(Tuesday, September 11th) WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12TH I’ll be appearing via Skype at the Lady Jane’s Salon in Denver. I chatted with these ladies last year and had a great time, so if you’re in the Denver area and have a free evening tomorrow, please check it out! Details are here.
And speaking of salons, I recently had a few questions regarding the Iron Seas series. The first is from Ya, a reader in Thailand:
I’m reading The Iron Duke and I have a question, if you don’t mind. What is “a French family out of an antebellum salon novel” that Scarsdale mentioned? I googled it and found nothing.
Could you please kindly explain? I’d be appreciated.
I’m happy to explain — you couldn’t find it on Google because it only exists in the Iron Seas world. The intention was to indicate that the literature of the world had developed in its own way, and to place it in context of Iron Seas history (with nods to the Civil War in the U.S. and salons in real history).
In this case, “antebellum” refers to before the French and Liberé War, and the tendency of the French aristocracy to hold intellectual meetings in their salons where they would discuss the issues of freedom and service, in the hopes of furthering an independent Liberé state (which the French kings and their ministers absolutely didn’t want). So Scarsdale was just saying that Mina’s family was a lot like that — especially her mother, who conducts those League meetings and who supports marriage reformation. There’s a heavy sense of noblesse oblige tied to it all, and that it is their duty to help those less fortunate or oppressed.
It’s actually a snarky comment for Scarsdale to make because these novels would portray the families as ridiculously self-sacrificing and were full of sentimentalism, so they wouldn’t be treated kindly by critics (not that Rhys understood why it was snarky, anyway) … but since Scarsdale is an aristocrat who fought on the side of the Liberé during the war, what he doesn’t say is that he also respects the family a great deal and believes in what they are doing.
And a general question that I’ve received from several readers:
Will RIVETED be released as a mass market paperback/will there be another epilogue story?
I honestly have no idea. My publisher determines reprints by both sales history and potential sales, so that decision won’t be made until they a) look at the mass market numbers for THE IRON DUKE and HEART OF STEEL, and b) whether they think RIVETED will actually make enough to justify a reprint. And frankly, I’m not sure if either of those answers will be “yes.” Mass market sales have been declining across the board and print runs are way down. I certainly *hope* a reprint comes down the line, because that means the ebook price drops and that readers who can’t justify trade prices or who don’t like the trade format can find a copy. But I simply don’t know at this point.
The same goes for an epilogue. RIVETED already has its own epilogue, and David and Annika’s story feels pretty complete to me. That doesn’t mean I couldn’t send them on another adventure — but unlike Mina & Rhys and Yasmeen & Archimedes, they have fewer lingering issues between them to sort out, and I hate manufacturing emotional conflict simply for the sake of having some or to serve a plot. So at this point, I simply don’t have anything in mind for them.
That said, if my editor asks me for bonus material, I’d do my best to come up with a short story for her (probably not another novella, because RIVETED is long enough as it is, and I already blew up HEART OF STEEL’s reprint copy with a double-sized novella. I really don’t want to do that again). Hopefully, that would also be available in ebook at the same time as the reprint version, but again — I don’t know if it would be (or if there ever will be a reprint version). So I’m not ruling anything out; I just don’t know right now.