Book Whispers (AKA me) is honored to have Theresa Meyers here to talk about her latest book, The Hunter. It a Steampunk novel. Not quite sure about my readers, but I know I’m pretty new to the genre myself. In fact, I’ve only added a few titles to my TBR pile. Always meaning to take the plunge into this new exciting genre.
After interviewing Meyers I can say I’m really eager to get into the genre—especially her book which I will be reviewing later on.
Book Whispers: In your own words introduce yourself.
Theresa Meyers: Hi, I’m Theresa Meyers. I write paranormal stories that invite you to embrace the unknown. I started writing my first novel when I was 17, but it took me 20 years to become a multi-published author. In between I worked as a florist, a hotel props and décor designer and public relations executive. I’m a bit of a nut about books, partly because I was raised by a true bibliophile. My mother didn’t care if we had a dining room or not, so she filled it with bookcases and we had a library instead. I live on a mini farm in the Pacific Northwest with my family, a menagerie of pets and an out of control herb garden. I like my tea with milk and sugar and my favorite television shows are Supernatural (Dean girl!) and Grimm. Currently I write for three different publishers, creating vampire and werewolf stories for Harlequin Nocturne in my Sons of Midnight mini series, writing paranormal steampunk for Zebra and crafting dark fae urban fantasy stories for my Shadow Sister series for Entangled Publishing. If you’re looking to find me online I’m often on twitter at Theresa_Meyers, Facebook at TheresaMeyersAuthor, or you can find me at www.theresameyers.com.
Book Whispers: What made you decide to take your three demon hunting brothers—Winchester, Remington and Colt—into a steampunk world instead of our everyday modern world?
Theresa Meyers: When I originally came up with the Jackson brothers in 1998 I knew they were set in the 1880s American West. I knew the eldest brother Winchester was a lawman, the middle brother Remington an attorney and the youngest, Colt, an outlaw. What I didn’t realize at the time was what held these brothers who were so different together. It wasn’t until I started writing paranormal romances, that I realized they were all paranormal Hunters. I could have just left it at that, but then my imagination really kicked into gear and I thought how cool it would be if they had really outrageous inventions/weapons courtesy of their own James Bond-style “Q”. A friend who could act as tech genius behind their specialized hunting gear. It wasn’t until I started looking to see where this story might fit in the historical market that I realized there was actually a name for this kind of thing – steampunk!
Book Whispers: What exactly are the “Darkin” in your book? What kind of mythology inspired them and the name?
Theresa Meyers: Darkin are the collective name for all the supernaturals in my story world. Vampires, demons, shape shifters, naiads, rock monsters, hell hounds – as long as it’s a paranormal being, it’s considered Darkin. Believe it or not there’s an entire history behind the Legion of Hunters that you only hear about or catch glimpses of in the books themselves. Three brothers in the dark ages split the Book of Legend apart to keep it from falling into the hands of the Darkin that were threatening humanity. The Book is kind of a compendium of all Hunter knowledge – how to fight or kill all kinds of supernatural beings. When it was split apart Hunters in certain parts of the globe only learned what was in the piece of the Book which was used in their training. The name Darkin itself refers to children of the night = dark kin.
Book Whispers: Honestly a cowboy on a mechanical steam horse is beyond awesome and I know that has to be my favorite steampunk “gadgetry” from this book. What are some of your favorite steampunk gadgetry featured in The Hunter.
Theresa Meyers: Tempus, Colt’s mechanical horse is my favorite too! Some of the other technology I really enjoyed was Colt’s sting shooter (also on the cover) which is really a steampunk version of a taser powered by a Tesla coil. I also found the dynamic killing machine harbored in the Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine to be fun to write.
Book Whispers: Lilly is a succubus that Colt summons over to help him get across some arcane boundaries to battle the baddies. What makes her different from the other succubus ladies out there featured in other books?
Theresa Meyers: Lillity (Lilly) Arliss wasn’t a succubus to start with. She was a girl with an abusive grafter father, who sold her soul to protect her little sister – and rid them both of her father. Lilly also happens to be a big fan of the stories in Darkin lore of the Chosen (a prophecy every one believes refers to Winchester, Remington and Colt). She’s got almost a case of hero worship about Colt to start with, before she ever meets him in person. Combined together, Lilly isn’t your typical succubus. Sexy, yes. Smart, yes. But pleased to rip the souls from the men she seduces? No. It’s just a job to her that she’d rather not have and she’s looking for a way out. Like the rest of us, she just wishes she could have a normal life.
Book Whispers: The first book in the The Legend Chronicles—The Hunter—features Colt as the first brother for the lead. Assuming that each brother will get a book, do you have plans to have more books in the series focusing on other characters?
