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.
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!
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 **
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