Interview with Lily Lang

This week we are talking with Lily Lang, author of BEAUTY AND THE CLOCKWORK BEAST, which is part of A Riveting Affair, published by Entangled Publishing.

 

Airship Ambassador: Hi Lily, thanks for making the time to join us for this interview.

Lily Lang: Hi! Thanks so much for having me.

AA: Yours is the third story in this anthology. What is BEAUTY about?

LL: It’s a retelling of Beauty and the Beast set in an alternate steampunk universe after the American Civil War. Instead of a big, furry beast, my beast is war veteran with a brass leg and a clockwork heart.

 

AA: Those are certainly good steampunk items to work with. What motivated you to for create BEAUTY?

LL: I wanted to write the kind of story where the steampunk elements weren’t just cool, but also meaningful and significant to the plot. Also, I wanted to write something really romantic, and what is more romantic than crumbling mansions and rose gardens? (Rhetorical question, because tulips, non-crumbling mansions, and breakfast in bed, also very romantic.)

 

AA: Did real life people or events play into writing BEAUTY?

LL: Years ago I was at the Frick Museum doing research for a paper. It’s this beautiful converted Gilded Age mansion. And at the heart of the house was a garden that took my breath away, and I thought, someday I’m going to write a story set in this house.  In addition, when I was writing it, a childhood friend of mine had just come back from Afghanistan and was having a tough time readjusting to civilian life. I thought about him a lot while I writing.

 

AA: That sounds a bit like “the best of times, the worst of times” as a background theme. What kind of research went into creating the BEAUTY AND THE CLOCKWORK BEAST world?

LL: I wanted the architecture to be real, because Gilded Age New York has a specific feel of opulence and beauty. I had to fudge the timeline a little, because the really great houses weren’t built until the late part of the century, but since I already added airships to the Civil War, bringing Beaux Arts to America thirty years early was a comparatively small change. I did try to keep it accurate by making the Beast’s house more Italianate, which was popular in the mid-century, instead of French-influenced.

 

AA: Italian style can be really engaging, especially in garden design. What elements did you include in the story so readers could feel the BEAUTY AND THE CLOCKWORK BEAST world?

LL: Both my undergraduate and graduate work is in history, and all my writing has been historical, so “feeling” history is certainly something that occupies my mind a lot. In this story, architecture and clothing were particularly important.

 

AA: Every writer I’ve talked with has a different journey to seeing their works in print. What was your publishing experience like?

LL: I’ve been lucky in that publishing was always the easy part for me, I attach my finished manuscript to an email and hit send. It’s getting the finished manuscript that I struggle with…

 

AA: For the aspiring writer, what lessons did you learn about having an agent and editor, their feedback, and your writing?

LL: Your words aren’t sacred. No really, they’re not. Yes, you have to listen to your own instincts, but also, other people will make your writing better, so listen to them, too. Because when your book wanders out to the big, bad world, there will be even more people reading them and criticizing them, so pay attention to the people that are paid to do it.

 

AA: If you weren’t a writer, what else would you be doing now?

LL: I’m also a graduate student in history and I love it. You get paid to read books and torture undergraduates. No better job in the world except writing.

 

AA: Do you get to talk much with other writers for support and new ideas?

LL: I’m lucky, I have tons of support. I have a fantastic writing group in the city that meets once a week to write and critique. My best friend is a writer/literary agent, and we talk about writing every day. My partner’s also a visual artist, so sometimes if I have difficulty conceptualizing something, I ask him to draw or paint it for me.

 

AA: Most of the authors I’ve talked with have some type of day job and that writing is their other job. What has that situation been for you and how has it helped/hindered begin a published writer?

LL: Being a graduate student really works for me because the time commitment isn’t the same as a full-time job (some people think it is, but I think they’re probably working too hard). In addition, much of the research I do finds its way into my writing one way or another, so they really feed off of each other. On the other hand, I never write fiction at the end of the semester, because I have so much schoolwork to do.

 

AA: Looking beyond steampunk, writing and working, what other interests fill your time?

LL: History and cooking.

 

AA: Do those interests influence your writing?

LL: Someday, I am definitely going to write about a heroine whose superpower is cooking. The possibilities are endless. Everybody loves to eat and she could do some serious damage.

 

AA: Any final thoughts to share with our readers

LL: I’m a huge Arrested Development fan, and this will just be weird to people who aren’t, but I had to struggle against a baser instinct to begin the story with the heroine thinking, “I’ve made a huge mistake.” And whenever the hero angsted about his beastliness, I heard Buster screaming in my head, “I’M A MONSTER.”

 

Anyway, now that I’ve confused everyone, I’d like to conclude by pointing out that this book has a cat in it, and as everyone on the internet knows, cats make everything awesome, so I’m pretty sure this makes my book awesome by association.

Thanks!

 

And thank you for joining us today, Lily!

Lily’s story, Beauty and the Clockwork Beast, is part of “A Riveting Affair”. Get your copy today!

