Kasper Interviews Author E.A. Hennessy

Grigory's Gadget (The Gaslight Frontier Book 1) Kindle Edition Book Cover Grigory's Gadget (The Gaslight Frontier Book 1) Kindle Edition
The Gaslight Frontier
E. A. Hennessy
Steampunk
self-published under the imprint Emerald Owl Publications
March 12, 2016

Lodninsk, Morozhia is a frozen, industrial wasteland. Isolated by steep mountains and ruled by an authoritarian government, it isn’t anyone’s idea of home-sweet-home.

Zoya and her friends Demyan, Lilia, Anya, and Nikolai decide to leave their freezing home to start a new life. They set their sights on the tropical paradise of Mirgorod, Vernulaia, where they can study at its prestigious university while taking in the sun and sand…but nothing ever goes so smoothly.

When pirates attack their passenger ship, the friends are shanghaied and forced to be part of their crew. What’s more, the pirates have a particular interest in Zoya’s family heirloom: a small gadget of compacted wires and gears. Unsure what power the gadget holds, Zoya knows she must protect it with her life.

Trapped with pirates, caught in the struggle for the mysterious gadget, will Zoya and her friends be able to make it safely to their new home?

*****

Extract

Nikolai stared at the ceiling of the cabin, listening to Demyan and the elderly man snore. This is my luck, he thought unhappily. He rolled onto his side and picked at the golden wallpaper. Above, he heard the sound of rushed footsteps. At least I'm not the only one awake.

A few seconds later, a loud boom echoed through the ship. Nikolai felt the bed and walls shake.

“Nikolai, what are you doing?” Demyan asked sleepily. Nikolai heard a second boom, and Demyan jerked awake. “What was that?”

“I have no idea,” Nikolai said, jumping down to the floor. The girls appeared in the doorway.

“Is the ship being attacked?” Anya asked.

“Are you all alright?” Zoya added.

The elderly man stirred from his sleep.

“Sir, the ship is being attacked,” Nikolai told him, offering a hand to help him out of bed.

“Go back to sleep,” the man said grumpily. “The guards will take care of it. Silly kids.” He pulled his blanket back over his head and rolled over. Another boom sounded, and the ship shook especially hard.

“What do we do?” Lilia asked her friends. “Should we just stay in our cabins?”

“I'd say that's a good idea,” a strange voice said behind her. The girls jumped and turned around. A lean young man with dirty blond hair and blue eyes grinned at them while drawing his pistol. A multitude of necklaces hung about his neck, and his ears were dotted with golden earrings. “I suggest you go back to your cabins and hand over any valuables.”

“We don't have any valuables,” Zoya lied. The young man seemed surprised by her and stepped back eying her quizzically. It took less than a few seconds for him to compose himself. He stepped toward Zoya with his pistol aimed at her head.

“You look pretty valuable to me.” A second man with black hair and almond eyes appeared next to the first, similarly covered in gold jewelry with pistol drawn. “We're in need of more crew, right Alexi?”

“That's right, Fyodr,” Alexi, replied. “You and your friends have two minutes to grab anything you can carry. Then you're coming with us.”

“We're not going anywhere with you!” Nikolai said defiantly. Alexi stepped toward Nikolai, now pointing his pistol at Nikolai's head. Anya stepped forward, placing herself between Alexi and Nikolai.

“Two minutes,” she said, staring the pirate in the eye. He smirked, nodded, and lowered his pistol.

“Anya!” Nikolai said, glaring. Anya returned his look then turned and walked into her cabin.

“What did I tell you kids?” the elderly man growled from within Nikolai and Demyan’s cabin. Nikolai glanced back at him and stepped to block the doorway. When the man saw Alexi and Fyodr, he furrowed his brow in annoyance.

“What are you, now? Pirates?” He spat in Alexi's direction. “Bunch of lazy crooks. The guards will put you down in a second.”

“We’ve disposed of the guards already,” Alexi said. “We can dispose of you, too, old man, unless you give us whatever valuables you have.”

“Do I look like the sort who owns any valuables?” He gestured to his raggedy clothes. He wore a dingy, ill-fitting vest and a button-down shirt that may have once been white. His trousers were covered in salt stains and worn through in one knee.

