Today we have the fabulous Meljean Brook here to talk to us a little about the 2nd book in her Iron Seas Series, Heart of Steel. The Iron Seas Series is Brook’s steampunk romance series that features advanced technology with the Victorian era. It’s gritty and sexy and fun, and should be read by romance fans everywhere. Brook is also known for her long running series The Guardians, a favorite of PNR fans everywhere.
Meljean, thank you so much for being here today!!
Book Pushers: We have to know… why steampunk? What was it that influenced you to write in this genre?
Meljean: I love historical romances, but I can’t write a book without adding a bit of weird to it (I’ve tried; it was ugly.) I’ve always loved the bits of steampunk tech that have showed up in various places – from Brisco County, Jr. to Mark Twain – and I love the sense of adventure that I’ve always associated with it. So it’s been percolating in the back of my head for years, and when the chance came to pitch a new series, steampunk was at the top of the list of what I’d like to do. Luckily, my editor loved the idea, so I got the go-ahead.
Meljean: There’s not much to tell that isn’t already on the back cover, because anything more would be spoileriffic. I will say, however, that it has a slightly different feel than The Iron Duke. All of the steampunky goodness is still there, but this is a faster-paced, less emotionally angsty story … primarily because Yasmeen and Archimedes aren’t really the angsty types. They are fun together, and hot, and I loved writing their romance – but it is a little different than The Iron Duke in tone.
Book Pushers: How many more books can we expect to see in the Iron Seas Series? Do you have a set ending point in mind for the series?
Meljean: I currently am contracted for five total books in the series, but I deliberately built a huge and open world so that I can visit it often, and without re-treading the same ground over and over. I don’t have a set ending point in mind for this series, simply because there is no overarching story taking place (unlike the Guardian series.) I’ll explore this world until I’m bored – which isn’t likely to happen – or until readers are.
Book Pushers: What can fans expect to see in upcoming books from the Iron Seas Series?
Meljean: I’ll be moving around and introducing different parts of the world. I love doing this, because every location has a different history behind it, and that history influences how the characters see the world. So it enables me to add new layers with every book—Mina sees the world differently from Yasmeen, for example, and my next heroine will have a different perspective from both of them.
The next book moves to Iceland, and readers can look forward to virgin cults, giant mechanical whales, and trolls (of the Iron Seas variety.)
Book Pushers: How many more books can we expect to see in The Guardians’ Series?
Meljean: Only one. I have Michael and Taylor’s book left to write, and then that will wrap up the series.
Book Pushers: *CRY* We don’t want the Guardian’s to end!! Do you have any other ideas or projects that you are currently working on?
Meljean: Ideas, but nothing that I’m currently working on. It’s just percolating, as the Iron Seas did for a while. Eventually I’ll have something more concrete to report, but not yet.
Meljean: I don’t prefer one or the other, and I enjoy them in different ways. I love the focus of a novella – the plot is usually simple, the conflict directly related to the emotional conflict between the characters, and they serve as a sweet breather between the long and complex novels. But I also love the length and complexity of those novels – I love being able to tell this huge story, to bring all of those disparate threads together at the end and wrap it up.
Strangely, though, it’s not easier to write one or the other. Novellas take less time, of course, but the emotional and mental effort is similar. Reining myself in and keeping that tight focus is often difficult, too, because I constantly want to make the story bigger, bigger, bigger! I can’t, however.
Book Pushers: If you could have any steampunk invention in real life, what would you want and why?
Meljean: A clockwork butler who can also act as a masseuse.
Book Pushers: Who is your all-time favourite comic-book character? If you could see/read a crossover with the comic character and your favorite fictional character, would they be friends, enemies or frenemies?
Meljean: Oh, Wonder Woman, easily. I don’t have a favorite fictional character, though. For the sake of awesomeness, however, let’s just say Xena: Warrior Princess. I think they’d fight, maybe rip off each other’s clothes, and then become BFFs.
Actually, I think I have read that on fanfiction.net before.
Book Pushers: If you were asked to create a superhero costume for any person, who would you choose and what would it look like?
Meljean: Conan O’Brien. After seeing him in those jeggings (the image is seared into my brain) I haven’t been able to stop imagining them becoming spandex. So I would make them green, add a yellow spandex top and yellow outer-underwear (as all good superheroes wear) and a blue cape, and call him The Ginger Avenger.
Thanks again to Meljean for not only taking time out of her busy schedule to be here today, but also for offering to do a giveaway! Meljean is giving away TWO signed copies of The Iron Duke! Just leave a comment or question for Meljean to be entered to win. The giveaway ends November 9th and is open internationally. Good Luck!