Thursday, 8 December 2016

Coffee chat with Aussie author of steampunk fiction, Felicity Banks

Welcome!

Aussie indie authors have been visiting my virtual café for the past two months. and the support has been amazing! Some of the books have been set in Australia and some overseas. Today's coffee chat is with an author of a steampunk novel set in Australia, Felicity Banks.

Felicity is a Canberra based author, and she also writes a lot of interactive fiction which is something I've never ever attempted and wouldn't know how to do.


DL: Firstly, since this a virtual coffee chat, how do you have your coffee? Are you a morning or afternoon person?

FELICITY: What an unfortunate beginning! I loathe and despise coffee—even the smell. So you can keep your coffee to yourself rather than wasting it on me (which does at least simplify one's attempt to email hot beverages). As a steampunk author I should at least appreciate tea, but even that is beyond me. I do drink tea sometimes, but only the sweet, hot, black tea that I associate with travelling in Indonesia.

No, this isn't Felicity. It is one of her publicists.
DL: I love the idea that a steampunk novel is set in the Victorian Gold Rush era. It just goes together like vegemite and toast. How far off is Book 2, and how many books do you plan in this series?

FELICITY: Absolutely! Apart from anything else, children born in Australia in the 1800s still absolutely considered themselves to be British. Of course my own characters have quite different opinions about who they are.

Book 2 will hopefully arrive by September 2017 but no promises! There will be three books altogether.
Another one of Felicity's publicists.
DL: You write a lot of interactive 'choose your own adventure' fiction. Did an understanding of what readers want help with writing Heart Of Brass?

FELICITY: I wrote "Heart of Brass" several years ago, before discovering interactive fiction. Print books take a lot longer to... well, to print... than digital, so the publication order of my steampunk tales is all over the place. In fact right now I'm writing "Choices: And Their Souls Were Eaten" (which is a serial story hidden inside the "Choices: And The Sun Went Out" phone app on itunes/android) which is set before all the others, in 1837-8 Europe. I like to think that the main character of "Choices: And Their Souls Were Eaten" is a relative of Emmeline Muchamore, but either story is an excellent starting point.

DL: You also work at a games store. Is writing for the gaming industry something you've considered? Or is it just as difficult to break into that market as is it for authors to break into the publishing industry?
 
FELICITY: It IS hard to break into the gaming industry, but not as hard as breaking into publishing. Gaming requires learning writing systems, and that puts off a lot of people—which is handy for the rest of us.

DL: Steampunk translates so well into visual medium. If Heart Of Brass was a movie, who would you see starring in the lead roles? Or would you prefer to see it made into a video game?

FELICITY: I'd want the casting to be Australian, especially for the Aboriginal Australian characters. I don't really play video games (only text-based games) so I'd want it to be a movie. I think by law that means the actors would need to be taken from "Home and Away".
 
(DL adds: I love this Home and Away answer. It's an Aussie in-joke, very funny if you're 'in the know'). 

DL: And last question, what is your favourite biscuit and/or cake at the moment?

FELICITY: Ooh, tough question. Either pavlova or home-made choc chip cookies (the dough is always the best part). Great. Now I'm hungry. I'll expect some raw cookie dough in my email inbox any moment now.

 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Will the real Felicity Banks please stand up, or sit down in this case.
Felicity Banks is a Canberra author specialising in fantasy and interactive fiction, including several Choose Your Own Adventure-style stories that take place in the same magical steampunk universe as Heart of Brass. All her interactive fiction is listed under “Felicity Banks” at http://ifdb.tads.org and most of her interactive fiction can be read as an app.
 
Heart of Brass is her thirteenth completed novel, her third novel accepted for publication, and her first novel to be published.

 
ABOUT THE BOOK

 
Emmeline Muchamore is a well-bred young lady hiding explosive family secrets. She needs to marry well, and quickly, in order to keep her family respectable. But when her brass heart malfunctions, she makes a desperate choice to steal the parts she needs to repair it and survive.

She is unable to explain her actions without revealing she has a steam-powered heart, so she is arrested for theft and transported to Victoria, Australia – right in the midst of the Gold Rush.

 Now that she’s escaped the bounds of high society, iron manacles cannot hold her for long.

The only metal that really matters is gold.

 
CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR
 

BUY THE BOOKS

You can also buy interactive fiction HERE

Thanks so much for stopping by Felicity. Get busy writing and let me know when Book 2 is out.
 
And thanks to all the readers who support such a great campaign of promoting Aussie authors.

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