Today’s blog is full of firsts.  We had our first author interview post earlier and while we usually have a policy of one post per day, we had to break it because we jumped on the opportunity for our FIRST COVER REVEAL!  We have the pleasure of revealing the cover for Alexander Hamilton, Revolutionary by Martha Brockenbrough.  Coincidentally, today is Alexander Hamilton’s birthday, so there is MUCH to celebrate!

As you probably already know, Alexander Hamilton, Revolutionary is one of our most anticipated 2017 releases.  Partially, it’s interest in the life of Hamilton, but it’s also because we can’t get enough Martha’s writing.  Martha has written numerous books covering a wide-array of topics and genres, but we know her best for her absolutely stunning work, The Game of Love and Death, which we read for book club last February. If you haven’t read this brilliant historical YA on the the precarious game played by Love and Death through humanity’s history, we encourage you to do so now.  This book is lovely and brilliant–so full of love and hope.  You will see why we fell so in love with Martha’s writing and it will get you so very excited for Martha’s examination of the life of Alexander Hamilton.

ABOUT ALEXANDER HAMILTON, REVOLUTIONARY

Alexander Hamilton, Revolutionary will be released on September 5, 2017 on Feiwel and Friends (Goodreads). Here’s the blurb from the book jacket.

The book will examine the role this hot-tempered and tender-hearted founding father had in shaping the government and finances of the infant United States.

He was born out of wedlock on a small island in the West Indies and orphaned as a teenager. From those inauspicious circumstances, he rose to a position of power and influence in colonial America.

Discover this founding father’s incredible true story: his brilliant scholarship and military career; his groundbreaking and enduring policy, which shapes American government today; his salacious and scandalous personal life; his heartrending end. Richly informed by Hamilton’s own writing, with archival artwork and new illustrations, this is an in-depth biography of an extraordinary man.

THE COVER

To quote Martha, “The team at Feiwel & Friends and I spent a lot of time thinking about how to make the story as thrilling and exciting as possible. You’ll learn a lot about Alexander Hamilton that you didn’t know—even if you love the musical. And the book itself will be a beautiful object, full of images that bring him, his friends, and his world to life.

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EXCLUSIVE CONTENT

Martha and Feiwel & Friends gave us access to the Foreword of the book, which we are now thrilled to share with you. Just look at these eye-catching pages! Also, a little birdie told us that pre-order incentives will be announced later this year, so be on the look-out for those announcements in the near future.

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ABOUT THE MARTHA BROCKENBROUGH

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Martha Brockenbrough (rhymes with broken toe) is the author of two books for adults and five books for young readers.

She’s the founder of National Grammar Day (every March 4), and she’s written game questions for Cranium and Trivial Pursuit. The former editor of MSN.com, Martha has interviewed lots of celebrities, including the Jonas Brothers and Slash (his favorite dinosaur is the diplodocus). Her work has been published in a variety of places, including The New York Times. She also wrote an educational humor column for the online encyclopedia Encarta for nine years.

She lives in Seattle with her family. Her favorite kind of food is Indian, although Thai runs a close second. Besides writing, she likes board games, playing music with the family band, travel to places far and near, drinking lots of coffee, and working out really hard at the gym.

INTERVIEW WITH MARTHA

Martha took some time out of her busy schedule to answer some questions about the cover, Hamilton and herself.

YAW:  First of all, this cover is stunning. Can you give us a little insight of how it came to be?

MB: Every publisher works differently, so there isn’t any rule for how book covers are made. But for some authors, if they made good choices in their past lives, and if their actions have pleased the gods, incredible covers are born. Actually, that isn’t how it works—but that’s sometimes how it feels. And when you see an absolutely stunning and magical cover like this one, one that is exactly what you’d hoped to see even if you didn’t have the words to express it, you do light the incense on the altar, just in case. The design god in question here is Raphael Geroni (YAW added link). With my editors, Jean Feiwel and Julia Sooy, I had conversations about what I hoped this book would be: something beautiful and compelling. They were also very invested in how we shaped the narrative and additional materials, and the whole team has pulled together to make sure the heart of Hamilton beats on every page, including the cover. Alexander Hamilton was a particular man. He believed in the power of sharp uniforms. He visited the barber daily. He loved parties and was a warm and lively host. To me, the cover feels like that, and invites readers along for a mind-blowing true story.