 

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Published in: on May 19, 2013 at 8:13 pm  Leave a Comment  

Interview with Patricia Eimer

This week we are talking with Patricia Eimer, author of THE CLOCKWORK BRIDE, which is part of A Riveting Affair, published by Entangled Publishing.

Airship Ambassador: Hi Patricia, thanks for making the time to join us for this interview.

Patrcia Eimer: Thanks for having me here and letting me blather on about Clockwork Bride

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AA: Would you share some of the story details with us??

PE: Clockwork Bride is about Aida and Julian—a pair of scientists who are separated by social class as well as culture in a steampunk version of Victorian England. Aida is an Irish Clockwork Engineer and Julian is a member of the English aristocracy whose father is the head of the Luddite (anti-technology) Party in Britain’s Parliament. These two crazy kids meet up and in an act of defiance decide to get married on an airship on Christmas Eve—then have to learn to live with the consequences of marrying not just someone you barely know but also someone who’s life is completely different from your own.

AA: What was the motivation for creating THE CLOCKWORK BRIDE?

PE: I’ve always adored steampunk because it has such strong female characters and I loved the idea of two scientists as star crossed lovers because it was just such an irony.

AA: How did elements of your own life make their way into THE CLOCKWORK BRIDE?

PE: My husband and I are both actually scientists (I’m a trained economist and he’s a physicist) so I think a lot of the absent minded scientist sort of traits bled over into Clockwork Bride. When I was writing Julian I’d look over at my husband and steal characteristics from him as personality quirks for Julian.

AA: When I get my young nieces and nephews to read THE CLOCKWORK BRIDE, what would you like for them to take away from the story and the characters that they could apply to their own lives?

PE: Well there are sex scenes in it so maybe don’t let them read it if they’re too young but if they do read it—I hope they take away that you can do anything you want with your life, no matter where you come from or who society says you’re supposed to be. Oh, and there’s nothing wrong with the princess being the one to slay the dragon and save the prince instead of vice versa.

AA: People continue to hear about THE CLOCKWORK BRIDE every day. How are those new readers finding you – conventions, website, word of mouth, etc?

PE: Because Clockwork Bride is such a new release most of the readers have been finding me through my website www.patriciaeimer.com or through word of mouth—which I’ve been really grateful for.

AA: Every writer I’ve talked with has a different journey to seeing their works in print. What was your publishing experience like?

PE: My publishing experience was ridiculously blessed. Seriously, it was like winning the lottery. I was working in corporate America, about to burn out, when a friend of mine suggested I try National Novel Writer’s Month (NANOWRIMO) just for fun. So I signed up and sketched out a basic idea for my first novel—Luck of the Devil—at like 2 am on October 31 then started writing the next day.

After November was over I shipped it off to her and she told me it was good and sent me the link to Editpalooza at SavvyAuthors. I figured why not? I’d had fun writing it I might as well see what it could be with some polish. So I took a month long editing class with Liz Pelletier from SavvyAuthors (before Entangled Publishing started) and then I put Luck under my bed and went on about my boring days. Then Liz emailed me and asked me to submit Luck of the Devil for Entangled’s introductory release and Entangled Publishing bought it as a three book series.

Pretty soon after, I quit my job, started writing full time and before the year was out I had a contract for a three book series based on Luck of the Devil, a three book YA/MG series (The Chronicles of Nerissette coming in August 2013) contract and a contract for Clockwork Bride and I haven’t looked back since. Like I said, a complete and total fairytale beginning for what has turned into my dream career.

AA: If you weren’t a writer, what else would you be doing now?

PE: I’d probably be back at my old job—figuring out the most efficient way to run a factory line and firing people who had become redundant. (And people wonder why I was close to a nervous breakdown)

AA: Do you participate in a writer’s group to compare notes, have constructive critique reviews, and brainstorm new ideas?

PE: That’s my favorite way of killing time! And thankfully Entangled has such a lively, wonderful group of writers that it really is a big sorority full of great people who will let you bounce ideas and when needed kick you in the butt and tell you to quit wasting time and get back to work.

AA: Writer’s block happens to everyone and can be rather frustrating. What is your solution to overcoming it?

PE: Honestly? The first thing I tend to do is go for a run by myself, solitary exercise that’s repetitive seems to get my brain going. If that doesn’t work though I pull out the big guns and start cleaning out closets and scrubbing toilets. Pretty quickly my brain comes up with a way out of block just so I can get out of housework.

AA: Looking beyond steampunk, writing and working, what other interests fill your time?

PE: I love to run and cook (which is why I cultivated the love of running). I also fence but most of my time is spent chasing my kids and dogs around.

Thanks for joining us, Patricia!

The Clockwork Bride is part of A Riveting Affair Get your copy today!

Published in: on May 12, 2013 at 8:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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Interview with Candace Haven

This week we are talking with Candace Haven, author of DEMON EXPRESS, which is part of A Riveting Affair, published by Entangled Publishing.

 

Here’s the story description:

Professor Maisy Clark, professional demon hunter, is on the trail of an evil scientist responsible for the deaths of hundreds. Julian is worse than the monsters he creates, but he’s also obsessed with Maisy  and willing to kill anyone who gets too close to her.

