Please join us in welcoming author Calista Taylor here today to Dark Faerie Tales. The first two books in Calista’s steampunk adventure The Viridis series, Viridis & Devil on a Sparrow’s Wing, are already available. You can read an excerpt from Viridis here. We are also featuring this series in our Steampunk Reading Challenge 2012.
Calista Taylor is an agented author of steampunk/gaslight romance and non-fiction, with a steampunk clothing craft book due out in September 2012 and now available for pre-order. When not running things over with a sewing machine or lacing herself into a corset, Calista can be found tapping away on her laptop, tormenting her characters, and riddling the streets of Victorian London with dead bodies and heaving bosoms. She’s also a creative cook who can’t follow recipes, a versatile crafter, and a happy geek.
Want to read more from Calista Taylor?
DFT: What do you find so fascinating about the steampunk genre?
Calista: Unlike so many genres that have a lot of hard and fast rules, I love that steampunk is so flexible. Your only limitations are your imagination.
DFT: Did you do a lot of research to create your world?
Calista: Some of my favorite authors write stories set in the Victorian time period, so after years of reading their series, I was familiar enough with some of the basics. The rest of the research was primarily found in the little details such as the etymology of certain words or phrases.
DFT: Do you see similarities between Lady Phoebe, your main character, and yourself?
Calista: I certainly see some similarities, like her love of experimenting, her stubborn streak, and also thinking with her heart rather than her head. On the other hand, I think Phoebe is far more organized than I’ll ever be, and she’s also more serious. I tend to be very happy-go-lucky, whereas Phoebe has far more demons to wrestle.
DFT: What do you like best about Lady Phoebe and what do you dislike about her?
Calista: I like how she storms ahead and takes charge of a situation, even if the outcomes aren’t what she necessarily planned. As for dislikes, I think she needs to be more trusting of her heart, rather than being scared of getting hurt.
DFT: Who is your least favorite character and why?
Calista: I guess I love to hate Victor. He’s just such a bastard, always willing to use his power to get what he wants, no matter what the consequences to another’s life.
DFT: Would you like to live in an era such as the Victorian age? If so, what kind of status would you like to have?
Calista: Though it’s nice to romanticize the era and only look at the positive, I think there were far too many inequalities during the period, and the reality of the matter is that life was pretty grim if you weren’t well off. I like that Viridis tries to address some of those aspects, rather than just painting everything with a gilded brush. If I had to pick a status, I would love to be an artist during that period, since I think there was a great regard for the arts.
Calista: I like that steampunk allows us to change the past and create our own reality, maybe righting some of the wrongs of the time period through steampunk inventions.
DFT: Who has inspired you? Classics like Oscar Wilde or Stevenson?
Calista: Elizabeth Peters and Anne Perry have both been very influential, but Diana Gabaldon has probably had the most influence.
DFT: What can you tell us about your future books?
Calista: Devil on a Sparrow’s Wing is the second book in the Viridis series and is already available, and I’m in the process of writing the third. However, the next book I’ll be releasing in the upcoming weeks is a Victorian paranomal romance rather than steampunk. It’s about Jack the Ripper, who’s a grim reaper gone rogue and is murdering women before their time to die. There’s also a steampunk clothing craft book due for release this fall.
DFT: Is it difficult to imagine all the wonderful machines etc. and take them into such a purist era?
Calista: It may have been a purist era, but I think there was also a lot of change and discovery taking place. As a result, I think it comes pretty natural to think of amazing tinkerings existing in that time period.
Available September 1, 2011 from Daeron Press
About the Book:
In steampunk Victorian London, Lady Phoebe Hughes develops an herbal elixir, Viridis, unlike any other. London’s elite flock to her club to experience the euphoria and heightened senses the drink brings. Imagine an orgasm brought on by a single kiss. But when Lord Hawthorne is murdered after leaving her club, Phoebe is shocked to find that not only was he working for the Special Services to infiltrate the Cause, a movement fighting for the city’s poor, he was also in possession of her secret formulation for Viridis.
Adding to her difficulties is the unexpected return of Mr. Seth Elliott, a brilliant tinkerer who stole her heart and imagination, only to abandon her when she needed him most. Unable to ignore all that is between them, Phoebe finds herself falling for Seth once again, only to have a powerful rival for her affections wrongly accuse Seth of attempted murder. As Phoebe struggles with a way to free her love, revolution, conspiracy and murder threaten to ruin it all.
Click HERE to read an excerpt
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