Today I’m excited to welcome author Stephanie Burgis to Bart’s Bookshelf, to discus, The Unladylike Adventures of Kat Stephenson a Regency fantasy trilogy for ten- to fifteen-year-olds. The first book in the planned trilogy: A Most Improper Magick; will be published August 1, 2010 in the UK and April 5, 2011 in the US (as Kat, Incorrigible).
Stephanie Burgis: I’m 33, a happy book addict with a wonderful writer-husband, border collie, and young son, and also many, many bookcases overflowing with books (plus a whole bunch more still packed in boxes from our last move). I live in a small town in Wales and spend as much time as possible in coffeeshops.
Stephanie Burgis: Kat is loyal, loving, headstrong, smart, skeptical, energetic and brave. She’s determined to solve her family’s problems no matter what it takes – even if she has to learn forbidden magic and battle highwaymen along the way!
Stephanie Burgis: Some of her adventures include: breaking into her late mother’s cabinet of magical secrets (which was locked up by her stepmother many years ago); chopping off her hair and dressing up as a boy; and matching wits with an ancient and secretive magical order.
Stephanie Burgis: Yes, constantly! I started the book knowing only the first couple of paragraphs, but was swept along by the adventure all the way through. The most surprising moment for me was when the highwayman showed up – I really wasn’t expecting him at that point!
Stephanie Burgis: I love all three of Kat’s siblings. We don’t see much of her brother Charles in this book, but her older sisters, Elissa and Angeline, are both important characters, and my favourite scenes to write involved all three sisters together. All three girls are strong and intelligent, and of course they all love each other, but they all have completely different ideas of how to solve their family’s problems, and they each think they know best…so in other words, there’s a lot of fun conflict to write!
Stephanie Burgis: I do most of my writing while lying on the couch with my laptop on my knees, a cup of Earl Grey tea and a bar of dark chocolate sitting on the floor beside me, and printed-out manuscript paper scattered all around me. I also have a Jane Austen action figure standing nearby as inspiration, and on days when I’m feeling insecure, I wear the sparkly tiara from my wedding to give myself a boost of confidence!
Stephanie Burgis: The most rewarding part for me is writing first drafts, when I get to just have fun and explore the world alongside my heroine, throwing her into more and more trouble and more exciting adventures, which I discover at exactly the same time she does. (I generally have a very vague outline in my head – I know the important issues that will need to be resolved by the end of the book – but I find out what happens along the way just by writing the story.) After that, I do loads of revision for consistency and smoothness, which is less fun to do but just as important.
Stephanie Burgis: A MOST IMPROPER MAGICK is the first book in a trilogy, The Unladylike Adventures of Kat Stephenson. Right now, I’m nearly finished revising Book 3 in the trilogy (verrrry tentatively titled A RECKLESS AND DEADLY MAGICK), and Book 2, A TANGLE OF MAGICKS, will be published in the UK next year. Kat goes to Regency-era Bath and gets swept up in an adventure with scandalous rakes, Stepmama’s snobbiest relations, her brother Charles’s disreputable university friends, and the dangerous wild magic tied into the old Roman baths…
Stephanie Burgis: Thanks for having me! And I’d just like to make sure everybody knows that you can read the first chapter of A MOST IMPROPER MAGICK online on my website:
A Most Improper Magick is released on 1st August 2010 in the UK; buy a copy from your local bookshop or buy online from The Book Depository.