Mary Robinette Kowal at Boswell's Books
Rows of wonderful books at Boswell Book Store provided a perfect background for a performance and reading by Ms. Kowal, who is an accomplished puppeteer as well as an author of Regency-fantasist fiction. She presented a brief shadow puppet show "The Broken Bridge," much as it would have been seen 200 years ago. It was farcical and very well acted, bringing appreciative laughter and applause from the audience.
Book One of the Glamourist series
The audience was a mix of science fiction/Fantasy fans and devotees of Jane Austen, for Ms. Kowal's novels are an engaging mix of the two. Her primary characters, Jane and Vincent, combine their magical powers to entertain the Regency elite.
Mary's career extended over about ten years as a professional puppeteer, with a variety of types of puppets: shadow, hand, stick and marionettes. She began writing fantasy fiction and soon was published and winning awards.
Hand-stitched Regency apparel
She was able to combine her love for Jane Austen into her fantasy writing with the creation of the Glamourist series set in the Regency and involving magical abilities on the part of the hero and heroine. In her quest for authenticity, Ms. Kowal even sewed a number of faithfully designed Regency gowns, complete with their required underpinnings.
Second Book in the Glamourist series
Her work with puppets as well as her fiction has won awards and critical acclaim. Ms. Kowal currently lives in Chicago with her husband, a wine-maker.
Among the little games Ms. Kowal likes to play with her readers is the occasional appearance of Dr. Who in her novels, hidden in plain sight.
With JASNA-WI members Sara Bowen, Ms. Kowal, Victoria Hinshaw and Jane Glaisner
Book Three of the Glamourist series
Ms. Kowal assures us we can expect Book Four very soon...set in Venice and featuring Byron and a menagerie of animals...along with more magic.