YAW:  We love your amazing Game of Love and Death, which is another work of historical fiction. Why are you drawn to writing historical fiction, particularly in YA?

MB: So this book is nonfiction, even though it’s meant to read as deliciously as a novel—because his life really was that extraordinary. I do love historical fiction as well. I love people. I love the world. It’s fascinating to me how people lived in different times and different places, and until time travel is invented, this is the best way for me to live many lives (while always returning home to my much-appreciated indoor plumbing.)
YAW: We know you’ve been diligently researching Hamilton for quite a while in preparation for this book. What has your research process been like? How has it differed from previous research?
MB: Whether they’re fiction or nonfiction, books have to be true. In other words, the experience they create for a reader has to transport that person inside someone else’s mind and heart. Lots of things help with this: creating a great setting, a vivid and engaging character, dialogue that’s fun to read, and plot events that keep you in suspense. It has to feel real. When you’re writing historical fiction, there’s an additional layer of adding details that build this authenticity. One of the hardest parts is knowing what you don’t know—for example, when people started having zippers in their trousers. With nonfiction, accuracy is even more important. It’s easier said than done, because not all sources are in agreement. However, there are many great books about Alexander Hamilton. I also worked with Nicole VanderMeer, a PhD student, who helped me dig up all sorts of documents related to Hamilton and also about places he lived and the time in general. She is an extraordinary researcher who saved me tons of time.
YAW: If you could only give us one fact about Hamilton, what would it be?
MB: Love poems were some of his first published works. He was a lover and a fighter.
YAW: Why do you think Hamilton has been pulled to the forefront of the zeitgeist of the mid-2010’s?
MB: His life story is fascinating and either unknown or forgotten, and that was what inspired Lin Manuel Miranda to write an absolutely genius musical. When you have a piece of really compelling pop culture that also feels prescient—particularly with Hamilton’s antipathy for demagogues and unprincipled politicians—you have everything you need to open the eyes of the world. Here’s hoping people see clearly in the days to come.
YAW: And, finally, the rapid fire portion of today’s interview.  We won’t give you the whole Proust Questionnaire, but our favorite questions from it:

What is your idea of perfect happiness? The company of family and friends, good food, a crackling fire, and time to read.

What is your greatest fear? That something terrible happens to my children.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? The way I sometimes let an idea of the perfect stand in the way of the good (and improvable).

What is the trait you most deplore in others? Delight in the suffering of others cloaked as concern for their regard.

Which living person do you most admire? Michelle Obama.

What is your greatest extravagance? Musical instruments. I can’t quit them.

What is your current state of mind? A tiny bit tired. I was traveling until 3:30 AM, which is when I am usually dead asleep.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Religious piety.

On what occasion do you lie? When someone has cooked something for me and I don’t love it. They cooked for me. I am so grateful!

What or who is the greatest love of your life? My husband, our girls, and our two dogs.

What is your motto? Work as though your success is assured. (In other words, don’t waste time and energy on self doubt. Spend it all working.)

 

Before we announce our giveaway, let’s have a look at this stunning cover of Alexander Hamilton, Revolutionary ONE MORE TIME!

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Alexander Hamilton, Revolutionary by Martha Brockenbrough will be out on September 5, 2017 from Feiwel and Friends!  Don’t forget to add to your Goodreads.

GIVEAWAY

Now that we’ve told you everything you need to know regarding Alexander Hamilton, Revolutionary, would you like to win an ARC of this beauty? Details to enter are below:

  1. Follow our blog here via WordPress or email
  2. Comment below on why you are excited for Alexander Hamilton, Revolutionary (if you follow via email, please indicate your email address)
  3. You have until 7:00am EST January 18, 2017 to enter!
  4. A winner will be drawn at random and announced on January 19th.
  5. US Only, no giveaway accounts
  6. Winner will have 24 hours from time they are contacted (via reply to comment below) to respond with shipping information or another winner will be chosen
  7. The winner will receive an ARC Alexander Hamilton, Revolutionary when they are made available by the publisher.

Good luck!

~Carmen

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