Hi everyone! We have a special guest post for you from Katey Hawthorne, author of Alchemiya!
Today, Katey will be talking about how her characters would get involved in feminism in our world. You can also find out more about her book and enter a giveaway at the end!
Would your characters, who fight against patriarchy in your book, get involved in feminism in our world, and in what way?
For both Eugenia Ratna and Olivia Plumtree, the answer to part one of that question is a resounding “yes”. In their world, it’s alchemical knowledge rather than an old name or land ownership that designates nobility, but, well, nobility counts for a lot less these days anyhow. Still, they’d both want to use their family’s resources and name to uplift women and fight for equality every day.
Eugenia’s main frustration with her world and society comes from inequality: she’s a far better alchemist than her older brother Delaney, but she’ll never have access to all the opportunities he does. It’s bad for her, it’s bad for the family, and it’s bad for their tenants. All her hard work in the lab will never be seen as much more than child’s play—or a woman hoping to understand her future husband’s responsibilities.
That’s why I think that, apart from being a leading scientist (totally chemistry!) in her own right, Genie would probably run a blog highlighting women’s under-recognized contributions to science through the ages, or something like that. I can totally see her writing impassioned essays on Lise Meitner or Asima Chatterjee in her spare time. Kicking ass and making sure everyone takes their names.
In her world, Olivia Plumtree’s had to masquerade as a man to keep her family’s estate and alchemical knowledge. In our world, that wouldn’t be an issue in nearly so many places; as an adult, she’d be the head of her household and her younger sisters would be in her care, and that would be that. Liv’s comfortable in a more traditionally ‘masculine’ role, but still privately embraces her identity as a woman.
That’s why I think in our world, Liv would be all about pushing gender roles and providing an example to young women that there’s no right way to be a girl. She does that with her sisters already—and, well, I won’t spoil, but let’s just say there’s more going on there than she’s willing to let on at first. A lot more.
Both of them would be focused intensely on intersectionality. Thanks to trans people of her acquaintance, Liv is keenly aware that her own masquerade isn’t the same as the struggle faced by those misgendered at birth. Trans women are important, and that would be a major sticking point with her. And Eugenia, as a woman of color, would face even greater challenges in our world than she does in her own—and would be keen to highlight and educate on that score.
About the book
AlchemiyaAuthor: Katey Hawthorne
Publisher: Loose Id LLC
Release date: September 5th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Historical, Romance
Purchase: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Kobo
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Eugenia was born to privilege in the Ratna clan, nobility famed for their alchemical jewel production. Eugenia’s a talented alchemist herself—but the patriarchy insists her less able brother is the heir to the family secrets and property. As if that weren’t insult enough, an accidentally public tryst with another woman means Genie is shunned by polite society altogether.
Enter the gorgeous Lord Oliver Plumtree, scion of one of the oldest alchemical families in Chrysopoeia and master of the foreboding Waldgrave Abbey. But Lord Oliver is actually Olivia, and on the lookout for a wife—one who requires an escape from the same crushing social mores that have forced Olivia to masquerade as her own long-dead brother to keep her family’s estate intact.
Genie and Liv seem a perfect match from the get-go, and things heat up quickly between them. But before they can carry off their marriage of convenience, Waldgrave Abbey reveals more secrets. Jealous Plumtree relatives and Liv’s association with the Secret Society of Alchemiya, rumored to be a dark and sinister arm of the patriarchy, might just ruin Genie and Liv’s chance at their unlikely happily ever after.