Thursday, December 1, 2022

Virtual Book Tour + #Giveaway: Little Writer by Marina Hill @GoddessFish

Little Writer

by Marina Hill

GENRE: Historical Fiction


A retelling of the classic coming-of-age story Little Women through the intimate lens of Jo March.

It's 1862 and fifteen-year-old Jo March would rather be fighting in the war, like her papa, than improving her knitting skills on the home front. But societal conventions for the "gentle" woman-and her steadfast adoration for her three sisters-force Jo to stay behind and support the family, all the while rolling her eyes at Aunt March and daydreaming of becoming a famous author.

At home, love abounds in the March girls' lives in the form of family, friendship, patriotism, religion, and-to Jo's chagrin-romance. As each sister navigates their ascent into adulthood, Jo unwittingly ventures down a path of self-realization, using her gift of written prose to craft her voice, and thus, her truth. Perhaps, just maybe, she can strike balance between the freedom of independence and the warmth of partnership...

In this visionary adaptation, Little Writer tells the March sisters' timeless journey to womanhood with a multiracial cast of characters, reimagining history to include diverse communities without elaboration.

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As Marmee reads, I close my eyes and hear the words in Papa’s voice and imagine myself beside him.

I look up and I’m sitting on a cot inside a tent. I’m still wearing my shift and thin mantle. Papa walks inside and grins, his bright teeth splitting his bushy beard in two.

Papa!” I exclaim, jumping up and throwing my arms around him. “Oh, I miss you.”

I miss you, too, my little writer. Come, let me show you the camp.”

He takes my hand and guides me outside. The sun blinds me and horses stomp by and men chitter. The damp ground seeps through my socks and soaks my feet. None of that matters. His arm wraps around me and I savor the warmth of his embrace. He points at a group of men standing around a table inside an open tent. “They’re deciding where the soldiers will march.” Then he gestures toward men crowding around a fire. “They’re having lunch.” Papa leads me through the crowd and a couple of them nod at me in acknowledgment. My toes turn numb at the cold and wiggling them does no good. He opens a creaky door to a wooden shack. There are four beds and some candles that barely light the entire place. “And this is where I sleep.”

At the sight of the threadbare blankets and the shiver running over my body, I look at him with bewildered eyes. “Aren’t you cold at night?”

Papa smiles a gentle smile that I miss dearly. His silver hair, his thick beard, his soft hands. I miss my papa and I can’t wait until he comes home.

Interview with Marina Hill

    How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your book?

    When I wrote this book, I felt like I was floating through life. I was a recent college grad with no prospects! Jokes aside, it was a difficult era of my life mental-health wise. I wasn’t being kind to myself at all; I held myself to an impossible standard. Little Writer came natural to me in sense. Jo’s character not only helped me accept mistakes I’ve made rather than blaming circumstance, but she led me to the conclusion that I can be more successful when I’m kind to myself. I unlock a lot of personal doors that way.

    What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?

    My goal was to portray characters realistically. I wanted to show genuine flaws of Jo. She loves it when Laurie dotes on her. She wants him to do it all of the time and doesn’t want the expectation of returning it. While she adores it for a time, she realizes that it’s harmed someone she genuinely cares about. Jo’s journey to this conclusion is similar to mine, and I feel as though I achieved it based on the level of fulfillment I experience when reading it over. And, of course, the heartfelt feedback I’ve received from amazing readers.

    What was the hardest part of writing this book?

    The outline! Trying to decide how I wanted the timeline to look and how much of the original I wanted to include was super difficult and took the longest.

    What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

    I mostly enjoyed writing the revelation scenes with Jo. I loved writing Jo’s surprising moments where she thinks “I’m having a fun time—and I don’t feel guilty about it. In this moment, I’m not worrying about anything else but my happiness.” Those scenes include the first Christmas morning, Jo’s night at the tavern, when Amy gets home from Europe, when Jo’s first story gets published, and when she’s talking with Professor Bhaer about Shakespeare. I like writing flawed characters who forget their mistakes but for a night or moment.

    Where there alternate endings you considered?

    I wanted to keep the major plot points of the original novel intact, but I did experiment with the paths I wished to take to the end and what the actual final page would entail. Ultimately, I thought about how Jo would end the story and went with that.

    Can you share some stories about people you met while researching this book?

    I had to turn inward for lot of this book, so I didn’t necessarily have to branch out. However, I made so many friends throughout the writing process—those who show support for my journey. As a debut author who often feels as though they’re a figment of someone’s imagination, every message with love about Little Writer fills my heart with such gratitude that I can barely think straight. Every time I receive one, I want to give them everything I have for free. Which is probably why I’m not a good salesperson.

    What genre of books do you enjoy reading?

    I mostly enjoy reading fantasy, if I’m being completely honest. I love, love, love historical fiction, but I don’t think anything can compare to reading about a dragon ride or what performing magical spells might feel like. Combine historical fiction and fantasy for historical fantasy? Jackpot.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Marina Hill is a writer with a keen interest in all things undiscovered. She grew up in the New Jersey side of Philadelphia, watching Eagles games and roughhousing with her plethora of older brothers. She attended Baruch College in NYC and has over a dozen publications of her other works. If she isn’t daydreaming about her next story, she’s studying history or yearning to dash into the forest, build a farm, and never look back. Marina never lives in one spot for too long and loves to travel with her dog.

Connect with Marina Hill

Website ~ Instagram



$15 Amazon/BN GC

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marisela zuniga said...

The book sounds really good, thanks for this interview too.

Sherry said...

Sounds like a very good read.

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