Daughter of Destiny a Quarterfinalist in Road to Development Contest

Well, this a surprise. Taleflick, the company I use to sell dramatic rights to my self-published books, just announced that Daughter of Destiny is a quarterfinalist in their first Road to Development contest. This contest is part of their efforts to use their own production company to develop some of the books they represent. If your book is listed with them, you are automatically entered, which is why I wasn’t expecting anything.

I can’t say I fully understand the prizes. I’m in the Basic plan (which means I pay the least amount of money to use their services, which include more than this contest). The prizes for that are an upgrade to Standard and a winner badge. But the Standard package includes an option. So if they upgrade me, does the book get considered for option or does it have to go through another round first? I have no idea. I think I would have to upgrade to Standard before I could be considered for an option before the semi-finalists are announced Dec. 21.

My theory is what will be will be. But I’m thrilled that my little debut has yet another honor to add to the list, nearly five years after being published!

Fearless Females: A Column About American Women’s Contributions to History

I know it’s been a few months since I’ve blogged. Just been busy writing (the biography of Virginia and Francis Minor is done and is on submission with publishers!) and working.

Speaking of work, we have a group that is specifically for women leaders and is all about promoting women’s accomplishments and helping one another and the community. I’m not a member because you have to have a certain level title and I’m not that high up. Anyway, they found out about my interest and research into women’s history and asked me to write a monthly column for their newsletter, along with compiling a list of “This Day in History” anniversaries of major U.S. female accomplishments. So I thought I would share that information here as well.

I’m going to share them as I finish them. This one is technically Dec. 2020.

The Making of a Movement: Wyoming Women Get the Vote

Wyoming Women Voting. Source: WikiMedia Commons

December is a month full of not only holidays but also important anniversaries in women’s history. Household names such as Rosa Parks, Carol Moseley Braun and Jane Addams made history this month. We’ll talk about them in the future, but since this year marked the centennial of women winning the right to vote in the U.S., I thought it would be appropriate to talk about the history-changing event that started the 51-year battle for women of all states to be able to legally vote. No, not the Seneca Falls Convention—though that is widely considered the beginning of the women’s suffrage movement. I’m talking about Wyoming becoming the first territory to grant women the right to vote on Dec. 10, 1869.

Wyoming wasn’t even a state yet when it took the bold step of enfranchising women. While this may sound like a noble move to us in hindsight, it was far from it at the time. The area had fallen on hard times, with the workers who had braved the wild to build the railroad and pan for gold just a few years earlier having moved on to more lucrative areas. Lawmakers were desperate to bring their territory some good publicity so that more people would move to the area, especially women. There were six adult men in the Territory for every adult woman, and there were very few children—a population makeup that could not sustain itself for long.

The Democrats figured that if they gave women the right to vote, the women would thank them by voting for them, rather than the Republicans who opposed women’s suffrage. In addition, the attorney general had recently ruled that no one in the territory could be denied the vote on the basis of race, so former slaves and Chinese men were now allowed to vote; the men of the territory reasoned that women may as well be included, too.

The bill to give women over the age of 21 the right to vote in all elections held in Wyoming territory was introduced by legislator William H. Bright, a saloon keeper with no formal education, in 1869, possibly at the urging of his wife, Julia. Tradition says the bill was heavily debated, but no record of the proceedings exist. The bill passed 6-2 in the upper house and 7-4 in the lower house. Much to the Democrat’s surprise, Republican Governor John Campbell signed it into law on Dec. 10, 1869.* Women voted for the first time in September 1870.**

The 1871 legislature tried to repeal the law but failed. In 1890, when Wyoming became a state, it also became the first state to allow women to vote.

*Legend has it that Democrats wanted to use the bill to embarrass the Republican governor, whom they expected to veto the bill. Suffrage leader Esther Morris later told The Woman’s Journal on March 9, 1872, that the passage of the law “was the result of a bitter feud between the existing political parties, and it was done in a moment of spite – not out of any regard for the movement.” Interestingly, Wyoming was the first, and possibly the only, state to enfranchise women without the influence of suffragists.

** This was not the first time women legally voted in the United States. Women had the right to vote in New Jersey from 1776-1807, when the state government wrote female voting out of the state constitution. It would be another one hundred and thirteen years before women in New Jersey would vote again. On February 9, 1920, New Jersey became the 29th state to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment.

Important Dates in U.S. Women’s History – December

Dec. 1, 1955: Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat to a white man on a bus in Montgomery, Ala, helping to launch the civil rights movement.

Dec. 9, 1999 – Carol Moseley Braun (D-IL) became the first Black woman and the first woman of color to be elected to the U.S. Senate. She had also been the first Black woman to win a major party Senate nomination.

Dec. 10, 1869 – Wyoming becomes the first territory to grant women the right to vote. In 1890, when Wyoming became a state, they also became the first state to allow women to vote.

