Kopp Sisters

In 1918, We Collected Peach Pits for Gas Masks

 

I’ve been talking to a lot of book clubs lately (y’all are figuring out Zoom! Yay!), and something that keeps coming up are all those weird bits of research that either don’t make it into the books at all, or that end up in the book as one tossed-off line, when really there’s a whole crazy story to tell.

So here’s one of those crazy stories, in collage form: during WWI, we collected peach pits to use as charcoal filters in gas masks for our soldiers fighting overseas. The government paid farmers $7.50 a ton for any peach pits they could load on a train. “It is urged as a patriotic duty that all farmers turn in every available peach pit,” this article reads.

But it wasn’t just farmers–we were all expected to save our peach pits, apricot pits, and walnut shells to be made into gas mask filters. It was a service activity that kids could do–they’d go door-to-door with wagons and collect from neighbors, or set up outside a market with buckets to collect whatever fruit pits people could donate.

“The Army Wants Your Peach Pits,” read headlines nationwide in August 1918. This was precisely when the fighting in France was at its worst. The pits went to a factory in San Francisco, where they were made into carbon filters. It took 200 pits to make a single carbon filter for a soldier to survive one gas attack.

Kopp Sisters Collages

 

For a long time, I wasn’t at all interested in making any kind of art that had anything to do with the books I write. I just didn’t have any ideas along those lines. Sometimes my publicist would want me to make some art that could be used in some way for marketing purposes, and I absolutely hated that idea. The last thing I want is for art to become a thing that has deadlines and emails attached to it.I have always wanted art to be the one thing that I do purely for myself.

So that is still very much the case-I did make this because I wanted to-but I still have this weird trepidation about mixing work with pleasure, so to speak.

Anyway, what happened is that I took a collage class that involved painting a little portrait on top of a book page. It occurred to me that most artists who do this are using other peoples’ books, but I can actually use my own book, and bits and pieces from my own research, which I have always found so visually compelling. That makes it really personal. It’s truly a piece of art that no one else could make.

And it was interesting to paint Constance for the first time, especially since I don’t really do a lot of portraits. I have written seven books about her, but it was still a totally different experience to bring her to life in paint.

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.

Pre-Order and Win Great Stuff

Our contest is now CLOSED! Thanks, everybody, for entering. If you happen to just be in love with our prizes and desperately want one, you can order one for yourself here.

 

The fourth installment in the Kopp Sisters series is here! Well, almost. It’ll be released in September, but if you’d like to pre-order your copy now, I’ll send you a present! Here’s how it works:

If you pre-order a copy of the fourth Kopp Sisters novel, Miss Kopp Just Won’t Quit, I’ll mail you a signed bookplate AND you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a Miss (or Mr., or Ms) Just Won’t Quit t-shirt of your very own. Or you can have a coffee mug. Or coasters.

You can see all the prizes here.

  • Pre-order from your favorite bookseller. (links here)
  • Forward your email receipt, or snap a photo, to promo@amy stewart.com with CONTEST in the subject line.
  • Include your shipping address! This one’s important!
  • I will mail you a bookplate with one of the characters’ real signature (in the form of a rubber stamp) and mine.
  • I’ll also enter you in a drawing to win one of our fabulous personalized prizes. (You can actually just buy one if you want to. But winning is so much fun!)
  • US only, enter by Aug 31. Winner announced by Sept. 10.

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

 

It’s here!

I’m so happy to share the cover and an excerpt from the third book in the Kopp Sisters series!  It’s coming in September, and is available for pre-order now everywhere books are sold.  Thanks once again to Jim Tierney for a fabulous cover design.

Read all about it, including an excerpt, in Entertainment Weekly!

 

Giveaway! Big Box o Bookish Goodness!

Hi friends! I’m very happy to share a big holiday giveaway with you–including books, cocktail recipes, coloring pages, temporary tattoos, and so much more.

It’s happening on my Facebook page through Dec. 23. Head over there now to enter. And stay tuned on Facebook–more giveaways to come in the new year!