Hello! Mrs Albert Baker here, otherwise known as The Last Witch Of Pendle. Obviously there is no Pendle any more, since The Chronic Agronauts utterly destroyed it with treacle and sprats, but I’ve set myself up quite nicely here in Lancaster, running this little soup kitchen for the street urchins. There certainly are a lot of them and I’m always looking for helping hands to cook up and serve something delicious!
Helping me this morning is Steampunk Author E. A. Hennessy, aka Liz, author of Grigory’s Gadget. Good morning Liz, thank you so much for coming to help me in my soup kitchen today! Tell me, have you brought along some soup to share with us?
I did! I recently made this delicious Roasted Red Pepper and Gouda Soup. It’s just the thing for a cold, dreary winter’s day!
Mmm, it smells delicious, I’m sure the little urchins will enjoy it immensely. Now while that is simmering away nicely, why don’t you have a seat here by the fire and tell us a little more about your marvellous book, I hear that Max and Collin enjoyed it very much indeed……
I’m so glad they enjoyed it! Grigory’s Gadget, which is Book 1 of the Gaslight Frontier Series, follows Zoya Orlova and her friends as they try to escape their oppressive life in Lodninsk. On their way to their new home, they are kidnapped by pirates and forced to join the crew. What’s more, the pirates seem to have a particular interest in Zoya’s family heirloom – a small gadget of compacted wires and gears.
It sounds thrilling, you know I was kidnapped by pirates myself not so long ago, but they were awfully nice really… but have you always been interested in writing?
I’ve been writing since I was a little kid. I remember writing all sorts of stories, from mysteries to sci-fi and fantasy. I always knew I wanted to publish a book someday! I’m so happy to share my stories with the world.
And how did you first become interested in Steampunk?
I believe the first steampunk thing that really caught my eye was the Studio Ghibli movie Howl’s Moving Castle. I was obsessed with that movie, though at the time I didn’t know exactly what “steampunk” was. Gradually over the years, I noticed I was drawn to the Victorian aesthetic and to retro and anachronistic technology. Eventually I was able to give a name to those interests – steampunk!
Now I promised Collin I would ask you… when do you plan to release the next book in the series?
I am working on the rough draft right now. My plan is to finish the rough draft in the next month or two. After that, I like to utilize beta readers to gain some feedback. After a lot of self-editing, I’ll send my manuscript off to my wonderful professional editors at Writership! All in all, I would say that the sequel, Serafima’s Stone, should be out sometime next year!
Oh how exciting, I do hope you’ll visit us again when it is released. And, in the meantime, do you have projects, appearances or releases that we can get excited about?
In addition to working on Serafima’s Stone, I am participating in the Collaborative Writing Challenge Steampunk Project, titled Army of Brass! This is a really cool project where dozens of authors work together to create a single novel. It’s written chapter-by-chapter, with 4-5 submissions from different authors for each chapter. It’s a really fun challenge!
Ah yes, I have heard of it, it sounds wonderful! And where can we find your books for sale?
Grigory’s Gadget is available in ebook form on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, iTunes, and Kobo. It’s also available in paperback form on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. If you’re ever in the Troy, New York area, there are signed copies available at Market Block Books!
And now the all important question, upon which the fate of the universe may hinge – what is your favourite hot brew and how do you take it?
I’m currently obsessed with the cinnamon tea from Adagio Teas. It’s a Ceylon black tea with cinnamon sticks and cinnamon flavor. No milk or sugar needed! Alternatively, if I don’t want caffeine, I love making hot chocolate with real melted chocolate.
Oh splendid, always good to have a caffeine-free substitute on hand for if The Good Folk show up!
Well thank you so much for coming to help out in the soup kitchen today, Liz, it’s been wonderful to chat with you and I must say that soup smells delicious. I think it must be about ready and the little urchins have their rosy noses pushed up against the glass in anticipation so shall we start dishing it up?
That sounds like a great idea! Thank you so much for your hospitality. Let’s eat!
Marvellous, I hope you will all join me next week when Margaret McGaffey Fisk, author of The Steamship Chronicles, will be helping me to dish up some more delicious soup so,until then,
Blessings on your brew my dears!
Good morning ladies and gentlemen and welcome to Max and Collin,s marvellously moderate and audaciously ambient parlour located within the splendidly scenic city of Lancaster.
True, some have called it a gratuitously garish affair overflowing with an excruciating excess of extremities, but we consider that such faint hearted fops are not accustomed to folk with tentacles.
You find us this morning revelling in the joys of spring – one hardly minds a sack cloth roof or even pane-less windows when the clotted cream of early morning light is flooding into the parlour, making the dust bunnies dance with delight and warming the faded velvet cushions upon the lemonade crates..
Hm? No I am not trying to be poetic , Max, I am simply rebelling in the joys of spring.
Spring in the realm above waves is quite the event isn’t it? There are flowers and leaves peeking through the brown earth, the little street urchins are doing far more skipping than shivering, fewer of our neighbours are dropping dead of cold and starvation and the longer days and shorter nights mean less time battling the flesh eating Liver Birds.
Yes indeed, I feel this ‘coming of spring’ malarkey is certainly something to celebrate and what better to celebrate anything than with a cup of tea and a good book? And of course we have both..
Our tea this morning is Jasmine White Tea from Rosy Lea Teas and to accompany it we will be reading
This riotous Steampunk romp had us in stitches from start to finish. Ichabod Temperance (an American Inventor who is really far too moral and forthright to ever find Victorian London a ‘welcoming place’ ) is plunged headlong into apocalyptic paranormal pandemonium as he attempts to rescue the alluring adventuress Miss Persephone Plumtartt from the demonic tentacles of both men and monsters (at times it is hard to tell which are which!)
This laugh-a-minute roller coaster is jam packed with action from haunted mansions to epic steamer chases, bare knuckle brawls to daring hot air balloon escapes (not forgetting the champagne of course!) The fast paced plot had us pinned to our seats while the comedic interplay of the characters kept the tears of laughter flowing.
‘Icky’ is a delightfully innocent and upstanding character, always ready to defend Miss Plumtartt or put his incredibly inventive brain to the task of helping her to save the world, while Persephone is everything a steampunk heroine ought to be – intelligent, capable, and (thanks to an occult experiment gone wrong) able to fire energy rays from the palms of her hands. Together they make an adorable team and we really can’t wait to get our tentacles into the rest of the series.
Now then, it seems that our tea is brewed and we just have time to put our oracular pet into his cup and see what he has plucked from the aether for us this morning…
Ha! Jolly good fun all round. We wish you a perfectly pleasant morning, full of sunlit strolls and gentle breezes and we invite you back to join us tomorrow for elevenses so, until then please be always