Today I have the lovely Bec McMaster here to let me torture her with an interview and share some information about her newest release, Forged by Desire. Forged by Desire is her 4th installment in the London Steampunk series.
Hello Bec! I am glad you are here on Booked & Loaded!
Thank you for having me!
Annie: Can you start off by telling me a little about yourself?
Bec: Sure. I’m Australian, but I have never used the words ‘Crikey’ or ‘throw another shrimp on the barbie’ in anything other than jest. I was the girl voted ‘most likely to be found in the library’ during High School, and I’ve always been an unabashed nerd. I love Marvel movies, X-Men, Buffy, Firefly, Star Wars, anything steampunk or paranormal, anything cool, or creepy, or dark… Which should tell you a little bit about what I like to write. If I won a million dollars I’d basically pack a bag with my laptop and hit the road, trying to see the whole world. I’m a writer. A dreamer. A traveller. And now, I’m living my very own dream with this whole writing gig.
Annie: Forged By Desire is the fourth book in your London Steampunk series. Can you give us what is going to surprise us in this installment?
Bec: Forged By Desire was possibly the easiest book in the series to write. I don’t know why, but Garrett and Perry were just so much fun for me to delve into. They crept onto the page in My Lady Quicksilver (book three), and demanded their own story. They were never meant to happen, but a roguish charmer and a tomboyish heroine equals an irresistible opportunity to play.
It’s the first time I’ve explored the theme of friends-to-lovers. I really enjoyed that scene in My Lady Quicksilver, where Perry had to go undercover at the opera, in a beautiful red dress. She’s the type of heroine who feels so much more at home in breeches and her Nighthawk uniform, that Garrett had never really considered her as a female before. And now he’s very much realising that she’s a girl and she’s kind of pretty too, and it’s all one big red-hot mess as they work their way awkwardly through the change in the status of their relationship.
As for surprises? London Steampunk is coming to the finish of a storyline arc. All that has gone before is starting to draw to a head as it builds for Of Silk And Steam (March 2015). You want more Blade and Honoria? They’re back. In fact, the whole cast makes a reappearance. Forged can definitely be read as a standalone, but there are going to be some conclusions to side plots from earlier in the series that readers might be able to recognise. After all, there’s that whole cure for the craving virus drama that was never fully resolved…
Annie: What surprised you the most while writing and/or plotting Forged By Desire?
Bec: I wrote the last half of the book first. I knew what was going to happen and where the story was going, but my brain just kept throwing up these amazing scenes from about halfway through so I just had to write them first!
Annie: What is your favorite and least favorite characteristic in this series so far?
Bec: My favourite characteristic, I think, is honour and respect. All of my heroes and heroines have to own a trickle of this characteristic, but particularly the heroes. I love alpha heroes, but I’m a little baffled as to when being an alpha equated to being an alpha-hole? I love tortured heroes, I love tough guys, I love men who take charge – but they’ve got to stand back and respect the heroine’s right to an opinion, or respect the fact that she is his equal in every way.
My least favourite characteristic? Probably that whole I’m-a-blueblood-of-the-Echelon, I-rule-the-world kind of mentality that pervades my villains. Most of them have come from the Echelon (a vampiric version of the regency ton), and they think that might makes right.
Annie: What do you hope readers enjoy the most about Forged By Desire?
Bec: The fact that the hero can’t win the heroine’s fight for her. He can stand there at her side and support her, but in the end, she’s the one who has to realise that she can do this.
Annie: What inspired you to write the London Steampunk series?
Bec: Writers are like magpies, I think. We gather all these little bits and pieces of shiny over the years, let our sub-conscious chew on it a little, and suddenly something will spit itself out into a whole world. So I had a world brewing away nicely there, with a vampiric version of the ton, and classes of humans that were little more than cattle to them. And then one day I read this romance, where the hero and heroine were mortal enemies, and then within two pages of meeting they were suddenly boinking. I was really dissatisfied with that – I just couldn’t see how a heroine could overcome her fears or her hate so quickly. And so I had this idea of this proud, stubborn woman on the run from a dangerous vampiric duke, and how the hero could be one of the very creatures she feared the most. Would she fall into bed with him? My immediate response was no, no matter how hot or hunky or charming the hero was (and Blade could be plenty charming). I wanted to work through this relationship with them, where she (Honoria) truly had to confront her prejudices, and work out this tentative game of trust between them. I wanted to make Blade suffer a bit – I wanted to make him work for it, to earn her trust, to be frustrated by her refusal to meet him halfway. He had to be the type of man that she could put aside her fears for, rather than just a pretty package that she fell into bed with and – poof – all her issues were gone. That whole dance is part of what made that first book, Kiss of Steel, so compelling to so many readers, I think.
Annie: So tell us about steampunk and Australia! Is there a steampunk following?
Bec: I live in a small country town and if you say the word ‘steampunk’ most people would be like ‘huh?’ I spend a lot of time explaining myself, and what I write. That being said, there’s definitely a growing online community, and once you scratch beneath the surface in the cities it’s definitely there. I’m highly visual, so the costuming is one of my favourite parts of the whole movement (corsets, weapons, bustles etc), so I spend a lot of time pinning stuff I like. I have a minor addiction to Pinterest. *twitches* *checks to see if anything new has updated*
Annie: What is your favorite summer activity?
Bec: My boyfriend and his brother part-own a speedboat, so we spend pretty much most of the summer living at the various lakes nearby, or camping by the Murray River. I had tendonitis in both Achilles last year, so I was too scared to get on the wakeboard in case it grew worse, but this year it’s definitely game on! I can’t wait for December to get here.
Annie: If you could compare yourself to any fictional character, who would that be?
Bec: I would like to be Buffy, but I think I’m a little more like Willow. Or Hermione!
Annie: Do you have a weird or strange talent?
Bec: I can cross my eyes and then move each eye independently. This is defined as weird or strange, but mostly gross, by those who request it. I used to creep my sister out by doing it. Also, whenever she has to make a speech or is speaking to someone across the room, I’ll try and catch her eye on occasion and do it. It cracks her up.
Annie: If you were fighting zombies what would your weapon of choice be?
Bec: Definitely a machete ALA Michonne. Because I don’t know how to make bullets, and eventually the gun would run out…
Thanks for having me!
FORGED BY DESIRE BY BEC MCMASTER – IN STORES SEPTEMBER 2014
Captain Garrett Reed of the Nighthawk guard has a deadly mission: capture a steel-jawed monster preying on women. He hates to put his partner, Perry, in jeopardy, but she’s the best bait he has. Little does he realize, he’s about to be caught in his own trap.
Perry has been half in love with Garrett for years, but this is not exactly the best time to start a relationship—especially when their investigation leads them directly into the clutches of the madman she thought she’d escaped…
Award-winning author Bec McMaster lives in a small town in Australia and grew up with her nose in a book. A member of RWA, she writes sexy, dark paranormals and steampunk romance. When not writing, reading, or poring over travel brochures, she loves spending time with her very own hero or daydreaming about new worlds. Read more about her at www.becmcmaster.com or follow her on Twitter, @BecMcMaster.