1. What was the inspiration for your novel?
Back in 2011 Angela James at Carina Press put out a call for
steampunk stories for a Christmas anthology.“Wanted: One Scoundrel”, my first Bustlepunk Chronicle, became part of the anthology, “A Clockwork Christmas”. But then I found I couldn’t let the hero and heroine, Jed and Esme, go. They had more adventures to share, more romantic challenges to face. “Courting Trouble” was born.
2. When did you take up writing?
I can’t remember a time when I didn’t write – and my mum will
back me up on this. She says I would sit for ages “writing” (i.e. drawing
endless lines) before I could read or write. I also had an imaginary friend – doesn’t every writer?
3. How important is setting/place in your writing?
Vital. Setting is like another character. I have to be able to visualise how my actual characters are experiencing it, so I have to “see” it. I could spend ages just describing places, so have to be careful of that when I write.
4. Do you have a favourite character (s) in your current novel?
I love Esme and Jed, the heroine and hero, but Mrs Ayesha Dam is a fabulous character. She emerges a little bit more with every story. She lives in Bombaytown (the fictional Indian“Chinatown” that I’ve created in Perth) and she can design anything! Without spoilers, all I can say is … this is one amazing lady.
5. What’s the best piece of writing advice you were ever given?
Practice. And it’s true. Writing is like any craft: You never stop learning. Just get those words down, revise like crazy and take on board critique partners’ and editors’ advice, apply it and keep writing.
6. Do you have a schedule for writing?
No, but I like to write in the morning if possible. I’m an early bird, and correspondingly, my brain shuts down early in the
7. Are you a plotter or someone who tends to wing it?
I’m trying to be a plotter, but I’m more of a write-myself-into-a-corner-then-try-to-escape artist!
8. Can yu name three or four of your current favuorite books?
Oh wow. So hard. Pretty much anything by Terry Pratchett. I’m also re-reading a lot of Jayne Ann Krentz’s books – she’s a romance author powerhouse. Patricia Briggs’ werewolves books are awesome, as are Ilona Andrews’ urban fantasy series starring Kate Daniels.
If I had to pick a single book, it would be Barbara Hambly’s “Bride of the Rat God” for how she brings early Hollywood to life and adds a paranormal twist. Beautiful work.
9. Can you tell me a little bit about what you are working on now?
Two more Bustlepunk Chronicles. I have to have a story set in the Goldfields and I’ve been nagged for ages by a device called the Gypsy Oracle. Both are about to get their own stories.
I’m also working on a couple of stories set in London, still steampunk, but something a bit different.
10. What advice would you give to a fledgling writer to assist them on their journey?
Don’t ever think you’re alone. Writers, readers, reviewers, editors, publishers, everyone involved in the book industry is there with you. Reach out, and join in.
The Bustlepunk Chronicles #2
Swan River Colony, Australia, 1895
All suffragette Esme Smith wants is respect. Her beau, American inventor Jed Reeve, may be more enlightened than most men, but lately his need to protect her is at odds with her need for independence. Esme begins to wonder if a modern woman can share her life with a man without losing some of herself.
With his courtship of Esme stalled, the last thing Jed needs is the pressure of saving the Prince of Wales. But when blueprints for a sonic destroyer fall into his hands, he uncovers an anarchist plot that could have deadly consequences.
While investigating the threats, Jed is determined to keep Esme out of harm’s way, despite her protests. But when the terrorists capture Jed and demand a priceless emerald in exchange for his life, it’s Esme who must draw on all her strength to save the day.
Read the reviews at Goodreads
Jenny Schwartz is an Australian author in love with living in the suburbs. What could be nicer than chatting to your neighbour over the back fence? She’s currently mis-using her history degree to write steampunk and can be bribed with TimTams.