Quarto Kids | 27 July 2021Meet the Author: Elizabeth Kiehner Share article facebook twitter google pinterest Debut author Elizabeth Kiehner stops by to talk about her work on Good Girls Don’t Make History, an important graphic novel that amplifies the voices of female legends from 1840 to the present day. Where did the idea for Good Girls Don’t Make History come from? We aspired to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the passage and ratification of the 19th amendment, and discovered some things haven’t changed that much (e.g. voter suppression). Portraying history can be more objective than current events, and although no one is going to argue about women having the right to vote today, it was a very controversial issue in the past. Women’s history in America is an untold story, and in the rare moments it is conveyed, it is not dynamic, compelling or in color. It was time to change that. How did you choose which people would be featured in the book? The 70-year history could easily be a five-book series. Our goal was to tell the whole story from our chosen starting point in Seneca Falls to the ratification, and to get that done in about 160 pages gave us boundaries on how long to play each major event. There was much debate on every person, place, and experience. That said each chapter could easily become a book onto itself that enthusiasts would read. We wanted to weave a narrative that was a bit broader though, and appeal to a younger audience. To be read by many, we didn’t want to be an overwhelming encyclopedia covering the whole topic. We kept it doable with a parallel narrative between past and present. What is the main lesson you hope readers will take away from Good Girls Don’t Make History? Our history can also offer us inspiration. It is important to find and use your voice, and stand up for what you believe in especially in the face of adversity. As Nancy Pelosi said “no one gives you power. You have to take it from them.” If people threaten your rights, you have a right to fight for them, and in many countries, the fight for voter rights rages on. Additionally, women are still underrepresented in positions of power, and we have the ability to change that today if we raise awareness and tackle this issue with the level of consistency and grit we saw in 1920. What was the biggest challenge you encountered when writing the book? Telling the entire story in a short form was the most significant challenge, as well as starting as an independent project with no funding outside of our own personal capital. Getting exceptional talent onboard without a publisher is tough, and building any project that’s unsold is 100x tougher than one that’s funded and has distribution. The heroic stories in our book kept our chins up. They were that motivating, even in the middle of a global pandemic. What advice would you give aspiring authors and graphic novelists? Start with what you can do with your own skillset and laser focus around setting the tone and direction of the project. Be willing to adjust course and recalibrate if needed with a recast of talent. Sometimes it might seem like there’s no end to the uphill, but there is. Strive to bring awareness to the oppression women, or any underrepresented groups face today. About the author: Elizabeth Kiehner is the co-author of Good Girls Don’t Make History. A Future of Work leader by day, graphic novel creator by night, she received her bachelor of arts in visual media and literature from American University. She is a 20-year New York City resident, and a lover of music, beaches, and the empowerment of women and girls. Kiehner sits on the board of Upward, SheSays and Women in Tech. She believes that investing in women and underrepresented communities will change the world, and she aspires to reshape conversations inside and outside of the boardroom to drive true equality. You can chat with Liz on Twitter or Instagram at @kiehner Order your copy today! Good Girls Don't Make History $22.99$14.99 Buy in UK / Europe Buy in US / Canada Share article facebook twitter google pinterest If you have any comments on this article please contact us or get in touch via social media.