Book Events, Features

Author Event: Mackenzi Lee’s Book Tour for Bygone Badass Broads



After reading The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue last year, I knew I was going to read anything else that Lee came out with.  When I saw that Lee was going to be visiting Ohio on her tour for her most recent release, Bygone Badass Broads, I couldn’t believe my luck!


I’m going to share a few things I learned from the event…

» Mackenzi’s favorite computer game as a child was Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? (a popular game & later TV show in the 90’s – which I fondly remember being a 90s kid myself).  What she remembers the most about this game is that out of the 4 levels in the original computer game, 2 of the levels were about women historical figures.

» In high school Mackenzi’s first job was playing the part of blacksmith in a Civil War reenactment group.  Later when the group switched management, Mackenzi’s position as a blacksmith was taken away from her and she was given a new position in laundry.  She went to management to refute the switch, even bringing historical text to prove that there were women blacksmiths throughout history, but they would not give her a job as a blacksmith.  This was her first experience in historical sexism.

» When she got to college, Mackenzie quickly realized that all the gen-ed history classes focused on white, straight, males.  If she wanted a more diverse history class, only specialized classes that were offered once every few years were available.

» Mackenzi has always felt the need to tell the stories about the women in history that have always been there, but weren’t being talked about.


» Mackenzie has a degree in History, but she quickly realized that she doesn’t have the type of voice to write nonfiction books.

*If you’ve read any of her books, you’ll know what she means by this

» When asked which Twitter accounts she recommends, Mackenzi suggested WeRateDogs (@dog_rates), Jason Porath (@jasonporath), and Rachel Hawkins (@LadyHawkins)

» She decided to share the stories of 52 women since there are 52 weeks in a year.  She is hopeful for a calendar at some point.


» Mackenzi was committed to representing a diverse grouping of women that covered many different races, ethnicities, sexualities, etc.  Not only that, but it was also important to her to feature women that were not well-known throughout history.

»  Many amazing women did not make the cut for Bygone Badass Broads.  She was most disappointed that Jane Adams and Virginia Haul didn’t make it in.

*Side note: rumor has it there is going to be a movie based off Virginia Haul’s life

» Mackenzi would love to write more books that feature those repressed in history.  She really enjoys these books with “bite-sized chunks of nonfiction”.  She would love to write one with exclusively LGBT+ people in history.

*Yes please!


» If you pre-order The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy, you will be able to access a novella about Monty & Percy that is coming out in August!

» Mackenzi works for a independent book store in Boston called Trident Booksellers.  It is actually closed at the moment due to water damage from sprinklers triggered by a small fire.

» She recommends Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham & Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough


» When she was young, Mackenzi mostly read books via audiobook because she had attention problems.  Listening to audiobooks gave her the freedom to do something with her hands while she read.

» Because of her love for audiobooks, it was always a dream of Mackenzi’s to have one of her books turned into an audiobook.  She adored the narrator for A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, Christian Coulson.  In case that name sounded familiar, you may know Coulson from his role as Tom Riddle in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.  Mackenzi shared that when Coulson came to her launch party for A Gentleman’s Guide, he asked to read a rather racy scene, to which she replied “my Mom is here…”  She said she was all flustered the entire time he was reading the scene.  You can watch it unfold on YouTube here → The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue Launch Party

» When she was at a book festival, young people were coming up to her telling her how much they loved A Gentleman’s Guide, but that they had to read it in secret.  One kid even said he got detention for being caught with it at school.


LetsChatHave you read any of Mackenzi Lee’s books?

If so, what did you think?

13 thoughts on “Author Event: Mackenzi Lee’s Book Tour for Bygone Badass Broads”

  1. What a cool post from such a cool event! I feel like the people who attend author events with you always know the best questions to ask. Book and Twitter recommendations? Awesome! Did you ask a question? If so, what was it?

    I haven’t read any of Lee’s works yet– but that’s because I only knew about <em.A Gentleman's Guide and, as you know, I only pick up completed series. But I will DEFINITELY be picking up this book. Moar feminist non-fiction, please!

    Why were some women cut from this book? Did Lee write more than 52 women originally?


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