Violet Haberdasher is the author of the new series, Knightley Academy. In case you didn’t know, Violet Haberdasher is ACTUALLY Robyn Schneider – she just uses the most epic of psuedunames. She also wrote Better Than Yesterday and The Social Climber’s Guide to High School.
Here’s a bit about Knightley Academy (via goodreads):
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.
Did you have a playlist you listened to while writing Knightley Academy?
I always listen to the soundtrack from Spring Awakening when I’m writing. I blast it. I’m pretty sure that my editor was horrified the first time she realized I write in loud cafes whilst wearing 5″ heels and blasting a dirty rock opera through my headphones, but hopefully the horror has passed and she can now accept my eccentricities.
Did you have a favorite character to write in Knightley Academy?
Definitely Adam. I’d imagined him to be a bit of a jock and a ladies’ man, but 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. He cracks me up. Loudly. In very crowded cafes.
What character are you most like in Knightley Academy?
When people meet me for the first time, they’re convinced that I’m Frankie, which is a wonderful compliment, but I’m actually more like Adam. I have his same tendency toward ridiculous rebellion (he went off to Knightley; I went off to study medical ethics), his messiness, the same hilariously inappropriate sense of humor, and I’m always trying to convince people that it’s time to eat.
If Knightley Academy was set in today’s world, would it still be an all-boys military academy, or would there be girls there too?
I had actually thought for a bit that I might set Knightley Academy in modern times. I’d wondered what would happen if a girl from the finishing school across the road decided to dress up as a boy and sneak into lessons. That said, as much as I’d like to see girls at Knightley, the sort of institution that it is, and the sort of men who run it, would not want to admit girls. When your characters are fighting against important men who are resistant to change and scared to acknowledge any sort of threat to their way of life, you can’t also have them doing awesomely modern things like that. It sucks, but there you have it. I’d like to think, however, that if everything goes to plan in Henry’s world, by the time he has grandchildren (unless, you know, he dies in the third book ;)), Knightley Academy would be co-educational.
Do you plan to write any future books besides The Knightley Academy series under the psuedoname “Violet Haberdasher”? Also, what is the difference, if there is one, between writing a “Robyn” book versus a “Violet” book?
Definitely! I think that everything I write which falls under the heading of fantasy, science fiction, dystopian or alternate history will be written by Violet, and any literary adult or contemporary YA fiction will be written by Robyn. In my mind, Violet’s books have an air of magic to them, while Robyn’s are grounded firmly in the real world.