stevenpiziks: (Outdoors)
Today is Blog Hop Day!  A whole bunch of writers have created a chain of blogs to follow.  We're all answering the same set of questions (more or less) in our own indubitable ways and providing links that let you hop to the next set of blogs.  So without further ado, here's mine!

What is the title of your book?

The Dragon Men, and it's the third novel in the Clockwork Empire series.  It just came out last month!

Where did the idea come from for the book?

The basic premise for the Clockwork Empire revolves around the conflict between the English and Chinese empires in the 1860s.  The first book, The Doomsday Vault, is set in England.  For the second book, The Impossible Cube, the main characters are fleeing toward China.  And in The Dragon Men, they arrive and are immediately sucked into the deadly intrigue of the Chinese court.  With steampunk inventions mixing everything up.

What genre does your book fall under?

Steampunk.  We're definitely steampunk.  (Steampunk is science fiction set in the 1800s.)  And we have zombies and mad scientists.  You have to have zombies and mad scientists.
Dragon Men Cover
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Oh wow.  You know, I think this is the first novel for which I haven't given that idea much thought.  Reese Witherspoon would make a good Alice.  I can't think of any blond handsome nineteen-year-old actors to play Gavin.  Any ideas out there, in case Hollywood calls?

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Gavin and Alice rush to China, hoping to find a cure for the plague which is driving Gavin mad, only to discover a despot has taken over the Chinese throne, while the true heirs hope to use Gavin and Alice to further their own ends.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Two months.  Seriously.  I initially had a six month deadline for the book, but my family life took a very bad turn, and I wasn't able to work on the manuscript at all for weeks and weeks.  My editor wasn't able to give an extension, either--The Dragon Men was already listed in catalogs.  So I ended up writing the first draft in two months and finishing the rewrites in one.  You can probably spot my state of mind in the book's climax.  I don't recommend this method!

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

So many things!  I wanted to explore a romantic relationship between a younger man and an older woman, and I wanted to explore the nature of insanity.  I also wanted to challenge myself, see if I could write a book set in a culture I previously knew very little about.  (So much research followed!)  What I learned about palace eunuchs alone had a major impact on the plot.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

The empress Cixi plays a central role in the book.  Historically, she ruled China in all but name for decades, a sort of opposite to Queen Victoria.  I found her both horrifying and fascinating.  I had to use her, see what happened if she met up with Gavin and Alice.  The results were pretty incredible.  It was also great fun to write about Susan Phipps, who is an antagonist in The Impossible Cube but switches sides for The Dragon Men.

Where should we go from here?

Try these blogs in the Blog Hop:

Pati Nagle

Patricia Burroughs

Jeffrey A. Carver

Katharine Eliska "Cat" Kimbriel

Deborah J. Ross

Sherwood Smith

Laura J. Underwood
stevenpiziks: (Good News)
My editor confirmed that The Doomsday Vault has gone back for a second printing.  That great news! 

She also accepted the rewrites for The Havoc Machine, which is scheduled for May.  Hooray!  I've seen an early cover and should be able to share it soon. It looks fantastic.

Their prequels The Impossible Cube and The Dragon Men are selling, too. The first three books (which make up a a full story arc) make great gifts.  (Am I shameless?  Yes. Yes, I am.)
stevenpiziks: (Steampunk)
Today marks the end of the Great Steampunk Blog Tour, with a stop at the place of wonderful friend and author Deborah J. Ross:

A number of writing blogs have already commented on the speed of writing these days, how just a few years ago, I would have received a big pile of paper in the mail with red marks all over it, and after I went though it, I would have had to make a trip to the post office. Now I read and upload a file, yada yada yada.

I just want to add that it feels wrong.  For steampunk, I mean.

Check out Deborah's excellent blog for the rest and leave a comment to let her know you stopped by!

And what a tour! Thanks to everyone who followed me around Ye Olde Internet!

Busy at Roc

Nov. 7th, 2011 04:13 pm
stevenpiziks: (Pen)
Roc, my publisher, asked me to write a "Dear Reader" letter for THE DOOMSDAY VAULT. And they're publishing a series of blogs which are NOT about DOOMSDAY. The first one, "Living in the Thirties," is about one source of ideas for writers.  I've been busier with writing blog entries than with writing fiction!

Because the Internet still doesn't have enough content.
stevenpiziks: (Steampunk)
THE DOOMSDAY VAULT is featured at as we speak, with an introduction to the book by my editor Anne Sowards.  Go look!
stevenpiziks: (Default)
It's Doomsday!  The first book of the Clockwork Empire has reached its official release, and The Doomsday Vault (by Steven Harper) is now in stores everywhere.  Air pirates!  Zombies!  Mad scientists!

In a clockwork Britannia, Alice's prospects are slim. At 21, her age and her unladylike interest in automatons have sealed her fate as an undesirable marriage prospect. But a devastating plague sends Alice off in a direction beyond the pale-towards a clandestine organization, mad inventors, life-altering secrets, and into the arms of an intrepid fiddle-playing airship pilot.

We're kicking off the fun with a blog tour.  Hop aboard the airship and follow me around the Internet in 14 days!  I'll be doing guest posts and interviews.  Here's the schedule:

Friday, November 4: Award-winning author Anne Harris, who also writes as Jessica Freely and Pearl North:

Saturday, November 5: Amazing book blog, the Qwillery:

Monday, November 7: Fellow steampunk writer and romance writer Cindy Spencer Pape at Write Faster!

Wednesday, November 9: Famed agent and fanged vampire author Lucienne Diver:

Friday, November 11: Beloved fantasy and science fiction author Deborah J. Ross, known for Darkover and much, much more:

Monday, November 14: Delightful fantasy writer Lynn Flewelling, known for her Nightrunner books:

Other stops are in the works.  Dates and links will be posted as soon as we have 'em!


stevenpiziks: (Default)

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