Please join me in welcoming Steampunk author, Bec McMaster to the blog! Today we’re chatting about her upcoming book, My Lady Quicksilver, which came out this past Tuesday.
1. This instalment had a different feel to it than the previous two; why did you focus more on the Humanist storyline and on characters outside of Blade’s inner circle?
[box]I always prefer series that have an over-arching plot when I read, so it made sense to have one when I write. Each book in London Steampunk is a complete story in itself, but each book takes a step toward something I’m building on.
The humanist storyline has a huge role in the overall plot arc. I mentioned it in Kiss of Steel, it was strongly involved in Heart of Iron and the core of My Lady Quicksilver. Unfortunately, as much as I love Blade and Will and the gang, there was no reasonable way to bring them into My Lady Quicksilver… I don’t do cameos without a reason! Lena makes an appearance, but that was more to do with a consequence from Heart of Iron—a loose end I needed to wrap up.
Besides, Lynch, the ever-dutiful Master of the Nighthawks, kind of intrigued me in Kiss of Steel and I knew I wanted to explore him further and work out what made him tick. Add Rosalind to the mix and that was one combination that had a powerful kick. I love the enemies to lover’s storyline. Especially if they’re trying to outwit each other. [/box]
2. There are so many subgenres in Romance; what attracted you to Steampunk specifically?
[box]Steampunk is a combination of everything I love; from historical romance to sci-fi with a dash of fantasy perhaps. There’s a lot of possibilities you can play with in a steampunk world. Anything can happen and there are fewer rules. Quite simply, it’s fun. [/box]
3. Was it difficult writing a character with two very distinct alter egos (i.e. Mercury and Rosalind)? How did you keep them straight?
[box]The interesting part wasn’t me trying to keep everything together, it was Rosalind trying to keep her aliases straight. Her growing confusion as she realised that Lynch wasn’t really the enemy was a heck of a lot of fun to write. Trying to keep herself on track, in character and focused becomes a lot harder as she becomes more emotionally involved with the man who should be her enemy.
As for writing such a character, Mercury speaks differently to Mrs. Marberry—Lynch’s secretary and Rosalind’s second alter ego—and when she’s in the Mercury mask she’s a little colder, more practical than Mrs. Marberry is. Rosa Marberry is who Rosalind wishes she could be, Mercury is who she has to be and realising what she actually wants and who she is, is part of her story.[/box]
4. Rosa’s identities made for a very unique twist on the classic love triangle; did you know that was going to happen going into this book or was it something you developed as you wrote?
[box]I knew going in that Lynch would be confronting Rosa as both Mercury, the revolutionary he needed to catch and Mrs. Marberry, the woman he thinks is his secretary. However, the complications of those relationships developed as I went along and I always enjoy delving into consequences. For Lynch, honour and ethics aren’t just fancy words, but a code by which he lives for. To develop feelings for what he thinks are two different women was always going to tie him up in knots and it was fun to write. [/box]
5. If you were to write another novel in another genre other than steampunk what would it be and why?
[box]I consider the London Steampunk series a strong blend of paranormal elements as well as steampunk, so it would probably be paranormal romance if it were within the romance genre. Saying that, I’ve got several Urban Fantasy ideas I play with and a couple of YA’s that side-track me when I’ve got time. They’re what I read the most, so I’d love to branch out into that world.
Of course, time’s an issue. I need to work out how to clone myself I think. [/box]
6. Where do you find your inspiration for the steam-powered gadgets featured in your titles (i.e. hackneys, mech limbs, Cyclops arms, etc.)?
[box]From everything I read, see on the Internet or watch. There’s a huge community of steampunk fans out there with some beautiful artwork, jewellery and photography on the Internet. Or some of the devices I simply make up on the spot, depending on what I need. Coming up with a name for each device is the exasperating part though. [/box]
7. Admittedly, I’m a bigger fan of your Verwulfen than of your vampires; will they be making more appearances in future instalments?
[box]I have a firm story arc in mind for the first five books that will close this particular plotline. That being said, there’s a particular verwulfen woman in My Lady Quicksilver that I would love to play with, and of course, the Scandinavians. I have two potential plotlines I can open up after this one, so there’s always hope. That depends a lot on the readers, and my editor! [/box]
8. Why did you choose London as this series locale?
[box]Five years ago I spent a significant amount of time in London. Travelling to the UK for a working holiday is one of those things that young Aussies often do. I loved wandering around all those little streets that so many centuries old and just full of stories waiting to be told. London is almost a character in its own right: full of charm, but slightly seedy in places, and dangerous. And so many areas are unchanged from when Blade and his friends would have been stalking the rookeries. It helps that I can see it in my mind’s eye. [/box]
9. The elaborate steampunk costumes at this year’s RT convention were definitely the star of the balls; have you expanded your wardrobe since you started writing in this genre?
[box]I would have loved to have seen those costumes!
I love the style of steampunk but I don’t think I can pull it off. I live in a tiny country town where nobody’s even heard of steampunk. Opportunities to dress up in costume are few and far between and to work that into my everyday life would be far too time-consuming. If I left the house more often it might be worth it, but my computer doesn’t care if I’m wearing nothing more than a dressing gown. There you have it: the glamorous life of a writer. It’s all about time.[/box]
10. How much actual 19th century history goes into your books? Or are you more an alternative history kind of gal?
[box]London Steampunk is definitely alternative history. The world has so completely diverged from where it should be since the Echelon took over London, so it can get very complicated in some circumstances. For example, Queen Victoria never exists in my world, which means a lot of the things she managed to do don’t come into account… or they do, but in other ways.
For instance my novella, Tarnished Knight, is set during Christmas time, which Blade and co. are celebrating, but a lot of Christmas traditions actually came into the UK with Prince Albert. In the Echelon, I use the inter-marriage of some German nobility into the Echelon to account for some of these traditions. And in book four (which I’ve just handed in!), I play off the Great Exhibition, another Albert thing. [/box]
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-8rpRZUxqCKg/Uj3TdugHHdI/AAAAAAAAI8o/fSjTSue46gg/s1600/Bec+McMaster+Photo.JPG[/author_image] [author_info]
Award-winning author Bec McMaster lives in a small town in Australia and grew up with her nose in a book. A member of RWA, she writes sexy, dark paranormals and steampunk romance. When not writing, reading, or poring over travel brochures, she loves spending time with her very own hero or daydreaming about new worlds. Read more about her at becmcmaster.com or follow her on Twitter, @BecMcMaster.[/author_info] [/author]
“I WILL COME FOR YOU…”
He will find her no matter what. As a blue-blooded captain of the Nighthawk Guard, his senses are keener than most. Some think he’s indestructible. But once he finds the elusive Mercury, what will he do with her?
It’s his duty to turn her in—she’s a notorious spy and traitor. But after one stolen moment, he can’t forget the feel of her in his arms, the taste of her, or the sharp sting of betrayal as she slipped off into the night. Little does Mercury know, no one hunts better than the Nighthawk. And his greatest revenge will be to leave her begging for his touch…