**Visit All Things Urban Fantasy today for her Deadly Destination tour with Jess Haines & enter for a chance to win Stalking the Others**
Deadly Destinations dares to venture into the Steampunk world of the Iron Seas series by Meljean Brook. Meljean is here to give us some insight into the Iron Seas world. Riveted, the third book in the series, will be released on September 4, 2012. A big thanks to Penguin/Berkely for today’s giveaway! One lucky winner will receive Heart of Steel and Riveted by Meljean Brook.
DFT: Could you start things off by telling us a little about the Iron Seas world?
Meljean: The Iron Seas features an alternate history where much of Europe and Africa fled to the Americas during the 15th-18th centuries. Zombies roam over much of both those continents, giant megalodons and kraken terrorize sailors, and airships are the best way to travel – unless a ship full of pirates comes after you.
DFT: Could you tell us about your main characters in Riveted?
Meljean: My heroine Annika is an engineer aboard the airship Phatéon. Raised in a secret community in Iceland, she doesn’t quite fit in on the ship, but she can’t return home until she finds her sister. She doesn’t consider herself a very brave woman – more like a rabbit – but she’s fiercely protective of those she loves.
David Kentewess is a vulcanologist, an outcast from modern society, and the leader of an expedition to Iceland – and, because of a promise that he made to his dying mother, he’s determined to locate Annika’s hidden home. Like Annika, he never quite fits in anywhere – and in my opinion, every city that closes their gates to him is the poorer for it.
DFT: Who is your favorite character in this series and why?
Meljean: Right now, it’s probably Annika, but that will probably change when I write the next one. This is always the worst question! It’s so hard to choose, but I do tend to favor my heroines over my heroes. I love those guys, don’t get me wrong – but romance to me is always about the heroine’s journey, and I really, really loved writing this book and seeing Annika get her happily ever after.
DFT: If you could visit any place in your Iron Seas world, what would your destination be and why?
Meljean: The Far Maghreb, to see the twin sentinels guarding the coast. Or Tenochtitlan, which has steam-based tech that’s different and more integrated into the city’s foundations than anywhere else in the world.
See how I tease? We haven’t even visited these places yet. One day soon, my pretties.
DFT: Where would you not like to visit?
Meljean: The western coast of (our version of) South Africa. I’d probably be eaten by a kraken.
DFT: What do you find so fascinating about Steampunk?
Meljean: There are a lot of reasons why I love steampunk – the gadgets and technology are just plain fun. I love the mad sense of adventure and possibility. I love being able to look backward on history and give it a good ol’ twist, like some crazy writer’s version of a purple nurple.
But here’s what it really comes down to: I think people are AMAZING. We’ve done some really, really awful things in history (and still do), but we’ve also come a long, long way. We’ve created things and discovered things and thought things that are astonishing. Look at what we are doing now: You sent me this interview by sending a bunch of electronic bits through different computer servers and over telephone lines and I’m writing the answers on a computer that can process information at a ridiculous number of bytes per second – and I have a cheap computer. People made this stuff. I can go to Google and look up an ocelot and see a thousand pictures and watch movies about them or read articles – but when I was a kid, I’d have to wait until the library opened and then maybe it would contain an encyclopedia that included one picture or article, and if I was lucky, an entire book devoted to the subject. That’s just mind-boggling … and yet we already take it for granted.
And at the same time, I sometimes feel that, on an individual level, those amazing discoveries and adventures are kind of being lost in the shuffle. I mean, we know some names – Steve Jobs and Bill Gates and so on, but not the names of the people who are actually developing these amazing things. It’s nothing like the Einsteins and the Newtons and the Teslas. My characters aren’t all scientists and inventors, but they are on adventures and exploring a new world. So that’s what I really love about steampunk – it’s taking that sense of wonder and adventure and discovery and giving it a face.
Plus, you know – the clothes are so pretty!
DFT: What is your favorite Steampunk technology? Why?
Meljean: The trolls in Riveted. Because they are fun! Anything else would be a spoiler, though, so I’ll let everyone read the book to determine if they want one, too.
DFT: What is your favorite piece of Steampunk attire?
Meljean: Pants. Going outside without a pair would just be embarrassing, even on the Iron Seas.
DFT: How much research went into creating this series?
Meljean: A lot. Every piece of technology, and historical texts, rebuilding trade routes, reimagining wars and conflicts … every single book requires quite a bit.
DFT: Do you have a particular writing process or ritual?
Meljean: Not really. Basically, it’s just: Get up, suck down some caffeine, get to work.
DFT: What influences and inspirations (both literary and non-literary) do you draw from while writing?
Meljean: Everything, honestly. I see people interact on the street or at Starbucks or in the grocery store, and I file it away to draw on later. I can be inspired by a single look in a magazine ad, or a scene from a movie, or the idea of a conflict in a movie that never pans out the way I think it will, so I file that away to see if I can pull it out later. When I read, I’ll see a lovely turn of phrase and file that away – but it’s not just at the sentence level. Again, there might be something about a conflict that I’m reading that speaks to me, and sometimes the most inspiring things I take away from a book are those things that AREN’T said or a plotline that wasn’t pursued.
DFT: What can you tell us about the other projects you are working on?
Meljean: Right now, I’m working on Guardian Demon, which is the final book in the Guardian series. It should be epic – and I hope worth the wait!
DFT: I want to thank you for taking the time to answer these questions.
Meljean: Thank you!
Meljean was raised in the middle of the woods, and hid under her blankets at night with fairy tales, comic books, and romances. She left the forest and went on a misguided tour through the world of accounting before focusing on her first loves, reading and writing–and she realized that monsters, superheroes, and happily-ever-afters are easily found between the covers, as well as under them, so she set out to make her own.
Meljean lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and daughter.
Want to read more from Meljean Brook?
This giveaway is provided by Penguin/Berkley
Available September 4, 2012 from Penguin/Berkley
About this Book:
The New York Times bestselling author of The Iron Duke and Heart of Steel returns to the Iron Seas with a riveting new adventure of steampunk and passionate romance . . .
A century after a devastating volcanic eruption forced Iceland’s inhabitants to abandon its shores, the island has become enshrouded in legend. Fishermen tell tales of giant trolls guarding the land and of seductive witches who steal men’s hearts. But the truth behind the legends is mechanical, not magic—and the mystery of the island a matter of life and death for a community of women who once spilled noble blood to secure their freedom.
Five years ago, Annika unwittingly endangered that secret, but her sister Källa took the blame and was exiled. Now Annika serves on the airship Phatéon, flying from port to port in search of her sister and longing to return home . . . but that home is threatened when expedition leader David Kentewess comes aboard.
Determined to solve the mystery of his own origin, David will stop at nothing to expose Annika’s secrets. But when disaster strikes, leaving David and Annika stranded on a glacier and pursued by a madman, their very survival depends on keeping the heat rising between them—and generating lots of steam . . .
Click HERE to read an excerpt
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