The Next Big Thing Blog Hop: My Lady Gambler

Today, I’m part of The Next Big Thing blog hop, thanks to romance writer Xanthe Walter, author of Ricochet. The Next Big Thing is a branching pyramid-of-prose for authors to discuss their latest release or WIP. Each author answers some preset questions (see below for my answers), and then tags five others to go next week.

 

My contribution covers My Lady Gambler: Stories of Erotic Romance, Corsets, and an England that Never Was. The digital version of this collection is already out in the Nook and Kindle stores, and I’m currently working on formatting the print edition.

 

What is the working title of your book?

Since the electronic version of this book is already live, the title is pretty well fixed at My Lady Gambler: Stories of Erotic Romance, Corsets, and an England that Never Was. Initially, though, the eponymous novella was jokingly called Lady Chrome Cock, and the whole collection spent six months with the working title Steamverse B.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I wrote two of the stories in this collection after seeing a broad anthology call for “steampunk erotica.” After spending 20 minutes brainstorming for my anthology story, I had a very long list which included the four stories in this collection as:

* ballet, The Other, and steampunk sex toys

* if the writers for Yes, Minister were confronted with steampunk

* airship pirates (“pre-emptive aeronautical salvage merchants”) deal with mutiny round-robins

* something with a Regency romance

I’m looking forward to writing the other stories on my brainstorm list soon. Particularly, the one shortened to “Car Talk meets the Illuminati but with romance.” (Hint: someone fixes a broken airship engine with oatmeal.) My notes to self are very evocative for me, but possibly not outside of my head.

Possibly also of interest, I chatted with my mother about these on the phone while holiday shopping in Macy’s last year. So some unsuspecting earring shoppers got treated to snatches like “steampunk sex toy” and “so the married secret agents have sex midair while hanging from pulley-systems.”

What genre does your book fall under?

It’s steampunk erotic romance. Isn’t that a genre? I suppose that means it’s a fantasy book. Or erotica. Or romance. Oh, and the novella is very Regency while the short stories are Victoriana pieces. What would you call that?

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Jewel Staite (famous to me as Kaylee on Firefly) would make a great Cara St. Cross, the cross-dressing poker player whom everyone knows is a woman. Her two beaux could turn the cast into a battle of the Bonds with Lord Stanley played by a young Roger Moore and Viscount Althorp played by Pierce Brosnan.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

In a steampunk-inspired Regency London, a woman cross-dresses to play at the highest-stakes poker table in Great Britain, but an unexpected attraction and a sore loser threaten her place in the world. My Lady Gambler and the three other short stories in this collection inhabit a world of ambition and romance.

Okay, that was two sentences. Sorry.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Self-published all the way. You can already purchase the ebook in the Barnes & Noble Nook store, as well as at Amazon.com for the Kindle. I’m currently working on formatting the print version so that you can pick up a dead tree paperback.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

The first draft took about six months. There were false starts, and a few short stories that didn’t make the cut. (The one with the interdimensional portal from the steamverse to our universe was a particularly dismal failure, threesome notwithstanding.)

More interesting was the editing process. This collection seemed cursed from the start. My first editor’s life went absolutely crazy at the same time as the unedited draft got finished. I spent six months waiting for her to get back to me with the initial round of edits before we had to agree that she just wasn’t going to have the time.

Thankfully, the magnificent Jennifer Levine (who also edits for sf/f erotica publisher Circlet Press) stepped in to do the three rounds of back-and-forth that got this baby into shape.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I think its closest companion might be Almost a Gentleman by Pam Rosenthal, which is also a Regency romance about a cross-dressing poker player. (Wow. I just realized how similar these sound.) But AaG is very much a romance, whereas My Lady Gambler takes advantage of surprising twists that make it more “erotica.” I’d tell you about those twists, but then they wouldn’t be twisty.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

My writing critique group kept me going. Also, they demanded that the second chapter of My Lady Gambler be about cross-dressing Cara’s manly appendage. I’d never have written that chapter if it weren’t for the Ladies of the Write.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

My underlying assumption when creating this alternate steampunk universe was “they didn’t have nearly as many wars as we did.” The lack of war slowed down the technology boom, and it also made for slightly different culture and a changed political landscape. For instance, Spain is a major world power in my universe, and Japan opened up about 100 years before Commodore Perry landed on its shores.

If you’re into historical English settings and like when strong women take charge of their own lives, then this book is possibly for you.

 

 

Now, I tag these five authors to answer these same questions next Wednesday:

Chris Lange – genre: erotic romance

Satyr, aka Satyros Phil Brucato – genres: EVERYTHING, particularly famous for his work with White Wolf

Miriah Hetherington – genre: speculative fiction

Janine A. Southard – genres: young adult, speculative fiction

Caren Gussoff – genres: speculative fiction, literary fiction

 

Thanks for reading all about the birth of My Lady Gambler, available at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.

 

One Response to The Next Big Thing Blog Hop: My Lady Gambler
  1. […] I’m a part of The Next Big Thing blog hop, thanks to speculative erotica writer Victoria Pond, author of My Lady Gambler. The Next Big Thing is a branching pyramid-of-prose for authors to discuss their latest release or […]

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