Monday, April 15, 2013

Blog Ring of Power: A.W. Exley

It's Tax Day, and I feel like I should be playing the Beatles' "Taxman." But I don't want to distract from our Blog Ring of Power Interview. Today I'm talking with A.W. (Anita) Exley about her current work. You can find the previous parts of her interview on these sites:

Part 1 (About You): Terri
Part 2 (The Writing Life): Theresa
Part 3 (The Creative Process): Emily

The interview concludes tomorrow on Dean's blog with Anita's words of wisdom.

Tell us about your new book—what is it about—and when it is out? Where can people purchase it?

Nefertiti's Heart was published 14 Feb 2013, by Curiosity Quills. It's a steampunk novel about a young woman who arrives in London after the death of her father, and ends up tangling with a serial killer and a sexy viscount.
It is available in e-book and paperback format, from Amazon and for your Kobo.

Is there anything new, unusual, or interesting about your book? How is it different from other books on the same subject?

I love steampunk because everyone has their own take on it and creates something different. Mine is set in 1861, a time that pre-dates Tesla (a popular steampunk inspiration). Some writers take the Victoria era and completely turn it on its head, mine is gently shaken, with a light twist. Sounds like a cocktail recipe doesn't it? lol

What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

Chapter Eleven, when Cara goes sparring with Nate in an underground pit, surrounded by his men. It was an evocative scene to write and showed aspects of both their characters and highlighted the danger swirling around Nate that could overflow to Cara if she gets too close.

Did you learn anything from writing this book and what was it?

The electric light bulb was invented in 1835 by a Scottish inventor, that's pre-Victorian!

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in this book?

I think you could tinker with a manuscript endlessly, always finding things to tweak. I have often thought I could have gone deeper into the mind of the serial killer, but I didn't want to turn this into a crime thriller. At its heart, it's a story about Cara, and I didn't want to overshadow her with the whackadoodle chasing her :)

Tell us about your book’s cover – where did the design come from and what was the design process like?

I love my cover! I wanted something really simple. A lot of steampunk covers have a woman wearing a corset and I wanted to stay away from that. I knew in my head I wanted a hand, holding the heart. Curiosity Quills have an awesome graphic artist working for them, and I was really lucky that he nailed it and delivered exactly what I wanted.


Books and writing have always been an enormous part of Anita's life. She survived school by hiding out in the library, with several thousand fictional characters for company. At university, she overcame the boredom of studying accountancy by squeezing in Egyptology papers and learning to read hieroglyphics.

Today, Anita writes steampunk novels with a sexy edge and an Egyptian twist. She lives in rural New Zealand surrounded by an assortment of weird and wonderful equines, felines, canine and homicidal chickens.

Book blurb:

Cara Devon has always suffered curiosity and impetuousness, but tangling with a serial killer might cure that. Permanently.
London, 1861. Impoverished noble Cara has a simple mission after the strange death of her father - sell off his damned collection of priceless artifacts. Her plan goes awry when aristocratic beauties start dying of broken hearts, an eight inch long brass key hammered through their chests. A killer hunts amongst the nobility, searching for a regal beauty and an ancient Egyptian relic rumored to hold the key to immortality.
Her Majesty’s Enforcers are in pursuit of the murderer and they see a connection between the gruesome deaths and Cara. So does she, somewhere in London her father hid Nefertiti’s Heart, a fist sized diamond with strange mechanical workings. Adding further complication to her life, notorious crime lord, Viscount Nathaniel Lyons is relentless in his desire to lay his hands on Cara and the priceless artifact. If only she could figure out his motive.
Self-preservation fuels Cara's search for the gem. In a society where everyone wears a mask to hide their true intent, she needs to figure out who to trust, before she makes a fatal mistake.

Please let us know where your readers can stalk you:
Facebook page:
Goodreads author page:
Twitter: @AWExley

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