I need coffee.
Seriously. It’s a need. A daily need. Hell, I can have a triple espresso and then go nap. In fact, I knew I hadn’t enough coffee when I started writing this because I just typed tripe instead of triple.
Nothing adds to coffee like cleaned out cow stomach.
I apparently also need a cat.
I even snuck one into Clockwork Tangerine. A Sphynx cat missing a leg and rescued by one of the main characters, Robin Harris—an inventor whose work had been abused by a secret society when he was but a young teen.
In a lot of ways, Robin is that cat. A bit scrawny, a bit odd and most of all, off kilter.
And in the steampunk world I created for Clockwork Tangerine, being off kilter could get you killed.
When I set about building up Tangerine’s environment, I knew I wanted it to have a Victorian feel to it but place it someplace with a more diverse cultural mix than London. I debated Hong Kong but really, soooo much research and in a novella, there wouldn’t have been enough time to paint it in the light it deserved. Instead, I decided to shift history and well, hand America back over to the Brits. A slight change of a few battles and everyone is still speaking the Queen’s English. Although I can’t tell you if we retained the accent or not. I wasn’t going to get into that lingual shift.
Regardless, I knew it was going to be a place I’d want to come back to, so it had to be strong and solid. By creating a world larger than the story—with details I knew were in the background—I could have that resonate through the novella. Creating a strong backdrop is so key to steampunk. An author doesn’t have to figure everything out but the primary things should be there.
In this case, my primary focus was simple—what if I had a character who could blend magic and science? And what if, in doing so, he was basically flying in the face of society because those two philosophies were at war with one another.
In some ways, this mirrors many social battles. Hell, it even mirrors the AC versus DC current debate. A school of thought being fought over in polite society. This became the base thread in the Tangerine world. What practice would succeed over the other, and what about the radicals who combined the two—challenging the status quo? How would they be treated?
And would they succeed in convincing the general public and the ruling classes that by doing so, they weren’t endangering everyone around them?
These are all questions I had lingering in the back of my mind when I wrote Clockwork Tangerine. I had no intention of answering them—not in the novella—but it did allow me to work in some of the tension within the framework I had. By placing Robin in the middle of that query, it gave me a good focal point to start off with.
Marcus came along as Robin’s saviour of sorts. And he didn’t have to be. For all intents and purposes, he could have killed Robin, been caught at it and pardoned. That was clear from the beginning. To extend forgiveness and then love went beyond the society’s understanding. Even Marcus’ own family members had issues with it, but see, this is where the strange and unusual people in a world come into play.
Because Robin was a bit of a radical, he would need other, more powerful radicals to stand behind him. But would that happen? Especially since he’d already been defiled and reviled by the men who should have spoken up for him when he was accused of mass murder.
Heady stuff to shove into a novella but oh, the challenge!
Clockwork Tangerine really became a labour of love. Fitting things in that were just possible with a few tweaks of reality was exciting to write. And to do so in the language of the time was as much a challenge as a pain in the ass. With luck, I rose to that challenge and delivered. I like to think so. Well, and I loved writing Robin and Marcus fall in love.
Hopefully you fall in love with them as much as they fell in love with each other.
The British Empire reigns supreme, and its young Queen Victoria has expanded her realm to St. Francisco, a bustling city of English lords and Chinese ghettos. St. Francisco is a jewel in the Empire’s crown and as deeply embroiled in the conflict between the Arcane and Science as its sister city, London—a very dark and dangerous battle.
Marcus Stenhill, Viscount of Westwood, stumbles upon that darkness when he encounters a pack of young bloods beating a man senseless. Westwood’s duty and honor demand he save the man, but he’s taken aback to discover the man is Robin Harris, a handsome young inventor indirectly responsible for the death of Marcus’s father.
Living in the shadows following a failed coup, Robin devotes his life to easing others’ pain, even though his creations are considered mechanical abominations of magicks and science. Branded a deviant and a murderer, Robin expects the viscount to run as far as he can—and is amazed when Marcus reaches for him instead.
Buy Clockwork Tangerine HERE
About the Author:
I’m Rhys Ford. I am an author and also a reader. You can find me at the following places:
My Blog | Facebook | Twitter: @Rhys_Ford
And at the Starbucks down the street. No really, they’re 24/7. And a drive-thru. It’s like heaven.
