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Monday, August 30, 2010

Guest Post: Violet Haberdasher (Knightley Academy)

Today is my stop for the Knightly Academy blog tour hosted by Alex from his tour site, YA Book Blog Tours. I was lucky enough to ask Robyn Schneider, a.k.a her secret identity, Violet Haberdasher a few questions about her novel. I have yet to read it but, I do own it, so I'll get to it soon.

Robyn Schneider is a 24-year-old videoblogger/social media personality who divides her time between New York and London. Her Knightley Academy trilogy, written as Violet Haberdasher, follows the adventures of a Victorian serving boy turned knight in a dystopian version of 1800's England. Publisher's Weekly praised the first installment as "a welcome change of pace from fictional academies that revolve around magic." A former associate editor at popular gossip website IvyGate, stand up comedienne, and Off-Broadway actress, Robyn is also the author of Better Than Yesterday (2007) and The Social Climber's Guide to High School (2007). You can follow her adventures on Twitter ( or YouTube (

For more info on Robyn a.k.a. Violet, visit her site(s):
-Knightley Academy Website

Books By Robyn and Violet:
Knightley Academy (Knightley Academy, #1)
The Secret Battle Society (Knightley Academy, #2) - June 2011
Better Than Yesterday
The Social Climber's Guide to High School

Knightley Academy (Book #1) by Violet Haberdasher
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Release Date: Available Now
Publisher: Aladdin
Pages: 480

Summary: Henry Grim has never been in trouble for borrowing a sword from the headmaster's private stores. He has never discovered a forbidden room in a foreign castle, or received a death threat over breakfast. All Henry knows is life as an orphaned servant boy at the Midsummer School, bullied by the privileged sons of aristocracy. But all that changes when Henry is the first commoner to pass the entrance exam for the prestigious Knightley Academy, where he will be trained as a modern-day knight alongside the cleverest and bravest fourteen-year-olds in the country. Henry and his roommates, two other students from decidedly un-Knightley backgrounds, are not exactly greeted with open arms by their classmates. In fact, it soon becomes apparent that someone is going to great lengths to sabotage the trio's chances at becoming knights. But Henry soon learns that there is more at stake than his future at Knightley, and only he can sound the alarm. Is anyone going to believe a former servant on the brink of expulsion? Brimming with wry humor, page-turning suspense, and surprising twists, this first adventure in a memorable new series is sure to enthrall readers of all ages.

Book Trailer:


Guest Post:

1) First, I want to thank Violet for taking the time out to do this guest post. Your book sounds great and I look forward to reading it. Now, on to your YA novel, Knightly Academy, what inspired you to write it?

VS: Knightley Academy began quite innocently, in the dimly lit balcony of a theater during intermission. I attended an elite school for young ladies, which I quietly despised. As my classmates giggled over the performance, I sat and wondered if every school had a student who felt like an outsider. I wondered what sort of boy would be branded odd and different at a school for knights. The idea stayed with me until one summer, when I had the horrible luck to be the only girl taking mechanical engineering at a school that I didn’t ordinarily attend. I used to sneak off to a cafĂ© the Upper West Side after lecture, ignore my problem sets and write the story of a misfit knight.

2) Since your novel is based on knights, who is your favorite all time knight (either from history or fictional movie roles)?

VS: My favorite knight is either Alanna from the Song of the Lioness quartet by Tamora Pierce, or Sir William Thatcher from the film A Knight’s Tale. Perhaps they should challenge one another for the title of Violet’s Favorite?

3) Which character in Knightley Academy was your favorite creation? If you could hang out with one of your characters, who would you pick and what would you do?

VS: I was very, very surprised by Adam. I’d imagined him to be a bit of a jock and a ladies’ man. When he walked onto the page, all chattery and horrible at lessons and fiercely loyal and hilarious in the way that I can never manage to be, I was delighted. That said, I don’t feel as though I really created him. He just appeared like that, and it was all I could do to write down everything that he said. My favorite character that I created is Fergus Valmont. He’s so layered and so utterly convinced his loathing of Henry is justified that, for a while, it blocks out any sympathy you might have for him, or any of his redeeming qualities. If any other character could have been the protagonist of this series, it’s Valmont.

As to a character I’d like to hang out with, probably Frankie. We’d definitely have an adventure, and I’m not at all certain she’d go along with my plans, but perhaps we could have a picnic on a rooftop?

4) What can your current and future readers expect from the rest of the series?

VS: Currently, there are three books planned for the series—a good old-fashioned trilogy. I’m not following Henry’s school years, and the reason for that becomes apparent in the second book, which will be available in June. It’s my favorite: There are a lot of new characters and twists, not to mention spying and secret societies and flag twirling knights and kissing and projectile vomit and quite a bit of danger. Also, a major character dies. The series definitely goes off in a direction that readers won’t expect, especially about two-thirds of the way through the second book. I’ve given a few clues in Book I as to what’s going to happen, but they’re very good at hiding, and I’m not certain you can find them, but you’re welcome to try!


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