Dec. 10, 1870 – Ellen Swallow Richards becomes the first woman admitted to MIT (which made her the first accepted to any school of science or technology), and the first American woman to earn a degree in Chemistry.

December 10, 1931 – Jane Addams became the first American woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize for her work as a social worker and activist.

Dec. 13, 1923 – The Equal Rights Amendment, written by suffragist Alice Paul, is first introduced into Congress. It has still not passed into law.

Dec. 15, 1985 – Wilma Mankiller became the first woman to serve as chief of the Cherokee Nation.

Dec. 16, 1891 – City Health Dept. Inspector Marie Owens is appointed to the Chicago Police Department as a police officer assigned to the Detective Bureau, becoming the nation’s first female law enforcement officer.

News Roundup About Virginia Minor

Virginia Minor

As the centennial of the 19th Amendment draws near (Aug. 26 or 29 depending on whom you ask), Virginia Minor is getting more coverage in the media than I have ever seen. Perfect timing, as my biography of her and her husband Francis is on submission and I am nearly finished writing it. (Non-fiction is sold on proposal, not on the finished manuscript like fiction is.) Here’s a round up of the latest news about this unsung suffrage heroine:

The Washington Post – “This woman sought the right to vote from the Supreme Court. The nine men denied her.” This article focuses mainly on Minor v Happersett, the Minors’ Supreme Court case, but provides nice, if brief, background on Virginia’s work during the Civil War and talks a little about how she helped usher in a new era for the suffrage movement. A great read, but far too short!

National Geographic – “The Fight to Be Heard” – (Article behind a paywall) Features the descendants of great American suffragists, profiles of women who fought for the vote, those who continue to fight for women’s, and of course, tells the story of how women finally won the vote.  This article image is the first one that I’ve ever seen that includes Virginia among the 31 other most important women of the movement. (I was going to use it but then I chickened out that they would come after me for violating copyright law.)

St. Louis Public Radio – St. Louis on the Air -“‘Beyond The Ballot’ Explores History Of Women’s Suffrage Movement In St. Louis” – Article on an exhibition at the Missouri History Museum that I can’t wait to see (luckily it is open through 2022 and we better have a COVID-19 vaccine by then!). Virginia is one of the women they talk about highlighting in the exhibition.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch – “Women wanted it — and got it — 100 years ago, but the right to vote didn’t come easy.” Talks a little about the court case and Virginia’s founding of the Women’s Suffrage Association. Kudos for saying that “Virginia’s story is one every St. Louisan should know.” It’s actually one every American should know – and they will.

St. Louis Magazine – “See this: the Missouri History Museum’s ‘Beyond the Ballot'” – Covers similar ground as the Post article mentioned above.

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Finally, if any of you are in St. Louis, The National Women’s Political Caucus is holding a wreath-laying ceremony at Virginia Minor’s grave on Saturday, August 15, at 10 a.m at Bellefontaine Cemetery. I will be there, mask on and six feet away from everyone else.

Oh and I’ll be speaking online on August 29 at 2 p.m. about Virginia as part of the Missouri League of Women Voters’ Centennial celebrations. Register here.

A Day Late – Cover Reveal for Kate Quinn’s The Rose Code

I hope Kate Quinn can forgive me for posting this a day late. My day job took over everything yesterday and the day got away from me. I’m really excited to read this new book of hers. I’ve loved every one of her past books. 

COVER REVEAL – THE ROSE CODE by New York Times bestselling author Kate Quinn (Morrow; on-sale March 9, 2021)

ABOUT THE BOOK
The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Huntress and The Alice Network returns with another heart-stopping World War II story of three female code breakers at Bletchley Park and the spy they must root out after the war is over.

1940. As England prepares to fight the Nazis, three very different women answer the call to mysterious country estate Bletchley Park, where the best minds in Britain train to break German military codes. Vivacious debutante Osla is the girl who has everything—beauty, wealth, and the dashing Prince Philip of Greece sending her roses—but she burns to prove herself as more than a society girl, and puts her fluent German to use as a translator of decoded enemy secrets. Imperious self-made Mab, product of east-end London poverty, works the legendary codebreaking machines as she conceals old wounds and looks for a socially advantageous husband. Both Osla and Mab are quick to see the potential in local village spinster Beth, whose shyness conceals a brilliant facility with puzzles, and soon Beth spreads her wings as one of the Park’s few female cryptanalysts. But war, loss, and the impossible pressure of secrecy will tear the three apart.

1947. As the royal wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip whips post-war Britain into a fever, three friends-turned-enemies are reunited by a mysterious encrypted letter–the key to which lies buried in the long-ago betrayal that destroyed their friendship and left one of them confined to an asylum. A mysterious traitor has emerged from the shadows of their Bletchley Park past, and now Osla, Mab, and Beth must resurrect their old alliance and crack one last code together. But each petal they remove from the rose code brings danger–and their true enemy–closer…

Get your copy today! I did!

