Deserting his regiment in the aftermath of an injury, Torrent is just trying to get home to his fiancée without being robbed or arrested. Reporting the illegal saltpeter mine he finds on his return might be valuable enough for the army to overlook his truancy, perhaps even grant him a pension. If he’s willing to betray Molly to make that report.
For Molly, chemistry has always been more useful than magic, especially now that supplying the opposing side with gunpowder is the only thing keeping her from being ousted from her own farm. After two years apart, Molly knows it’s foolish to trust Torrent with either the mine or her heart. Unfortunately, Torrent’s not the only one interested in Coriander Hollow.
Between Torrent's desertion and her own illegal mine, Molly has to decide whose secrets she's willing to protect and how far she's willing to go to protect them. And Molly hadn't counted on Coriander Hollow having secrets of its own...
This is an adult fantasy novel, that might appeal to readers of Genevieve Cogman, Naomi Novik or Katherine Addison. It's historical fantasy-ish (I describe it as 'steampunk on a farm'), a little bit Cherie Priest meets Cold Mountain.
What is the hardest part
of writing your books?
my own experience and talking to other writers, it seems like many writers
either find first drafts easier and subsequent drafts much harder, or the other
way around. I’m firmly in the second category. Getting a complete first draft
(or even an 85% complete first draft) is normally the most demanding part of
the process; editing for me is much more rewarding, I think because I have the
plot and beats already mapped out, and I just have to focus on making the story
smoother and tighter.
What songs are most
played on your Ipod?
been listening to a lot of Taylor Swift’s album Folklore recently. I’m also listening
to Florence and the Machine, the Americana duo Civil Wars, and the Irish group
The Levellers. My musical tastes tend to run to folk music and classical (I am
a classically trained violinist). When I’m writing, I can’t listen to vocals
without getting distracted, but I’ll sometimes put on instrumental music.
Do you have critique
partners or beta readers?
have beta readers, and beta feedback was an important part of making Labyrinth
Room the best I could manage it. Beta feedback particularly helped solidify the
relationship between the main characters, Molly and Torrent, which was more ambiguous
and convoluted in the original draft. One of my beta readers is a friend of
mine who’s a recreational caver. I asked her to read the MS specifically for
help ensuring that the caving scenes and carbide lanterns were realistic. A large
chunk of the novel takes place in a saltpeter mine, and it was important to me
to make that setting feel as realistic as possible.
What book are you
bouncing back and forth between a few. I’m reading The Madhouse at the End of the Earth by Julian Sancton, which is an
account of the 1897 de Gerlache expedition to Antarctica. Their ship became
trapped in pack ice and they were the first known people to spend a winter
below the Antarctic Circle, trapped in the ice, with no daylight for months on
end. My day job is as a naturalist and kayak guide for expedition cruise ships,
so this one’s sort of for work. I’m also reading The Art of Theft by Sherry Thomas, which is a heist novel and the
fourth installment of her amazing detective-novel/slowest-burning-romance-ever
Lady Sherlock series. The first book in the series is A Study in Scarlet Women, which I picked up entirely based on the
title and it did not disappoint.
How did you start your
through school and for the first few years after college, I worked in
professional theater, mainly in sound design and audio. When the recession
happened in 2009, I was laid off and ended up (long story) moving to Alaska to
work as a kayak guide. A few months after leaving professional theatre, I
started writing. Though I didn’t recognize it as such at the time, I think I
was using writing as a way to handle not getting to create make-believe worlds in
my day job. I wrote two novels over five years that I never showed anyone
because they weren’t very good. The third novel I wrote was The Year King, which ended up being my
debut. I shopped it first to agents and then to small publishing houses, where
it was eventually picked up and released in 2017 under the title Court of Twilight.
Labyrinth Room just came out in October of 2021.
It’s a standalone fantasy novel about caves, chemistry, and wishes that come
with a price. It’s also about holding on to the best version of yourself when
that’s not the version everyone else wants. The entire book is set on a farm
and a nearby saltpeter mine. I consider it borderline steampunk, but it’s
steampunk from a rural perspective.
currently working on the sequel to my debut novel The Year King, tentatively titled Changeling. It’s the second in a planned trilogy. The series is a
contemporary fantasy set in Dublin, featuring modern fairies, ancient evils,
and recently-unemployed telemarketers. It’s been a lot of fun to revisit Ivy’s
world, and in doing so, write a book where the main character isn’t so much
grappling with the speculative elements—invisibility, barely-functional alien
technology, an unexplained series of murders—but instead is trying to turn them
to her own ends.
About the Author
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