Thursday, December 11, 2014

Interview with steampunk/fantasy author Steven VS

Welcome, Readers.

Steven VS is in the hot seat today. He’s in the midst of a virtual book tour with Goddess Fish Promotions for his steampunk fantasy novel The Kingdom Lights. The book is appropriate for late middle grade and early young adult readers.

During his tour, Steven will be awarding one randomly drawn winner with a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit his other tour stops and enter there, too!

Steven is a resident of the sleepy coastal town of Bexhill, East Sussex, England. He graduated in the summer of 2013 from the University of Southampton with a bachelor of medicine degree and a master’s degree in global health from Sussex University – where he spent the majority of his time in Shawcross writing his debut novel, The Kingdom Lights.

In between writing and dreaming, Steven is a medical doctor and has worked at the University Hospital of North Straffordshire and the Princess Royal where he fights the system with quirky lanyards.

Welcome, Steven. Tell us about your latest release.
Steampunk middle grade about a boy and a long history of civil war. I thought about this a great deal and I realized something. I never set out to write a children’s story, but the way the story was, it was the only thing that made sense. I think that’s how you should approach writing – think about the story, then decide how to present it, not the other way around.

Blurb about The Kingdom Lights.
In a world where cities float, airships sail the skies and mythical creatures are summoned in a pinch, Celes Vale is distinctly average. Living in the shadow of his talented cousin and his powerful aunt and uncle, Celes is resigned to a future of soot, factories and well, more soot.

But on the night of his twelfth birthday everything changes. A blinding light, a whispered voice and in an instant Celes becomes the first ordinary child in history to develop magic, sending him on a fast-track ticket to the greatest of the floating cities, Gardarel. Boasting grand, elegant buildings wrought from shimmering white stone, the entire city appears as though it has been built from light, and so it has come to be called the Kingdom Lights.

Though some welcome Celes, others want the dirt-ridden up-start off their city preferably head first. Nowhere is this clearer than in the attitude and actions of the beautiful and haughty Lady Ban and her sneering nephew, Marcus Blackwood. But Blackwood, with his gang of goons and unimaginative one-liners, is soon the least of Celes’s problems.

With a little magic and a lot of detective work, Celes and his group of Scurriers and Wisps unravel the dark truth behind Lady Ban s prim, perfect smile an alliance to the villainous Wardens and the masked man who leads them. However, in his attempt to expose Lady Ban, Celes unwittingly stumbles onto an even darker conspiracy a plan that could lead to the complete destruction of Gardarel itself.

What have you got coming soon for us to look out for? My steampunk middle grade novel The Kingdom Lights. I’ve always thought about it as a very adult story told through a child’s eyes, which I don’t think is done very often. I hope you like it!

Excerpt from The Kingdom Lights:
With his immaculately polished shoes, carefully preened suit and even more carefully preened moustache Jaime Milton was the last person one would expect in the sooty factory city of Midgard. His father, Lord Milton, Sr., a great wobbly man with fat flapping fingers like purple bananas was a close second.

It was a brilliant June morning and the city of Floating City of Midgard was alight with life. Jaime walked through the weathered cobblestone streets and watched as houses flung their windows and doors open, lapping in the sunlight. Jaime had not been here for two years and yet the City of Factories was exactly as he had remembered; there were rows of homes huddled together, tightly packed into the little street as high rising billows of smoke sailed into the sky. The cobblestones of rose-tinged granite underfoot were boisterous and uneven and Jaime had to be extra careful so as not to fall over as racing children zoomed past, chasing one another furiously through the street. Some were covered in soot whilst others were rosy clean but, he noted, all were breathless.

Jaime Milton couldn’t help but smile.

“What are you smirking about?” barked Lord Milton, Sr. as his son pushed him through the streets in a beautiful silvery wheelchair.

“Just thinking about the first time I came to Midgard,” replied Jaime. “It was a…”

“I didn’t ask!” announced Lord Milton, Sr., brandishing his polished walking cane. “Always answering questions I didn’t ask! And stop your smiling! There’s no reason to smile!”

What song would you choose for Karaoke?
Either Don’t Stop Believing by Journey, or Night Moves by the legendary Bob Seger.

Which Star Trek or Star Wars character are you most like?
Good question. Do you remember the little Sullustian who was with Lando when they blew up the Death Star 2? He was so negative about things, but then was so happy when they won! He is so underrepresented in the Star Wars universe. He needs a bigger shout.

Who would you least like to be stranding on a desert island with? Why?
I would hate to be stranded with Amelia Cutts. She ruined my elective by joining me and my friends in Cuba for four weeks and it was a nightmare. She complained about everything!


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Rita Wray said...

Great excerpt, thank you. By the way I love Bob Seger, great music.

MomJane said...

What a fascinating excerpt. This sounds like a really great story.

bn100 said...

interesting blurb