Author Spotlight – Felicity Banks

Today sees the first of my new Author Spotlights, and I’m proud to introduce a new author to the Steampunk scene.
Felicity Banks is an Australian author who just released her first book, “Heart of Brass”, which I featured here on Saturday.

Introducing Felicity Banks

Felicity Banks is a Canberra author specialising in fantasy and interactive fiction, including several Choose Your Own Adventure-style stories that take place in the same magical steampunk universe as Heart of Brass. All her interactive fiction is listed under “Felicity Banks” at http://ifdb.tads.org/ and most of her interactive fiction can be read as an app.

Heart of Brass is her thirteenth completed novel, her third novel accepted for publication, and her first novel to be published.

Why don’t you begin by sharing a little about yourself.

I’m an Australian fantasy writer, which is why my book is set mainly in Australia. If I had a superpower (other than flying, because who wouldn’t pick flying?) I’d like the ability to pause or speed up time as required. And to never get sick. Super strength might be nice too. Did I mention flying?

Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?

Emmeline Muchamore is a well-bred young lady hiding explosive family secrets.
She needs to marry well, and quickly, in order to keep her family respectable. But when her brass heart malfunctions, she makes a desperate choice to steal the parts she needs to repair it and survive.
She is unable to explain her actions without revealing she has a steam-powered heart, so she is arrested for theft and transported to Victoria, Australia – right in the midst of the Gold Rush.
Now that she’s escaped the bounds of high society, iron manacles cannot hold her for long.
The only metal that really matters is gold.

Who is your intended readership?

Theoretically it’s for young adults, since it’s fast-paced and the main character is barely an adult herself. I happen to like reading young adult fantasy books, so that’s what I write.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

I was seven years old the first time I attempted to write a novel. It featured cats, naturally. I have two children of my own now, which has given me a new perspective on the many illegal activities of my heroines. My daughter is four, and an excellent storyteller. She once told me she couldn’t go and wash her hands because there was a bear in the hallway. That was the beginning of many hours of free entertainment for me. My son is two, and loves the absurd and fantastic. He once drew a picture of me with wings, so I could fly.

Do you have a favorite author, or writing inspiration?

I adore Garth Nix’s Abhorsen series, Pamela Freeman’s Castings series, Philip Reeve’s Larklight trilogy, anything by Gail Carriger, Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan series, the Narnia series by CS Lewis, the Samurai Kids series by Sandy Fussell, anything by Naomi Novik, the Quarters series by Tanya Huff, the Jane Yellowrock series by Faith Hunter, the Woodcutter Sisters series by Alethea Kontis, the Fairyland series by Catherynne M. Valente, the Wind on Fire trilogy by William Nicholson, and so on!

What advice would you give beginning writers?

One word: Don’t. If you’re writing as a hobby for you own amusement, that’s fine. But it’s a terrible job to have, especially if you ever want to move out of home or support a family.
A lot of people will reject your work, too—probably for many years. If the word “No” doesn’t make you want to write more than ever, then any artistic career is going to hurt you badly.
Of course I don’t expect you to listen to advice like that—I certainly wouldn’t.

Do you have any amusing writing stories or anecdotes to share?

I have a friend with insomnia. I like to email him questions at 3am like, “If you had to convince a medieval army to surrender using only an ipad and speakers, what song would you choose?” or “How long would it take to turn an adult male body into an edible stew?”

What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Any hobbies?

Do children count as a hobby?

What’s your next project? Any upcoming book secrets you care to reveal?

My next project to be released is an interactive steampunk tale set in 1837 Europe (especially the UK), set in the same universe as HEART OF BRASS but a different time and place. It’s a subscription story, with a section released each week until the end. The reader has to make choices along the way that change their experience and ability. It will be an app released through itunes and Android by the Australian company Tin Man Games, and it’s called “Choices: And Their Souls Were Eaten”. If all goes well it’ll be released on August 17. I’m still working on it, which means I can incorporate some reader feedback into the story.

The Antipodean Queen:

Heart of Brass

Emmeline Muchamore is a well-bred young lady hiding explosive family secrets.

She needs to marry well, and quickly, in order to keep her family respectable. But when her brass heart malfunctions, she makes a desperate choice to steal the parts she needs to repair it and survive.

She is unable to explain her actions without revealing she has a steam-powered heart, so she is arrested for theft and transported to Victoria, Australia – right in the midst of the Gold Rush.

Now that she’s escaped the bounds of high society, iron manacles cannot hold her for long.

The only metal that really matters is gold.

Amazon, Kobo, Odyssey Books

Where to find Felicity Banks:

Blog, Twitter, Email, Facebook (for the official book launch)

Interactive Fiction

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6 thoughts on “Author Spotlight – Felicity Banks

    • Glad that you enjoyed this particular interview, because it’s one of my personal favorites. I love working with my fellow indie authors to spread the word of their work. It’s comments like this that let me know that other people enjoy reading my blog, and that I’m providing what my readers want.
      Thank you for making me smile at the end of a hard day at work.

      Like

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