Important Announcement for our Followers
(BM): 1. I would love to complete all the major treks in the world - Kilimanjaro, Everest Base Camp etc.
2. The scariest thing I've ever read was Watership Down. I was five. I never read it again.
3. I love men with dark hair but these sexy blond heroes keep popping into my mind.
4. Buffy was–and still is–one of my favorite shows.
5. There's a little bit of Spike in Blade, my hero from Kiss of Steel.
2. What does a typical writing day look for you?
(BM): I work part-time, so on those days I get up early to get a little writing in before I go to work. On my at-home days, I usually get up a bit later, walk the dog, check my emails and do all of the non-writing things you don't realize come with the job, like Facebook, Twitter, updating my website, blog pieces, interviews, answering emails etc. I usually try to get all this done by 10-11am, then it's onto the work in progress. Write until my boyfriend gets home or I remember it's time to cook tea, then go to the gym. There's a lot of staring at the wall and drinking cups of tea in there too.
3. Tell us a little bit about Heart of Iron and why readers should check it out?
(BM): Heart of Iron is set in my steamy, alternate Victorian London where the blue bloods of the Echelon rule with an iron fist - and an automaton army. Blood is a form of currency and humans are seen as little more than cattle - the best outcome for a debutante is to make a thrall contract, where she will be looked after and cherished by her master for the rest of her life, for the small price of her blood.
In this world, Lena Todd has returned to the Echelon but it's not the fairytale aristocracy she remembers and after a vicious attack she's desperate to find some way to change the circumstances. Spying for the humanist movement that's haunting London's elite becomes a way for her to take some semblance of control over her life. Until Will Carver - the dangerous, handsome brute who once made it quite clear he doesn't desire her - catches her with a coded letter in hand. He knows she's up to something dangerous, and he's determined to protect her at any cost. Even if that means seducing the truth from her.
Why should readers check it out? Hot, tortured hero with a dark past? Check. Flirtatious young heroine who drives him insane? Check. An obsessive duke? Explosions? An entire horde of smoking-hot Scandinavian verwulfen clansmen? Check, check, check.
4. What was the easiest and hardest scene to write in Heart of Iron?
(BM): The easiest scene was the ballroom scene, where Lena first realizes that what she's looking for in life can't be found in the Echelon. It's my Cinderella scene, complete with her fleeing down the stairs and a gorgeous pink ball gown. No shoe however. Only a hunky verwulfen hero who wants to steal a kiss.
As for the hardest scene, that would have to be the scene where Will thinks Lena is going to die *smiles*. I love writing emotion and trying to rip a character's heart out, but it's really different writing it from a male POV, because honestly, they think differently to female characters - and therefore me. Especially coming from Will, who has no real understanding of emotions or human interactions. It was fun, but very grueling.
5. How many books do you have planned for the London Steampunk Series?
(BM): Right now I'm contracted for five and that will close out my arc for this part of the series. It's open-ended in my mind, but I always believe that you can't drag out a particular storyline for too long or readers would start getting bored. So if it went beyond five, it would feature a new series arc - and of course, that depends on the readers.
6. Every cover for the London Steampunk books are GORGEOUS! Do you have a favorite?
(BM): Every book I pray to the Cover Gods and so far they've been extremely good to me. Gene Mollica is an amazing artist and can totally take what's in my mind and put it on a book cover. How do you choose a favorite?!? I adore the colors and dark, gritty streets of London on Kiss of Steel (Paul Marron doesn't hurt either, although Blade was a blond), Heart of Iron's burning background is so perfect for what's going on in the story and My Lady Quicksilver—oh my, Mercury's dress is sheer gorgeousness.
7. What inspired you to write the London Steampunk Series?
(BM): I love vampires, but I really wanted to explore the whole vampires-as-monsters mythos to give it a darker, edgier feel. The blue bloods of the Echelon are gorgeous, silk-clad lords, but they're still violent and blood-thirsty and perfectly willing to cut a throat or two. Once the craving virus that makes them what they are evolves, so do they—into vampires. And they're not handsome, or emo or even slightly human, they are monsters. Driven solely by the crushing blood thirst and need. As a blue blood, that evolution is the only thing they – and everyone else – fears.
8. What kind of research did you have to do for the series?
(BM): There were several things that I researched specifically for this book, though not all of those facts made it into the manuscript. I was interested in Scandinavia, as my verwulfen clans came from there and they play a middling role in Heart of Iron. Most notably I wanted to know what the military looked like; their uniforms etc. and the political structure of Scandinavia (before I changed parts of it). I also did some research on bombs, the mechanics of clockworks and Viking berserkers, which should give you some ideas into the plot - or completely confuse you.
9. What is up next for Bec McMaster?
(BM): My Lady Quicksilver is out in October and features the dutiful Master of the Nighthawks, rogue bluebloods who hunt the streets of London for felons, and a certain masked revolutionary he's been charged to bring in. It's about lies and secrets and learning that the thing you thought you hated most is the one thing that will make you happy. Mercury—my revolutionary—is a very hardened, sexual heroine who walks a dubious line and I had a lot of fun bringing her to life. As for Lynch, my hero, well, let's just say capturing Mercury becomes something of an obsession for him...
10. Do you have anything specific you want to tell your readers?
(BM): Want a sneak peak of the world and the events leading up to Heart of Iron? I have a free novella available for download at my website, called Tarnished Knight and featuring a secondary couple from Kiss of Steel. Consider it “1.5” in the series, however it's only free for a limited time so get in quick!
Barnes and Noble
Fun Speed Questions:
11. Coffee or Hot Tea
(BM): Hot tea.
12. Summer or Winter
13. Sunrise or Sunset
14. Mountains or Beach
15. Rock N' Roll or Country Music (or another genre of music you may like)
Winner will be announced on 5/17/13.
@Heather Hopefully it will - I have my fingers crossed - and I also have another storyline in my head for a different arc.
@jmcgaugh thank you!
@Meghan It's hard to name a particular inspiration - perhaps all those regencies i've read about the ton, where I finally thought I wanted to create an elite tier - but made up of a vampiric nobility.
@Stephanie I love the MLQ cover too. I always picture Lynch looking like Richard Armitage, so i think we got fairly close.
@Lauren Thank you - I pray to the cover gods daily (:
That has got to be one of the best check lists I have ever seen...hope you don't mind but I'm adopting it. Honestly, who could resist "An entire horde of smoking-hot Scandinavian verwulfen clansmen". However, tempting they are though, my heart is set on meeting Blade and Will. I'm looking forward to inducting them into my ever growing fantasy harem. Steampunk, Paranormal, Romance, and 'OMG-my-systems-are-overheating' male hotness it's like an irresistible smorgasbord!