On the 29th we published the first four in Kristen Callihan‘s rich and exciting Darkest London series! And to help celebrate we have a special web piece written by the author herself, fresh-faced from the RWA convention in Texas!
Piatkus: What can you tell us about Firelight, and the inspiration behind it? And what do you think of the setting and characters?
Kristen: Firelight is what I like to call a weed book, in that it popped up without warning . . .
One minute I was putting on Disney’s Beauty and the Beast for my young daughter, and then next, I started to wonder, what if the ‘beast’ was not outwardly ugly but had to hide himself behind a mask? What if who he was, and what he was hiding, made him the prime suspect of a murder mystery? And what if ‘Beauty’ was determined to solve this mystery and save her beast?
Of course this tale needed a setting; some place dark, atmospheric and full of danger; a place where murder most foul could play out on a grand scale. What better setting could there been than London? To me, Victorian London and Gothic tales go hand in hand. Flickering gas lamps, narrow alleyways shrouded in murky fog, glistening cobbles echoing with the sound of footsteps, all of it is a veritable feast for the senses. Is it any wonder that London became a character in its own right?
I’ve had such fun with this great city. From the British Museum to Big Ben to Trafalgar Square and St. Paul’s, the landmarks play their own roles and characters often have an emotional connection to them. In truth, during the course of research, I’ve grown quite attached to London myself!
The Darkest London series are stories of action, mystery and romance, revolving around characters who hide what they are from normal human society. And while the characters often have extraordinary powers, they crave for love and acceptance, as we all do. I hope you enjoy reading the books, and invite you to sink into the sensual and often dangerous world of 1880s London.