My books can be purchased, folded and first chapters read at Dreamspinner Press.
The Giveaway:THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED
22 thoughts on “Rhys Ford Talks "Clockwork Tangerine" And Concocts A Giveaway Just For You”
l would like to invent a way to cure abusive men
I would love to invent a way to download all the information and knowledge in a textbook or book directly into my brain Ancients-style!
I would invent something that would take me back in time so I can see things for myself.
I would invent a machine that would massage my scalp and braid/twist whatever my hair every single night. Bliss.
I would love to invent a society run by mommies and daddies. Not mothers and fathers or men and women. Mommies and daddies will never let harm come to a child no matter the age and they would be understanding. They love everyone else’s children too. Laws would be made to protect and there would be time outs. OK So maybe a time saving device would be better. A molecular splitter like the the Star Trek Transporter so I wouldn’t have to be in plane 8 hours to visit Europe. That would be good. Yeah.
I would like to invent a device that would enable me to communicate in all the world’s languages. Then I would like to invent something to speed my metabolism so I could enjoy the wide variety of rich cuisines while I’m traveling.
Hum. So many choices. There have been many times I wish I could have a transporter a la Star Trek and cut my commute from an hour to just a few minutes. That would be awesome. For another option, something like the tricorder (also, Star Trek) that can detect unknown things in a human body and determine the best way to figure what it is.
If I could invent one thing I would invent a cure for autism or at least a way for my kids to communicate with the rest of the world.
I can’t wait to read this one. If i could invent something, I’d invent a device to add more hours into the day. Because, yeah…..
Just downloaded. :) If I could invent one thing? I think I’d invent something that would help people see other people’s points of view. Something to help them (force them?) to see what other people are thinking and feeling. What makes someone act and react the way they do.
I’d also like to be able to fly. To invent something that’d help people fly without planes, wings, jet packs, etc. Yeah, I’d do that. :)
I’d love to invent a transporter type travel device – I love to drive, but hate to drive to work every morning and would love to be able to move from place to place in an instant – I MIGHT not be late for work if I could do that!
Had this pre-ordered, can’t wait to start on it today!! Oh, I would like to invent prosthetic limbs and such that have the senses like a real limb. So Android type stuff. Or a way to grow or attach a real functioning limb back.
I just bought it at Dreamspinner. What would I invent? Something that cured all diseases. :)
Downloaded from ARE! Invention…some excellent choices already mentioned. Hmmm…I’ll go with humanitarian and say either a cure for cancer that doesn’t involve poisoning the patient or cheep green energy that doesn’t require acres of unsightly wind turbans or solar panels.
If I could blend magic and science I think that I would create a machine that people could pass through, something like an MRI, and be cured of illness. To add to the atmosphere of the Steampunk universe, and real life too, I could see being hunted by people and having to find a companion who can also kick ass to protect mine from getting kicked for creating a machine that defies science and medicine.
If I could invent something – it would be a means to allow my glasses to link to my reader. It would not just allow me to see the books on my lenses but it translate my scanned manuscripts (at least until I learn the languages well enough not to need translation), as well as reading the original through the earpiece so that I could, eventually learn to speak those ‘lost’ languages.
I’d want to make a cure for depression – decidedly selfish of me as I’ve had depression for years now and keep wishing there was some kind of magic wand that would just make it all go away…
Just looked at the decal site – very pretty!
Right now with all the snow and cold, I’m really feeling a personal teleportation device. No more driving in ice and white-outs! And as a bonus, I could sleep in some more. :)
A painless and reversible way to change sex. If we knew what it was like, we’d understand each other a lot better.
Thanks for sharing your process with us, Rhys! I’m really looking forward to getting to read Clockwork Orange. Thank you for the cool giveaway, too.
Good morning, everyone! Thanks so much for dropping by to enter Rhys’ DecalGal giveaway. The contest is now closed, and the winner’s been drawn. The $25 gift card goes to…
Congratulations, Renee! I’ve already emailed Rhys with your contact information, so expect to hear from her soon.