It is time to kick off our 2K international indie book blog tour 2016 (hosted by Kate M Colby http://katemcolby.com http://katemcolby.com & me, Kate Evans). I am delighted to welcome our first indie author for interview, Kara Jorgensen.
Kara Jorgensen is an author of fiction and professional student from New Jersey who will probably die slumped over a Victorian novel. An anachronistic oddball from birth, she has always had an obsession with the Victorian era, especially the 1890s. Midway through a dissection in a college anatomy class, Kara realized her true passion was writing and decided to marry her love of literature and science through science fiction or, more specifically, steampunk. When she is not writing, she is watching period dramas, going to museums, or babying her beloved dogs.
Here she introduces her book, The Earl and the Artificer (Ingenious Mechanical Devices #3), a historical fantasy novel.
What mysteries lay buried beneath weeds and dust?
Following their wedding, Eilian and Hadley Sorrell journey to Brasshurst Hall, his family’s abandoned ancestral home. As Eilian struggles to reconcile his new roles as husband and earl, he finds the house and the surrounding town of Folkesbury are not as they first appear.
Behind a mask of good manners and gentle breeding lurks a darker side of Folkesbury. As the Sorrells struggle to fit in with the village’s genteel society, they find their new friends are at the mercy of Randall Nash, a man who collects secrets.
Soon, Eilian and Hadley become entangled in a web of murder, theft, and intrigue that they may never escape, with the manor at the heart of it all. Something long thought lost and buried within Brasshurst’s history has been found—something worth killing for.
Prequels/Sequels: The Earl of Brass (Ingenious Mechanical Devices #1); The Winter Garden (Ingenious Mechanical Devices #2). “An Oxford Holiday: An Ingenious Mechanical Devices Companion Short Story”
So Kara, what was the inspiration behind your book?
The Earl and the Artificer was inspired by Victorian novels, botany, but especially Oscar Wilde. When I read The Picture of Dorian Gray a few years ago, I was drawn to the way Wilde used scenery. The houses and drawing rooms were so evocative and indicative of the characters. This may have occurred because he was also a playwright and treated his settings like sets. In The Earl and the Artificer, the story revolves around a massive, steam-powered greenhouse and the quirky mansion attached to it, so the setting plays a big part in the story and almost acts like a character itself. Oscar Wilde was also the inspiration for one of the main characters, Nadir Talbot, who is a rather flamboyant writer and Aesthete. Much like Wilde, Nadir’s recklessness and devil-may-care attitude gets him in trouble.
Who is your favorite character?
Hadley Sorrell is probably my favorite character. She is a woman who has risen from middle-class artisan to countess and is learning how to balance the differing aspects of her identity while still staying true to herself. Whether she’s wearing trousers and taking apart a complex clock or throwing a ball in a Worth gown, she isn’t afraid to be who she is. She is someone who gets things done and stands up for what she believes in, even if it occasionally backfires. There’s a certain strength in someone who can appear as the “norm” yet flout it at the same time.
What is one thing you want readers to know or “get” about your book?
Once again, I think I’ll have to defer to Oscar Wilde. He said, “There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.” Throughout The Earl and the Artificer, characters do things that may be questionable, but my hope is that my readers will be able to see both sides of the situation before they judge or simply not judge at all. It’s easy to condemn a person. It’s far harder to understand why they did it and acknowledge the causes.
Who is your ideal reader? Or, who will enjoy your book?
My ideal reader would be someone who likes period dramas like Downton Abbey but also enjoys Doctor Who, someone who likes a mix of historical and fantastical elements.
If you like strong female characters, heroes who don’t embody typical masculinity, LGBT characters, and a hint of science, you’ll probably enjoy the Ingenious Mechanical Devices series. Every book also has a social issue that is dealt with, so if you’re into novels with a socio-political undertone, then you would probably like my books, especially if you’re more liberal minded.
What three writing tips do you have for aspiring authors?
Keep writing. It’s very easy to go days or even months without writing, but it’s hard to write consistently. Try to do it, even when you don’t feel like it. Suddenly, you’ll realize how much you’re completing.
Read a lot and in many genres. Sometimes you’ll find that what inspires you isn’t in your normal genre. Plus, getting outside your comfort zone can introduce you to some fantastic authors and teach you new writing techniques you can incorporate into your work.
Write for yourself first and your audience second. Writing to the trend sounds like a good idea, but ultimately, it isn’t sustainable. Work on projects you’re invested in and inspire you. If you write it, your audience will eventually find you.
Where can readers buy your book? Please provide links to all sales pages and Goodreads, if applicable.
Where can readers learn more about you? Please provide links to your website and social media profiles.