Today on the blog I have Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris, authors of the steampunk adventure Phoenix Rising.! Also up for grabs 2 copies of Phoenix Rising to two winners (please see giveaway details at the end of the post)!
**GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED**
Your awesome steampunk collaboration, Phoenix Rising, dropped in late April. I especially enjoyed the witty repartee between Welly and Eliza! Do our two heroes take after each of you, even just a wee bit?
Tee: On our first collaboration, a promotional push in 2008 called Double Trouble, Pip and I made many appearances on podcasts. The catch phrase spawned from that collaboration was “Back in your box, Morris!” which still tends to resurface today. We became well known for our snark back and forth between one another; and at live appearances we let the snark fly in between readings and story tellings.
You both have extensive experience writing fantasy and that talent shows in Phoenix Rising. What inspired you to write a steampunk adventure, and why do you think it’s become so popular recently?
T: We dedicated the book to Jared Axelrod and J.R. Blackwell (as in the two scientists of the Ministry’s R&D) who introduced us to steampunk. The more I saw of the genre, the more I wanted to write something in it. Works like Girl Genius and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen kept pushing me into that direction, and finally I had an idea come to me that eventually became this book with Pip.I think another part of steampunk’s appeal comes from that same appeal of The Avengers or the early James Bond films. Secret agents with wild gadgets on call, and then as a backdrop you have the romance, flair, and pageantry of the Industrial Age. Throw in there a sense of wild imagination and passionate creativity, and it’s hard to fathom why it still remains underground. I say “still” because I describe to people not into Science Fiction what I’m writing, and most times they haven’t a frame of reference. We’re still a long way from mainstream, but we are close. Very close.
What were your favorite scenes to write in Phoenix Rising?
T: I have many favorite scenes. The book, for me, has a very organic feel. This vignette leads to another that links with another and the book flows from moment to moment. Like Pip, I’m partial to the opera scene, but I also have a big smile for the day after where we meet Eliza’s maid Alice and the Ministry Seven. There is also the grand finale (nope, no spoilers here) that was a real blast to write. But yes, I do think with Phoenix Rising, there is a flow to the turn of events. It was fun to write. Even more fun to edit. (That’s when magic happens!)
T: Pip has this very big stick. And when she thinks I’m wrong, which is rare…(sound of a bat hitting Tee upside the head)Working with Pip is a joy and delight. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
What are some of your favorite Steampunk tales (recent or not so recent)?
T: Currently, I’m reading Changeless from Gail Carriger, but I will probably be diving into Priest’s works next or possibly O.M. Grey’s. I do want to find more of what is out there, but I tend to be a fussy reader. Also with my schedule of day job and writer, spare time is hard to find. (I mean, I just started watching The Guild. I know. 5 point loss on my geek cred card…)
I personally can’t wait for Eliza and Welly’s next adventure! Can you tell us what’s next for our intrepid duo?
T: I can also drop in there the next book offers more gadgets, more action, more airships, and more rugby. And if you can’t wait we do have an addendum for you to sample. On our website, www.ministryofpeculiaroccurrences.com, we have a podcast called Tales from the Archives. We’re halfway through Volume 1, and there will be — rest assured — a Volume 2. Stay tuned, gentle readers!
Read my review of Phoenix Rising!
About the book:
Evil is most assuredly afoot—and Britain’s fate rests in the hands of an alluring renegade . . . and a librarian.