Today we catch up with Stephanie Burgis, author of A Most Improper Magick, out this month.
Which were your favourite books from your childhood?
I was a book addict from early childhood – two of the things I got in trouble for most often were sneaking books to the dinner table and reading during class! – so this list could go on for ages. Some of my very top favourites, though, were Joan Bauer’s Squashed, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Virginia Euwer Wolff’s The Mozart Season, Elizabeth Peters’s Crocodile on the Sandbank, and JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.
(I’m going to stop here for the sake of space, but I do also have a whole page on my website that’s devoted to more of my favourite books: http://www.stephanieburgis.com/about/favorite-books.php )
Being fans of historical fiction ourselves, what drew you to writing in this genre?
I’ve always been a major history geek – in fact, I used to get out of some of my chores by trading good stories from history to one of my brothers in exchange! I also got a Master’s degree in music history, focusing on the music and politics of late eighteenth-century Europe. So it was almost a given that I would want to give my novels a historical setting – and ever since my dad read me Pride & Prejudice, when I was eight years old, I’ve been head-over-heels in love with the Regency era.
Tell us about Kat Stephenson
Kat is loyal, loving, headstrong, impulsive, smart, skeptical, and determined to make up her own mind about everything, no matter what anyone else might think! Her mother was a notorious witch whose reputation was ruined by the public practice of magic, and if Kat wanted to redeem herself in the eyes of good society, she’d avoid magic like the plague. However, Kat has no intention of doing that – especially when there are highwaymen to fight and husbands to find for both of her older sisters!
A Most Improper Magick is book 1 in the series, so what else can we expect and when?!
There will be at least two more books in The Unladylike Adventures of Kat Stephenson, coming out once a year. Book Two, A Tangle of Magicks, will take place in Regency Bath and involve scandalous rakes and wild magic.
To pick up on a current thread in our forum, if you could live with any literary character, who would it be and why?
I would absolutely love to live with Amelia Peabody (from CROCODILE ON THE SANDBANK) – she’s smart, strong, supportive of other women, and always taking off on fabulous adventures in Victorian Egypt!
What do you love to do when you’re not writing?
I love to visit castles and historical museums, read books (of course!), and play with my wonderful toddler son.
Thanks, Steph. We will be bringing you our review of A Most Improper Magick soon…