So, again, apologies for the extended hiatus. I’ve been busy wrapping up finals like a madwoman, and job-hunting like crazy. But! I’ve some AWESOME news to share with you today. 😊
So, as most of you probably know, I’ve multiple fandoms. What most of you may not know is that I’ve recently attached myself to a new fandom, the Ironfire Legacy, by Ms. Janeen Ippolito! It has steampunk, adventure, action, alchemy, sexy dragon-shifters, unicorn-shifters, a sassy, talking cat-dragon—you name it. (Book 1 is “Lawless,” in case anyone is interested. 😉 )
Janeen has given me the MASSIVE privilege of tagging along and participating in her blog tour for her newest addition to the series, “Priceless,” featuring the notorious Nula Thredsing as the protagonist, the dragon-shifter Tiers Sunscaler, and of course Freckles the pretentious and verbose cat-dragon. Here’s a bit about the book:
“A little ambition can turn into a lot of trouble—even for the city’s wiliest double agent.
After years of rebel spywork in the dragon-human war, Nula Thredsing is ready to claim her legacy.
As the Scepter of Commerce’s new liaison to dragons, she’s one step away from the old family seat on the city council. But during her first meeting with dragon diplomat Tiers Sunscaler, they are attacked by rogue dragons—one of them Sunscaler’s former tactical partner, who is bitterly determined to keep the sham war in action and turn the diplomat to his side.
At the same time, Nula and Tiers discover a startling connection: an embermate bond. While a political marriage suits Nula, the bond’s side effects are obnoxious—and potentially deadly.
Aided by an unexpected cat-dragon and a mysterious unicorn, Nula and Tiers must track down the rogue dragons before their dangerous bond tears them apart.
Fortunately, Nula is used to impossible odds—and this time, she has a dragon on her side.”
So, with that in mind, care to take us behind-the scenes of when your characters take over your plotline, Janeen? It seems like you’ve very independent-minded characters!
A funny thing happened on the way to writing Faithless, book two of my steampunk fantasy series The Ironfire Legacy: several side characters decided they wanted to talk. A lot. And with one thing and another, those conversations turned into a short story, and that short story said “nah, we’re going to be a short novel”, also known as a novella. And thus, Priceless was born.
After some pondering, I thought this whole side journey was a great idea. Here are just a few reasons:
1.) Nula Thredsing, the main protagonist in Priceless, gave me a great opportunity to dive into a misfit, antihero character and show her true motivations. Plus, I was fascinated with the combination of strength and vulnerability she showed in Lawless. She’s a force to be reckoned with and telling her story was a fun ride.
2.) Zilpath Irudha, another breakout character from Lawless, showed up in Priceless, and she’s just awesome. She’s seventy-something, an ex-slave, a devout of the Four Corners religion who almost missed being an acolyte because of her sharp tongue, and just an all-around fun character with a lot of complexity. I have readers who are #TeamZilpath, and I can’t blame them one bit! I’ve loved getting to showcase her more. 3.) Tiers Sunscaler, the secondary protagonist, was a hidden surprise. I literally created him to just say four lines at the end of Lawless. But in that same scene, Nula joked that with her fortune with men, she might as well date a dragon. Of course, dragons don’t really casually date—they find their embermate, and that is that. And when Tiers looks at Nula, he knows at first sight that she’s the one for him.
Now, to be honest, I had planned on writing a spinoff story featuring a dragonshifter guy and a human woman. It’s a classic shifter romance trope, which means I had to turn it on its head with a very non-stereotypical “alpha” female (Nula) and a far quieter but confident male (Tiers) who sees her extroverted ambition as a bonus and isn’t remotely threatened by it. I love writing character banter, and their back and forth is a highlight. Also, if anyone is really going to take over the Scepter of Commerce, it would be Nula and Tiers. They’re a major power couple.
Of course, maybe they do take over the city. After all, they’re trying to protect it from rogue dragons who are intent on massacre and mayhem. Of course, if they do that, they’ll have to get help from the fourth reason this book was an amazing idea:
4.) Freckles the Cat-Dragon! Freckles as a concept had existed in an earlier story world,
and when I realized I needed something to show Nula’s softer side, an author friend suggested “save the cat-dragon” – a reference to the screen writing book Save the Cat, where you have a less likable character show their vulnerable side by helping out someone else. As it turned out, Nula does have a strong spot for underdogs (or undercats, in this case) and adding Freckles in really gave the story some humorous twists and fun.
And now, he’s managed to find his way into The Ironfire Legacy series. *shakes head* I guess the real book takeover expert is the cat-dragon!
Thanks so much for joining us today, folks! Be sure to check out her epic first book in the series as well, Lawless! Here’s a small taste:
“A dragon felon, a forsaken prince, and a jaded airship captain walk into a city—and everything explodes.
Dragonshifter convict Kesia Ironfire has one goal: to redeem herself as a soldier in the dragon-human war.
A rogue mission to spy on a new airship is the perfect way to win the trust of her superiors, as long as she collects useful intel. Then the airship explodes into sickening green smoke, leaving Kesia and her tactical partner Zephryn Nightstalker in cold water and under house arrest. Kesia is sure a little more investigation won’t hurt—and her curiosity earns them the death sentence.
Kesia and Zephryn flee to the human military capital, where Captain Shance Windkeeper is furloughed after the destruction of his airship and avoiding a most unwanted countess threatening an arranged marriage. Eager to discover what—and who—blew up his vessel, he helps Kesia and Zephryn infiltrate High Command. In exchange, Kesia must pretend to be Shance’s betrothed. Kesia has never heard of a betrothal, but it can’t be that complicated.
And human social customs are the least of her worries. Dark secrets emerge as Kesia searches for answers in the heart of High Command. Secrets that undermine her criminal status and the war itself.
A steampunk fantasy adventure with a side of snark and quirky romance.”
That’s all for today, folks! Tune in sometime later this week, I’ll be posting some bookish reviews! 😉 In the meantime, here’s more about Janeen, and the link to Uncommon Universes Press’s site! It’s worth your while, trust me!
Link to UUP’s site: https://uncommonuniverses.com/
And check out this deal! You can get both autographed copies of Priceless AND Lawless at a discounted price, AND get bookish swag, if you preorder Priceless! (A real steal, if you ask me 😉 )You can order on the site, or through Amazon. 🙂
About the Author:
Janeen Ippolito is two authors for the price of one! She creates writing resources and writes urban fantasy and steampunk. She’s also an experienced teacher, editor, author coach, and the editor in chief of Uncommon Universes Press. In her spare time, she enjoys sword-fighting, reading, food, and making brownie batter. She believes that words transform worlds and that everyone has the ability to tell their story. Two of her goals are eating fried tarantulas and traveling to Antarctica. This extroverted writer loves getting connected, so find her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and at her website: janeenippolito.com