 

Just when she thinks she has Julian cornered, the sexy marshall Jake Calloway insists the investigation is his, and everything goes to  hell. Maisy came to Texas to corner the scientist whose macabre experiments have taken so many lives, and Calloway is just another distraction she doesn’t need. Julian is her responsibility, one she’s not about to share. Even if Calloway can help, Julian will know Maisy is falling for the marshall, and she’s not willing to risk his life.

 

Airship Ambassador: Hi Candace, thanks joining us today. Would you tell us a little bit about your story?

Candace Haven: Thanks so much for letting me hangout. “Demon Express” is about Professor Maisy Clark and her adventures. It’s Southern Steampunk set in Texas. A scientist, Maisy is a female version of Sherlock Holmes, and has a trusty sidekick Barnes, her Scottish butler. They solve paranormal cases. There may be an evil dude or two and cowboy involved at some point.

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AA: How did DEMON EXPRESS come about?

CH: The folks at Fen Con (Dallas Science Fiction convention) asked if I would contribute a Southern steampunk story for their program a year or so ago. I agreed, and Maisy was born. I’m obsessed with Sherlock Holmes, and I wanted her to be a scientist who created funky gadgets. The book is kind of a teaser into a new series.

 

AA: Authors often talk about how family and friends make their way into their stories. How did this play into DEMON EXPRESS

CH: I don’t want to go to much into the story, but Maisy is an incredibly strong woman. She’s far from perfect, but she’s smart and funny. I took all the badass chicks from my family and created this characters. (Smile)

 

AA: What kind of back story is there for DEMON EXPRESS which didn’t make it into the final book?

CH: That backstory is a woven throughout the series, but I can say she’s on the run. And her father wasn’t the nicest guy in the world. There’s a reason she can be a cold-blooded killer when need be.

 

AA: Are there any plans for a sequel or spinoff?

CH: Yes, there’s the novella, which is a lead-in to a four-book series.

 

AA: As people of all ages read DEMON EXPRESS, what would you like for them to take away from the story and the characters that they could apply to their own lives?

CH: It’s okay to be different. Sometimes, it can be a very good thing.

 

AA: What kind of research went into creating the DEMON EXPRESS world?

CH: Never in my life have I researched a series more. There was so much I wanted to put in, but hopefully I’ll get my favorites in throughout the series.

 

AA: While Steampunk can be an alternate history, what real world elements did you include?

CH: There’s a great deal of local history thrown into the story. Again, I don’t want to say too much, but a lot of that is the fun stuff.

 

AA: What are some memorable fan reactions to DEMON EXPRESS which you’ve heard about?

CH: It hasn’t been out long, but I’ve had two people say they’re going to be Maisy for Halloween. To me, that’s one of the biggest compliments you can get.

 

AA: People continue to hear about DEMON EXPRESS every day. How are those new readers finding you – conventions, website, word of mouth, etc?

CH: I hope by all of those things. I want you to read this novella and want more, more, more of Maisy. (Smile)

 

AA: What kind of attention has DEMON EXPRESS generated?

CH: I love that people who have never tried Steampunk are reading Demon Express because they’ve read some of my other stuff. It’s become a gateway drug. Love it when that happens.

 

AA: Every writer I’ve talked with has a different journey to seeing their works in print. What was your publishing experience like?

CH: It happened really fast for me, but it’s been far from a smooth ride. I say being a part of a fantastic critique group, the DFW Writer’s Workshop, is the reason I sold so quickly. They’re such a great group. But you have to be willing to adapt in this industry. You create your art, but at the same time you have to be willing to adapt in this industry.

 

AA: If you weren’t a writer, what else would you be doing now?

CH: I’ve been an entertainment journalist for half of my life, and a TV and Film critic. I love it.

 

AA: Do you get to talk much with other writers and artists to compare notes?

CH: I have a huge circle of writer friends and critique partners and groups. It’s important for writers to build that network.

 

AA: How have you and your work grown and changed over time?

CH: I’ve been writing strong, sexy women from the beginning of my fiction career. But I would hope the craft has improved over time.

 

AA: Writer’s block happens to everyone and can be rather frustrating. What is your solution to overcoming it?

CH: I don’t believe in Writer’s Block. It’s fear and nothing more. (FEAR False Emotions Appearing Real). I have a free writer’s workshop with more than 2000 students online, and the main thing I teach is when you create, move on to the next thing you know. We all get stuck, but start with a piece of dialogue, or scene setting and then keep moving forward. And never, never edit while you are creating. That’s for later.

 

AA: Most of the authors I’ve talked with have some type of day job and that writing is their other job. What has that situation been for you and how has it helped/hindered begin a published writer?

CH: I’m a nationally syndicated television and film critic and a radio personality. I have the BEST jobs in the world.

 

Thanks so much for joining us today, Candace!

Demon Express is part of A Riveting Affair, get your copy today!

 

Published in: on May 5, 2013 at 7:15 pm  Leave a Comment