Welcome to my stop for the awesome The Secret Order Series by Kristin Bailey. Focusing on book 2, Rise of the Arcane Fire! An awesome mix of historical fiction and steampunk. Check out the complete tour by clicking the banner or HERE
Title: Rise of the Arcane Fire
Series: The Secret Order #2
Release date: February 4th 2014
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release date: February 4th 2014
Publisher: Simon Pulse
After her parents died in a fire and her grandfather disappeared, Meg Whitlock thought her life had come to a standstill. But when she learned that the pocket watch her grandfather left her was really an intricate key, Meg, with the help of a stable hand named Will, uncovered the Amusementists: members of an elite secret society dedicated to discovery and shrouded in mystery.
Now the Amusementists are convening in London, and Meg is determined to join their ranks. But being the first girl in the Order has its difficulties, and with Will away in Scotland Meg fears she can’t trust anyone but herself. Her worries are only supported by the sabotage happening at the academy, with each altered invention being more harmful than the last.
With threats lurking around every corner, and while trying to prove her worth as the first female Amusementist, Meg must uncover the identity of the academy’s saboteur before the botched devices become deadly. And after she finds evidence of a sinister and forbidden invention, Meg must stop it - or risk the entire future of the Amusementists.
-How did you make the transition from zookeeper to author?
I worked as a zookeeper when I was in college. I had volunteered with my university helping with a injured raptor rehabilitation program associated with the veterinary school, then got a job in the bird department of a nearby zoo. I loved working with the birds, and I have a soft spot for parrots to this day. However, I married a military guy and became a nomad, so I had to leave my zoo-keeping days behind me. Unless you count my pets. I currently have fifteen critters under my care. If you follow me on Twitter, chances are you'll see pictures of most of them at one point or another.
-You are a military wife… Does that give you any ideas for stories that you wouldn’t normally have?
I believe it changes my priorities. As a military spouse, you have to be very independent and self-reliant, because you move so often, you lose any support networks you build up in places. It can get lonely. I do think writing is a little bit of an outlet for those things.
-Why do you think there’s such a fascination with the steampunk genre?
I think that people are tired of the minimalist aesthetic in modern design. Everything has to have "clean lines" and look smooth and perfect. We lose sight that it is technology, and in a way it feels less alive as compared to older machinery. I think people are looking for things that are unique instead of mass produced, and also I believe they are searching for intricacy and care in design. There hasn't been a story to really break out into the mass culture from Steampunk yet, but the aesthetic is beginning to take root. You can see proof of that in the new Disneyland showcase of Steampunk art. It won't be long before a steampunk story breaks out into the mass culture.
-Do you see any of yourself in your lead character Meg, in “Legacy of the Clockwork Key?”
Actually, Meg and I aren't really alike at all. When I was young, I could be impulsive, so I guess she got a little of that from me, but I was also very cautious. I'd get very excited about something, but then be very timid about actually doing it. I was mostly an internal person and Meg is one of these people that will let loose whatever she's thinking. She's bold in a way I admire. Truth be told, personality-wise, I feel like I am much more like Will. I'm willing to go on the adventure, but I'm going to cautiously think through it, and possibly complain a bit that I have to come out of my cave and live life.
-Where did you come up with the idea for the Amusementists?
I came up with the idea for the Amusementists after seeing an image online of a clockwork raven that someone had made. That image blended in with my memories of my great-grandfather and the amazing things I used to find in his study. He was a very talented engineer, and I decided I wanted to create a story where engineering was treated as magic or sorcery without using actual magic as a real element in the story. I wanted invention to be magic, because if you think about it, invention is the closest thing we have, and it is wonderful.
-How do you balance raising two children with being an author?
I have very little time, and I have to sneak in writing when I can, usually late at night. It's a challenge, but I'm determined to rise to it.
-What are you working on next?
I just finished up major revisions for the third book in The Secret Order trilogy. I love it, and I hope readers to as well when it comes out next spring. I'm taking a little bit of a break, then I'm going to do something that feels a little more like a gritty fantasy.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kristin Bailey grew up in the middle of the San Joaquin Valley in California. As a kid she enjoyed visiting the beach, camping and skiing with her two brothers.
Now she is a military wife and mother of two young children. She is also terrible about spoiling her pets. She has one fluffy mutt, two cats who think they own the world, and a fish tank with a quartet of fat fish, and two secretive striped ninja-assassin snails.
In the course of her adventures, she has worked as a zookeeper, balloon artist, and substitute teacher. Now she enjoys writing books for teens who enjoy mystery and adventure as much as she does.