MY LADY QUICKSILVER
by Bec McMaster
I asked author Bec McMaster to tell us a little about how the world for her steampunk romance series, London Steampunk, came to her and how she began the process of creating her complicated paranormal universe. Her answer is below, followed by a chance to win the latest release in this series, MY LADY QUICKSILVER!
The London Steampunk series is set in a dark world where the aristocratic Echelon (think the ton but with a vicious thirst for blood) rule the city, forcing their blood taxes on the human citizens of their world and crushing any resistance with their metal automaton army. When I created the world for Kiss of Steel (the first book), I wanted to play with the idea of a vampiric version of the ton, but vampires have been done to death. How to make them different? New? Something original?
A little voice whispered in my head: why not make the vampires something to be feared? Filthy, nearly indestructible brutes who are driven only by their thirst. Creatures that can tear apart half a city before they're stopped. The one thing that everyone fears.
And what's scarier than facing a vampire? What about facing the fact that one day you're going to turn into one - if you're blue blood anyway - no matter what you do.
I had the basic steps to building a world, in which a mysterious virus sweeps through London, infecting the aristocracy, who think becoming a blue blood, with their increased speed, healing and other senses, makes one somehow elite. The blood thirst is a regrettable side effect, as is the fact that once the craving virus begins to overwhelm the body, it slowly begins to change it, until finally a blue blood becomes the very thing he fears most: a vampire.
And how can we torture a hero more than by making him stare such evolution in the face? Facing the Fade - that time when a blue blood begins to evolve - my hero of Kiss of Steel, Blade, is a devilish rogue blue blood who forged a life for himself in the rookeries when the Echelon cast him out. Terrified he's going to become a vampire, he comes across the innocent and strait-laced Honoria Todd, a desperate young woman fleeing the Echelon for her own reasons. As if becoming a vampire's not bad enough, Honoria has an extremely prejudiced view against blue bloods and Blade has his work cut out for him in changing her mind.
I've always had a preference for working class heroes - men who've risen above the ruin of their pasts and created something of themselves - which is probably my biggest inspiration when it comes to creating heroes. Forget dukes or billionaires who've inherited their financial gains, I love self-made men. Like Lisa Kleypas' Hardy Cates or Derek Craven. Or Judith Ivory's Mick Tremore from the Proposition.
Tortured heroes are fascinating, but I prefer it when they're working to overcome their pasts. Blade, Will (from Heart of Iron) and the hero of my latest novel, My Lady Quicksilver, Sir Jasper Lynch, are all men with dark pasts, but you won't find them dwelling on them. All of them have either created a life for themselves, or are in the process of it.
As for Lynch, think forcing a blue blood and a woman who fears them to fall in love is torture enough? What about when that woman is your sworn enemy? And you're bound to hunt her down and hand her over for execution? What if she despises all blue bloods and has sworn to destroy them?
Lynch isn't going to know what hit him...
*insert evil author laugh*
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Award-winning author Bec McMaster lives in a small town in Australia and grew up with her nose in a book. A member of RWA, she writes sexy, dark paranormals and steampunk romance. When not writing, reading, or poring over travel brochures, she loves spending time with her very own hero or daydreaming about new worlds. Read more about her at www.becmcmaster.com or follow her on Twitter, @BecMcMaster.
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