ANNOUNCEMENT: The winner of Annie's giveaway is Suzanne Ross Jones. Congratulations Suzanne.
I'm delighted to welcome Annie Seaton to my blog today. Annie is an author of both contemporary romance and steampunk. Her latest release, SUMMER OF THE MOONFLOWER, is a perfect example of a steampunk novel, a story of the quest for a better world and overcoming the bad guys in order to do do it. SUMMER OF THE MOON FLOWER the second part of a series featuring the de Vargas family. Steampunk could be described as Victorian science fiction, a sort of science fiction set in the era of steam, when technology was pushing out the barriers and lot of previously impossible thing were suddenly possible. It captures the excitement of that time like nothing else does.
So here is Annie, from sunny Australia to tell us all about her new release and all about steampunk.
Annie on the Web:
You write both contemporary romance and steampunk. Of the two, steampunk is the lesser known and that's the genre of your latest release SUMMER OF THE MOON FLOWER. Can you tell us something about this genre and what attracted you to it?
I have been fascinated with all things historical...particularly British history since I was a child. This culminated in a double degree where British constitutional history was one of my majors. I have always read historical novels and imagined myself in those worlds. When I stared to write a couple of years ago..I saw a call for a steampunk competition and researched it and fell immediately in love with the genre. The opportunity to use my history knowledge and my vivid imagination... perfect bliss!
Why do you think that there is an upsurge of interest in the age of steam?
Steampunk is such a creative genre...it appeals to artists, fashion designers, jewellery designers as well as readers. Steam was the precursor to modern technology and I think nostalgia plays a big role in the renewed interest. It is a combination of science fiction, technology and Victorian fashion in a futuristic fantasy. Someone once described it to me as a parallel universe.
Which is your favourite genre of writing and why?
That is a hard question for me to answer, Maria. I am relatively new to writing...this time two years ago I was entering my first writing competition and I am still experimenting. I love the freedom of the steampunk settings and characters. I tend to write them and let them lead me along. However contemporary romance really lets me get into the heads of my characters and enable them to have a much deeper level of personal angst and resultant growth. I can also use fabulous settings in my contemporaries as well...so I think I would lean toward contemporary as the preferred genre.
Annie, do you plot your stories or just go where the Muse leads?
I was an absolute panster until my current contemporary (which is actually a 70k romantic suspense novel for Entangled Publishing). Now that I am contracted for my contemporary romances...my editor likes to see a comprehensive outline before I write...and guess what I have discovered? It makes the writing so much easier and lets me concentrate more on my characters, settings and descriptions as I write!
You write such memorable characters, particularly heroines. Where do you find inspiration for your characters?
I honestly can’t answer that. They just come out of my imagination! I think it is probably a combination of the qualities of many strong women I have admired in all walks of life over the years and it goes into the mix! My characters tend to take over my writing and I find I have to hold them back at times, otherwise they would be even more feisty. I am aware some readers may find a sassy heroine confronting so I like to give them a bit of vulnerability as well.
Your steampunk novels are set in Cornwall and Scotland. Can I be very nosy and ask have you actually visited these places?
Absolutely. I have spent many pleasurable weeks touring the back roads of the United Kingdom. All of my childhood memories spent with the Famous Five as well as my history studies came alive for me. I stood at Tintagel in Cornwall and closed my eyes and conjured up King Arthur. I stood in the grounds of Kenilworth Castle and shed a tear as I looked at the ruins of the White Tower where John of Gaunt’s Blanche died I loved Scotland, particularly Edinburgh, and have some more favourite places which are going to pop up in future novels...a time slip novel with a sexy rock star set in Glastonbury is in the planning stages.
Can you tell the readers a little about Summer of the Moonflower?
Sofia de Vargas is the younger sister of Indigo de Vargas and was introduced to readers in Winter of the Passion Flower. Summer of the Moon Flower begins ten years on and we find Sofia as a respected couturier in a haute couture salon in Vienna. She is secretly overseeing a research facility which continues her father’s lifetime research into the life giving properties of the alpine moonflower. This threatens the very existence of the Knights Templar in Scotland and Dougal, Earl of Rothmore is set the task of disposing of Sofia. An imprisonment on an isolated Scottish island leads to the development of a very interesting relationship between them and Sofia has to decide if he is her sworn enemy or her savior.
Is there any plan to turn the de Vargas series into a trilogy?
There are actually two more books which will complete a four book series. Indigo and her captain have four sons and these boys will continue the quest of their mother and aunt to make the world a better place. The third book is INVENTIONS, ALCHEMY AND OTHER WICKED ADVENTURE and the fourth book is SMUGGLERS, SPRING BLOSSOMS AND OTHER BRASS THINGS. They'll be published in late 2013 and early 2014 respectively.
So we have plenty to look forward to from Annie Seaton later this year and early next year. Thank you Annie for talking to us today.
Readers, Annie has very kindly agreed to give away a copy of SUMMER OF THE MOON FLOWER to one lucky commenter today. So please remember to leave a comment to be in the draw for this book.
SUMMER OF THE MOON FLOWER
Sofia de Vargas’ research into the Alpine Moon flower and its elixir of immortality will threaten the very existence of an ancient Scottish order. Dougal, the Earl of Rothmore must prove his loyalty to his masters, the Knights Templar, and bring her body back to Kilmarnock.
Sofia is kidnapped and imprisoned on the isolated Isle of Rothmore. Is Dougal her sworn enemy...or her saviour?
Annie has very kindly agreed to give away a copy of THE SUMMER OF THE MOONFLOWER to one lucky commenter, so please leave a comment before you leave, to be in the draw.