Monday, November 05, 2012

Interview with Beth Ciotta and Giveaway - November 5, 2012

Please welcome Beth Ciotta to The Qwillery. Her Sky Cowboy, the first novel in Beth's new The Glorious Victorious Darcys series, will be published tomorrow.

TQ:  Welcome to The Qwillery.

Beth:  Thanks so much for having me, Sally!

TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Beth:  Not being able to proceed with my story until each scene clicks. A lot of writers are able to write a first draft quickly—hitting all key points and coming back later to tweak or polish or to research needed material. I need to research as I go. Something I learn while researching often spurs more ideas or steers me in a certain direction. Also the emotional aspect of that scene has to ring true to me before I can move on. This makes me somewhat of a slow writer, but at the same time, my first draft is always pretty darn clean.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Beth:  I started out as a total panster—such fun flying into the mist! But now that I’m dealing with several deadlines on multiple books, I’ve had to adjust my process. At this point I’d say I’m 50/50.

TQ:  What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Beth:  Writing fast enough! Don’t get me wrong. I obsess over research and even more than that, creating three-dimensional characters that readers can really relate to. But these days, I seem to lose the most sleep over time constraints. I’m writing two new series for different publishers. Deadlines are very tight and they often overlap. Just now, meeting those deadlines on time is my biggest challenge. Especially since I want every submission to be my best possible effort!

TQ:  Describe Her Sky Cowboy in 140 characters or less.

Beth:  Yikes. There’s a challenge! Okay. How about this?
The Victorian Age meets the Age of Aquarius in this romantic, steampunk adventure!

TQ:  What inspired you to write Her Sky Cowboy?

Beth:  One day, out of the blue, a title popped into my head: The Glorious Victorious Darcys. Which became the overall series name. That title conjured images of three siblings involved in a great race for some sort of treasure. It also screamed Victorian England and adventure. Everything else evolved from that.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do for Her Sky Cowboy?

Beth:  All of my stories require a certain amount of research, but this story was one for the (my) record books. Subjects researched: Steampunk, Victorian England, American Wild West, Victorian London, Paris France, Swiss Alps, Tuscany Italy, Airplanes, Clipper ships, Steam engines, Electricity, Automobiles, Leonardo da Vinci, the 1960s, specifically 1969… The list goes on!

TQ:  In Her Sky Cowboy, you combine genres - Steampunk, Romance and a bit of Western. Why do you think that these genres work so well together?

BethHer Sky Cowboy and the subsequent books in the series, also involve paranormal and time travel. I know, I know. Such a mesh of sub-genres! But somehow it seems to work. It definitely came naturally. Maybe that’s why it works well. I didn’t force it. It just happened!

TQ:  Who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Beth:  The easiest character to write was Amelia, the heroine of the story. I connected with her sense of wonder and adventure instantly. I’m not really built like her, but I felt her. The hardest character to write was the villain of this piece, simply because he’s so conniving and evil. Hard to imagine . . . but I did.

TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in Her Sky Cowboy?

Beth:  Wow. Great question, but a tough one. Only because I have several favorite scenes. Hmm. Okay. I’ll name two. One is at the beginning of the book… When Tuck and Amelia first meet. What a hoot! The second is near the end when Tuck and Amelia “take off” on an enhanced dual air and ground transport, the “landing” and the “chase” thereafter. Such suspense. Such fun!

TQ:  What's next?

Beth:  As I stated before I’m writing two new series, two completely different genres, so for simplicity’s sake I’ll stick with the steampunk series, The Glorious Victorious Darcys! Up next: An exclusive e-novella featuring a character you’ll meet in Her Sky Cowboy as well as the Sky Cowboy’s (Tuck’s) sister! The Freak Rebellion escalates in the May 2013 release of His Broken Angel. Following in June, a full-length novel featuring the second Darcy sibling, Simon, and the mysterious and vexing reporter known as Clockwork Canary. Appropriately entitled—His Clockwork Canary. The adventure continues!

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Beth:  Thank you for having me!

About The Glorious Victorious Darcys

Her Sky Cowboy
The Glorious Victorious Darcys 1
Signet Eclipse,  November 6, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 352 pages

Amelia Darcy has no interest in marrying well. Her heart belongs to the sky and the dirigibles of brass and steel that swoop over Victorian England. But when her father, an eccentric inventor, dies, the Darcy siblings are left with scrap metal—and not a penny to their names. Their only hope to save the family name and fortune is to embark on a contest to discover an invention of historical importance in honor of Queen Victoria.

Armed with only her father’s stories of a forgotten da Vinci workshop, a mechanically enhanced falcon, and an Italian cook, Amelia takes flight for Florence, Italy. But her quest is altered when her kitecycle crashes into the air ship of ex–Air Marshal—and scandalous dime novel hero—Tucker Gentry.

