Friday, February 22, 2013

An Insight Of The Characters' World: Guest Post + Giveaway by Liesel Schwarz

This is a feature where I ask authors to do a guest post discussing about the background of their books and share their experiences in creating the world in which the characters are portrayed.For more info on this feature,click HERE.

I would like to thank Liesel Schwarz for doing this feature with me.Her debut,A Conspiracy Of Alchemists,was published by DelRey on the 7th of January in the U.K and will be published in the U.S on the 5th of March.

LEAVE IT TO CHANCE. Eleanor “Elle” Chance, that is—a high-flying dirigible pilot with a taste for adventure and the heroine of this edgy new series that transforms elements of urban fantasy, steampunk, and paranormal romance into pure storytelling gold.

It is 1903, and the world is divided between light and shadow. On the side of light is a wondrous science that has transformed everyday life by harnessing magical energies to ingenious new technologies. But each advance of science has come at the expense of shadow—the traditional realm of the supernatural.

Now two ancient powers are preparing to strike back. Blood-sucking immortal Nightwalkers and their spellcasting Alchemist allies have a plan to cover the whole world in shadow. All they require is the sacrifice of a certain young woman whose past conceals a dangerous secret.

But when they come after Elle, they get more than they bargained for. This enterprising young woman, the daughter of a scientific genius, has reserves of bravery and determination that even she scarcely suspects. Now she is about to meet her match in more ways than one: a handsome yet infuriating Warlock named Hugh Marsh, whose agenda is as suspect as his charms are annoyingly irresistible.


Liesel Schwarz Liesel Schwarz has an MA in creative writing and is currently completing her doctorate in English and creative writing at Brunel University.

A life-long fan of 19th Century Gothic literature, she is a hopeless romantic and loves Victorians, steampunk, fairies, fantasy monsters, the Fin de si├Ęcle, and the correct way to drink absinthe. She also likes Medieval stuff, pirates, zombies, space operas and all subjects in between.

Her debut – the first in a series of Edwardian Steampunk Novels published by Random House/Del Rey is out now.

She is also currently busy with her doctorate in English and Creative Writing at Brunel University. She chooses to live in London because she loves weather there. 


Here is Liesel's guest post where she not only gives a wonderful insight of her debut but also provides some helpful advice for anyone who is thinking of writing a steampunk novel.

 My favourite definition of Steampunk is “…the science of what could have been.” But it’s not just about airships and brass goggles. Steampunk is a philosophy. It’s a hankering for an era gone by. And most of all it is an aesthetic movement which comprises fashion, art and design in many forms.

A Conspiracy of Alchemists came to me one afternoon as I was travelling home on the London Underground through Baker Street. Eleanor and Marsh started having an almighty row in my head and I knew I had to write it down. The series just grew and grew from there. I decided to set the story in the Belle Epoch, because I think the Art Nouveau of the time is absolutely beautiful. The beginning of the 20th Century was also a time for phenomenal growth and invention. In fact, most of the things we consider to be indispensible in our lives today were invented around that time, which I find very exciting.

Steampunk is tremendous fun to write. In fact, I loved writing A Conspiracy of Alchemists so much, that I had to write a sequel and I am currently busy with the third.

So here are a few tips for anyone who is thinking about writing steampunk:

  • Do your research. There is no substitute for historical accuracy and if you cut corners, your readers will catch you out for sure. Look into the time period you wish to use. You will be amazed at all of the interesting information you will find. 
  • World building. The trick to writing historical fantasy is blending fact and invention in such a way that the reader cannot tell what is real and what is made up.  It’s not just a case of slapping a few top hats and goggles onto characters. The technology and the world must be integral to your story.
  • Ensure that you have good, sympathetic characters. Make them come alive.
  • Plot. Just like a body cannot function properly without good strong bones, so no story will survive without a solid plot to hold it up. 
  • Remember to have fun. This, in my view, is the most important thing.

Thank you Bonita for inviting me to post here. 

As usual,this post also comes with a GIVEAWAY!!!DelRey U.K has generously donated a copy of Liesel's debut to one lucky INTERNATIONAL winner.This giveaway is NOT applicable for NORTH AMERICAN residents,since they already have a different edition of the book coming out in March.Good luck and please check the TERMS AND CONDITIONS on the Rafflecopter widget.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Winning would be awesome, obviously! =)

  2. looks really interesting...always wondered what "steampunk" meant! I hope I win!

  3. This sounds like an adventure of a lifetime. Thank you for introducing this book to me. :)

  4. I actually researched A Conspiracy of Alchemists for a book tour but haven't gotten to read the book yet. Thank you for the chance to win it so I can FINALLY see what all the hype's about!

  5. A Conspiracy of Alchemists sounds like such a great read! I'm new to the Steampunk genre...I definitely want to read this one. LOVE THE TITLE! Thank you for offering this giveaway~
    Beth :-)


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