I have a visitor today, the lovely Pippa Jay. She’s here to talk about her newest release, When Dark Falls. Isn’t that cover just gorgeous?! Below her post, you will find an excerpt and a contest, so keep reading.
Hi, I’m Pippa Jay, author of scifi and the supernatural with a romantic soul. When Dark Falls is my tenth title, but my first ever superhero story. It’s also the first set in the past (1920s) as opposed to the far future, although it’s an alternative timeline, so all is not as you might expect for the date. So here are five facts about the story that might not be apparent if you read it, or that may help you make sense of it all.
1. Setting. The city of Nephopolis is based on a mixture of Skycaptain and the World of Tomorrow, Dark City, and Gotham from Batman, with a very Art Deco look. The dark, oily skies and cloudburners came from Burn It Down by Linkin Park. The name – Nephopolis – came from the Egyptian Goddess Nepthys (mentioned in the story) but began as a search for a city in the clouds, an idea that may or may not have come from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.
2. Nocturnelle. I can’t remember how and when I came up with her superhero name – one of those brilliant flashes of inspiration – but being able to shorten it to Nelle was a bonus. She’s kind of a mixture of Catwoman from Batman and Mystique from X-Men.
3. Shadow. His name only came to me after the scene in which we first meet him and Nelle, where she says, “Ah, my faithful shadow.” It went from being merely an idle phrase to his superhero identity. Seemed appropriate, since his job was mostly to follow her around, and stick as close to her as…well…a shadow!
4. Origins. When Dark Falls began with the working title of Darkfall in the August 2012 Camp NaNoWriMo. It was my first attempt to plot, and originally started with a line that made me think more paranormal/supernatural than scifi. But by 20K, I’d lost the plot and the SF story I was trying to write with alien invaders began to fall apart as it developed a split personality and veered away from the vague outline. I abandoned it and NaNo, but came back to the story a few months later with fresh ideas and new enthusiasm, inspired by an album called Living Things by Linkin Park.
5. Technology. Although I say it’s decopunk and therefore Art Deco period, because it’s an alternative timeline the technology is out of synch with the time period. You could think of it as a 1920s that might have been. There are airships and flying bikes. Cloudburners scorch the skies (an idea from Kate Bush’s Cloudbursting and Linkin Park’s Burn It Down). My villain has been compared to a steampunk Darth Vader. There are bullets made from diamond and sunlight. Cloning. Things that just wouldn’t have been around at the time, but powered by diesel, which would have been available. In the same way that my villain has isolated the city from the rest of the world, I’ve kind of isolated a piece of history and moved parts of it forward to the future.
I hope you enjoyed that sneak peek at the goings on behind the story, and that you’ll enjoy the story itself even more.
When Dark Falls is an alternative 1920s superhero romance released by Breathless Press on the 21st November. Add it to your Goodreads shelf HERE. Sign up to my no-spam newsletter HERE to stay up to date with releases, cover reveals, sales and giveaways for all my titles and more.
Here’s the blurb for When Dark Falls:
In a city where Dark Technologies Inc. now runs the show, Kadie Williams has more immediate concerns than the fall of Blaze, their guardian superhero. Almost every morning for the last few months she’s woken up with cuts and bruises on her body, and no idea how she got them. There are no nightmares. No evidence that she sleepwalks, or any sign of a break in. And nothing to tell her who’s been cleaning up after her. As just one of thousands of civilians conscripted to slave away in the labs of Professor Dark, she knew there’d be trouble ahead. But she never expected it to be so bad, or so personal.
Desperate for answers, Kadie looks to the new defender of the night, the only person who can hinder the total domination of Professor Dark—Nocturnelle. The mysterious vigilante superhero came from nowhere with her cybernetic sidekick Shadow, set on putting an end to the brutality of Dark’s regime. But as his laboratories work on a new secret super-weapon, Nocturnelle and Shadow may not be enough to save Nephopolis…or to save Kadie either.
And just for fun, how about an excerpt?
