Wednesday, November 11, 2009

GUEST: Molly Roe

This week begins an on-going feature for authors with TRIBUTE BOOKS. In the coming weeks I will be introducing you to the talented Poets and Historical authors with this wonderful independent press. My first guest is Molly Roe, who has written a wonderful novel entitled "Call Me Kate" which I think will be enjoyed by anyone who reads history, and history based fiction. So, before we get to the interview, let me introduce you to the Author:

MOLLY ROE (pen name for Mary Garrity Slaby
Call Me Kate: Meeting the Molly Maguires

Molly Roe is the pen name of Mary Garrity Slaby, a veteran language arts & reading teacher at Lake-Lehman Junior Senior High School. Mary holds a Ph.D. in education from Temple University, and Pennsylvania teaching certification in six areas. She has pursued the hobby of genealogy for the past decade. Mary was born in Philadelphia, raised in Schuylkill County, and currently lives in Dallas, Pennsylvania with her husband, John. They are parents of two grown children, Melissa and John Garrett, cover illustrator of Call Me Kate. Digging into the past has given Mary newfound respect for her ancestors and a better understanding of history. Call Me Kate is the first in the author’s trilogy of historical novels loosely based on the lives of the strong women who preceded her.

The interview:

1. Have you always been drawn to history, or did something in particular trigger the idea for an historical novel?

Certain historical eras have always intrigued me, but overall I was never a history buff. Genealogical research led to discovery of a connection between my great grandparents and the Molly Maguires, a big topic in local Pennsylvania history. Once started, I continued delving into topics related to the Mollies: labor unions, immigration, and the Great Hunger in 18th century Ireland.

2. Do you feel that fiction and fact are well married in historical fiction, or does the make-believe overshadow rather than enhance the reality of history?

I am a strong proponent of historical fiction and definitely believe it enhances reality. My readers have told me that they were fascinated by the glimpses of daily life in the coal patches and are looking forward to my next book to learn more. People who would never pick up a book about anthracite mining will learn many facts about the industry in Call Me Kate, but the facts are couched in a heart-wrenching, suspenseful story.

3. How much research has gone into your book? A lifetime, or was the researching done as it was required throughout the process of creating your book?

I began researching when my son was a freshman in high school and he is now 26, but those dozen years went quickly! I also had to dig up expert information during the writing. My writing group friends kept me busy checking details that they were curious about. Researching is very enjoyable activity for me. I am currently researching the mine fire in the town of Centralia, and the Molly murders in that area.

4. What “message” do you feel you are trying to convey with your work, or is there one?

There are several messages, but a primary one is: Respect your immigrant ancestors- they gave you the life you have today.

5. What would you like to tell readers about your specific book that would encourage them to buy it and experience it for themselves?

Call Me Kate has a nice mixture of history, adventure, suspense, emotionality, and humor. It informs the younger generation about the rigors of nineteenth century life, but it also sparks memories in the older generation who lived during the era when coal was king. That quality makes it a great gift to share with young and old alike.

To learn more about this book, this author, and many other fabulous books, visit TRIBUTE BOOKS:


  1. Very cool... always nice to see where people are inspired from... and so cool that your family is involved with your work...

  2. sounds like a very interesting and educational read. Thank you for sharing with us!

  3. Sounds like a great book!
    Wishing you many sales!


  4. Thanks Denyse for hosting a Tribute Books week - we appreciate it!

  5. It's my pleasure to introduce your talented writers to my readers... And, please everyone - stay tuned for more talented guests to discover, too! Lots more in weeks to come...

  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  7. I am all in favour of free speech and expression, but I will not tolerate my guests being slammed, so "ah" - your comment has been deleted. State your opinion with a little less nastiness and it will stay.


  8. Sorry you took it that way. This was no slam of anyone. It was a discussion of a book. A book should be reviewed on its merits. Nothing derogatory was said about its author or your guests.
    Ethnic and cultural stereotyping are not light matters.
    And a reviewer or anyone else for that matter has an ethical repsonsibility to the truth. No nastiness was intended. People are hurt by unfounded rumors and slanders and history can be used as a weapon.


Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.