A novel isn’t written in a vacuum. Anny did a post about critique partners a while back, and everything she said about her critique partner is also true of mine. I wouldn’t get through without having someone to bounce things off of. I have one on-line, day-to-day critique partner and she’s invaluable. I also have another, local group, who keep me on my toes. Both are equally important.
One person I always thank is my husband. He puts up with my, “Don’t poke the writer in her cage,” days and picks up a lot of slack so I can write. In the case of this story and subsequent series, though, he played an active role.
I had the first few chapters written, but the organization the hero, Merrick worked for, was eluding me. I knew he worked for a secret organization, reporting to the crown, hunting down vampyres and other threats, both human and paranormal. I knew he was a baronet, so “Sir Merrick.”
It was my dh who said, “The Round Table, of course. What if they never disbanded, just went underground?” Suddenly the whole book came together. I even noticed little things—Merrick’s mentor was named MacKay—or son of Kay. His boss’s surname was Lake—du Lac, of course. The parts came together like a well-oiled automaton.
The excerpt below tells a little bit about the Order as it stands in my steampunk/fantasy Victorian era, and hasn’t appeared anywhere else. I hope you enjoy Steam & Sorcery, out now from Carina Press.
Thanks so much to Anny for having me here today! To celebrate the new release, I’m running a contest. Comment on any (or all) of the blogs I visit on my blog tour this week. One entry per person, per blog stop. You can visit my blog to find the other stops. After the final stops on Sunday, March 13, I’ll draw one winner for a free download of Steam & Sorcery, or their choice of my other available titles. Happy Reading!
Steam & Sorcery
Gaslight Chronicles #1
By Cindy Spencer Pape
Available from Carina Press
Sir Merrick Hadrian hunts monsters, both human and supernatural. A Knight of the Order of the Round Table, his use of magick and the technologies of steam power have made him both respected and feared. But his considerable skills are useless in the face of his greatest challenge, guardianship of five unusual children. At a loss, Merrick enlists the aid of a governess.