Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Debut Author Interview + Giveaway: Kristin Bailey (author of Legacy of the Clockwork Key)

This interview is part of the Debut Author edition of the TALKING WITH THE STARS feature on Bookcase to Heaven™. This is a feature that doesn't appear on schedule, it arrives without warning like the Circus.

Today, we have with us Kristin Bailey-- a Young Adult author whose novel, LEGACY OF THE CLOCKWORK KEY, debuts March 5th 2013 from Simon & Schuster. 


Kristin Bailey grew up in the middle of the San Joaquin Valley in California. As a kid she enjoyed visiting the beach, camping and skiing with her two brothers. 

Now she is a military wife and mother of two young children. She is also terrible about spoiling her pets. She has one fluffy mutt, two cats who think they own the world, and a fish tank with some really plump little fish and a pair of snails who are secretly ninja assassins.

In the course of her adventures, she has worked as a zookeeper, balloon artist, and substitute teacher. Now she enjoys writing books for teens who enjoy mystery and adventure as much as she does. 


Find her on Twitter, Facebook and her official site.





Now, onto the really really interesting interview:


Hello Kristin! I'm going to not post the blurb of LEGACY first and have you describe it to us :)

[Aside] Um, guys, you can find the blurb when you scroll all the way down. But, you can read the interview first and see what Kristin has in store for us!


YOUR BOOK 

Describe your book to us in seven words. 


How to have fun with mad inventors.


Tell the readers, why should we read LEGACY?


I wrote Legacy of the Clockwork Key because I wanted to explore my own take on my very favorite classic book structure.  I've always wanted to tell the story of a character that is swept away into a world that seems magical, beautiful, and yet dangerous all at once. That is the core of nearly every book I loved growing up, from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, to The Wizard of Oz


But more than anything, I wanted to have some fun. I had been reading and writing a lot of things that had some intensely dark themes where all the drama came from within the characters' heads or the "world" of the book felt very depressing or hopeless. I missed the excitement and thrill of unabashed adventure. If there is any one reason to read this book, it's because it is fun. Writing it was like being on a roller-coaster, and I loved every minute of it.


If you had fun writing it, I'm sure that we will have fun reading it! Moving on, Steampunk is still an unfamiliar genre amongst the Young Adult books, but it's slowly gaining ground. Tell us about the Steampunk subculture through your eyes. 


I love Steampunks, I really do. I have this utter fascination with people who spend their time and energy making gorgeous intricate mechanical designs for things you'd never imagine as mechanical structures. If this book is an ode to anything, it is a tribute to that unrestrained spirit of invention.  I often imagine the inventors in my story as modern Steampunks if you could take them through a time machine and have them set up shop in Victorian London, with no limit to their genius or knack for creating something extraordinary.


For as much as I love Steampunks, a lot of Steampunk books and stories can be a little overwhelming. It's one thing to wrap your head around a concept of Victorian era Science Fiction, it's a lot more difficult for the average person to jump into stories of entire alternate histories that may or may not actually be Earth with legions of airships doing battle against a mechanically enhanced army of zombies, with witches, demons, vampires and ray-guns thrown in for good measure.


While I enjoy reading hard-core Steampunk, I really wanted to try to keep things a little more simple than that. So the Catch 22 that I find myself in is that many people are quick to peg Legacy of the Clockwork Key as Steampunk, but I'm not sure how it will be received by the Steampunk community that inspired it. I accept that many people in the community will find the story not as involved with these more encompassing Steampunk tropes as other books out there.


The one thing that can be taken away from all of this, is that if you are a reader and find Steampunk intimidating, confusing, or just a little overwhelming, this book may be a good one to dip your toes into the Steampunk world. It takes place in true to our history Victorian London and there are no magical or paranormal elements like vampires or zombies.


It is just a story about some half-mad inventors and the crazy things they came up with, with some murder and mystery thrown in. If there is one thing I do hope for, it's that the Steampunks who do read it marvel at the inventions, even if they lament the lack of an alternate history.


Wow, now I really am looking forward to the inventions that will make an appearance in this book! So, which character did you enjoy writing the most? Tell us about him/her. 


My favorite character in the book is a man named Oliver who serves as a mentor/older brother type to the heroine, Meg.  While the "world" of this secret order of inventors is a mystery to our heroine, Oliver is the embodiment of everything that is witty, wild, and cool about the Amusementists.  I have a crazy soft-spot for the chap, but he takes the lead by only a hair. I love all my characters, even the villains. They feel so real to me.


Why choose to set your books in the Victorian era? 


The Victorian era was a natural choice for so many reasons. First of all, so many of those classic books I read as children that I loved so much came from Victorian writers. Setting that type of story outside of the Victorian era can certainly be done *cough, Harry Potter, cough*, but I suppose I wanted to embrace the legacy of those books by bringing my story back to those roots.


Second, I needed a time period that was enthralled by invention. In the modern era we take a lot of the magic of our technology for granted. My phone is a more capable computer than a lot of the technology that put a man on the moon, and it fits in my pocket. And yet, I hardly ever stop to marvel at it. I wanted to set the story in a time period where it seemed natural to feel that technology is no different that magic.  After the first World War, that innocence was lost, I'm afraid.


