Interview with Elizabeth Chatsworth, Author of The Brass Queen
09 Mar 2021
What can you tell us about your new release, The Brass Queen?
In an alternate Victorian world, eccentric British aristocrat (and secret arms dealer) Miss Constance Haltwhistle joins forces with a tall, dark, and almost-handsome US spy in a madcap search for a stolen invisibility serum that could spark a global war.
What or who inspired you to become an author?
I’ve always been an avid reader, but I’d never attempted to create my own stories. In my late forties, I decided to give it a go and signed up for an online creative writing class. The instructor, best-selling author David Farland, encouraged my fledgling efforts, and my first assignment turned into chapter one of The Brass Queen. Six years later, the book I started in class has been traditionally published. The moral of the story is that it’s never too late to start anything!
What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke is set during the Napoleonic wars. Two magicians, opposite in character and practices, form a frenemy relationship. From light Austen-worthy social comedy to medieval folklore layered with gothic overtones, this novel blends disparate elements into a magical brew.
Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaimen is a fiendishly funny tale of a fussy angel and a slick demon who join forces to stop Armageddon. Over the centuries, these two supernatural beings have developed an enduring love for humanity that warms my heart.
Soulless by Gail Carriger is set in an alternate Victorian London where vampires and werewolves are accepted as members of high society. Enter prickly bluestocking Alexia Tarabotti, intent on solving a supernatural mystery aided by a handsome werewolf lord. This is a light-hearted steampunk romance brimming with colorful characters and hilarious situations. Soulless is a fantastic start to a delightful series.
American Gods by Neil Gaimen imagines that ancient and modern gods are real, sparked into existence by human faith. Mr. Wednesday, AKA Odin to his few friends and many enemies, is fighting a holy war in modern-day America. Odin takes an ex-con named Shadow on a bizarre road trip through the United States, where an eccentric cast of characters add humor and horror as Shadow attempts to evade his destiny.
The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman tells the tale of Irene, a spy who works for the mysterious Library, a shadowy organization that steals books from alternate realities. Witty dialogue, superb worldbuilding, and fast-paced action made this an instant classic for me. The entire series is simply splendid!
Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?
My first guest would be British author, actor, and comedian, Stephen Fry. He’s a superb storyteller, is wonderfully funny, and he appears to know something about everything! I would ask him what questions he wished interviewers would ask him!
What’s your favorite thing about writing?
I love to daydream about fantastical worlds populated with larger-than-life characters. As much fun as it is to adventure in these places alone, being able to share my imaginings through writing is even better! Nothing makes me happier than when a reader says how my book provided a much-needed escape or made them laugh out loud!
What is a typical day like for you?
I like to write any new scenes early in the morning. Then I take a break for a few hours to let the story play out in my subconscious as I work on other projects. Sometimes that could involve heading into a studio to record a voiceover session. Or it could be tackling household chores, or walking my Yorkie, Boo. I return to writing late in the afternoon and will work for another hour or two editing the scenes I drafted in the morning. I love to spend my evenings with my family. After dinner, we watch movies or play video games together!
What scene from The Brass Queen was your favorite to write?
My favorite scene to write was when Constance and Trusdale waltz across the deck of an airship. For once, they are in perfect harmony with one another.
Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?
It’s never too late to take up a new passion. Start today and see where the journey takes you!
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