Theresa Meyers: LOL. Good question. Yes, each brother will have his own book, and there are currently plans for a novella featuring the inventor Marley Turlock. Beyond that I’m brainstorming ideas, but the continuation of this world is really dependent on how well the series is received so the publisher will want to keep it going.
Book Whispers: Now I have to ask how what decided you on naming the three brothers after guns? (Which is so badass!)
Theresa Meyers: Thanks! You know I wish I had a good answer for that. Really that’s just how they came to me – three boys named after their father’s favorite guns. I knew dad was an outlaw. I knew he’d come from a prominent English family and that his father had been named Jack, and the black sheep of the family who’d run off to America. The boy’s dad had changed their family name from that of the English family to Jackson (since he was literally Jack’s son.) Sometimes ideas just show up fully formed like that where the characters come to life, sometimes it takes me a bit longer to get to know them.
Book Whispers: When you're in a writing jam, is there a particular author you look to for inspiration? One that makes you ask, "What would ‘insert author's name here’ do?"
Theresa Meyers: LOL. Yeah J.K. Rowling! No, really, there are so many authors I think, wow, how did they do that? As a writer I’m always trying to refine my process. I don’t really ever compare what I’m writing to someone else, but I do look at how they’ve built their careers, the kinds of choices they’ve made and what worked and didn’t work for them to hopefully keep from reinventing the wheel.
Book Whispers: What Steampunk books would you recommend for newbies of the genre?
Theresa Meyers: You mean besides my stuff? LOL. I absolutely love Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series. It’s fantastic! You can also try the Iron series from Meljean Brook. If you’re looking for something that’s more YA and a bit less romance, check out The Girl in the Steel Corset or Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan series. If you’d like something more heavy on the science fiction side, consider going to www.steampunkscholar.com He’s got a tremendous reading suggestion list that’s a wonderful resource.
Theresa Meyers: Ooo. Now that’s difficult. I like the vampires I write for Nocturne, but if it came down to Edward vs. Jacob, I’m all about Team Jacob. The werewolves just seem more emotional and human to me and that animalistic quality, where it’s pure instinct makes for a great alpha hero.
Book Whispers: Go wild! Let us know something funny about you, share something that's on your mind, or anything else that's important about your books.
Theresa Meyers: I’m the kind of person who gets creative in multiple ways. I don’t just write. I can fruits and veggies, jams and soups. I make homemade blackberry wine from the bushes that grow practically everywhere around here. I like to read, sew and paint, dance, bake and have tea with my non-writer friends who help get me grounded. When I’m not plunked down in front of a keyboard, I’m usually serving as the taxi for my kids or volunteering at the school or in my community. Most people are really surprised to learn that I’m dyslexic and couldn’t really even read until third grade. It just goes to show your passion isn’t defined by difficulty. It’s all in how badly you want to do something. I collect teddy bears and teapots and recently have discovered a love of all kinds of steampunk hats. I’m married to t he man I went to the PROM with and I knew he was hero material when he suffered through having my little brother squashed in between us in the back seat while my parents drove. (What can I say? They were uber strict.) We’ve been together nearly 25 years so sometimes true love does happen when you’re a teen. I hope you enjoy the introduction to my steampunk world in The Hunter and look forward to seeing more of it in The Slayer, coming out April 2012.
Book Whispers: Again big thanks to Theresa Myers to take the time for an interview! Definitely starting to see the appeal of Steampunk! (After all the hats are amazing!)
The Hunter by Theresa Myer
The Legend Chronicles, book one
They're the Chosen—Winchester, Remington and Colt—brothers trained to hunt down supernatural beings using the latest steam-powered gadgetry. It's a hard legacy to shoulder, and it's about to get a lot more dangerous...
A Devil Of A Job
Colt Jackson has gotten his name on many a wanted poster with success in the family business: hunting supernaturals across the frontier. Lately, though, there's a sulfur stink in the wind and the Darkin population is exploding. A rift in the worlds is appearing. To close it, Colt will have to do the unthinkable and work with a demon to pass arcane boundaries no human alone can cross.
Except when he summons his demon, he doesn't get some horned monstrosity: he gets a curvy redheaded succubus named Lilly, who's willing to make a bargain to become human again. He also gets Lilly's secret expertise on the machinations on the dark side of the rift. And her charm and cleverness help to get them out of what his silver-loaded pistol and mechanical horse can't. Of course, when all hell breaks loose, he might have to sacrifice his soul. But what's adventure without a little risk?
"Meyers puts the steam in steampunk." —Cherry Adair