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Emma Jane Holloway and a Study in Steampunk

The wonderful Emma Jane Holloway has popped over to Entice and given us a little lesson in steampunk! She was also kind enough to introduce her series, The Baskerville Affair, to all her new readers in the UK!

‘These novels are mad science, romance and swaggering adventure wrapped up in silks and leather . . .’

Um, where do we sign up?!?!

Greetings and felicitations to all the fine readers at Entice! I’ve been asked to introduce my books and to say a little bit about the wonderful, crazy, spectacular steampunk genre . . .

My goodness, where to begin? These novels are mad science, romance and swaggering adventure wrapped up in silks and leather. They’re about inventors, air pirates and desperate rebellion. It’s a type of fantasy literature that has its roots in the classics of nineteenth-century literature such as Jules Verne and Mary Shelley, but in the hands of modern writers it has grown into one of the most exciting and individualistic fantasy genres around.

Every work of steampunk literature is unique, but most will include futuristic technology set in the past, such as airships, steam power or fabulous clockwork inventions. Although many of these books are set in the Victorian period, that’s not a hard and fast rule. In fact, rules seem to be few and far between, and the stories cross genres with cheerful abandon!

Keep in mind that steampunk isn’t just about books – there are musicians, performance artists, craftspeople, scholars, interior decorators and costumers who’ve taken the steampunk aesthetic off the page and made it into something far larger. If you love the stories, there’s plenty to explore.

My interpretation of steampunk is captured in the Baskerville Affair trilogy. The story begins in the fashionable ballrooms of Mayfair with my heroine, Evelina Cooper, an orphan on the brink of her first Season. Her family history has left her caught between social worlds. Her father’s people are circus performers and magic users and her mother was the sister of Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes. Evelina has inherited the Cooper talent for magic – highly illegal and punishable by death – as well as an aptitude for science and mechanics – highly inappropriate for young ladies of quality. Fortunately, Evelina is smart enough to keep her cards close and her inventions closer.

From page one, events just get more and more complicated. Evil magic is afoot. Romantic suitors are underfoot. Almost at once there is a murder, and Evelina’s friends – present during the unfortunate event – are at great risk if Uncle Sherlock starts picking apart their family secrets. No heroine worth her salt is going to sit by and let others flounder, so Evelina dives in.

A Study in Silks tells the story of Evelina’s entry into the world of intrigue, politics and deception. Danger increases in A Study in Darkness, which takes her into the terrifying world of Jack the Ripper. Events finally come to a head in A Study in Ashes, which takes the characters into a conflict that threatens the Empire itself.

Do we see the Hound of the Baskervilles in these pages? Of course. We also have a prince, automatons, sorcerers, sundry pirates, talking mice, a large mechanical caterpillar, castles, ballrooms and untimely ends. This is a fantasy, with a big canvas and many colours. Evelina, her best friend and the two young men who begin the tale as her suitors all have their own stories to tell and their personal demons to slay. Each will be tested to their limits. Nothing – not even their humanity – is guaranteed.

I truly hope you’ll enjoy reading these stories as much as I loved writing them. Please drop me a line or find me on Facebook – I love hearing from readers!

The Baskerville Affair series is out on Entice August 7th 2014!