SFRQ: You wrote a number of historical and contemporary romances before delving into the world of the Victorious Glorious Darcys. What drew you to steampunk romance?
Beth Ciotta: I confess, I was oblivious to the term “steampunk” when I first developed the concept for The Glorious Victorious Darcys. I knew the stories would involve a historical aspect, high adventure, with a global treasure hunt, romance, and lots of cool sci-fi like gadgets and gizmos. I was inspired by movies like The Great Race, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, The Time Machine, and the like. When I described the concept of GVD to writer friends, they said, “Sounds cool. Sounds steampunk.” As soon as I looked up the term bells rang and angels sang. Nirvana!
Who are the Darcys?
Although connected novellas feature close friends of the Darcys, the three main novels revolve around three siblings—Amelia, Simon, and Jules Darcy. Amelia is an aviatrix, Simon, an engineer, and Jules a science fiction writer (at least that’s his “cover”.) All three are related to Engineer/Visionary Briscoe Darcy who’s historically known as The Time Voyager.
Here’s an overview of the arc of the series…
In celebration of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee (1887), an anonymous benefactor promises fame and fortune to the first man or woman who discovers and donates a technological “invention” of historical significance to Her Majesty’s British Museum in honor of her beloved deceased husband, Prince Albert.
Jules Darcy, Simon Darcy, and unbeknownst to them, their sister, Amelia Darcy set off in search of three different “lost” legendary inventions. Whilst on their quest, all three fall prey to a spine-tingling danger, sizzling romance, and the perils of an unstable society. In the end, one sibling will bring glory to the British Empire, another scandal, while the third becomes an unwitting accomplice in a plot to assassinate the Queen. Will love or technology save the day? Will the Darcys prevail or perish? Mystery, passion, and adventure abound.
How would you describe your particular brand of steampunk?
Considering the way the stories evolved and continue to evolve, I’m no longer sure that this series qualifies as strict steampunk. In addition to steampunk (and romance), I also incorporated paranormal, time-traveling, and retro futuristic aspects. Unlike my strict historical and contemporary romances, these romantic adventures appeal to both male and female readers. I think I’d describe The Glorious Victorious Darcys series as a genre-bender.
Do the books stand alone or are they best read in order?
To date there are two novels and one novella. The novella, HIS BROKEN ANGEL, is a bridge between HER SKY COWBOY and HIS CLOCKWORK CANARY. I worked hard so that they each stand alone. However there are recurring characters and an overall running arc. Therefore, for maximum enjoyment, I’d suggest reading them in order.
What kind of groovy steampunk gadgets can readers expect to encounter in your stories?
Oh, so many! Here are just a few. You’ll have to read the stories to learn their specific use.
- Aquarian Cosmology Compendium
- Clockwork Propulsion Engine
- Disprupter 29
- Stun Cuff
- Thera-Steam-Atic Brace
Can you give us a hint about what’s coming in Book Three?
Before book three, I’ll be releasing another novella, GVD 2.5. HIS BEAUTIFUL ENIGMA features the Darcy brothers’ best friend, aviator, Phineas Bourdain, and Dr. Bella Caro—personal physician of Jules Darcy. Phin and Bella were introduced in HIS CLOCKWORK CANARY and now they join in a dangerous search “down under” for Jules Darcy who’s gone missing. While there, they’ll also tangle with familiar enemies of the Darcys—Lord Bingham and Captain Dunkirk.
Book 3, the full-length novel, HER MAJESTY’S MAN will feature Jules Darcy, wrapping up the Darcy saga with a time traveling trip to the future where readers will at last meet the original Time Voyager, Briscoe Darcy. A retro-futuristic adventure with an astonishing finish. I, for one, can’t wait!