Thursday, October 28, 2021

Virtual Book Tour + #Giveaway: Far Beyond Woman Suffrage by David McCracken @GoddessFish


Far Beyond Woman Suffrage

by David McCracken

GENRE: Alt-history Coming of age


Far Beyond Woman Suffrage: The Prices of the Vote

It isn’t just about women in long skirts finally voting. The racists and the rich know that, and the politicians worry.

Mercy Martin has an inside view as the battle for woman suffrage nears a climax, but she encounters many puzzles:

  • So many women and Southern states oppose votes for women;

  • So many people are afraid it would bring on free love, abandonment of family, economic catastrophe, or communism.

  • So many suffragists are willing to abandon black women voters.

From an innocent teen to a young adult, Mercy has a central role in the campaign. She advances from confinement in a suffragist jail cell to the national campaign for the suffrage amendment. She campaigns around Tennessee, ending at the capitol for the explosive climax in the last state that might ratify the amendment and grant the vote to women.

Why should something so clearly right be so hard, and why were some bitter compromises made? Mercy is right in the middle, relied on by key players. Along the way, she acquires a husband, a baby, and better parents than she was born with.

This is an intimate view via alternative historical fiction, as accurate as it can be and as thoughtful and moving as it must be. In this first novella of a series, Mercy jumps into the campaign for woman suffrage and prepares for a vital role in the coming decades. She’ll continue on into the wider civil rights struggle growing out of woman suffrage.


Adjustments 2/19/1918

I’m glad to say my mood swings have evened out pretty much, but I fight to control my anger at my rapist. I don’t want the innocent baby to feel the rage. It’s kind of like my blocking knowing about sex up until a few months ago. How could I have been so good at that? I guess it’s like blocking knowing about Santa Claus. I didn’t let that truth in until I was eight, when all the girls were laughing at me.

Meeting Joe at the Line, 3/8/1918

I met an impressive young officer today after my shift on the line, tall, handsome, and strong-looking. I can imagine men following him into battle. I would. Joe Hamblen had come from the War Department to see what is going on at the White House. He kept looking at me standing at the fence, and I kept looking at him. We talked for a long time after my duty ended. We couldn’t stop talking until I had to go home for supper. I’m so glad that, with my long dress and coat, he couldn’t see my bulging tummy. He wants to see me again tomorrow for supper at a café near here. Well, I’m almost as tall as he is, and my baby isn’t that much of a bump, only four months along. I shudder to see his reaction when I must break my news. He has the dearest, kindest blue eyes. I’ll enjoy his company for now, my first almost-boyfriend. Then, what will ever become of me?

Interview with David McCracken

What made you want to become a writer?

Even as a kid, I wanted to express myself. I always thought I had worthwhile things to say. My parents listened to me, and I wanted the world to. As I neared retirement age, I was writing but finding it hard to get the time. Finally, I realized my retirement job could be writing, on my own, and on my own terms.

What inspired you to write Far Beyond Woman Suffrage?

I had just finished my first novel, Fly Twice Backward: Fresh Starts in Times of Troubles, an alt-history sci-fi multi-media autobiography. Looking for my next topic, I got interested in the centennial of the Woman Suffrage amendment. As I read more about it, I was impressed by the dramatic richness of the event. I thought about a possible storyline and saw I needed to put a young woman into the heart of the struggle. I liked writing heroic women in Fly Twice Backward, so I came up with Mercy. She got herself into the fray and acquired a personal life that fit the personal side of woman suffrage. That parallel personal story would add human context and help me work in the needed history without being too didactic. The rest of the story just grew as I worked from that base. I needed an exciting opening, and Mercy provided it by landing in a jail cell and learning more about how she got there.

Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Far Beyond Woman Suffrage?

Mercy is a 17-year-old when the story opens. She went down to observe the suffrage protest at the White House, got swept up in a blanket arrest, went on gain the trust of key figures, and became a significant player. She is there in the climactic passage of the 19th Amendment but was disappointed the black suffragists were left out. She feels a debt of honor. She resolves to continue the work as a teacher and a political activist. Mercy is supported in the campaign for suffrage by her grandmother, who had deep suffrage roots going back to Susan B. Anthony, and the parents of her husband, who was killed in France soon after their marriage. Key figures in the movement lean on her as the amendment approaches ratification.

You know I think we all have a favorite author. Who is your favorite author and why?

Orson Scott Card, who wrote Ender’s Game, came to mind first, but then I realized it would have to be Frank Herbert. When I was reading Dune, I kept thinking, “I wish I’d written this!” Both created fascinating worlds worth more than one book.

Can you tell us a little bit about your next books or what you have planned for the future?

The novelette seems the right length for me, though the first book was over 500 pages. I see this one as the first of a set of six, maybe extending over 600 pages in total and maybe too ambitious at 81, but it gives me a chance to explore the events surrounding me as I grew up. Well, writing the beginning of a vampire book was so much fun that I wonder if I might be sucked away into the night zone. There I can just make up a lot without needing the extensive research that went into Fly Twice Backward: Fresh Starts in Times of Troubles and Far Beyond Woman Suffrage: The Prices of the Vote. Nah, I need to feel worth in what I’m writing. In those two, though, I sometimes felt the need to spend hours checking one fact, putting a high value on accuracy and clarity. So many good sources just glossed over details I was trying to pull out, like exactly when the preliminary Tennessee woman suffrage for presidential and school board elections took effect.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

Feeling the history through learning the facts in their emotional depth, like finally making the link between racism and anti-suffragism, and seeing it comes right down to the Southern-led bigotry still active today in the debased and anti-democratic Republican party.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

David McCracken became a political activist when the Supreme Court ruled against school segregation. Fellow students joined him in urging the school board in Winchester, KY, to integrate immediately. He campaigned for a Democratic governor and joined the ACLU before he graduated from the University of Kentucky. After debating at U.K., he got a degree in economics and a job with the U.S. Department of Commerce.

When his daughters approached school age, he became increasingly concerned with how he wanted them schooled. Researching that, he decided teaching was what he really wanted to do. He got a master's degree in elementary education at Murray State University. He taught for several years, until the fact that his girls qualified for reduced-price lunches based on his salary got to him. Ronald Reagan's anti-government policies prevented him from returning to government work, so he took programming courses and shifted careers again. Programming was like being paid to solve puzzles all day, but teaching eventually drew him back until retirement.

For many years of this time, he was working intermittently at a novel that became Fly Twice Backward: Fresh Starts in Times of Troubles. This concerned his waking on his twelfth birthday, trying to figure out what had happened, following his new opportunities, and ultimately outliving an evil president resembling Donald Trump. After thirty-six years, David finally published it as an interactive alt-history Kindle novel. He soon started, Far Beyond Woman Suffrage: The Prices of the Vote, an alt-history novelette dealing with the campaign for woman suffrage. He finished this piece in just ten months. At 81, he is bold(?) enough to plan this as the first of a six-volume set dealing with the far-reaching results and implications of woman suffrage. His completed novels and another in the works are presented for discussion on a new website,


David now lives with his third wife, stepdaughter, and step-grandson near Winchester, VA. He has a son from his second marriage, six grandchildren, and two stepchildren. And a wonderful black dog with four white feet.

Website ~ Goodreads

Buy Link:


The book will be on sale for $0.99 during the tour


$10 Amazon/BN GC

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.


Sherry said...

Sounds like a great read.

Rita Wray said...

Sounds like a good book.

DavidMcC said...

My thanks to the host! respond to questions and comments here now and be back to do it again later. Please to read my book and leave a review on Amazon or goodreads, or on my website,