Daughter of Destiny is in the Top 10 of the Launchpad Manuscript Contest

Y’all I am shaking right now! Daughter of Destiny made the Top 10 of the Launchpad Manuscript book to movie Contest! I’ve been visualizing it for weeks, but I still can’t believe it. It has NOT sunk in yet.

This means that “you and your project will be showcased individually to agents, managers, executives, and producers who are looking for new clients, projects, and writers.” This is HUGE you guys!!!

According to the email they sent, all of the judges will now read all of the books to determine the winners. The final announcement of the three winners (and other prizes) will take place July 16. I consider this a propitious day because it is not only my grandpa’s birthday, but the feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. (I wanted to become a Carmelite nun for a long time and still consider myself a Carmelite at heart.)

So please keep those prayers and good vibes coming! We’re really getting close to this being optioned!!! “Next Game of Thrones” is still my mantra and I plan to win this thing!

PS – What do you think of my new branding? I hadn’t planned to change it, but I found the picture and the rest just happened!

The Big Announcement: I Have A Literary Agent!

Amy Collins

So I’ve known this was going to happen for a few weeks now, but…I have an agent! I signed with Amy Collins of Talcott Notch Literary last week! She is immediately representing the two books I’m working on now (the Minor biography and a historical fiction I’m not ready to talk about yet). Here’s the official announcement.

I’ve known Amy for a few years. We first met when she presented on marketing to the Saturday Writers chapter of the Missouri Writer’s Guild. We really hit it off during the presentation (I’m Hermionie Granger, so teachers and presenters usually love me because they know I am engaged) and through conversation at lunch afterwards. We stayed in touch online and I saw her present again maybe a year or two later at the St. Louis Publisher’s Association. Amy also hosted a lot of online workshops that I attended so were were in contact that way as well as on social media, and became friends.

I knew she was a huge fan and champion of my books, but what I didn’t know was that she was also an international rights agent. When she became a full U.S. agent earlier this month, she called me and asked if I was considering traditional publishing and if I would think about becoming her client. Why, yes, I was! We talked, I asked questions, and sent her what I have been working on. She loved it and needless to say, I said yes! (Never underestimate the power of networking…not that I could have ever predicted this.)

I really, really like Amy and she has a great reputation in the industry and in marketing, so I’m really looking forward to working with her. We’re a great personality fit and what she represents is right in my wheelhouse, so I am predicting a long and fruitful relationship with many, many book sales!

I’m going to go pop some champagne and enjoy being on Cloud 9 for a while!

Big News! Daughter of Destiny is in the Top 25 of the Book-to-Movie Competition

You guys, this has been a crazy good day in terms of news! I can’t talk about some of it yet…maybe tomorrow or hopefully by Monday for the BIG stuff. But I can tell you Daughter of Destiny has made it into the Top 25 of the Launchpad Manuscript Contest, which as you know by now, is a book to movie contest.

At this point, the exposure the book is getting is better and better. For this round:

  • You and your project will be featured in both our individual launch Pad Competition Booklet, as well as our Annual Launch Pad Alum Booklet, both of which are shared with our industry network and beyond, including agents, managers, producers, executives and other creatives seeking new material and clients.
  • Your project will be featured in a special Launch Pad section of our annual Hit List, Young & Hungry List, and Spec Book.

The next round is the Top 10, which will be announced on June 30. Please join me in the positive visualization because that is when you get individual pitches to Hollywood people.

As I’ve said before, I’m aiming to be named one of the three winners on July 16, so your support and good vibes are much appreciated. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Daughter of Destiny (and the rest of the Guinevere’s Tale series) IS the next Game of Thrones!

Daughter of Destiny in Top 50 of Book-to-Movie Competition

Things are getting serious, folks! Daughter of Destiny has made the Top 50 of the 2020 Launchpad Manuscript Competition. I am so happy!

This is a contest to find the books that will make great movies. They have some pretty heavy-hitting partners in Romark Entertainment (producers), Energy Entertainment (literary management and production) and Inkshares (publisher).

The next announcement is the Top 25 on June 18. Cross your fingers that someone sees the potential in DoD to become the next Game of Thrones!

Daughter of Destiny in Top 75 of Book-to-Movie Competition

Four years after publication, Daughter of Destiny  just keeps going strong! My baby, my debut, has made the Top 75 of the 2020 Launchpad Manuscript Competition. I am so happy right now I could cry.

This is a contest to find the books that will make great movies. They have some pretty heavy-hitting partners in Romark Entertainment (producers), Energy Entertainment (literary management and production) and Inkshares (publisher).

The next two months will be filled with additional announcements as they make their way down to the final winner. (Top 50 is June 4.) Cross your fingers that someone sees the potential in DoD to become the next Game of Thrones!