Yet, worse is to come. The naive young inventor and the lovely intellectual find themselves fighting not only to save their own lives, while concurrently coming to terms with their own budding romance, but to prevent the destruction of all life on Earth in this humourously told and poignant steampunk adventure!
I reach into the hidey hole and retrieve the small, iron-bound box. Forcing the mysterious chest inside my vest, I grab Miss Plumtartt by the hand and deliberately pull her from the chapel. Miss Plumtartt led the way in, but with my sense of direction and urgency, I have decided to lead the way out. We fly to an outside door. I hurriedly unlock it and pull.
The door opens an inch.
I put my boot to the wall and pull with strength. The door slowly opens another couple of inches, but stops. Some horrible glue-like substance holds the portal fast. A thick, sticky, organic rope-like material criss crosses the doorway in many places from the outside and refuses to let the door be swung inward. We can hear rapid movement outside and upon the house. A frenetic and freakish scuttling resounds through the old stones as something big scurries about the mansion with inconceivable speed. Dashing to the front entry hall, the way we came in just a few minutes prior, we find the exit in the same condition as the other door. The thick sticky ropes hold the great double doors shut against us. I ram my shoulder into the barrier in an attempt to force it open, but it stubbornly refuses me. It is amazing, and impossible to conceive, but something has bottled us up in the house. We have been wrapped up like a Russian papoose in only a few short minutes. Taking up a heavy bust (that of King George III, I think) and with a running start, I heave the weighty object through a window. Impossibly, it sticks, halfway through. The marbled Imperial Monarch appears to sputter, 'what? what? what?' as he realizes himself in such an undignified and strange position. The windows are sealed against us.
We hear the sounds of something heavy enter an upstairs hallway. Something big has come through the open aperture of the stained glass window Miss Plumtartt told me about. I put on my 'Green Beauties.' The rapid and terribly stout tapping of impossibly fast footfalls quickly reveals our antagonist.
I blanch and nearly falter at the sight. Bigger than a grand piano, is our uninvited guest. This creature is very different than the crustacean from evening last. Putting a few of his too many legs on the upstairs rail, the grotesque aberration looks down upon us. Several clusters of eyes, much like bunches of grapes, seem to spin with happy and dizzy thoughts of yummy consumption. Many pairs of slathering mandibles work and click in fevered expectation.
What appears to be an enormous, slavering Black Widow spider props itself up on the rail of the landing. It looks down upon us with delight, for all the world like some horrific family pet. Despite the creature's bloated size, it leaps to the ceiling of the grand entrance hall, scurries across the wide expanse, and drops its bloated weight upon us.
Hi Ichabod. Welcome to the FSFN interview throne. I've been looking forward to meeting you after our fun chats about your writing.
Ichabod: Thanks for conducting the interview Kaz! I really appreciate it!
You're welcome. Although that excerpt from 'A Matter of Temperance' with the massive spider has shaken me up a little. Eeeek!
OK, down to business ...Why did you start writing and what made you choose the steampunk / paranormal genre?
I am an accidental author. I have an extensive background in Martial Arts and Professional Wrestling. This led me to coming into contact with some local indie
What's the basic plot of your book?
*Boy fights monsters to save the world and get the girl. There, that's it in a nutshell. I have themes to the books, in that with the first book, I battle Lovecraftian creatures, and in the second, megalomaniacal power mad tyrants. The third book is an homage to 'War of the Worlds'. The fourth is a tribute to Sherlock Holmes. The fifth book is my vampire study. The sixth will be my zombie book. These are all humorous, though thrilling tales. Oh, and the monsters are big. So far, every book finishes with a Godzilla sized monster to contend with.
There sounds like a great variety to your book themes. It must be fun to write.
Which scene from your book do you like best and why?
* I can track a steady improvement and development of style with each novel. I like to have funny sound effects. I like to play with the fonts. I like to give my characters funny accents. One thing that I am proud of in my writing is my fight scenes. I do not like violence and the books get progressively less violent as they go, but my fight scenes get much better. A funny thing that I have developed, is rhythms in the books. The zombie book has lots of singing, and a little dancing. The scenes I like best, though, are my tearjerkers. I do not kill off loved charcters just to make the reader cry. I like for a few scenes to be so poignant, sweet, and touching that they might get the reader to pool up a little.
How do you develop your characters? Have you used any real people in your characters?
* Ha, ha! Well, if I use real people, the character is already developed! That's what I do! I put my friends in my books. It is so much easier if I can imagine my friends in the particular role, to bring that character to life. Many are my friends that I have made on the internet. Watch out, Kaz, you might be next!
That would be awesome, thanks Icky. I hope I can bring my golden dragon with me.
Which one of your characters would you like to be?
* I would be the author, silly. Ichabod Temperance, Consulting Protagonist.
Doh, I was asking or that one, hey? Haha
Have you used any real events or places as inspiration for your writing?
* Yes! I live in Irondale, which is an outlying town of Birmingham. I was born here and have been a lifelong Birminghamster. A major landmark in this city is an old iron plant in the center of the city, Sloss Furnaces. In the third book, Martian invaders burn Birmingham to the ground and capture the Sloss Furnace, turning the metal producing plant to their insidious intents.
* Each book has its own theme song. Every book but the first has a bit of singing, but as previously mentioned, the sixth book has lots of singing. To answer your question, though, I will say that the second books theme song is 'Immigrant's Song' by Led Zeppelin.
How did you go about developing your cover artwork?
* When I was writing the first book, and it was still a blog, a friend of mine from the Steampunk Empire', Wolfgang Metzger, did a silhouette of myself and Miss Plumtartt. I have always had a soft spot for silhouettes! When we decided to cram the blogs into a book, I asked him if I could use the images on the cover. I gave those to a friend of mine that does graphics work. I did not know it at the time, but we had a theme going. Now I just tell Mr. Metzger the sort of silhouette I want and then I send it to my graphics guy, the obstreperous Sergeant Turk. And yes, they both appear frequently in the books.
It sounds like intriguing names are par for the course with you Steampunk types! What's your favourite line from a book?
* May I quote myself? "T'was the hand of fate that brought miss Plumtartt and me together, for in truth, we have been happenstance stricken and adventure prone ever since'.
Sounds like a match made in Steampunk heaven ...aww.
Who would you choose to read your audiobook?
James Earl Jones!
Yes, that would be great.
Thanks so much for stopping by Icky. It has been great fun.
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