Remember when we had Katy Haye over for an author interview? Well, she just sent this exciting news interview with Clara Lissing of the Clockwork War (One of the short stories in the Shattered Worlds anthology.) Hope you enjoy!
Your London Courier is always first with the news. Today your Courier reporter spoke to Clara Lissing, the young engineer who came from nowhere and is now working with England’s regent, Duke Murgatroyd, on a top-secret device sure to bring a speedy end to the war with Scotland.
Miss Lissing is much younger than I’d thought – only seventeen. She has olive skin and dark hair that’s pulled back in a bun. I was hoping to see one of the devices that brought her to Duke Murgatroyd’s attention, but all I can see in her workshop today is bits of metal, and tools.
Tell us about your family, Miss Lissing.
I have five brothers. Bill, Sam, Harry and Nathan are all older than me. They’re miners in Dorstow. The youngest is Tom. He joined the army recently.
And your parents?
My parents are both dead.
I’m sorry to hear that. But they weren’t your real parents, were they?
They were my real parents. They weren’t my birth parents, if that’s what you mean.
Our research tells us you were discovered floating in a rowboat on the river Dor when you were a baby. Is that true?
I’m not sure why you’re asking me questions if you already know the answers!
Please, don’t be offended, Miss Lissing! We have to do our research - that’s the sort of tidbit our readers love.
Yes, so far as I know, that story’s true.
And you’ve never found your real parents?
I’ve never looked.
Well, if any of our readers can cast any light on the matter, be sure to get in touch at the Courier offices on Fleet Street. Perhaps we could reunite you with your parents, Miss Lissing!
So, how did a lowly girl from Dorstow come to the attention of Duke Murgatroyd?
My brother, Harry, wrote to the Duke about my skill with machines.
And now you’re working on a top-secret device to help us win the war. How exciting! What can you tell us about it?
Not much. It’s top secret.
There’s no catching you out, is there, Miss Lissing! But tell me this – did the king really come and inspect the device himself?
Both the king and the dowager queen, his mother.
Oh, what a day that must have been!
It was certainly interesting.
Tell us a bit more about yourself, Miss Lissing – what’s the first machine you ever made?
I spent years fixing machines before I started creating my own. The machine I’m most proud of is Fetchitt, who helps me in my workshop.
Fetchitt? What does that do?
Fetchitt fetches me things, it’s my mechanical assistant.
How useful that must be. And what do you do when you’re not working on your devices?
Oh, well, there isn’t much spare time while I’m working to end the war. I did see a show at the Hippodrome recently. That was great fun. We don’t have anything like that in Dorstow.
And when the war ends, Miss Lissing. What will you do then?
I’ll go home. To my family. I miss them. I hate being away from my brothers.
Then let’s hope you won’t be kept from them for long. I won’t keep you from your important work any longer, Miss Lissing.
Clara Lissing is the heroine of The Clockwork War, a steampunk/alternate history novel available exclusively as part of Shattered Worlds, a collection of 23 epic YA worlds. Shattered Worlds can be pre-ordered for just 99c now – see more at https://www.shatteredworldsboxset.com/
Katy has been working on a tie-in short story to The Clockwork War. She's delighted to say this is now completed, up on retailers, and (most importantly) FREE!
The short story The Replacement Princess is set in the same world as The Clockwork War. It doesn't feature Clara, but has other characters that readers will meet in the novel.
Imagine Queen Elizabeth I never reigned. England and Scotland never unified. It's 1841 and war is on the horizon - unless English Princess Myrtle can cement a truce with a marriage to a boy she's never met.