Today I have the honor of bringing to you author Bec McMaster. Bec lives in a small country town in Victoria, Australia, with her boyfriend, two budgies with a thirst for flesh, and a beautiful dog named Kobe. She grew up either with her nose in a book or writing, and she never understood why other people didn’t get to watch ‘all the movies in their heads.’ Following a lifelong love affair with fantasy, she discovered romance at the age of sixteen and hasn’t looked back.
When she’s not writing she likes to read, go hiking with her boyfriend, pour over travel brochures, and go to the gym. She’s addicted to travel and loves to set her books in foreign places. She says that it’s the next best thing to traveling there. One day she vows to see the entire world, whether it’s by plane, paper or imagination.
Bec’s new Steampunk title, Kiss of Steel debuted this month with Sourcebook Publishing. Please help me welcome Bec toThat’s What I’m Talking About.
Twimom: Bec, welcome and thank you for stopping by.
Bec: Hi! Thank you for having me!
Twimom: On your website you state that other than a writer, you’ve wanted to be an archaeologist, a travel agent, paleontologist, biologist, librarian and horse manager. So… was there a winner? Did you get a “day job?”
Bec: I did. I always wanted to study Creative Writing at University, but succumbed to the ‘get a real job’ lure and studied Biology instead. I love Biology, but the idea of being trapped in a lab for many years began to feel a bit stifling, so I ended up going into beauty therapy. I’ve always wanted to travel, so I figured getting a job in a trade would make it easy to find work anywhere.
Then three years ago, I decided it was time to do something I really wanted to do. I began a course in tourism, but just as I finished the course I sold Kiss of Steel and well… Tourism was always number two on the list.
Its funny how things come full circle. I could have saved a lot of time if I’d just listened to my instincts. Or maybe it was meant to happen the way it did.
Twimom: And you want to see the entire world… what a wonderful aspiration! What is the most exciting/exotic local you’ve visited in real life? What is the number one place you’d like to visit if you had the financing?
Bec: There are so many places I’ve been that I’ve loved, but two of the most exotic would have to be Russia and Turkey. I loved the spice markets and bazaars in Istanbul, but my absolute favorite place was Russia. Russian history fascinates me and I could wander through museums or palaces all day.
If I could go anywhere in the world – money being no object… Wow, that’s a tough one to pick! It changes frequently, but I have always wanted to spend a month or two in Egypt. I’m not a cruise ship/five star hotel kind of person, so the idea of sleeping beneath the stars on a felucca on the Nile, or scuba diving in the Red Sea appeals. And of course, more museums, temples, palaces…
Twimom: So… Steampunk! Kiss of Steel is the debut title in your new London Steampunk Series. Please tell us more about the world you’ve created and what to expect in the first book.
Bec: Kiss of Steel was so much fun to write. Set in my steam-fuelled world of London, where the City is ruled by the aristocratic Echelon and people pay their taxes in blood, it’s about a young woman on the run from a dangerous duke. Honoria Todd seeks safety in the slums of Whitechapel with her brother and sister, and a secret the Duke of Vickers would kill to get his hands on. The only one she can turn to for protection is Blade, the notorious Devil of Whitechapel, who has his own plans for Honoria – and Vickers.
Twimom: There are many types of stories that fall under the steampunk genre… How would you describe your world? Romance? Mystery/suspense? Do you get into the nitty-gritty of how the gadgets all work, or are the gadgets more part of the scenery? (I’m an engineer, I love gadgets!)
Bec: Kiss of Steel is a mix of paranormal romance and steampunk and should also appeal to historical romance lovers.
There are three basic classes in my London; the blue bloods of the Echelon, the humans who serve their needs and mechs, those that were forced by circumstance to take an artificial limb and are considered less than human because of it. After the French guillotined their blue blood aristocracy, the British Echelon sat up and took notice. To prevent the same uprising in Britain, they created an automaton army that keeps the humans and mechs in their place. There are a lot of steampunk elements that revolve around the world; the draining factories where the blood gathered in the taxes is stored, the enclaves where the mech’s live and work and some secret research the anti-blue blood humanist movement is involved in. Of course, this will all be explored more in subsequent books as there can’t be steampunk without the punk!
As for gadgets, Honoria’s father was a scientist who created all manner of weapons for the Duke of Vickers before he died. Honoria has access to all of his knowledge – which she will need. I need to know how the gadgets work (it’s the same with the paranormal aspects), so there is enough description for readers to know what each gadget is and does, but not pages and pages of it.
Twimom: Other than your Steampunk series, do you write any other genres?
Bec: I do! I love anything speculative and paranormal, so if something catches my interest I write it. I love to write Paranormal Romance and I have a few Urban Fantasy ideas bubbling away. The two main characteristics you’ll find, no matter what genre I write is that it’s often fast-paced adventure and I love to really develop the world-building.
Twimom: I always like to ask authors about their reading habits… What types of books do you enjoy reading? What is your favorite read so far in 2012?
Bec: Again, I read what I write. Mainly steampunk romance, paranormal romance, fantasy, sci-fi, UF or some paranormal-based YA. I don’t have a lot of time to read, so I tend to buy more than I can get around to. My TBR pile looks like that hoarders show.
As to books that blew my mind in the first half of 2012 – the Downside Ghosts series by Stacia Kane (UF), Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor (YA), Firelight by Kristen Callihan (PR) and Alliance Forged by Kylie Griffin (Fantasy Romance).
Twimom: What upcoming releases are you most excited to read?
Bec: I just bought Riveted by Meljean Brook and Archangel’s Storm by Nalini Singh. I’m also halfway through The Iron Wyrm Affair by Lilith Saintcrow. September seems to have a heap of fantastic titles out.
Twimom: Oh yes! I agree! (By the way, Riveted is my favorite read so far of 2012!)
Bec, thank you so much for taking the time to tell my readers a little bit about yourselves and your writing. It was wonderful chatting with you.
Bec: Thank you so much for having me! It’s been fun.
You can find Bec McMaster on line at
About Kiss of Steel:
He craves her like no other…
Honoria Todd has no choice. Only in the dreaded Whitechapel district can she escape the long reach of the Duke of Vickers. But seeking refuge there will put her straight into the hands of Blade, legendary master of the rookeries. No one would dare cross him, but what price would he demand to keep her safe?
Ever since Vickers infected him with the craving, Blade has been quicker, stronger, almost immortal—and terrified of losing control of the monster within. Honoria could be his perfect revenge against the duke…or the salvation he never dared to dream of.
GIVEAWAY: I have one (1) copy (one winner) of Kiss of Steel to giveaway here at That’s What I’m Talking About. Thank you to Sourcebooks (www.sourcebooks.com) for sponsoring the giveaway of Bec McMaster’s debut steampunk title. To enter, please use the RAFFLECOPTER entry form, below. Winners restricted to US and Canada mailing addresses, only. Contest open from September 13, 2012 until September 19, 2012 at 12:00 AM EDT. One (1) winner will be selected from the eligible entries. Book will be sent to winner by the publisher.