February 5, 2013

The Queen is Dead by Kate LockeImmortal Empire Series:  Book Two

When her brother Val gets in over his head in an investigation of Half-Blood disappearances and goes missing himself, it’s up to Xandra, newly crowned Goblin Queen, to get him back and bring the atrocities to light. Xandra must frequent the seediest parts of London, while also coping with what she is, the political factions vying for her favor, and the all too-close scrutiny of Queen Victoria, who wants her head. Add this to a being a suspect in a murder investigation, a werewolf boyfriend with demands of his own, and a mother hell bent on destroying the monarchy, and Xandra barely knows which way is up. One thing she does know is that she’s already lost one sibling, she’s not about to lose another. Xandra Varden is the newly crowned Goblin Queen of England. But her complicated life is by no means over.

There are the political factions vying for her favor, and the all too-close scrutiny of Queen Victoria, who for some reason wants her head. Not to mention her werewolf boyfriend with demands of his own, and a mother hell bent on destroying the monarchy. Now she’s the suspect in a murder investigation — and Xandra barely knows which way is up.
What she does know is that nothing lasts forever—and immortality isn’t all its cracked up to be.

 

What does Steampunk mean to you?

To me Steampunk is a marriage of science and wonder. There’s a real duality to it, and I think that’s why most people set it in the Victorian age, particularly England, when people were trying to reconcile science and religion. People were poor, but industry was making great strides. It must have been a terrifying and exciting time, and that’s how Steampunk calls to mind for me.

What is your favorite thing about steampunk or writing about steampunk?

That there really are no rules! It’s such an open genre. Although, if I am to be honest, I have to say the clothes! lol. I love writing about the clothes. The best part about writing Steampunk though, is meeting the readers who love the books, because they are so enthusiastic. It’s amazing to see some of the things people make as well.

What is your favorite steampunk accessory?

Oh, wow. Just one? I have a pink striped corset from Damsel in this Dress that I absolutely love. It’s amazing.

What turned you on to steampunk

My mother was nuts for anything Victorian and my sister introduced me to scifi. Steampunk was an easy sell! I was interested in it long before I knew it was called anything. I didn’t even know there were people who were that into it. But, when I was thinking of what I wanted to write, I knew I wanted to write in a historical setting with fantastical devices. I have a book on Victorian inventions that is amazing, and it really inspired me.

Do you have any upcoming Steampunk stories you can tell us about?

As Kate Cross I have the third book in my Clockwork Agents series coming out in August. It’s the story of Dr. Evelyn Stone and the air pirate whose heart she broke and life she saved several years earlier.

As Kady Cross I have the third book in my Steampunk Chronicles series coming out in June. This one centers around Emily, the ‘engineer’ type member of the group, who is abducted by automatons for a sinister purpose.

As Kate Locke, The Queen is Dead, the second book in my steampunk-inspired series, The Immortal Empire just hit shelves. Xandra Vardan, newly appointed Goblin Queen starts investigating rumors of secret labs used for torture in an alternate London where Queen Victoria is a vampire and still on the throne.

Each of these series have at least one more book coming at a later date.

Who is your favorite character of all from one of your Steampunk stories?

That is a really tough question! I have to pick one from each series. lol. Steampunk Chronicles — Jack Dandy. Clockwork Agents – – Evelyn Stone. Immortal Empire — Vex (picking Xandra, the narrator was too easy!)

What’s the hardest thing about creating a Steampunk universe?

Trying to do something that no one else already has, and trying to keep the expected fresh.

What’s the easiest thing about creating a Steampunk universe?

The clothes! And, coming up with wild inventions.

What does steampunk allow you to do as a writer that no other genres can?

It really allows you to build a complex world that people can relate to because it is so grounded in our own history as the human race. A lot of the themes in these books are very easy to relate to — they’re about struggle, overcoming obstacles, and seeing life as an exciting journey.

What are the challenges and advantages to writing a steampunk story?

Pleasing the fans. There are always going to be those who don’t like what you’ve done and say it’s not steampunk. You have to just let it go. Steampunk might have a few ‘devices’ that are necessary for the story to be steampunk, but the rest of it is your own creation. Some will love it and some will hate it. The advantages (in addition to that freedom of world and story that I mentioned before) is that if the fans love you, they will tell every other steampunk they know about your work!

How much research does it take and how much imagination.

Research depends on the time period. If you’re setting it on this earth, amongst this history, even if you’re twisting it, you have to know what you’re talking about. So, that’s a lot of research! As for imagination… well, I’d say it takes about as much as you’ve got! Lame answer? Probably, but there’s no simple way to explain it. The only limits on your world, or your story, or your characters, are what YOU put on them.

May 2011

Book 1 in the Steampunk Chronicles

In 1897 England, sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne has no one…except the “thing” inside her.

When a young lord tries to take advantage of Finley, she fights back. And wins. But no normal Victorian girl has a darker side that makes her capable of knocking out a full-grown man with one punch….

Only Griffin King sees the magical darkness inside her that says she’s special, says she’s one of them. The orphaned duke takes her in from the gaslit streets against the wishes of his band of misfits: Emily, who has her own special abilities and an unrequited love for Sam, who is part robot; and Jasper, an American cowboy with a shadowy secret.

Griffin’s investigating a criminal called The Machinist, the mastermind behind several recent crimes by automatons. Finley thinks she can help—and finally be a part of something, finally fit in.

But The Machinist wants to tear Griff’s little company of strays apart, and it isn’t long before trust is tested on all sides. At least Finley knows whose side she’s on—even if it seems no one believes her.

Amazon| Kindle| Barnes & Noble | Nook

 

May 2012

Clockwork Agents:  Book 1

Arden is an undercover agent for one of the most powerful organizations of this steam powered world—the Wardens of the Realm—a group with extraordinary abilities, dedicated to protecting England against evil.
Arden Grey enjoys a life most women in 1898 London can’t even dream of: She has the social status, wealth, and independence of a countess. She also has the ability to witness the final moments of a murder victim’s life. But ever since the disappearance of her husband, Lucas, none of this means anything to her. Until one night, when Arden spies a man watching her—a man she recognizes as her missing husband.
He’s been ordered to assassinate Arden as retribution for her part in the killing of a Company agent. Luke remembers nothing of his life before the Company, a corrupt agency that has erased his memory. Even so, he can’t seem to complete his assignment. There is something familiar about his lovely target, something that attracts him, and fills him with dread. For he knows that if he doesn’t kill her, someone else will—and kill him as well.

Amazon | Kindle | Barnes & Noble | Nook | Powell’s

Kate Locke — God Save the Queen, The Queen is Dead (Long Live the Queen in late 2013)
Kate Cross — Heart of Brass, Touch of Steel (Breath of Iron August 2013)
Kady Cross — The Girl in the Steel Corset, The Girl in the Clockwork Collar (The Girl With the Iron Touch in June 2013), plus The Strange Case of Finley Jayne e-short, and an as of yet untitled short coming out later this year.

Visit her websites:  Kate Locke | Kate Cross | Kady Cross

PRIZE ALERT:  Up for grabs is 1 copy each of God Save the Queen by Kate Locke, Heart of Brass by Kate Cross, and The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross  Post a comment below to win.  Bring a friend and introduce them too!  More the merrier