December 7, 2018

Children of Jubilee Blog Tour: Guest Post + Giveaway


Welcome to the Children of Jubilee Blog Tour!

To celebrate the release of The Children of Jubilee (Children of Exile #3) on December 4th, blogs across the web are featuring exclusive content from author Margaret Peterson Haddix and 10 chances to win the complete trilogy!


Current Events
by Margaret Peterson Haddix

On September 10, 2001, I finished up a long day of writing feeling relieved and delighted. I was in the early stages of writing a book that would eventually become Among the Barons, and until that day, I’d felt indecisive and directionless and full of doubt that what I was working on would ever amount to anything. But something shifted that day, and by day’s end, I felt as though I suddenly knew everything that was going to happen in the book, what it all meant, and exactly how I was going to write it.

I was as full of certainty as it’s possible to be as a writer.

Then the next day was September 11.

I didn’t live in New York City or Washington, D.C., and though I had friends who did, none of them were injured or killed. I was lucky, and so were they. But like almost every other American, I had the sense that the terrorist attacks changed everything, and everything I’d assumed before then about what life was like seemed wrong.

Every shred of certainty I’d had about Among the Barons was gone, too, and that baffled me. Among the Barons is set in a completely fictional futuristic world, and it has no connection to New York City or Washington, D.C., at the dawn of the twenty-first century; it has nothing to do with Osama bin Laden or al-Qaeda. On paper, there was no reason for me to abandon the plans I’d made the day before.

But I knew I had to. There was no way I could write the book as I’d planned it in the innocent ignorance of September 10.

All writers filter the stories they plan to tell through the prism of their own experiences. And when an event as cataclysmic as September 11 occurs, that resets every writer’s filter.

Also, feeling gobsmacked in real life makes it very hard not to feel similarly gobsmacked in writing and plans for writing. And no matter how much writers may want to go into a hermit-like existence while they’re writing, it’s impossible for them not to be affected by real life, both as an individual and in connection with the rest of the world.

Besides Among the Barons, my newest book—Children of Jubilee—is probably the one most affected by the current events swirling around me as I wrote. I began writing Jubilee as the 2016 presidential campaign raged. One of the many factors that horrified me about that election year was the way that people on opposing sides of the political aisle seemed to be able to watch the exact same events—and see something totally different. At times, the two sides didn’t even seem to be speaking the same language.

I wanted to believe that things would get better once the election actually happened, but that was false hope.

So in the midst of that, when people living in the same country seemed unable to find common ground, how could I possibly expect to write a book where creatures from different planets and vastly different civilizations work through their differences and figure out how to work together?

I struggled a lot writing Children of Jubilee. But as horrified as I constantly was, seeing what was going on in my country, it also forced me to dig deeper as I thought about the dilemmas my characters faced. I couldn’t just give my characters a glib, too-easy resolution: “And then everyone saw that they had to work together, and they did, happily and peacefully. The end.” Nope. At a time when I was feeling very angry about political situations, I couldn’t depict entire civilizations just shrugging and easily turning their backs on deeply held viewpoints.

But the real events going on around me also made me feel as though the answers my characters would find were truly important—the writing was worth the struggle. Sure, what I was writing was fiction, but fiction can often lead the way to help people figure out their real problems, too. And because I write for kids, I know that I have a particularly impressionable audience--and, ultimately, a very influential one. The ten-year-old who reads a kids’ book today could theoretically still be voting in the 2116 U.S. election. (And, yes, thinking too much about this is a good way for a writer to become overwhelmed and incapable of writing another word.) 

 Of course I can’t say how everything is resolved in Children of Jubilee—you’ll have to read the book to find out. But if someone who’s still going to be around for the 2116 election wants to think about that ending in the voting booth, I’m okay with that.
*****

Blog Tour Schedule:

December 3rd — Beach Bound Books
December 4th — Ms. Yingling Reads
December 5thChristy's Cozy Corners
December 6thCrossroad Reviews
December 7th — A Dream Within A Dream

December 10th — Book Briefs
December 11th — Chat with Vera
December 12th — Bookhounds
December 13th — Java John Z's
December 14th — Unleashing Readers




Description:

Kiandra has to use her wits and tech-savvy ways to help rescue Edwy, Enu, and the others from the clutches of the Enforcers in the thrilling final novel of the Children of Exile series from New York Times bestselling author, Margaret Peterson Haddix.

Since the Enforcers raided Refuge City, Rosi, Edwy, and the others are captured and forced to work as slave labor on an alien planet, digging up strange pearls. Weak and hungry, none of them are certain they will make it out of this alive.

But Edwy’s tech-savvy sister, Kiandra, has always been the one with all the answers, and so they turn to her. But Kiandra realizes that she can’t find her way out of this one on her own, and they all might need to rely on young Cana and her alien friend if they are going to survive.


Margaret Peterson Haddix is the author of many critically and popularly acclaimed YA and middle grade novels, including the Children of Exile series, The Missing series, the Under Their Skin series, and the Shadow Children series. A graduate of Miami University (of Ohio), she worked for several years as a reporter for The Indianapolis News. She also taught at the Danville (Illinois) Area Community College. She lives with her family in Columbus, Ohio. Visit her at HaddixBooks.com.

 Follow Margaret: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram
One (1) winner will receive the complete Children of Exile trilogy: Children of Exile, Children of Refuge, and Children of Jubilee
 
US/Canada only
To enter, leave a meaningful comment on this post and a way for me to get in touch with you if you're selected as the winner!