Tuesday, March 22, 2011

AttaGirl Author Interview and Book Giveaway

TIME TRAVEL AND FRIENDSHIP intertwine in Friends Forever, a sparkling novel that jumps across a century as tween heroines grow up in the same house 100 years apart. Author Amy Ariel, an attorney and educator, shared her thoughts about her characters and the novel's 1912 setting with AttaGirl. Check out her answers — then leave a comment and your email address. One lucky reader will receive a complimentary copy of Friends Forever. 

Amy Ariel
Friends Forever offers a lively backdrop of circa 1900 events, particularly those that relate to civil and women's rights. Do you hope readers will be inspired to learn more about this time in history?
The Progressive Era is both challenging and inspiring. When we imagine the past, it's tempting to conjure a time more simple than the one in which we live. . . . 
I would be thrilled if my readers became engaged with Hannah and Abigail’s story and through it became more interested in the setting of Abigail’s life. However, what I hope most is that they will be intrigued by the idea of the past brimming with stories and become
inspired to read more of any of them.
Why center your story on this time in history?
Friends Forever began as a short story written as a birthday present for one of my then seven-year-old students, Amalia Hertel. When asked what she would like for her birthday she requested I write a story about a Jewish girl who wasn’t too much older than and at least as smart as her, and she wanted a story that wasn’t too ordinary. . . . [Later] when I picked up my short story [again] and watched it grow under my fingers, I journaled in Abigail’s voice to get a sense of her character. It became clear Abigail is a child of the Progressive Era. She wonders at one point whether anyone living 100 years in the future will ever stand at the corner of Marshall and Lexington and wonder about a girl like her. I hope after meeting Abigail, more people do just that.

Both girls in Friends Forever are great readers, and several popular novels are featured. Do you have personal early-1900s favorites? 
It was love that motivated me to include so many references to my favorite turn-of-the-century novels. Others, for older readers, will have cameos in the next book.
An element of magic allows Hannah to time travel in Friends Forever. If you could get to know a woman from the turn-of-the-century, whom would you choose?
There are at least two: Alice Paul and Clara Ueland. They were very different women, but each was strong and brilliant. I think of Alice Paul every time I vote, since she was one of the people who led the successful campaign for women’s suffrage. Clara Ueland was the first president of the Minnesota League of Women Voters. I would guess neither of them would let me be satisfied with anything I’ve accomplished so far in my life. Both of them would push me to learn more, be more, and accomplish more. I would love to spend time with women like that.


  1. What a great theme for a story! I live in a home built in 1926 and woud love to know about the young mother who lived here 85 years ago. Sounds like a wonderful book.

  2. My tween girl has developed a great love for history. This sounds like a book we'd enjoy reading together!

  3. I love the idea of this story! It sounds like a wonderful book.


  4. Sounds like a very interesting book that both my 10 year old and myself would enjoy reading. There was a lot going on during the Progressive Era.

  5. I LOVE the Progressive era and really admire the women who fought for suffrage and reform. I also love children's books and would love to read this one.

  6. Sounds like an interesting book. My 9year old would love to learn how different life would've been for a girl of similar age 100 years ago.