Challenged by political unrest, a devious sky pirate, and their own sizzling attraction, Amelia and Tuck are dragged into an international conspiracy that could change the course of history…again.

His Broken Angel (The Glorious Victorious Darcys 1.5) and His Clockwork Canary (The Glorious Victorious Darcys 2) are slated for publication in 2013.

About Beth






What:  One commenter will win a copy of Her Sky Cowboy from Beth. US ONLY

How:   Answer the following question: 

Steampunk or Steampunk Romance?

Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1)   Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2)   Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

There are a total of 3 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry) and Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry).  This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook or Twitter mentions. You MUST leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a US mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Monday, November 12, 2012. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*


  1. Difficult question. I'd have to go steampunk just for the wider parameters. I love steampunk, I love romance. The only problem I've had with the steampunk romances I've read of late (except Zoe Archer's) is that the steampunk seems window dressing rather than the attidude and atmosphere that it should be. Even more than the fun and prettiness of it is the importance of the industrial and scientific attidude that gives it that authentic and interesting spice.

    follower: April V.
    april dot vrugtman at gmail dot com

  2. Hi, April,

    I understand what you're saying. I'll be honest in that I don't consider HER SKY COWBOY hard core Steampunk. It is a mash-up of several sub-genres and Steampunk plays a strong role, with romance at the core. Aside from the airships and gadgets, I feel that I did capture the 'feel' and the social and cultural aspects of Steampunk. I hope you'll give a try and I very much hope you enjoy!

  3. I have not read any steampunk or steampunk romances so could not chose one over the over. I do love romance stories though. The book sounds great, love the cover. I have been wanting to try steampunk, but have not found anything that catches my eye.
    +1 comment
    +1 follower-GFC-Chrisbails
    +1 shared on facebook-
    christinebails at yahoo dot com

  4. I love anything with romance and steampunk is my new obsession, so give me a steampunk romance any day!

    1. - Mentioned it on my Facebook page!

  5. Hi

    I would say steampunk romance as I am a sucker for anything with romance and I have read some great steampunk books lately. What a wonderful sounding series.

    +1 comment
    +1 follower

    Thanks for the chance

  6. I'm a sucker for romance, so I would have to go with steampunk romance. Great cover.

    +follow GFC Lona Stringer

    blinkysthebest at aol dot com

  7. Steampunk romance, for sure.

    +1 comment
    +1 gfc follower

  8. I always love romance, so steampunk romance for me!!! edysicecreamlover18@gmailDOTcom GFC Krystal Larson

  9. Both! Just like I enjoy scifi AND scifi romance, I like both steampunk AND steampunk romance! Wooot!!!! And can't wait for Ms. Ciotta's!! Yea!!!

    - GFC follower
    - Tweeted:

    f dot chen at comcast dot net

  10. Hm, that's a hard choice. I guess I'll go with steampunk romance.

    GFC follower
    ironss [at] gmail [dot] com

  11. I enjoy steampunk so I would take it either way.
    debby236 at gmail dot com
    follower GFC

  12. Steampunk romance. Thanks for the giveaway. Please enter me. I am a follower and email subscriber.

  13. I tend to enjoy steampunk romance a little bit more than just straight steampunk. I think it's because in the romance you have to have the human focus. I think the steampunk stuff is neat but it's not a complete story within itself. +1
    Follower by email jepebATverizonDOTnet +1
    Tweeted +1
    total points 3
    Jen B.

  14. I enjoy steampunk romance. Thanks for the giveaway!

    Follower by email kscathy AT yahoo DOT com
    Posted on Facebook as Cathy Estabrook Phillips
    Tweeted as

  15. I'd choose both Steampunk and Steampunk Romance, but I must say, everything is better with at least a little romance, so Steampunk Romance wins by a hair.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com
    GFC: Barbara E.

  16. Good question - I think romance makes everything a bit better, so I would choose steampunk romance - but I would really hope the steampunkness wouldn't be sacrificed for the romance.

    jochibi AT yahoo DOT com
    + 1 follower (GFC)
    +1 comment

  17. Hi Beth,

    I would have to say Steampunk Romance. I am really looking forward to this book. Hope you are safe after that storm

    1. yenastone at aol dot com - Beth know wheres to find me!!

  18. Steampunk romance! Every story needs a little love. =)

    Fun interview, I can't imagine juggling so much like you are doing. Her Space Cowboy sure has a lot thrown into it, but I love a wild imagination so I am interested to see how it all boils down. And you have an amazing cover! Good luck with your other projects!

    GFC Lexi
    eyesofblueice (at) gmail

  19. I prefer Steampunk Romance, but I will read either, all that matters is a great story and characters. I love the cover of Her Space Cowboy, it really makes you want to grab it off the shelf. Thanks for taking the time to share with us all.

    GFC follower