Thank you to Sandy for inviting me here to share some thoughts about my new book with you today.
I love reading books where the hero or heroine–and for some reason it is mostly the hero–has to make a tough choice between doing what he believes is his duty, often putting the heroine in danger, and following his heart. I enjoy watching characters step outside their comfort zone, go against everything they thought they knew, and find their own way in life. It is far harder to make decisions for oneself, go against one’s elders or superiors and incur their anger, than to hide behind the mask of duty.
The fantasy world I created for A Clockwork Fairytale is similar to Victorian times with a dose of magic and steampunk thrown in, so the young hero and heroine, Turk and Melba, have to deal with situations that today’s teens don’t experience. But they both still feel a duty to the adults in their lives. In Turk’s case, his master is the Primate of the Shining Brotherhood, leader of a group of magical monks. Turk’s duty is not simply to show respect and act responsibly; he is bound by his monk’s vows, his duty to use his Earth Magic morally, and the expectations of his master.
But although he feels a strong sense of duty to his master, the Primate holds beliefs and prejudices forged from his own life experience. These beliefs are not necessarily right and prove not to be the best way forward for Turk. He is initially dedicated to his master, his obligations and his beliefs, but he starts to question his master’s principles when he is expected to do things he considers unethical. Turk resists Melba’s influence, his temptation to follow his heart, but when he finally does, it takes him in a direction that will change his life forever.
The heroine Melba also has her beliefs about self and her place in the world radically challenged when she discovers she is not who she thought she was. I think we all go through this process to a certain extent. We start life with one persona—daughter, son, sister, brother—that we are familiar and usually comfortable with, but, as we grow up, we become more aware of the world around us and where we fit.
In our society we have the freedom to follow our hearts to find our place in the world. But, lucky for us, we don’t all have to go through the trials that Melba and Turk do before we get there.
[Ed. Helen is giving away to e-copies of her new release, A Clockwork Fairytale, so be sure to chime in on her blog today!]