volume, not weight. In other words, 3 cups of jam.)
8 bottles Segura Viudas Spanish cava

 

New Jersey Automobile ingredients