With THE RED PLAGUE AFFAIR (UK|US|ANZ) released so close to the birthdate of Arthur Conan Doyle (that’s today!), and its two Victorian sleuths owing much to Sherlock Holmes (after all, which fictional detectives do not?) we asked the author, Lilith Saintcrow, to tell us a bit about Doyle’s influence on her work.
THE RED PLAGUE AFFAIR is the second of Bannon and Clare’s adventures and the follow up to THE IRON WYRM AFFAIR. Listen to the audiobooks here.
Bannon and Clare – ready for action.
For a long time, I didn’t even know Sherlock Holmes existed. Instead, I loved another boy.
His name was Leroy “Encyclopedia” Brown.
I had two battered, ancient Encyclopedia Brown collections when I was a kid, probably from some garage sale or another. Most of the stories have receded into the mist that is my bad memory for everything before I was 20, but I remember a particular story where Leroy figured out an ambulance was the getaway vehicle because the stupid criminals put someone in it feet-first.
I was completely enchanted by the idea that a regular kid could, just by observation, change the course of events. This seemed a superpower anyone was capable of acquiring, with enough stubborn persistence and attention to detail. I mean, flight and superstrength are pretty badass, but I think most kids start suspecting neither are truly available outside their imaginations pretty early on.
I am not sure when I first began to suspect that my dear Leroy was an homage to someone else. It was probably at the point that Young Sherlock Holmes blazed into my consciousness, and I immediately marched into the library and started looking for “based on the stories of.”
Imagine my surprise upon meeting Holmes and Watson, two middle-aged men decidedly less attractive to the twelve-year-old girl I was. Arthur Conan Doyle’s prose style gave me a little difficulty, but much less than Shakespeare and only a little more than Louisa May Alcott. Plus, there were murders. Chases. A network of street kids bringing information. Cocaine. Music. Horses.
Irene Adler. Read the rest of this entry »
- - December 3rd, 2012
Other people hoard things. I hoard books. It is probably the best part of an editor’s job, the new acquisition. The new author, the new book, the new everything…
There are some novels that I buy because I want to. And some because I think they’re great. Some because I know that they tell us about ourselves, but in a new way..and the list goes on. But there are some novels that I buy Because.
And it stops there as I can’t imagine a world where this book isn’t MY book. (Yes, yes, it’s also the author’s…) But it’s MINE. Mine to read, mine to tinker with, figure out the cover, and then pet it when its all done.
Sigh. Yes. I sound unhinged, don’t I? But that is the world of the editor. We basically exist to buy books. Oh. And drink. But that’s for another post.
The newest book that I bought is called THE DAMNATION AFFAIR (UK | US). It is the newest novel by Lilith Saintcrow and it is the 16th book that I will have worked on with Lili. 16!!!! Whoa! I got this as a ms from Evil Agent who knows my weaknesses and sent me a manuscript that basically said it’s a zombie love story! From Lili! Reader, I bought it.
If you’ve read IRON WYRM AFFAIR (UK | US | AUS), you’ll know about Bannon & Clare (if not, click here!). DAMNATION AFFAIR is set in the same world, but instead of Victorian England, we move out West. To the old West. Where somethings just don’t stay dead….
The West is a wild place, where the poison wind blows and the dead walk. But there is gold, and whiskey, and enough room for a man to forget what he once was–until he no longer can.
Jack Gabriel’s been the sheriff in Damnation almost since the town grew out of the dust and the mud. He keeps the peace–sort of–and rides the circuit every dawn and dusk with the chartermage, making sure the wilderness doesn’t seep into their fragile attempt at civilization. Away from the cities clinging to the New World’s eastern rim, he doesn’t remember what he was. At least, not much.