And finally, I wanted to set the story in an era that was marked by both decadence and restraint, because the push and pull of those two desires is delicious especially when a love story is involved.


Oh my, that's totally true *looks at my Android phone in a new light*. I suppose that's the magic of the era-- when invention is as thrilling as magic itself!

What is one song that can best represent the central theme/relationship in your novel? 


I am really terrible at this game. I don't process auditory information well through my brain, so pinning down music is really difficult for me. I have found as I have been writing that many Mumford and Sons songs seem to fit the mood and themes of these books.




YOU 


What are your favourite movie(s), favourite book(s) and favourite song(s)?

I love movies, all types of movies, cheesy ones, action ones, cheesy action ones and pretty much everything else except horror.  I have no love for slasher flicks. I recently cried my brains out for Les Miserables. I thought The Hobbit was fun, and I adore Disney movies.


Lord of the Rings probably takes the cake though.


Frankenstein is my favorite book, and songs are difficult for me, but Pride by U2 is up there.


Me too! I totally adore all sorts of movies :) I cried buckets for Les Miserables and thought that The Hobbit was a better movie than Lord of the Rings (many of my friends wanted to kill me for that statement). 



Do you believe in true love?


I don't believe in true love as if it is an entity outside of myself. I believe I love truly. Love is a verb after all.  It's not something that happens to you, it's something that you actively do. The trick is finding someone worthy of your very best love, and earning their love in return. Right now, I do have that, and it is wonderful, but I can't ever take it for granted. Love, like a garden, needs tending.


Lucky you, Kristin! I'm still waiting for my nerd in shining armour :) Now, who is your favourite fictional character of all time?  


Captain Jack Sparrow. I can't help it but I love him.



Okay, that's it, guys. I'm officially the No. 1 fan of Kristin Bailey. How can I not love someone who loves Lord of the Rings, writing AND Captain Jack Sparrow? 


Thank you so much for being here today, Kristin! I absolutely cannot wait till your book hits the the stores and legions of fans come knocking at your door (Sel loses herself in her own rhyming session). 


*

BLURB



A teen girl unravels the mysteries of a secret society and their most dangerous invention in this adventure-swept romance set in Victorian London.

When a fire consumes Meg’s home, killing her parents and destroying both her fortune and her future, all she has left is the tarnished pocket watch she rescued from the ashes. But this is no ordinary timepiece. The clock turns out to be a mechanical key—a key that only Meg can use—that unlocks a series of deadly secrets and intricate clues that Meg is compelled to follow.

Meg has uncovered evidence of an elite secret society and a dangerous invention that some will stop at nothing to protect—and that Meg alone can destroy. Together with the handsome stable hand she barely knows but hopes she can trust, Meg is swept into a hidden world of deception, betrayal, and revenge. The clockwork key has unlocked her destiny in this captivating start to a trilogy.



*

GIVEAWAY (Aw, yeah!)


Kristin has also generously offered up a swag pack to one lucky winner! 

This is opened internationally, yay! Isn't she awesome? :) I'm really honoured that she did this interview with me and it just makes me grin really widely when I think about how one lucky reader will be holding this swag pack. Take a look at the contents below: 





This giveaway will end in one month's time, on the day Legacy of the Clockwork Key is released.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

More interviews under the Debut Author edition will be coming soon :) 


xoxo,
Sel

P.S. For those who are Chinese, happy Chinese New Year in advance!


55 comments:

  1. Thank you for the awesome giveaway, especially since it's international! <3 I've read a couple steampunk novels and really liked the concept, something spunky and new. Also, the Doctor's TARDIS is steampunk heaven!

    Inx from Inklings of two Booklings (http://www.inklingsoftwobooklings.blogspot.com/)

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    1. International giveaways rock, don't they? :) Steampunk is a relatively new genre for YA, but so far, I've been loving every book it churns out (e.g. Kady Cross' novels). Spunky stuff happening in the Victorian era just makes me squeal!

      Ooh, I've never heard of TARDIS :) I'll have to go check that out!

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  2. I think Steampunk is on the verge. All I know is that it was a lot of fun to "invent" the different inventions in the story. I took the easy way out though. I didn't have to get an engineering degree.

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    1. Haha :D In fiction, you can do anything without having to commit yourself to the intricacies required in real life ;) Looking forward to those inventions!

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  3. I haven't read any steampunk novels yet but I have purchased a few. Will get cracking on them soon.

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    1. You sure won't regret starting on the genre!

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  4. Thank you for sharing the interview! I like characters that feel real and I think I'll enjoy reading the book. Like you, Sel, I don't think I'll view my smartphone in the same way ever again. Happy Chinese New Year and thank you for the giveaway :-)

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    1. You're welcome, Henrietta! Characters make or break a book, and real ones do wonders :)

      A good book makes you do a double take on stuff! Happy CNY to you too :D

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  5. Woohoo for Steampunk! I've read The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross and its sequel, The Girl in the Clockwork Collar. The second one is better than the first, and I cannot wait to read the third! Also, I've read Incarceron and its sequel Sapphique, and those two were very good. And if the Infernal Devices count, then those as well :)

    Thank you for the interview and giveaway!

