Interview with KADY CROSS-Author of The Girl in the Steel Corset
We are so excited to bring to you this interview with Kady Cross, the author of The Girl in the Steel Corset and The Strange Case of Finley Jane. When Kallie challenged me to read The Girl in the Steel Corset, I quickly realized that I loved Steampunk and Kady Cross. You can check out the review here. Kady and I struck up a conversation over Twitter (gotta love social media) and she agreed to come on Bookshelf Banter and answer some questions. The following interview is the result!
Kady-First, let me say a huge thank you for agreeing to do an interview for our website, www.bookshelfbanter.com. I appreciate your willingness to answer our questions. I loved the book.
Hi there! I’m so glad you enjoyed the book! I’m humbled and amazed by the amount of positive feedback it has gotten. It’s a little overwhelming! lol. Thanks so much for this opportunity and your support of my book. I so appreciate it!
1. Why did you choose to write under a pseudonym for The Steampunk Chronicles Series? Why not just continue writing under Kathryn Smith since you already have a following under that name?
I wanted to separate the two. Sometimes it is better to release a new series under a new name because people won’t assume what the books are like based on the previous work. I wanted the YA work to be fresh and treated like something new and special, and that meant taking a new name. It’s been fun, having this alter ego. I liked it so much I’ve taken on 2 more pen names!
2. Your first book, a romance novel named Elusive Passion, was published in 2001 with Avon Romance. Describe what the day looked and felt like when you found out it was really happening and you were getting published.
I was working in a clothing store in Halifax, Nova Scotia. It was about 7:00 in the evening when my husband called and said that Krista Stroever had called from Avon and wanted me to call her back. It was 6:00 in New York, so my boss at the store told me to use the phone in the back room. So, I was sitting at a desk surrounded by boxes, packages of underwear and signage when Krista offered me a two book deal. I remember the butterflies and dropping of my stomach. lol. It was so surreal. I immediately called my husband, and then my oldest sister. I remember her reaction so clearly – stunned silence and then, “You’re joking.” As if I would joke about something like that! It was one of the best days of my life.
3. In 2002, you had two YA historical novels in The MacLaughlins Series published. They were named Anna and the Duke and Emily and the Scot. Nine years later, why did you make the decision to write for the YA market again? We are so glad you did, by the way!!
Actually, it wasn’t a decision made 9 years later. I’ve been wanting to write more YA ever since those two books, but the opportunity was never there. Krista Stroever, who bought me for Avon was working at Harlequin and remembered that I wanted to write more YA. When the Harlequin Teen line started Krista asked if I’d be interested in submitting a proposal. I was! So, I gave her the idea for The Girl in the Steel Corset and they bought it.
4. What made you want to write in the world of Steampunk?
I’ve always loved the Victorian era and their wonderful inventions and excitement for technology. I’ve also always liked science fiction and fantasy. Being able to combine the two was a dream come true. I had the idea that I wanted to do ‘special’ teens against a Victorian setting. It just seemed natural to make it Steampunk. It was a good call on my part because now Steampunk is really drawing a lot of interest. At the time I started writing this book most people didn’t even know what it was.
5. I’m sure it’s nerve-wracking to release a novel out into the world. What is the one scene, or the one thing, from The Girl in the Steel Corset that you are/were most nervous to have people read?
I was worried about how the violence inside Finley would be taken. She can be a pretty rough girl when the mood strikes. That first scene where she defends herself against Lord Felix’s intended sexual assault was a tough scene. I didn’t want her to be a victim, but I didn’t want her to be over the top violent.
6. I read a quote from you that said, “Release day is harder on the writer than the book…and the lead up to it is almost as bad.” What did you do on your release day of The Girl in the Steel Corset to commemorate it and get through it?
Other than obsessively check my Amazon rank all day? lol Actually, I was working on another book, and had that to occupy my mind. My husband and I went out to dinner to celebrate the release of the book, but that was about it. Just another day! lol
7. What has been the toughest criticism and best compliment you’ve been given as an author? How did, or do, you handle those comments?
Someone once called my work ‘drivel’. That was a long time ago, but I’ve never forgotten. How sad is it that I don’t really remember the best compliment? Actually, I got an email from a firefighter after 9/11 who told me that my books provided her with an escape from her job and the fear she felt. That was validation if ever I needed it.
8. Because we cover anything entertainment related, in conjunction with the books we review, we have a favorite question we like to ask. Who would you cast as your main characters if The Girl in the Steel Corset were to be made into a movie and you could choose anyone?
Hmmm. OK. Griffin — Robert Pattison, Finley — Emma Watson, Emily — Lily Cole, Sam — Ben Barnes, Jasper — Kevin Zegers and Jack… well Jack is very Russell Brand, but he’s a little old to play the part. I’m not sure who could pull that off!
9. I know MY answer to this next question, as I am a fan of both Jack Dandy and Griffin. I honestly could not choose between the two! I would like both, one on each arm, to walk down the street with me! So, which character in The Girl in the Steel Corset would you bring to life if you could?
Oh, dear! lol. I’d love to hang out with Jack, but I think he’d get me in a lot of trouble. Griffin has all kinds of cool gadgets and a fabulous house… Finley would get me into trouble as well, but I’d love to go shopping with her! lol This is a really hard question! Okay, I’m just going to say Griffin. He has the best library.
10. This next question stems off of our Weekly Challenge question. We’re asking our reviewers and readers to choose four authors they would like to be friends with, hang out and have dinner with on a regular basis. As a writer, if you could choose four authors, dead or alive, to make up your very own dream critique group, who would they be and why?
I would love to hang out with Oscar Wilde because he was so witty and intelligent and very talented! Jane Austen because she had tremendous insight into people. Stephen King because he’s brilliant and never forgot what it was like to be a kid. For number four I think maybe I’d pick Neil Gaiman because I really admire his imagination, and his ability to take existing myths and make something new from it.
11. Your bio on your website says you like to catch up on your favorite TV shows when you are not writing. What are your top three favorite TV shows right now?
This past season my top 3 were:
1. Supernatural — the Winchester boys have been my top choice for years. Love that show.
2. Justified — love how no character is totally good or totally bad. Well, maybe totally bad, but you see why!
3. The Vampire Diaries — this one keeps you on your toes! And the writing was really good this year.
12. I read that you are also working on an adult steampunk romance for Penguin and an urban fantasy series for Orbit, as well as working on book 2 for The Steampunk Chronicles. As a writer, how do you manage to stay focused on all of these projects at one time and find balance in your life?
I take one thing at a time. That’s all you can do. I’m a flighty person, so I have to be very strict with myself. Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn’t. lol. The fact that this is my job helps. I don’t get paid if things don’t get done, so money is a great motivator. I take each project and do it, then move on to the next. I try to put myself fully into that world and those characters and stare straight ahead. Sometimes my husband has to ask me to stop working. It’s hard for me to let go of a story. Writing is a huge part of who I am. I might not be the best writer on the planet, but no one can fault my dedication! I often work 7 days a week, and when I’m not writing I think about it.
13. Finally, we like to end with a few quick, or short, answer questions fired at you. Tell us the first thing that pops into your head.
a. Beach or Mountains? Beach
b. Scruff or clean-shaven men? Scruff, but not too much.
c. Biggest fear? Failure
d. Tattoos or piercings? Tattoos
e. Glass half full or glass half empty? Half full, please!
Thank you so much for taking your time out to answer our questions today. We are thrilled to let our readers know just a little bit more about you and your new books! Welcome to the Bookshelf Banter family! You have made me a believer and lover of Steampunk, and of Kady Cross! Thanks again Kady!