Saturday, 24 May 2014

The Girl Who Never Was: Background Info on Boston!

The Girl Who Never Was is published in June by Sourcebooks Fire and is a brilliant book about faeries! As part of the street team I'll be posting weekly updates with new and exclusive content that will later be available on author Skylar Dorset's own blog.

Here's what The Girl Who Never Was is all about:

This is not your average trip to Fairyland.
In Selkie's family, you don't celebrate birthdays. You don't talk about birthdays. And you never, ever reveal your birth date.
On her seventeenth birthday, Selkie finally understands why. All she wanted was a simple "Happy Birthday" from her secret crush, Ben. But the instant she blurts out the truth to him in the middle of Boston Common, her whole world shatters. Because the Boston that Selkie knows is only an elaborate enchantment constructed to conceal the truth: Selkie is a half-faerie princess. And her mother wants her dead. The faerie court believes Selkie is a child of prophecy-fated to destroy the court's powerful grip on the supernatural world. And the only way for Selkie to to prove them right.


This week's exciting content is a bit of background information on Boston from Skylar herself. Thanks to Sourcebooks and Skylar for this!

Much of the Boston history and geography in the book is true:
Selkie lives on Beacon Street, which really is on the edge of Beacon Hill, right across from the Common and Park Street T station, where the Red Line and Green Line do intersect.
Beacon Hill was built defensively, to keep out riff-raff.
Beacon Hill is characterized by lavender windowpanes, just as Selkie explains in the book. Not many exist anymore, but you can still spot a few. The people who happen to live in places that still have them cherish them.
There is an “amusement park” named Salem Willows in Salem, and it does sit by the harbor.
The description of Salem at Halloween is, I think, fairly accurate, but, to my knowledge, there is no such place as the Salem Which Museum.
Boston really was founded by William Blaxton, who was later known as William Blackstone. He really did plant apple trees on Beacon Hill and then, upon seeing the shivering Puritan settlers across the river, invited them over, after which he left for the colony of Rhode Island. Blaxton is all but lost to history now. Not many Bostonians know his name, although there is a single plaque to him on Beacon Street, and his second chosen name, Blackstone, persists in the name of the valley where he settled in Rhode Island and an elementary school in Boston’s South End. Will is very happy to have been lost to history; it preserves for him his anonymity.
Will refers to the Witch and Ward Society, which was my supernaturalization of the very real Watch and Ward Society who censored the books published in Boston, keeping the most scandalous and provocative of them under lock and key in a special room in the Boston Public Library. 
The reference to the Boston Sewing Circle is a reference to the fact that Boston in the nineteenth century was flooded with “sewing circles.” They were the premiere vehicle for gossip and also for social standing.
The book A Pickle for the Knowing Ones really was written by a man called Timothy Dexter who called himself a “lord.” He really did once throw his own funeral and yell at his wife for not faking her mourning convincingly enough. He also did fill his yard with statues, including of himself. And the book did not contain punctuation, just as Selkie describes.
I had a lot of fun going through the city I was living and picking out all the elements that I thought could be supernatural. Do you have a place that you think is enchanted or magical?
Also, this week we’ll be interviewing Selkie’s mother, who is the villainess of the book. Who’s your favorite villainess? (Mine is Cruella De Vil, I think.)


I hope you're all excited for this book, and enjoyed reading about Boston. Make sure you also check out this interview with Selkie's aunts!

Check back next week for more content from The Girl Who Never Was!

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