Monday, May 11, 2020

Blog Tour + Interview + Giveaway - The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly by Jamie Pacton

Find the tour schedule here.

 The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly by Jamie Pacton
Publisher: Page Street Kids
Release Date: May 5th 2020
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance


Kit Sweetly slays sexism, bad bosses, and bad luck to become a knight at a medieval-themed restaurant.

Working as a wench―i.e. waitress―at a cheesy medieval-themed restaurant in the Chicago suburbs, Kit Sweetly dreams of being a knight like herbrother. She has the moves, is capable on a horse, and desperately needs the raise that comes with knighthood, so she can help her mom pay the mortgage and hold a spot at her dream college.

Company policy allows only guys to be knights. So when Kit takesher brother’s place and reveals her identity at the end of the show, she rockets into internet fame and a whole lot of trouble with the management. But the Girl Knight won’t go down without a fight. As other wenches join her quest, a protest forms. In a joust before Castle executives, they’ll prove that gender restrictions should stay medieval―if they don’t get fired first.

Book Links:

How did you come up with the idea for The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly?

I wrote a whole Twitter thread on this :-) , but the short story is that a few months after the terrible results of the 2016 election, I took my youngest son to Medieval Times in Chicago. We’d talked a lot during the election cycle about feminism and a female president; and, although I didn’t go into the night of medieval fun and pageantry thinking I’d emerge with a book, as I watched the male knights ride and the female wenches serve us food (and as I talked with them), it occurred to me that we should have knights of all genders. And thus Kit’s quest was born.

Did you do any research for The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly?

I definitely did, though most of the medieval fun facts I knew already from grad school and my own reading. I researched things like what it takes to go viral; I re-watched A Knight’s Tale and the Lord of the Rings trilogy a few times; and, I re-visited places like the Joan of Arc chapel on Marquette’s campus in Milwaukee (I went to Marquette many years ago) and talked to guides there, like Kit does in the book. 

Do you have a favourite character in The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly?
I absolutely love Kit, and I put so many of my secret thoughts, strivings, wishes, and jokes into her. I kind of think all authors do that to some degree with their characters, but seventeen-year-old Kit and seventeen-year-old Jamie are very similar. That said, I also adore Jett, her bff and her love interest; and, I very much want to be friends with her other bff, Layla. And, I also really like her brother, Chris. He’s the brother I wish I had.
Overall, my goal in KIT was to write lots of characters that readers loved as much as I did, so they could see some of their own favorite people in my characters.

Do you have any advice for new writers? 

This is from my FAQ section on my website: Don’t give up. Writing and publishing can be a long, hard slog and I think it helps for new/young writers to go in knowing that. (I (and my fragile heart) had no idea when I started. Sighhhh). Persistence and a certain amount of stubborn goddammit-I-won’t-give-up will help gird you for all the rejections and vicissitudes of the process. We hear so much about young writers getting six figure deals for their first books, but those are always the exceptional, lucky cases. Publishing is about timing, luck, and many other factors outside your control. Writing is about the joy of finding and telling a story. As much as you can, guard that joy. 

I’d also say try to find a community and do everything you can to lift them up. Give more than you take and nurture relationships with other writers. Through conferences and Pitch Wars, I’ve made some dear friends who read my work (and for whom I CP for in turn). We also cheer each other on, talk throughout the day, and are generally just a tremendous support system. They’ve truly been there for me through *so* much that would’ve crushed me if I’d been going it alone. 
And for some more general advice:

Listen to yourself and your own desires. Find people who understand you. Don’t be afraid to take risks (in fact, anytime you find yourself up against something that scares you, figure out why that is). Love well and fiercely. Also, if you want to be an author, get a day job, so you have a backup plan and insurance.

What's your favourite book/series?

There’s no way I could pick just one! But, I love Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows series; I adore S.K. Chakraborty’s City of Brass trilogy; I really like most everything V.E. Schwab writes; and, there are a pile of romance novels that I read over and over. I especially love Jen De Luca’s WELL MET and Casey McQuiston’s RED, WHITE, AND ROYAL BLUE.

About the Author 

Jamie Pacton writes all sorts of books: dark, feminist YA fantasy; contemporary YA stories with a funny + geeky bent; funny MG adventure-fantasy; and, even the occasional adult rom-com. She was a Pitch Wars mentee in 2015 and mentored in YA in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

She grew up minutes away from the National Storytelling Center in the mountains of East Tennessee; she’s the oldest of ten kids; and, she currently lives in rural Wisconsin with her husband, their two kids, and a dog named Lego. The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly (forthcoming May 5, 2020) is her Young Adult debut.
 Author Links:

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