Published by AltWit Press on May 20, 2013
Genres: fantasy, romance, science fiction, steampunk
Buy it: Amazon • Add it: Goodreads
When a crippled young lord rescues a girl falling from a tree, it reveals a secret about himself and his mother's side of the family that could put him at the center of a war with beings he thought only existed in fairy tales. Tristan Gareth Smyth lived his entire life stuck at home at Waverly Park, left behind while his Grandfather makes trips to London, all because of his blasted wheelchair. Then an American heiress falls in his lap, literally, and he must find a way to keep her at a distance to protect not only his secret, but everyone around him from an assassin sent to kill him.
Hey everyone! I’m honored to be part of the Armored Hearts Blog Tour, hosted by Shane at Itching for Books. Today I’m interviewing Pauline Creeden, one of the authors of the young adult steampunk novel, Armored Hearts!
TS: So Pauline, first question: how did Armored Hearts come about? Was it a team effort from the start?
PC: I had written a short story and a steampunk novella, experimenting with the genre. When I’d put in a second draft on the novella, I asked for beta readers, and Melissa volunteered. She hadn’t read anything I’d written up to then, although I’d helped her with doing a beta read on one of her books at the time. So she was returning the favor. She loved it. So a month or so later, a character came to her and started bugging her to tell his story, but it was a steampunk story, and since Melissa is firstly a romance writer, she asked me to help her keep the other portion straight.
TS: What was it like writing with Melissa Turner Lee? Did you two ever disagree about where you wanted the story to go?
PC: Overall, we tend to be compromising people. So there were times when we disagreed, but I gave in some areas, she gave in others. We’re still friends, so I guess it turned out okay. :)
TS: On a scale of one to a slice of warm, home made apple pie, how much fun did you have writing this book?
PC: It was a lot of fun! Jessamine has turned out to be one of my favorite heroines. Her chipper attitude in the face of someone else’s ugliness is something I admire and wish I could have. Although I have a few novels being published this year, most readers don’t know that my characters tend to be harder and more troubled when I write alone. I’m the yin, and she’s the yang. Anything dark or scary you find in our collaboration together is likely me – the love and romance, that’s her.
TS: Were Gareth and Jessamine inspired by anyone you know in real life?
PC: Nope. They are solely the products of imagination. Although we “cast” the book with the actors we would have play them, they are not even exactly like any of the characters that actor/actress has played in the past. If you are interested in seeing out inspiration for cast and crew, visit our pinterest board: http://pinterest.com/melissatlee/armored-hearts/
TS: What spurred the decision to give Gareth a physical handicap and how do you feel that affected the flow of the story?
PC: When Gareth came to Melissa and demanded his story be told, the physical handicap was already there. As were his supernatural abilities…
TS: What would you say are the two main characters’ number one strengths and weaknesses?
PC: Gareth’s strength is that he is kind and protective; his weakness lies in his mistrust of everyone.
Jessamine’s strength lies in her tremendous confidence; her weakness is that she trusts everyone.
It’s how they balance each other out.
TS: What message would you most like Armored Hearts to convey to your readers?
PC: Armored Hearts is first and foremost a romance. Our goal from the beginning of penning the book was to create something fun for those who already liked steampunk, while keeping things light for those who had never picked up a story from the genre as well. If people walk away with a “moral of the story,” I hope it’s that people who are hurting inside often lash out because of their own pain, not because of your weaknesses.
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I’d like to thank Pauline for joining us today – I really appreciate her taking the time to answer a few of our questions. :) She also left a little something for me to share with everyone…