White Feathers Trailer

Today I had the pleasure of meeting Ruth and Brenda, who are part of the sales and marketing team from O’Brien Press, and was very happy and excited to hear everything they’ve got planned for White Feathers as we approach publication date on the 25th August. More on that anon… But for the moment, here’s a little trailer I made for the novel – it’s a labour of love I just did myself, Nothing fancy, but I had fun doing it. And all the text is from the book, well 95 per cent.


Emmeline Pankhurst and the White Feather

I was travelling back from a truly wonderful holiday in West Cork – which included a boat trip to Cape Clear, a swim in Lough Ine, a meeting with Elizabeth and her hubby, and the reading of many, many books – when I heard presenter George Hook on his Newstalk radio programme declare himself “a feminist after Emmeline Pankhurst”. I also noticed her name in my twitter feed. Apparently today is the anniversary of her birthday in 1858 and she is celebrated as an icon of feminism.

Given all the hoop-la about Mrs Pankhurst, I am surprised more people aren’t aware of her volte face on woman’s suffrage on the eve of World War I, and that she was a rabidly enthusiastic advocate of handing out the white feather of cowardice to men not in uniform to publicly shame them into joining up.

In my novel White Feathers, Eva, the protagonist, becomes attracted to the nascent feminist movement in London after illicitly attending a mass boycott of the 1911 Census in Wimbledon Common. (The rationale behind this was that if they were not persons under the law, why should women be counted on the census?) She is particularly inspired by one girl who gives a rousing speech and urges Eva not to be a bystander when history moves on. So one can imagine Eva’s shock when, three years later, she is dragged to a meeting of the newly convened Order of the White Feather only to see, among the cheering women, the very girl who had made the speech, now urging her to take a feather or two! and praising Mrs Pankhurst for her encouragement!

So, what happened to change Emmeline Pankhurst’s mind? Continue reading “Emmeline Pankhurst and the White Feather”

Interview with writer Susan Lanigan (Palazzo Rinaldi AIR 2011)

In 2011, I had a lovely stay at the Palazzo Rinaldi Artist’s Residence, a villa on the top of a hill in a remote village in Basilicata Italy. Susanna from Palazzo Rinaldi interviewed me on her blog and asked a few great questions about White Feathers, which I was happy to answer!

Palazzo Rinaldi artists' Residency | blog

Susan Lanigan writer

Susan, first of all many congratulations on your novel White Feathers, which has been acquired by O’Brien Press Brandon Imprint for publication in autumn 2014.  We are excited for you and can’t wait to read it! Can you tell us first of all what gave you the idea for the novel, and made you wish to write a story set during WWI?

Thank you! I had been toying with the idea of the white feathers of cowardice a while, trying to write a short story where past collided with present and failing. Then I had this idea: what about telling the story straight, from the point of view of a girl from the period. being pushed towards giving a white feather, and the horribly personalised symbol of institutional violence that carried, and it went from there. I think I’m very interested in female power versus male power and how the…

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My story “Stay Special” to be included in Nature Futures anthology

After a rather turbulent and trying day, I just received a very welcome distraction in a message from Colin Sullivan, editor of Nature Futures: my story “Stay Special”, a dystopian narrative of suppression of age in women, will be featured in the second anthology of Nature Futures stories. (This is a series of hard sci-fi published in Nature magazine every week.)

Futures 2 (#Futures2) will be coming out as an eBook and will be promoted this summer at LonCon. Published by Tor, it will be available from early September from the usual outlets (Amazon, Barnes & Noble etc)

Since White Feathers is out 25 August I might not be able to flag this as much as I would like, but do go check it out. There are some great stories there.