Friday, August 27, 2010

Interview with Violet Haberdasher

Today, I have the amazing Violet Haberdasher, who is the author of The Knightley Academy, which came out earlier this year. I hope you enjoy.
1. In Knightley Academy, the Knights of Templar are mentioned. Are there any other legends or myths that fascinate you?
If you can consider it a legend, I'm quite obsessed with Sherlock Holmes. I also love the theories about Shakespeare's true identity, the legend of King Arthur, and collegiate literary societies (which pre-date secret societies).
2. There are three types of Knights in Knightley Academy, which type do you think you are most like? Why?
I secretly wish I could be a Knight Detective. I wrote my thesis on the idea of the gentleman's detective in Victorian London, who settled private scandals outside of the public eye through research, disguise and inquiry. I think I'd quite enjoy having my own office as a prominent Knight Detective, rescuing people's honor and reputations and consulting with the Police Knights on the occasional matter of national importance.
3. Knightley Academy is based in an alternative history of Victorian London. Do you have an other books planned in a sort of alternative world?
I think all fiction is, in effect, set in a bit of an alternative world. You can't help but manipulate reality when you're writing, even in just the smallest ways. I'm just far more obvious about it. I'm also a coward, and I'd be too afraid to tackle historical fiction without the crutch of an alternate history. You don't get any details wrong when you're making it all up! My academic focus has always been, in some capacity, Victorian London--the laws, literature, culture and medicine. I was petrified that I'd get some detail wrong until my agent just told me to make it up, because no one would know the difference. Until then, I'd been sitting on and worrying about Knightley for 4 years! I still do a large amount of research, and 95% of my alternate bits are deliberate, but probably 5% are sheer ignorance/just totally off. I think I'm going to continue with alternate worlds for a long while yet! I am working--quite tentatively!--on a book series which blends my Victorian research and my biotech research into an absurd sort of nostalgic future setting.
4. What is your favorite and least favorite thing about writing?
My favorite thing about writing is probably when something falls neatly into place that I wasn't expecting to happen in the manuscript; I love being surprised by my stories. My least favorite thing is when I have to torture my characters. I feel so bad for them!
5. Is there anything that you would like to add?
If you would like to hear me do impressions of Lord Havelock, Fergus Valmont and all the rest for 8.5 hours, consider investing in the audiobook, which just came out this week, and which I had the hilarious misfortune of narrating. I forget how much the audiobook costs, but mocking me about it is free!

1 comment:

Thanks for visiting. Every comment creates a smile.


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