“Well, if you have nothing of value, maybe we should just put you down,” Alexi said, raising his pistol and aiming at the old man.

“Don't you dare!” Nikolai shouted, rushing toward Alexi. Fyodr turned his pistol on Nikolai and drew a sword. Alexi drew his sword as well. Zoya and Demyan moved to Nikolai’s side, guarding his body with their own.

“Your two minutes are almost up,” Alexi told the group. “I'd get moving if I were you.”

“You can't just kill an innocent man!” Lilia protested. “He hasn't done anything wrong!” Fyodr sheathed his sword and grabbed Lilia by the arm, shoving her toward the girls' cabin.

“Get packing, miss!” he ordered. “This doesn't concern you!”

Zoya took the opportunity to grab for Fyodr's gun. He twisted around and slammed her into the wall, his forearm pressed against her neck. Zoya gasped and clawed at his arm. Demyan yelled and charged toward him, knocking his arm away from Zoya's throat. Alexi shot his pistol into the air.

“Enough!” he shouted.

“That's right, enough!” A third pirate appeared. This pirate was older, with scarred tan skin and black hair that was turning gray. The pinky and ring finger of his left hand were missing, as was half of the middle finger on his right. His eyes were large, and Nikolai thought he saw a kindness in them.

“Pavel,” Alexi said. His face flushed red and he lowered his pistol.

“Stop acting tough, Alexi,” Pavel said. “This old man hasn't done anything wrong, let him be. The captain is almost ready to leave.” Pavel then regarded the group of friends. “Recruiting, are we?”

“Pavel, this bunch says they have no valuables,” Fyodr said. “They look pretty valuable to me.”

“So, try not to damage them.” Pavel smirked. “Let's go. The captain is waiting.”

Pavel's presence seemed to pacify Alexi and Fyodr, who watched silently as the friends gathered their things. Nikolai and Demyan packed quickly then joined the girls in their cabin to help them. Anya, having already packed her bags, stood in the doorway and glowered at the pirates.

“Zoya, what do we do?” Lilia whispered as she fastened her suitcase.

“I don't know,” Zoya admitted. “They have guns and swords. I've got wrenches and screwdrivers. I don't think we stand a chance.”

Nikolai watched as Zoya dug out her gloves. Her shaking hands knocked her gadget out of the bag. It rolled halfway to the door before she caught it. Fyodr and Pavel weren’t looking, but Alexi saw it and looked at Zoya coolly.

“It's nothing,” Zoya muttered quickly, fumbling to hide the object.

“Put that away and hurry up,” Alexi replied. “We don't have all night.”

Author Bio

03 - Headshot 1

Author E.A. Hennessy

E. A. Hennessy is an author of fantasy and science fiction novels. Since childhood, whenever she happened upon a wishing well or other wish-granting object her wish would be the same: she wanted to go on an adventure. And so, she wrote the types of adventures on which she’d like to embark. E. A. Hennessy lives in Buffalo, NY where she works as an environmental engineer. When she isn’t writing or working, she can be found dancing and making nerdy-themed candles.

** Author Interview with E.A. Hennessy **

 

Hi E.A., It is wonderful to have you as a new member of the Fantasy Sci-Fi Network.  Welcome to our wonderful and wacky group of scribes.  I must also give you props for the beautiful photo – very classy.  We’re looking forward to hearing all about you and your steampunk novel: Grigory’s Gadget.

Which scene from your book do you like best and why?

My favorite scene is one in which the pirate ship my characters are on gets caught in a hurricane. It’s actually a scene carried over from the original story that became Grigory’s Gadget (it was called “The Necklace of Time”, and it was markedly different from Grigory’s Gadget; the main consistency between the two was the presence of pirates). I like this scene because the storm hits when tensions are already high, and the added stress of the storm creates even more conflict.

Have you used any real events or places as inspiration for your writing?

Oh yes. Where do I start? Broadly speaking, the nation of Morozhia, where my characters are from, was inspired by Soviet Russia. The ships in the novel, sidewheel steamships, were a real style of ship used from the 1700s to the early 1900s. I also based the train station at the beginning of the novel on the Central Terminal in Buffalo, New York. There are others, but I’d be getting into spoiler territory!