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    1. Wow! That's quite a bunch :) I've read The Girl in the Steel Corset and just bought Incarceron. Infernal devices has only a tiny bit of steampunk inside, but it does count ;)

      Thanks for sharing!

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  6. I'm terrible, but I have not read either Kady Cross or the Infernal Devices, mostly because when the books came out I was drafting this one, and I wanted to keep myself free from influences on my own writing, but now that I'm wrapping up writing on the trilogy, I'll have to check them out.

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    1. That's all the better! This means that LEGACY would be as different as it can be from the other steampunk novels :) Can't wait!

      Looks like you will have to start on those books soon, they're not be missed ;)

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  7. I wish I win these! *crossed fingers

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    1. May the odds be ever in your favour!

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  8. I love Steampunk novels! The only one I have read was Incarceron and it's sequel Sapphique, but it solidified my love for steampunk. And I can't believe it! This one has been on my list and it's getting a giveaway both here and GR! I hope I win!

    And thank you for hosting this awesome giveaway!

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    1. Yikes, I can't believe I haven't read Incarceron yet though I have it on my shelf :< Haha, glad I spotlighted a book you were anticipating!

      You're welcome :) I had loads of fun doing this interview!

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    2. P.S. HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR! I'm not Chinese (Vietnamese actually) but we still celebrate it. GO RECEIVING MONEY!!! XD

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    3. HAPPY CNY TO YOU TOO! I'm receiving loads of angpaos this year :D I didn't know you are Vietnamese! I'm Chinese and this festival is the most important one of the year :)

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  9. I'm not a big fan of steampunk, but the author sounds nice! :D

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    1. Yeah, she is! :D Has this interview made you a fan?

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  10. And happy Chinese new year! :D

    PS you still owe me jellybeans

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    1. Happy CNY! ;)

      PS just passed it to you today

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  11. I'm so excited to read this book! I feel like I've been waiting for it forever, and can't believe it's almost here! Thanks for a great interview -- and the coolest name EVER for a heroine! :)

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    1. Lol :D I just realized that the protagonist of both books (this and Maid of Secrets) are called Meg!


      I've been waiting for this book for ages too! But I got accepted on Edelweiss for this (lucky me):)

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  12. Victorian Era <3 combined with steampunk, so awesome! I'm slowly getting into the Steampunk genre and I really like it so far. I can't wait to read this book, thanks for sharing the review Sel :D And international giveaway *happy dance*

    Mel@thedailyprophecy.

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    1. Me too, steampunk has done nothing but surprise me so far! *happy dances along with you*

      I adore historical fiction so the Victorian era makes me squeal :)

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  13. Great interview!! I haven't read many steampunk books, but they sound so interesting! I'm really looking forward to reading this book. Thanks for the giveaway!

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    1. Yay, glad this interview stirred up your interest! :)

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  14. Thanks for the interview and sharing this book. I haven't read but 1 or 2 Steampunk novels, but I do like the genre and hope to read more.

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    1. I haven't read many steampunk novels either, but the genre's on the rise and I'm as excited as you :)

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    2. Definitely a rising genre. Most appear to be a spin on the Victorian era historical. I'm amazed by the detail of the storylines that the author has to put together to show the Steampunk world they have created.

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  15. I LOVE Steampunk.
    I've read quite a few, including The Girl in the Steel Corset :)

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    1. That's awesome! I've read STEEL CORSET too :) Hope you like this one too!

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  16. Yes, i read steampunk novels. I haven't read lot, because i begin read steampunk genre about four month ago, but i love it. My favorite was The Iron Duke and Kiss of Steel :)

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    1. I'll go check these two titles out :) I just begin reading steampunk too! But so far, it hasn't yet disappoint me ;)

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  17. Great Review, Selina! :D Ying Ying here!

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    1. Thanks, Ying Ying! I didn't know you ran a review blog :D

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  18. i never read YA steampunk before..but i looks great :)
    thx u...

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    1. Glad I introduced this genre to you! You're absolutely welcome :)

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    2. Awwww <3 That's so awesome of you! *hugs*

      Happy Valentine's!

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  19. I haven't read any Steampunk book yet, but I wanna try with some. I am interesting in this genre

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    1. Yes! Go ahead :) This genre is definitely going to surprise you then stun you ;)

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  20. I haven't really tried tried reading any Steampunk novel yet but I'm willing to give it a go.

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    1. Glad to hear that! You will always discover and fall in love with new genres like that :)

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  21. I have great time reading the interview, it's nice to read an interview with an author you want to know to. Well, I haven't read any steampunk novels, but I have plans like this one and the peculiar.

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    1. Hope you knew her better are this interview :) I'm planning on reading The Peculiar soon too!

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  22. I've read The Infernal Devices series by Cssandra Clare and I definitely want to keep reading more steampunk novels.

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  24. I haven't read any Steampunk novels but I want do it soon.

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  25. I didn't read any Steampunk novel but that type of history sounds really interesting that I know I will read some Steampunk novell soon.

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Wishing you lots of good books to come along your way!

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