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.
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!