No spoilers, please.

That is way cool.  I had wondered how steampunk authors write their inventions which are in parts both familiar and original.

Do you have another job outside of writing?

Yes, I work full-time as an environmental engineer for a large engineering firm. I work on remediation projects (i.e. figuring out how to remove contaminants from soil, soil vapor, and/or groundwater).

A scientific job sounds the perfect cover for a lurking steampunk writer.

What music do you listen to when writing?

I listen to a lot of soundtracks and other instrumental music. My favorites for Grigory’s Gadget were the Pirates of the Caribbean soundtracks and some electro-swing music.

What are you working on now?

I’m currently working on the first draft of the sequel to Grigory’s Gadget, titled Serafima’s Stone. The sequel will actually run concurrent to Grigory’s Gadget, introducing new characters and places that will sync up by the end of Serafima’s Stone.

Ooh..great title.

How did you go about developing your cover artwork?  The cogs scream ‘steampunk.’

I did a lot of research online, looking for artists I liked and getting an idea of what price range was reasonable. I wound up finding Deranged Doctor Design and absolutely falling in love with their artwork and their value. When I contacted them, they sent me a questionnaire to fill out about my book, including a plot summary, overall tone, description of characters, etc. I really love what they came up with, and can’t wait until Serafima’s Stone is finished so they can design that too!

Cool!

Who are your five favourite authors?

Currently, my favorite authors are Clive Barker, Kurt Vonnegut, Gail Carriger, George R.R. Martin, and H.G. Wells

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?

I’m in an American Tribal Style® Belly Dance troupe called Relativity BellyDance, and take regular dance classes. When I’m feeling less active, I watch a lot of TV!

Awesome!  I’ve tried those belly rolls and they’re not easy.

What’s your favourite pet?

I’m a huge fan of parrots. They’re beautiful and adorable and full of so much personality! I had a lovebird growing up, who just passed a couple years ago.

Do you prefer ebook or hardcopy?

I was a die-hard hardcopy fan for the majority of my life, but I recently got a Kindle and have been loving ebooks ever since. I still enjoy having a physical book, but appreciate the convenience of ebooks. I suppose I’m evenly split!

** Quick quiz **

Favourite food: Chocolate peanut butter smoothie

Silliest saying: Hmm I’m not sure I have silly sayings so much as I’ll intentionally mispronounce words for fun, or put on a silly accent

Best holiday spot: Key West

Favourite song at the moment: “Fireproof” by Coleman Hell

With writing, are you a plotter or (seat-of-your) pantser? I’m generally a plotter and work best with an outline of major plot points. However, I do pants from time-to-time when I’m struggling with writers block. I also ultimately pants’d the ending of Grigory’s Gadget. I originally had an outline for the ending, but once I wrote it, it seemed contrived and anticlimactic. So, I overhauled it and let my characters lead the way!

Star Wars or Lord of the Rings: Lord of the Rings

Best superpower: Telekinesis

Number one thing to do on your bucket list: Lots and lots of traveling! The top of my travel list right now is Ireland.

 

Visiting Ireland would be fantastic.  An author friend was telling me just yesterday about some of the amazing mythologies they have there.  I hope you get there soon and have a blast.

Thanks so much E.A.  for sharing your ideas with us.  Steampunk is so hot right now.

 

Interviewed by Kasper Beaumont, author of the Hunters of Reloria fantasy series. www.huntersofreloria.weebly.com

 

** E.A. Hennessy’s Author Links **

Website: www.eahennessy.com

Blog:  www.eahennessy.wordpress.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/eahennessy

Goodreads:   www.goodreads.com/book/show/28684719-grigory-s-gadget

Twitter:  www.twitter.com/ea_hennessy

Amazon: www.amazon.com/dp/B01AXD0UI0/

Barnes & Noble: www.barnesandnoble.com/w/grigorys-gadget-e-a-hennessy/1123314615?ean=2940152591446

Smashwords:  www.smashwords.com/books/view/610196

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/grigory-s-gadget-1

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/grigorys-gadget/id1078386807

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