The roar of the cloudburner flaming into life woke her. The vibration as it powered up rippled through the building created a disturbance impossible to sleep through. No more being roused from sleep by the dawn chorus of traffic or a rowdy neighbor. Those days were long past. Everyone in Nephopolis woke to the sound of fire burning into the clouds, to cast a false darkness over the city. The shadow of Dark.
Kadie stretched…and froze. She stared at her left arm. A pattern of blue and purple covered her forearm, a harsh contrast to her otherwise pale skin.
She shuddered, turning her arm this way and that. Had she fallen out of bed? And if so, why hadn’t she woken? She didn’t remember catching it on anything yesterday that would have gone unnoticed and yet left such intense bruising. One day blurred into another now, but even so, surely she’d remember hurting herself that badly?
If I’d been conscious. She sat up and examined the bruise. It was the fourth injury in as many nights, and yet there’d been no dreams. No sign she’d left her bed in the night. Would she know if she’d been sleepwalking? After all, she lived and slept alone. Unless she was leaving her apartment to wander around in the corridors…
The idea made her stomach churn too much to consider it. Instead, she swung her legs out from under the duvet. Pale pink flannel pajamas clothed her, crumpled from a night’s sleep but nothing more. Her bare feet revealed no signs of midnight wandering. What the hell had happened to her arm when everything else seemed so normal?
About the author:
After spending twelve years working as an Analytical Chemist in a Metals and Minerals laboratory, Pippa Jay is now a stay-at-home mum who writes scifi and the supernatural. Somewhere along the way a touch of romance crept into her work and refused to leave. In between torturing her plethora of characters, she spends the odd free moment playing guitar very badly, punishing herself with freestyle street dance, and studying the Dark Side of the Force. Although happily settled in the historical town of Colchester in the UK with her husband of 21 years and three little monsters, she continues to roam the rest of the Universe in her head.
Pippa Jay is a dedicated member of the Science Fiction Romance Brigade, blogging at Spacefreighters Lounge, Adventures in Scifi, and Romancing the Genres. Her works include YA and adult stories crossing a multitude of subgenres from scifi to the paranormal, often with romance, and she’s one of eight authors included in a science fiction romance anthology—Tales from the SFR Brigade. She’s also a double SFR Galaxy Award winner, been a finalist in the Heart of Denver RWA Aspen Gold Contest (3rd place), and the GCC RWA Silken Sands Star Awards (2nd place).
Website – http://www.pippajay.co.uk
Adventures in Scifi – http://www.pippajay.blogspot.co.uk
Spacefreighters Lounge – http://www.spacefreighters.blogspot.com
Romancing the Genres – http://www.romancingthegenres.blogspot.co.uk/
SFR Brigade – http://www.sfrcontests.blogspot.co.uk/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/pippajaygreen
Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5054558.Pippa_Jay
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Pippa-Jay-Adventures-in-Scifi/114058821953752
Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/pippajaygreen/
Google+ – https://plus.google.com/u/0/101080630877126516448/posts
Wattpad – http://www.wattpad.com/user/PippaJay
Amazon page – http://www.amazon.com/Pippa-Jay/e/B0080QVWEE/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1406376408&sr=8-1
Breathless Press – http://www.breathlesspress.com/index.php?main_page=product_free_shipping_info&cPath=25&products_id=691
Bookstrand – http://tinyurl.com/kkonr53
All Romance eBooks – http://tinyurl.com/n873eap
Amazon US – http://www.amazon.com/When-Dark-Falls-Pippa-Jay-ebook/dp/B00P5MQR6Y/
Amazon UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/When-Dark-Falls-Pippa-Jay-ebook/dp/B00P5MQR6Y/
Smashwords – http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/495412
Web page to other links – http://www.pippajay.co.uk/#!when-dark-falls/cl15
Open internationally until the 19th December. I’ve donned my superhero guise for the length of the tour, and you get to name me and decide my talent(s)! If I like it, I may include it in the sequel to When Dark Falls and credit you in the acknowledgements. To enter, please put the name, talent, and your contact details in the comments. Please note – by entering this contest you are giving me full permission for me to use the superhero name without any recompense to you, financially or otherwise, other than the acknowledgement, and you are waiving any rights to the name. You’ll also get a digital format of your choice for When Dark Falls.