The road to love is paved with good inventions.
When a ghastly lab accident traps respected inventor Jasper Hamilton in the spirit world, his loyal assistant Maximilian Grün must devise a way to bridge the gap between the planes of existence to reunite them in life and in love.
If you like imaginative plot lines, fast-paced storytelling and quirky characters, you’ll love Storm Grant’s sexy Edwardian steampunk featuring young inventors in love… set in a time when love between two men was a crime punishable by imprisonment or even death!
This was such a lovely story. I loved how the inventions were described throughout the book. They took on a life of their own and made for some great laughs and wonderful aspect of the story. The humor involved with the inventions had me laughing at the worst moments. Like riding the train home and having people stare at me as if I were crazy.
Max and Jasper were such sweethearts. They both overcome so much to get to where they can be together and live without fear of someone ruining everything. While you see more of Max’s background on page as it directly relates to the story, you definitely learn about Jasper’s past. It’s wonderful watching these two dance around each other as they slowly figure out if they can risk showing their feelings. Those emotions come through so clearly on page.
Max is a character you can see grow throughout the story. He is so strong as he deals with everything life throws his way. You can’t help but admire him. Jasper initially comes off as the absentminded professor type. But he’s so much more than that. He’s a gentle soul but with a core of steel that will do everything in his power to protect those he deems worthy. And it’s generally those around him that are less fortunate in some way, whether by social class or other tragedy.
Watching Max and Jasper let their minds run away with them as they ponder new ideas and potential inventions was fascinating. It held the hope of that generation where inventions ruled society. Yet there was also a subtle undercurrent of things wrong with the day. Between tensions rising in Europe, social class hierarchy still firmly in place, and the negative attitude towards women, minorities and LGBT specifically, you get this push and pull of society that is on the brink of huge things. While the story is definitely an alternate history of sorts, Ms. Grant does an amazing job portraying the feelings that were prevalent of the beginning of that century.
Part of me wants more stories in this world because it was such a pleasure to read. Yet there’s not really anything left unanswered and I fear another book would ruin this one in some way. However if one is written I will gladly read it.
Storm: Thank you so much, Molly, for having me as a guest on your terrific blog. You’ve come up with some interesting—and unusual—questions. The great thing about answering personal questions is I don’t have to do any research. I practically OD’d on researching 1910 when writing my most recent book, RE-INVENTING LOVE. I have nothing but admiration for authors who wrote historicals before the internet.
Molly: What music, if any do you listen to when you write?
Storm: I must have complete silence when I write. To me, music it always foreground, never background. My father was a musician and a composer, and my sister plays a number of instruments, as well. While I never had the wherewithal to practice when I was younger, I must have inherited at least the interest in music.
When I do listen to music, it’s rock and roll and dance music–essentially the music of the 60s, 70s and 80s, with a little current stuff tossed in. I like everything from Bob Dylan to Pitbull, and a whole lot in between.
Molly: Are you a full time writer, or part time writer?
Storm: I write full time now—going from office day job to being my own boss as an author. I kept the 9 to 5 work day structure, spending the mornings on the business side of writing such as marketing and finances, and the afternoons on the creative part–planning, drafting, editing.
Molly: What was the transition like between part time and full time writer?
Storm: I didn’t allow myself any downtime. I left my office desk on a Friday and sat down to my job as a full-time author Saturday morning, as I always have.
I undertook a lot of research around productivity when I decided to self-publish. Studies show that a regular schedule with planned exercise breaks every 45 minutes help you get things done. So I write for 45 minutes, maybe put a load of laundry in (that’s 2 flights of stairs), or run a quick errand, etc. I try to do yoga most days, as well.
Molly: Do you have a word count per day you try to hit?
Storm: Bestselling author Kelley Armstrong once said that when she had an “stretch” goal, any day she didn’t make it, she felt like a failure. So she now sets her word count goal lower. Then each day she exceeds it, she feels like a success. Wasn’t that great advice? Now I do that, too. While I usually write around 2,000 words a day, my goal is 1,500. So every day I’m working on a first draft, I feel like a winner, not a loser.
Molly: When you finish writing a book, how long before you begin writing the next one?
Storm: An author has the following tasks:
- Plan / outline Book 1.
- Craft the first draft of Book 1.
- Edit Book 1.
- Shop Book 1 around/undertake self-publishing tasks.
- More edits on Book 1.
- Promote Book 1.
That’s the chronological list. But here’s what actually happens.
At any given moment: while you’re promoting Book 1, you’re also editing Book 3, Shopping around Book 2, Planning Book 5, while writing the first draft of Book 4.
You’re also writing a short prequel to use as a give-away in your marketing.
All that and you’re still attending courses, lectures, webinars to improve your craft, your productivity and your marketing. Whew. I’m exhausted just writing that.
So the answer to the original question? I’m as soon as I finish the first draft, I begin planning the next book. I write a draft in about six weeks, but it takes between six months and a year to get that draft on my agent’s desk or to upload it to Amazon.
I do a lot of pre-writing, including a detailed outline and a visual “casting board,” with pictures of my characters, maps, logos, store and apartment layouts, etc. I get feedback from my writer-pals at the outline stage. It’s so much easier to get feedback on 5,000 words than on a 90,000 word novel. Plus I’d rather find I was off track before I start writing.
Thanks for having me here, Molly. I could talk about writing and the writing process all day!
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He steeled himself against his desire to grab the man and kiss him soundly. Instead, he settled for leaning even further into Max.
Max made no attempt to draw away.
They sat side-by-side. Was Max’s breathing quickening? But Jasper’s own thudding heartbeat and shaky breaths masked all other sounds. He cleared his throat again and pointed to the rough sketch on his desk.
“If we were to reroute the electrical current through an asbestos filter prior to it connecting with the element, we may be able to regulate heat without having to monitor it quite so vigilantly.” Jasper tapped the page.
Max leant forward, his shoulder sliding along Jasper’s own. “Ja. Yes. It could work. Not with the insulated wires you haff drawn here, but with…” He snatched up a pencil, scrawling quick, firm marks on the page.
Jasper relaxed. Tuning out the engineer’s words, he rode the cadence of the accented voice like a wave. He fought his smile, but lost. It was so good to have a partner on whom he could rely.
If only there was a way for them to be more than working partners.
Storm Grant writes and publishes engaging male/male fiction, more light than dark. Since 2007, Storm has published with MLR, Riptide, Amber Quill, Phaze, Torquere, and more.
Her alter ego, Gina X. Grant, is represented by Rosemary Stimola, the agent who also represents the Hunger Games series. Check out Gina’s RELUCTANT REAPER trilogy, published by Simon and Schuster.