But Damnation is growing, and along comes a schoolmarm. Catherine Barrowe is a right proper Boston miss, and it’s a mystery why she would choose this town where everything scandalous and dangerous is probably too much for a quality lady like her. Sometimes the sheriff wonders why she came out West–because everyone who does is running from something. He doesn’t realize Cat may be prickly, delicate, and proper, but she is also determined. She’s in Damnation to find her wayward older brother Robbie, whose letters were full of dark hints about gold, trouble…and something about a claim.
In a West where charm and charter live alongside clockwork and cold steel, where hot lead kills your enemy but it takes a blessing to make his corpse stay down, Cat will keep digging until she finds her brother. If Jack knew what she was after, he could solve the mystery–because he was the one who killed Robbie.
The thing is, Cat’s brother just won’t stay dead, and the undead are rising with him…
And seriously? If zombies clashing with cowboys don’t make you want to read this, I don’t know what will.
To find out more about THE DAMNATION AFFAIR and Lilith Saintcrow’s other novels, become a fan on Facebook.
- - August 1st, 2012
Lilith Saintcrow launches a new steampunk series this August with THE IRON WYRM AFFAIR (US | UK | AUS). Adventure and intrigue lie in wait for detective duo Bannon and Clare as they try to unravel the mystery behind a string of murders targeting London’s geniuses. You can read the first chapter here and get a sense of Emma Bannon’s sharp wit. This novel is a ton of fun so we thought: what could be more fun than bringing two charming ladies like Gail Carriger and Lilith Saintcrow together to introduce this new novel?
Read on to find out several fun and interesting facts about Lilith and THE IRON WYRM AFFAIR and find out which character(s) Lilith would most like to slap.
About you, the Author!
Gail: Tea or coffee and how do you take it?
Lilith: Yes to both. Coffee I take as espresso with a little heavy cream, tea I take mostly with gingersnaps. But there’s nothing like a cuppa when the day’s going dreadfully.
Gail: Describe your personal style for author appearances.
Lilith: You mean other than the perfume of complete terror? I have dreadful social anxiety. Normally I’m in jeans, a T-shirt with no holes, boots, and eyeliner. I agonize over appearances, they’re nerve-wracking. I have to wear something I can run in if the zombie apocalypse occurs.
Gail: If I were to observe the writer beast in its native environment, what surprising thing might I see? What does the environment look like?
Lilith: A tall glass of water with a squirt of Key Lime juice in it. That’s my preferred drink while writing. Also, a statue of Ganesh the Remover of Obstacles as writer right next to my computer, and on the other side a bonsai tree. It used to be the Saddest Little Bonsai In All The World, because the cat wanted to chew on it, and on my desk is the one place the cat can’t get to it. So the bonsai is recovering now. Also, there are a bunch of 3×5 notecards with different notes and page numbers on them, and a Keep Calm and Carry On paperweight.
Read the rest of this entry »
- - July 27th, 2012
Deduction and magic combine in a new Steampunk series by Lilith Saintcrow that debuts next month. It’s the first book that features detective duo Emma Bannon and Archibald Clare.
Whether you are a current fan of Lilith’s novels or someone who loves a good mystery with a Steampunk twist– THE IRON WYRM AFFAIR (US | UK | AUS) is a book you’ll want to investigate further. Publishers Weekly gave this book a starred review saying, “sensual writing, intricate plotting, and sympathetically quirky, satisfyingly competent characters make this series one to watch.”
Here is the first chapter. Enjoy!
Chapter One: A Pleasant Evening Ride
Emma Bannon, Sorceress Prime and servant to Britannia’s current incarnation, mentally ran through every foul word that would never cross the lips of a lady. She timed them to the clockhorse’s steady jogtrot, and her awareness dilated. The simmering cauldron of the streets was just as it always was; there was no breath of ill intent.
Of course, there had not been earlier, either, when she had been a quarter-hour too late to save the other unregistered mentath. It was only one of the many things about this situation seemingly designed to try her often considerable patience.
Mikal would be taking the rooftop road, running while she sat at ease in a hired carriage. It was the knowledge that while he did so he could forget some things that eased her conscience, though not completely.
Click to read more.