As you know, I’ve been researching and planning a steampunk book for most of this year. Now, finally, it has begun, and I’m having a fabulous time.
Here are some of my research notes, and plot and character planning (this scene occured after getting CJ’s permission to take over the kitchen and living room):
The title is so excellent, so essential to the plot, and so easy to copy that I’m not saying it online (ooh, mysterious!) I will say that the book is about a London girl transported to Australia – and Australia is where most of the action takes place. We were a British colony at the time (1853-4), after all.
The book opens as Miss Miller (aka our hero) is attempting to rescue her family’s faltering riches by marrying well. Her potential suitor, Ambrose Dawes, is about to pay a crucial social call with his mother. Here’s a first-draft sample, taken from when Miss Miller uses magic to eavesdrop on their conversation at her front door:
“One way or another,” said Mrs Dawes, “this family has a reputation for peculiarity.”
“I hope it’s deserved.”
She took several agitated breaths. “Do be serious, Ambrose. And try not to be distracted by Miss Miller’s famous blue eyes. Blue eyes are not at all a suitable reason to marry.”
“I managed to remain calm when I saw them at the royal ball last year. Very distracted blue eyes – until I mentioned my admiration of Hungerford Bridge. Then they were razors.”
“Did you bore her with your engineering talk? You know you mustn’t talk about all that rubbish in proper society.”
“I didn’t have the chance. She danced on. I did, however, notice she possessed a very finely-engineered ankle.”
“Well!” Mrs Dawes cut off further conversation by knocking at our door.