I was all ready to do my No Kiss Blog Fest entry (due today), then I was tagged by the wicked Tod McCoy (who’s really quite a pleasure to be around when he isn’t signing me up for extra work) for The Next Big Thing Blog Hop (also due today). The most logical thing seemed to be to combine these two into one post. The book I am working on is Clockwork Cat book three, but I’m going to focus on the Clockwork Cat series as a whole for the Next Big Thing and snag the almost kiss from book one of another series. Without further delay, here is my entry for The Next Big Thing Blog Hop followed by the much-anticipated (let me delude myself – I’m happy that way) entry for the No Kiss Blog Fest.
- What is the working title of your book? Book three has no official title yet, it’s just book three. The first book is The Girl and the Clockwork Cat so Clockwork Cat has naturally become the series title.
- Where did the idea come from for the book? The series started with an idea I had during a writer’s conference. I’ve gone into that in detail in Writing the Right Book so I’ll let you read that if you want to.
- What genre does your book fall under? I call it Young Adult steampunk, though the steampunk elements are not that heavy, especially in book one, which is almost more of a Young Adult alternate history. As the series progresses, the steampunk elements play more of a role.
- Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? No clue. They are unique in my head and, at this point, I’d rather keep them that way.
- What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? I don’t have one that encompasses the series, but this is one of the less horrible versions I came up with for book one: After finding a cat with an unusual clockwork leg, Maeko discovers just how much a London street rat can accomplish when she decides to protect the cat and prove the innocence of a friend’s family by pursuing a murder investigation through the squalid streets of the city.
- Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? The books are represented by Emily Keyes of L. Perkins Agency.
- How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? The first draft of book one I wrote for NaNoWriMo 2010. Book two I wrote for NaNo in 2012. Book three has taken longer because I set it aside and rehashed some of the plot, which will now require a bit of rewriting before I finish the first draft.
- What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? Honestly, I’m not sure. It sticks more to the lower key alternate history style of steampunk in the nature of The Difference Engine by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling, but with more of a high-stakes adventure pacing… and a cat.
- Who or What inspired you to write this book? Again, it was something said at a writer’s conference in conjunction with music from a Steampunk event I’d been to prior to the conference (oh, and a conversation with my mom in which the cat with the clockwork leg came to life and cemented the deal).
- What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? The main character, a half-Japanese girl surviving as a pickpocket in the streets of London, is a vibrant and determined individual who really seems to capture my readers. Also, everyone loves the cat.
Now, I shall tag these authors to answer the same questions for next Wednesday:
- Mike Schulenberg - Realms of Perilous Wonder
- Simontall - Science fiction, writing and general musings from a tall Englishman
But that’s not all. Here, for your reading pleasure and for the No Kiss Blog Fest is an “almost” kiss from the first book in my dark fantasy series. It wasn’t easy to find one of these scenes. Apparently, I'm not much for “almost” kissing.
Perhaps it was her insatiable curiosity as a reporter, but she was strangely reluctant to leave him now that safety was so close. “I… I don’t understand.”
“What if I told you I intend to kill you now?”
“I…” she hesitated, torn between instinct and ingrained fear.
“Do not think about your answer. Say what you feel.” His eyes held her captive.
“For some reason, I wouldn’t believe you.”
He smiled and Dark swirled around him, giving a sinister, yet deliciously forbidden allure to the expression.
“I don’t understand,” she repeated. “I thought Dark sovereigns were dangerous. I thought they… tortured people.”
He stepped in close to her. “We are very dangerous,” he whispered, his lips so close to hers that she could feel the breath of his words tickle across them. “Sometimes, we just are not in the mood to play.”
“The dress,” she muttered, looking down at the gown she wore to escape his intense gaze and focus on anything other than the longing now raging through her.
“Wear it when you return.” His hands slid up her arms to her shoulders. “You are trembling again. Are you afraid now?”
“No,” she breathed.
His lips brushed hers, almost more of a caress than a kiss. Then he stepped back, releasing her, and the Dark folded around him. In an instant, she was alone.
Savoring the lingering tingle of his light kiss, she licked her lips and tasted blood on them. It had the familiar coppery tang, but was unusually sweet. She ran her tongue over her lips again, searching for a cut that would explain the blood. Again, she tasted the copper-sweet tang and licked it away, finding no wound beneath. The wound inside her lip from her fall had long since stopped bleeding. This wasn’t from that. Odd.
Swallowing the taste of coppery sweetness, she turned to go inside and stopped mid-step. A chill ran through her. What had Syberis told her?
The cat’s voice whispered through her memory. “We are bound in hisss blood.”