Friday, August 12, 2011

Interview with Kat, Incorrigible author Stephanie Burgis

Today I'm thrilled to have debut author, Stephanie Burgis on Mundie Kids talking about her recent release Kat, Incorrigible. This is a great MG and one I highly recommend picking up. You can read my review here.

Kat is such a delightfully, fun character to get to know. What's one thing that surprised you the most with her character?
The real emotional vulnerability at her heart. She's so confident and over-the-top, she just swaggered right into my imagination and started dictating her story, which was full of lots of humor and adventure...but it was startling to suddenly realize, as I wrote, how much emotional vulnerability really hid behind her exuberance.

I fell in love with your setting. What is something you like most about the early turn of the century England?
Honestly, I love all the rigid social rules...because it's so much fun (for me) to watch Kat break them!

Is there a part of England that inspired your story? If so, do you have a picture you could share with us?
There absolutely is! I was living in Leeds (in Yorkshire) when I wrote KAT, INCORRIGIBLE, which is why Kat lives in Yorkshire, too. I didn't base her home village on any one particular Yorkshire village, but she and her family spend most of the book at "Grantham Abbey", which is my fictionalized version of Bolton Abbey, a very real place. When I lived in Leeds, my husband and I visited Bolton Abbey regularly - the estate is owned by the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire but is open to the public now, so dogwalkers, picnickers and even swimmers can ramble around the grounds, swim in the river and explore the abbey ruins. I've got a whole flickr set of photos here.

If you could revert back to your twelve year old self, and spend the day with Kat, what is one thing you'd want to do?
I'd love to just hang out and laugh with her - and it would be so much fun to get swept into one of her wild adventures!

What inspired Kat's story?
I've always loved the novels of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer, and in several of them, the romantic heroine has a much-younger sister who pops up only long enough to say something snarky and completely disrespectful. I thought it would be so much fun to write a novel where the youngest sister got to be the REAL heroine, having fabulous magical adventures while her older sisters are distracted by romance.

We love receiving book recommendations from authors. Do you have either a childhood favorite and a recently read children's book you'd recommend we pick up?
I just finished reading Maryrose Wood's THE INCORRIGIBLE CHILDREN OF ASHTON PLACE: THE MYSTERIOUS HOWLING, and I *loved* it. I haven't laughed so much over a book in ages! I definitely recommend it.

That's a fabulous MG read! Your pictures are beautiful! Thank you so much for being with us today Stephanie!
Thanks for having me here, Katie!

You can follow all of Stephanie's latest news by visiting her blog, following her on twitter, and visiting her website.
I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves. ~ Anna Quindlen

Good children's literature appeals not only to
the child in the adult, but to the adult in the child.
~ Anonymous ~