#17DABash The Tragically True Adventures of Kit Donovan by Patricia Bailey

The Tragically True Adventures of Kit Donovan
by Patricia Bailey
Publication date: April 25th 2017
Category: Middle Grade
Genre: Historical Fiction

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Life in a 1905 Nevada mining town is not easy for any thirteen-year-old. For Kit Donovan, it seems downright impossible. When her mother dies of a fever, Kit is certain she is to blame. Guilt-ridden, she is determined to honor her promises to her mother—namely to be a “proper lady.” Only being a lady is tougher than it looks. When Kit discovers that Papa’s boss at the gold mine (the menacing and self-serving Mr. Granger) is profiting from unsafe working conditions in the mine, she convinces her dad to speak out. But sometimes doing the right thing leads to trouble. Now Kit must find a way to expose Granger’s misdeeds before it’s too late. Aided by an eccentric woman, a Shoshone boy, and a drunken newspaperman, Kit puts her big mouth and all the life skills she’s learned from reading The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to work. With a man’s hat and a printing press, Kit defies threats of violence and discovers that justice doesn’t always look like she imagined it would.

Albert Whitman has bought Patricia Bailey’s debut middle grade novel, The Tragically True Adventures of Kit Donovan, set in a Nevada mining town in 1905. The story follows 13-year-old orphan Kit on her quest to reveal the unfair practices at the local mine, avenge the death of her father, go undercover as a boy at the local newspaper, and survive the how-to-be-a-proper-lady lessons at school and home. Publication is planned for spring 2017.

~Interview with Patricia Bailey~

Hello, Patricia! It’s wonderful to have you on the blog today. I look forward to getting to know you. Let’s start by introducing your debut novel, The Tragically True Adventures of Kit Donovan.

MBA: Can you please share who Kit Donovan is, and how you came up with this story?

Patricia: Kit Donovan is a thirteen-year-old girl who is trying to sort out exactly how to be in a world where doing what’s right is so often at odds with doing what’s easy. She’s brave, loyal, and maybe a little louder than some people would like – and she’s definitely the type of friend you’d want when things get tough.

The story came from a road trip and a conversation with a man at a road-side rock/antique shop in the small town of Goldfield, Nevada. My husband and I stopped to stretch our legs, and I struck up a conversation with the owner of the shop. He told me that the practically deserted town we were in was once a full-on boom town and one of the most exciting spots east of San Francisco in its day. He also told me that the old wheel chair I has looking at had belonged to the famed lawman Virgil Earp. Once we hit Las Vegas and had internet access, I started Googling and discovered that the man was telling the truth – or at least most of the truth. Goldfield was indeed a mining boom town in the early 1900’s and Virgil Earp had lived there – though whether or not he owned that particular wheel chair is still up for debate. My imagination just took off from there.

MBA: Do you relate to any of the characters in the story and/or are there characters that are based off people you know in real life?

Patricia: I think I most relate to the character of Kit. I’m no where near as outspoken as her or as brave, but I do share her desperate need for redemption and her unwavering ideas of right and wrong. And I spent my childhood purposely missing words in spelling bees.

MBA: What prompted you to choose 1905 as your setting instead of current times?

Patricia: I’ve always been fascinated with life at the turn of the century. There was so much going on. Automobiles rolled down the street next to horse drawn carriages. Old west-style shootouts happened next door to world class theater productions. There was just so much contrast – especially in a place like Goldfield that was so rich and yet so isolated. I wanted to explore what it might be like to be a kid growing up in such changing times, and what that might mean for a young girl as she started to wonder what kind of woman she might become.

MBA: Please tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know. Anything at all. Perhaps something fun or quirky.

Patricia: Most people don’t know that I once discovered an opal deposit in the woods and filed a claim on it like some old time gold miner.

MBA: What is your favorite thing about living in Oregon? What is your least favorite thing?

Patricia: There’s so much to love about Oregon. My favorite thing is that I can drive about three hours in any direction and see something unique. Ocean, desert, city, mountains, forest – it’s all within a day’s drive and it’s all beautiful. My least favorite thing is making that three hour drive to get to an event in the winter. Oregon roads aren’t always super fun in the snow.

MBA: What can we expect from your writing in the future?

Patricia: More middle grade books, I hope! With fun, spunky, and sometimes sad characters.

Thanks again for joining us today. I look forward to reading The Tragically True Adventures of Kit Donovan!

~About the Author~

Patricia Bailey grew up in a small town in Oregon. She now lives in a slightly larger town in Oregon with her husband and three cats. She spends her time exploring forgotten places, hiking mountain trails, and scribbling story ideas on sticky notes.

Patricia’s Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


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Wife, homeschooling mom, YA author of paranormal, dark fantasy, and horror, huge fan of the Oxford comma, book blogger, crafter, baker of sweet things, lover of the culinary arts, self-appointed zombie slayer.