Today I am very excited to welcome author Cherie Priest to my humble blog! I read and reviewed her recently released steampunk novel, BONESHAKER - which garnered a respectable 5 out of 5 stars from me. (Not to mention the rave reviews it's getting online) It was one of my favorite books of 2009 and one I can't stop sharing with the masses. This is a book to be enjoyed by everyone! Seriously, what are you waiting for?
Cherie was kind enough to answer some questions about her latest novel and provide some insight into her life as a writer.
(You can read my review: HERE)
Very Short Bio:
Cherie Priest is the author of seven novels from Tor books and Subterranean Press, including Boneshaker, the award-winning Eden Moore series, Dreadful Skin, and Fathom.
► Dirigibles, sky pirates, a mad inventor, AND zombies - What triggered the idea for BONESHAKER?
CP: The Seattle Underground -- which is a real ... place? I guess you'd have to call it a place. You can tour it, if you ever visit; it's the remains of the old city, buried under the streets and sidewalks in the wake of a city-wide regrade around the turn of the 20th century (intended to get Seattle up off the tidal mud flats and onto something more solid). Granted, the Underground in BONESHAKER is very different from the real-life Underground -- but the rest of the story came out of local history. Sort of. Very, very warped local history. And anyway, I like dirigibles.
► BONESHAKER has been classified as a "steampunk" novel - How would you describe the genre?
CP: As I've described it in brief before, steampunk is essentially the science fiction stylings of a future that never happened. It's the old stuff -- by the likes of Mary Shelley, Jules Verne, H.G. Wells -- written before there was any concept of the microchip, or even (in some cases) the internal combustion engine. If you'd like something a little more in depth, feel free to visit my little Steampunk FAQ over on the Clockwork Century's website: here.
► Was the experience of writing BONESHAKER different from your other novels?
CP: My previous books are all set in the southeast (or midwest), so this was my first book set in the Pacific Northwest -- where I've now lived for about four years. It's a very different vibe -- different perks, different drawbacks, different people. So it was kind of a shift in gears.
► What do us readers have to look forward to from "The Clockwork Century" universe?
CP: Well, there are two more books planned in that particular alternate-history universe: Clementine (coming summer of 2010 from Subterranean) and Dreadnought (coming in fall of 2010 from Tor). Neither one is really a direct "sequel," per se, though some of the same characters appear.
► As much time as I'd love to spend talking about Boneshaker, I want to delve into what fuels you as a writer. Every author has their writing "must-haves" and tools for inspiration, what are yours?
CP: I have a kitty. I also have Coke Zero, some lavender-scented hand sanitizer, and various assorted snack foods. Though truth is, I can work pretty much anywhere, if I have to. I always have a notepad and a bunch of pens with me, in case of Emergency! Inspiration.
► How do you research your novels? Is there a certain process that you've adapted or is every novel different?
CP: Every novel's different, but the same, too. I started seriously writing fiction while I was in graduate school, where research was pretty much ubiquitous. So it's not something I find particularly miserable. I like reading reference volumes! It's leisure reading for me. I have a preposterous assortment of them. But sometimes I just stumble across something -- an interesting fact or possibility -- and then I go off in that particular direction, reading everything I can get my hands on, pertaining to that subject.
► What do you enjoy most about writing?
CP: It's indoor work, with no heavy lifting.
► What are you currently working on? Can we get a sneak peek?
CP: Right now, for the first time in literally years, I'm not working on anything new. That's not to say I'm not working! I'm in editorial purgatory on four books (Clementine, Dreadnought, Bloodshot, and Fort Freak -- which is a collaborative work with the Wild Cards consortium), so I'm sort of swamped -- going back and forth, trying to clean up each one in turn, on time. I'm honestly not sure what I'm going to start writing yet, but after New Year's I'm going to work up some proposals for a couple more Clockwork Century books, tentatively called Ganymede and Jacaranda.
► For fun! I'm actually a big fan of Victorian-era fashion, describe your ultimate steampunk ensemble!
CP: Hmm .... I just put together a "shipwrecked air pirate left on a desert island" ensemble for an exposition, and I was rather fond of it. Fluffy pirate shirt (vintage! I've had it since the 80s), Victorian-length corset with old-fashioned brocade pattern and cool "fish net" accents, a green taffeta skirt over copper-colored crinolines (visible via clip-on skirt-lifters), and a muted-orange bustle over a bustle-pillow for extra "oomph." And boots. Always boots -- my knee-high Fluevog jobbies with the buckles across the toes. And don't forget the pirate hat! I got one that I tricked out with starfish, sand dollars, sea horses, and fake seaweed.
► Lastly I leave the floor open to you, is there anything you'd like to say to the current and potential readers of your book(s)?
CP: Thanks so much for reading this interview, and if you haven't picked up Boneshaker yet, I hope you'll consider it. And if you read it, I hope you enjoy it :)
Many abundant thanks to Cherie Priest for taking the time between deadlines to chat with me. She was a wonderful interviewee!
If you would like to know more about the author and her published novels as well as upcoming releases, visit her at the following:
» Website ● The Clockwork Century ● Twitter
» Purchase BONESHAKER:
Amazon | Book Depository | B&N
» And don't forget to check out her other books!:
Dreadful Skin (2007)
Those Who Went Remain There Still (2009)
Four and Twenty Blackbirds (2005)
Wings To The Kingdom (2006)
Not Flesh Nor Feathers (2007)
Remember - Be sure to check back tomorrow for a surprise! :)